Wednesday 20th August 2014
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South Africa’s central bank has disagreed with a ratings decision by Moody’s to downgrade Capitec Bank Limited (Capitec) by two notches, and place it on review for a further downgrade. The central bank says it respects the independent opinion of rating agencies but that it does not “agree with the rationale given in taking this step”. Two reasons are given for the rating action: a lower likelihood of sovereign systemic support based on decisions recently taken in relation to African Bank Limited (African Bank), and heightened concerns regarding the risk inherent in Capitec’s consumer lending focus. “With regard to the first point, it is important to reiterate that the approach taken by the SARB to any resolution to address systemic risk will always be based on the circumstances and merits of the particular prevailing situation. Decisions will also be informed, as was the case with African Bank, by principles contained in the Key Attributes for Effective Resolution Regimes proposed by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), which have the objective that a bank should be able to fail without affecting the system,” notes the central bank in an official statement. “This is in keeping with evolving international best practice. In the case of African Bank bond holders and wholesale depositors are taking a 10% haircut, which is generally regarded as being very positive given that the trades following the announcement of African Bank's results were taking place at around 40% of par. Therefore in fact substantial support was provided, not reduced. Moreover, all retail depositors were kept whole and are able to access their accounts fully,” it adds - According to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) credit card receivables increased by 2.1% in the second quarter to HKD112, after a reduction of 6.7% in the previous quarter. The total number of credit card accounts edged up by 0.7% to around 16.8m.The rollover amount, which reflects the amount of borrowing by customers using their credit cards, increased by 2.9% during the quarter to HKD19.2bn. The rollover ratio also rose marginally from 17.0% to 17.1% in the same period. The charge-off amount increased to HKD569mduring the quarter from HKD528m in the previous quarter. Correspondingly, the quarterly charge-off ratio rose to 0.51% from 0.46% in the previous quarter. The amount of rescheduled receivables transferred outside the surveyed institutions’ credit card portfolios reduced to HKD94m from HK$109m in the previous quarter. The delinquent amount increased to HKD249m at end-June from HKD239m at end-March. However, the delinquency ratio remained the same at 0.22% because of an increase in total card receivables. The combined delinquent and rescheduled ratio (after taking into account the transfer of rescheduled receivables mentioned above) edged up to 0.29% from 0.28% during the same period - Harkand has been awarded a contract to support Apache with inspection, repair and maintenance work (IRM) as well as light construction (LC) across their assets in the North Sea, following completion of a competitive tender exercise. The award includes the provision of vessels, ROV and diving services for a three-year period, plus two one-year options. The firm will also support offshore marine construction contractor EMAS AMC who have been awarded a separate contract for pipe lay and heavy construction as part of the same tender process. Harkand Europe managing director, David Kerr, said: “This contract is an important step in strengthening our close working relationship and growing our North Sea business with Apache.

Moneyval Committee pushes anti-money laundering agenda

Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Moneyval Committee pushes anti-money laundering agenda The Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering body  (MONEYVAL) has called on European governments to improve the implementation of measures for fighting money laundering and terrorist financing in the legal, financial and law enforcement fields. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

The Council of Europe’s anti-money laundering body  (MONEYVAL) has called on European governments to improve the implementation of measures for fighting money laundering and terrorist financing in the legal, financial and law enforcement fields.

In its anual report, published today, MONEYVAL reports that the countries it evaluates have broadly improved their technical compliance with international standards by enacting and reforming laws and regulations, in particular in the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing offences.

However, MONEYVAL concludes that law enforcement and prosecutors need to do more in achieving serious money laundering convictions and in producing confiscation orders that have a deterrent effect in offences generating major proceeds. The Committee also stresses that there are still very few convictions of those third parties who launder proceeds on behalf of organised crime.

“Last week, the G8 leaders publicly committed to 8 principles for fighting money laundering and tax evasion, and to report on the action they take. All European states should follow these principles. In a Europe emerging from a global financial crisis, it is more important than ever that financial institutions do not accept clients or transactions unless they know who they are dealing with and the source of the funds that they are handling”, said the Chair of MONEYVAL, Anton Bartolo.

“If our financial institutions are tainted by funds which are proceeds of crime, then they pose risks to their own reputations, the reputations of their countries, and to the global financial system, which relies so much on confidence in our financial institutions”, he stressed.

MONEYVAL's latest report evaluates measures taken by Poland to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The report sets out an analysis of the implementation of international and European standards. Poland identified money laundering and terrorist financing as one of the strategic priorities of its two National Programs for counteracting and combating organised crime and for combating terrorism, for the years 2012–16.

Technical deficiencies identified in the third round report on criminalisation of money laundering have not yet been addressed. The number of investigations and prosecutions for money laundering offences appears low, compared to the level of funds-generating crime. The evaluators considered there still remains an insufficiently proactive approach to money laundering investigation by law enforcement. The confiscation regime remains incomplete and the level of final confiscations also appears low.

Following the MONEYVAL recommendation in its third round evaluation, Poland introduced into its Penal Code an independent, autonomous offence of terrorist financing. Nevertheless, the offence is still not fully in line with international standards.  While Poland has a broadly sound legal structure for preventive standards, the legislative provisions dealing with customer due diligence requirements are still not entirely in line with international standards. In particular, there is no clear requirement to identify beneficial owners and to verify the customers’ identities from reliable and independent sources. Additionally, Polish law still does not require adequate transparency of legal persons.

 

 

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