Tag Archives: Banking Services (TRBC)

UK watchdog to clamp down on insurance loyalty penalties

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LONDON, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority said on Tuesday it was finalising “remedies” to stop home and car insurance companies penalising loyal customers.

The watchdog said the “loyalty penalty” cost longstanding customers an extra 1.2 billion pounds ($1.56 billion) in 2018.

More than four in five adults in Britain have one or more insurance products, and consumers who stay with their existing insurer at renewal almost always pay higher premiums than those who switch or negotiate, the FCA said in Sector Views, its annual review of key concerns for the year ahead.

The FCA also said high-risk retail investment products were exposing consumers to more risk than they can absorb, the FCA said.

“Some of the highest-risk products are often marketed directly to retail consumers with poor communication of the risks involved and implications that the investments are regulated, when this is not the case,” it added.

Many new payments firms had been able to enter the market and grow quickly, and some of their products had offered no protection for consumers.

Sector Views are used by the FCA to shape its business plan for the coming financial year and determine whether to open new market investigations and use its powers to intervene.

$1 = 0.7696 pounds
Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by John Stonestreet

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Pope caps reform of Vatican financial institution with new statutes

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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis has authorized new statutes for the Vatican Financial institution, making an exterior audit compulsory and introducing different modifications to bolster reforms which have turned across the as soon as scandal-ridden establishment.

FILE PHOTO: New recruits of the Vatican’s elite Swiss Guard march in entrance of the tower of the Institute for Works of Faith (IOR) through the swearing-in ceremony on the Vatican Might 6, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/File Picture

The statutes, authorized in a papal doc launched by the Vatican on Saturday, cap greater than six years of modifications on the financial institution since Francis was elected in 2013, since when he has made reform of the financial institution one in all his priorities.

The financial institution had been caught in earlier years in circumstances of corruption, tax evasion, embezzlement, cash laundering and actual property fraud, some involving high officers and prelates, damaging the Vatican’s moral credentials.

Andrea Tornielli, the Vatican’s editorial director, referred to as the brand new guidelines “an vital step within the technique of adhering to the perfect worldwide requirements.”

Quickly after his election, Francis thought of closing the financial institution, formally referred to as the Institute for Works of Faith (IOR), however determined to proceed reforms launched by his predecessor Pope Benedict.

The brand new statutes make an exterior audit necessary. Whereas this has taken place prior to now few years, the earlier statutes, issued in 1990 by Pope John Paul, referred to as for inner audits.

The brand new guidelines ban financial institution workers, practically all of whom are non-clerics, from holding consultancies or different roles with outdoors establishments.

FINANCIAL SCANDALS

The variety of members of the lay board of supervisors, which is made up of internationally recognized outdoors monetary specialists, is elevated to seven from 5.

This may successfully strengthen the position of the lay board and weaken that of a supervisory fee of cardinals, whose quantity stays 5.

For many years earlier than reforms have been applied, the IOR was embroiled in quite a few monetary scandals as folks with no proper to have accounts opened them and used them for illicit functions with the complicity of corrupt insiders.

Up to now six years, tons of of accounts have been closed on the IOR, whose acknowledged goal is to handle funds for the Church, Vatican workers, non secular institutes, or Catholic charities.

Final 12 months, the Vatican’s controller, the Monetary Info Authority (AIF), carried out an on-site inspection of the IOR to make sure it was complying with anti-money laundering laws and the result was “considerably constructive”, the AIF mentioned in its report for that 12 months.

In 2017, Italy put the Vatican on its “white record” of states with cooperative monetary establishments, ending years of distrust. The identical 12 months, Moneyval, a monitoring physique of the Council of Europe, gave Vatican reforms a largely constructive analysis, notably these carried out on the financial institution.

Reporting by Philip Pullella; Enhancing by David Holmes

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Italy’s Cattolica says submitted provide for UBI’s insurance coverage arm

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MILAN, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Italy’s Cattolica Assicurazioni has offered a non-binding provide for the life insurance coverage companies of UBI Banca, Chief Govt Alberto Minali stated on Friday.

Minali stated the provide was offered in June and that Cattolica was vying with different bidders for the division.

“We’re working to current a binding provide within the subsequent few weeks,” Minali stated.

Italy’s fifth-largest financial institution is trying to promote roughly 60-70% of the unit which incorporates stakes in a collection of three way partnership platforms with the likes of British insurer Aviva, sources have advised Reuters.

Primarily based in Verona, Cattolica Assicurazioni focuses on bancassurance merchandise and is hoping to take management of its current life insurance coverage partnership with UBI in addition to the opposite belongings on the market, the sources stated.

UBI has employed KPMG to public sale off the belongings and desires to obtain binding bids in direction of the top of September, one of many sources stated.

Minali stated any deal must be “worth accretive” for Cattolica and primarily based on an inexpensive monetary valuation of UBI’s enterprise enterprise. (Reporting by Silvia Aloisi, enhancing by Isla Binnie)

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Swedbank chairman quits over money laundering scandal

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Swedbank Chairman Lars Idermark has quit only a week after the lender’s chief executive was ousted over her handling of a money laundering scandal, saying the controversy threatened to distract from his role as head of forestry group Sodra.

FILE PHOTO: Swedbank Acting CEO Anders Karlsson and Chairman of the Board Lars Idermark attend a news conference in Stockholm, Sweden March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Johan Ahlander/File Photo

The bank, Sweden’s biggest mortgage lender, had fired its CEO Birgitte Bonnesen last week only an hour before a heated annual shareholder meeting marked by disgruntled investors rounding on her handling of the money laundering allegations.

Allegations against Swedbank, largely reported by Swedish TV, have linked it to a scandal at Danske Bank, which faces potential lawsuits, fines and sanctions after admitting last year that 200 billion euros ($225 billion) of suspicious payments had flowed through its Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015.

“Following recent strong debate about Swedbank and questions about the bank’s control of suspicious money laundering in the Baltics, I have concluded that the media attention is not compatible with my CEO role at Sodra,” Idermark said in a statement on Friday.

“Therefore, I have decided that the best alternative is to leave the position as chair of Swedbank with immediate effect.”

In connection with last week’s meeting, where many investors were vocal in their criticism of the bank’s management, third-largest shareholder Alecta had warned it could demand further dismissals if the board did not take immediate action to restore confidence in the bank.

“It’s a welcomed and expected decision, but it’s shouldn’t have taken so long; it would have been better if he resigned before the AGM,” Swedish Shareholders’ Association chief Joacim Olsson told Reuters.

Olsson called on the bank to put all cards on the table, including internal investigations into its dealings in the Baltics.

Alecta on Friday said that the Swedbank nomination committee should continue to strengthen the board.

“They need to be thorough, but it shouldn’t take too long,” an Alecta spokesman said.

Both Bonnesen and Idermark had been under fire for the bank’s communications and how they have handled the allegations, which have sparked a four-way investigation by regulatory authorities in Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Swedbank shares, meanwhile, have lost about a third of their value.

The shares were unchanged at 146.50 Swedish crowns by 0805 GMT on Friday, having recovered from a seven-year low of 127.2 crowns set on March 29 when the departure of its CEO was announced.

The committee in charge of the bank’s executive appointments said it would intensify work on strengthening the board, including finding a new chairman. The board said it would call a special shareholder meeting to confirm any appointment.

($1 = 0.8908 euros)

Reporting by Helena Soderpalm and Johannes Hellstrom; Additional reporting by Johan Ahlander; Editing by David Holmes and David Goodman

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