Financial Regulatory Forum

US Fed cash-flow data called underused weapon in war on drugs (Complinet Special Report)

By Guest Contributor
January 31, 2011

U.S. Attorney Jeffrey H. Sloman (C) of the Southern District of Florida speaks at a press conference in Miami, Florida March 17, 2010. Sloman announced a settlement that the Wachovia Bank unit of Wells Fargo & Company has agreed to pay $160 million as part of a deal to settle U.S. allegations that it laundered Mexican drug money. At left is Deputy Chief Counsel Daniel Stipano of the Office of Comptroller of Currency and at right is Mark Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Miami Field Office. REUTERS/Joe SkipperBy Brett Wolf, Complinet

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 31 – The consumption of illegal drugs generates tens of billions of dollars for Mexico’s drug cartels each year, and the fight against it creates significant challenges for those who oversee and participate in the US financial system. The river of money flows into Mexico mostly in the form of cash, often hidden in secret vehicle compartments. The money feeds cartel operations and stokes conflicts with the government and with rivals that have killed an estimated 35,000 people during the past four years. US authorities have bolstered their efforts to halt the cross-border cash shipments, but their progress has been limited. Policymakers are desperately searching for better ways to fight the flow.

Reputation risk may outweigh fines in UK financial regulator enforcements (Complinet)

By Guest Contributor
January 28, 2011

A man is seen behind the entrance door of the offices of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in Canary Wharf, London, November 19, 2010By Joanne Wallen (Complinet)

Jan. 25 – British firms continue to be referred to enforcement despite the best intentions of the Financial Services Authority’s thematic reviews and credible deterrence strategies. On the one hand it looks as though the risks are considered to be worth taking. On the other, reputational damage and loss of trust for the whole industry are at stake.

Equality provisions fail to add up in UK boardrooms (Westlaw Business)

By Guest Contributor
January 28, 2011

 Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts leads a discussion at the IHT Heritage Luxury conference in London 09/11/2010By Christopher Elias

Jan. 27 (Westlaw Business) With annual meeting season just around the corner in the UK, attention is once again turning to corporate governance issues and in particular, board composition, as a recent report from Cranfield University reveals that only 12.5% of FTSE 100 directorships are held by women.

ANALYSIS-Companies could get caught in Asia as corruption rules tighten

By Reuters Staff
January 21, 2011

By Rachel Armstrong

SINGAPORE, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Multinational firms trying to get a bigger piece of the Asia growth story face a rising risk of becoming embroiled in corruption scandals unless they enforce stricter compliance norms and new regulations.

China-U.S. IPOs: China’s forex crackdown locks up currency (Westlaw Business)

By Guest Contributor
January 21, 2011

Chinese 100 yuan banknote is seen in this picture illustration taken in Shanghai January 19, 2011. REUTERS/Aly SongBy Helen H. Chan

HONG KONG, Jan. 21 (Westlaw Business) – Excessive liquidity is becoming a hot potato for the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), China’s forex regulator. Recently, SAFE announced that it would continue to crack down on “hot money” inflows through vigilant monitoring of cross-border transactions. In particular, China’s currency watchdog will examine whether foreign exchange destined for the PRC are being used in compliance with Chinese laws.

ANALYSIS-U.S. trading probe reveals the temptations for ‘experts’

By Guest Contributor
January 21, 2011

By Emily Chasan and Liana Baker

NEW YORK, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Expert network firms, currently the focus of a major U.S. insider trading investigation, have never had to work too hard to find midlevel corporate executives willing to moonlight as paid consultants.

ANALYSIS-New U.S. funds regulator at SEC must shed Goldman skin

By Reuters Staff
January 20, 2011

The headquarters of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are seen in Washington, July 6, 2009. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES BUSINESS POLITICS)By Ross Kerber and Sarah N. Lynch

BOSTON/WASHINGTON, Jan 19 (Reuters) – For U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro, the choice of a Goldman Sachs Group  insider as her new top funds regulator could be a double-edged sword.

Get Shorty: Europe’s Crackdown on Short Selling (Westlaw Business)

By Guest Contributor
January 20, 2011

People walk in front of a shop of French luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton decorated for the Christmas holiday season in Bordeaux, south-western France, December 23, 2009. REUTERS/Regis DuvignauBy Christopher Elias,  (Westlaw Business)

Radical changes to Europe’s system of financial regulation are under way and with them a harmonisation of securities rules as Europe turns a corner on the drive to create a single European Securities and Markets Authority with more stringent disclosure requirements. But with not all European regulators striking the same note, the move for greater scrutiny and heightened disclosure expectations over short selling and shareholdings is making sluggish progress forward. (more…)

Hong Kong exchange sketches proposal for corporate governance facelift (Westlaw Business)

By Guest Contributor
January 18, 2011

Hong Kong By Helen H. Chan, Westlaw Business

Regulators of the Hong Kong’s bourse have embarked on a mission to make over the city’s policies on corporate governance. Citing the still-felt effects of the global financial crisis, the Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing Limited (HKEx) previously acknowledged the need to further clarify and refine Hong Kong’s corporate governance framework for listed issuers in the jurisdiction. Putting its observations into action, the regulator recently commenced a public consultation, soliciting market opinion on proposed amendments to Hong Kong’s Code on Corporate Governance Practices and the Rules Governing the Listings of Securities. (more…)

Who will run the European Supervisory Authorities day-to-day? (Complinet)

By Guest Contributor
January 18, 2011

By Peter Elstob, Complinet

Sometimes the crudest calculations can be the most helpful. Despite official protestations, it is a fairly safe assumption that the permanent positions that have been announced so far at the three European Supervisory Authorities have effectively been shared out among member states, with some weighting for their importance as financial centres. If a slightly shakier assumption is entertained, namely that the three executive directors, whose job it will be to run the ESAs’ day-to-day operations, will be chosen on a similar basis (although perhaps with individual qualities and qualifications playing a more important part), it is possible to make some educated guesses about the nationalities, and maybe the identities, of those who will fill these important roles. (more…)