Financial Regulatory Forum

Financial Regulation in 2014: The Dust Hasn’t Settled For Compliance

By Compliance Complete, Thomson Reuters Accelus staff

The year 2013 saw a raft of new legislation stemming from regulators worldwide and 2014 looked like the year in which the dust would settle and that compliance professionals could spend focusing on implementing those changes. However, this has not been the case and compliance staff are still operating in a changing environment, where political pressures and cultural inertia mean that it is hard to pause for breath.

This year will still be one of implementation in a world that in some respects has not changed over the past seven years. A number of serious challenges will have to be tackled in 2014. They range from the international reach of the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, the Volcker rule and cross-border derivatives regulations, to the minute complexities of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation.

Read this in-depth special report from Thomson Reuters that looks at an array of regulatory initiatives and their impact on the current global economy and political world. Gain a better understanding of what 2014 will bring to market participants and how businesses should prepare to face the regulatory changes.

- See more at: http://accelus.thomsonreuters.com/special-report/special-report-state-regulatory-reform-2014#sthash.YieE2GuG.dpuf

 

CORRECTED: Bank regulators globally add AML to safety and soundness issues

By Nick Paraskeva, for Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, July 8 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - Bank regulators around the globe are increasingly focusing on anti-money laundering (AML) and operational risks as part of their role in overseeing institutional safety and soundness. This follows huge enforcement fines imposed on systemically important banks by regulators and justice ministries. It also reflects a concern that any attendant hit on a bank’s reputation could affect its ability to obtain short-term funding or trade other than on a fully-secured basis.

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision last week proposed standards on money laundering risks, which require banks to include AML within their firm-wide risk management process. “Basel’s commitment to AML is fully aligned with its mandate to strengthen the regulation, supervision and practices of banks worldwide, with the purpose of enhancing financial stability,” the committee stated on issuing the proposal for consultation. (more…)

ACCELUS SUMMIT: FATCA compliance is a manageable challenge, but deadlines loom

By Stuart Gittleman, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, May 2 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – A U.S. law to improve tax compliance by U.S. taxpayers with foreign financial assets is creating confusion for foreign financial institutions that must cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service to help enforce the law.

The law, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, requires U.S. taxpayers with certain foreign financial assets and offshore accounts to report the assets to the Internal Revenue Service.  (more…)

New regulations require cleaner data

By Mark Davies, contributing author for Compliance Complete

LONDON, Apr. 18 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – Continuing efforts by financial regulators and by firms themselves to monitor and offset risk have affected almost all areas of firms’ operations, including the management and maintenance of data. The overhaul of global systems following the financial crisis has led to an audit of data, and specifically of the information which firms hold about themselves and their counterparties or clients, known as business entity reference data.

More regulation

This “data exploration” is being driven by the cumulative effect of several individual pieces of regulation, including the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) and Solvency II in Europe and the Dodd-Frank Act and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in the U.S., all of which are likely to have an impact globally. The primary goal of these proposals, with the exception of FATCA, is to improve risk management in the financial system.  (more…)

Firms subject to U.S. FATCA advised to press on with preparing despite rule delay

By Emmanuel Olaoye

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Nov. 6 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - Financial institutions should take advantage of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s decision to postpone key start dates in the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and not wait for the U.S. Treasury to issue its final rules before they start their preparations, experts told Compliance Complete.

“If you put off your efforts or suspend them for too long I think you’ll fall way too far behind. I think you’ll have a very difficult time doing what you have to do. At this point you should have a very clear idea of what your current systems and procedures can and can’t do and how they are going to have to be modified,” said John Staples, managing partner of the law firm Burt, Staples & Maner, LLP. (more…)

Switzerland says goodbye to light touch regulation

By Rachel Wolcott

LONDON, May 3 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - These days even the Swiss are fed up with their bankers. The financial crisis has riled Swiss citizens to the point that the Alpine country’s reputation for light-touch financial regulation will soon be a thing of the past. In a direct democracy such as Switzerland, where every citizen can vote on laws and even propose them, the people have spoken. What they have said is: we want more rules and regulation for bankers and asset managers.

“In the past people were against regulations which seemed too restrictive, but this is changing. The public mood is still critical vis-à-vis the banks and the culture of big bonuses for board of directors and management. Now we may see overregulation also because of the immediate political pressure facing a direct democracy,” Marc Raggenbass, head of the regulatory, compliance and legal practice at Deloitte in Zurich, told Thomson Reuters. (more…)

Financial institutions and investment funds should prepare now for FATCA

By Steven D Bortnick, contributing author for Thomson Reuters Accelus

NEW YORK, April 4 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – The enactment of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) as in March of 2010 has sent shock waves through financial institutions and investment fund management companies. FATCA aims to obtain information to prevent U.S. persons from evading taxation through the use of foreign entities. Although the law does not fully enter in force until January 1, 2013, the effort to become compliant with FATCA should begin immediately. Some tips on how to do so are noted below.

The legislation is the direct result of the events that led to UBS’ admission that it helped U.S. taxpayers evade U.S. income tax on U.S.-source income. While the goal is the increased collection of tax, the intention is not to create any new tax. FATCA’s goal is accomplished by adding an entirely new chapter to the Internal Revenue Code devoted to due diligence, reporting and withholding. Failure to comply will result in withholding tax at the rate of 30 percent, including withholding on items understood not to be taxable in the hands of foreign persons.  (more…)

U.S. financial institutions seen lacking anti-corruption policies for domestic politicians

By Brett Wolf

ST. LOUIS/NEW YORK, March 7 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – Despite an international push for financial institutions to crack down on corruption and money laundering linked to political figures, it remains unclear how firms in the United States and abroad will respond.

Some U.S. financial institutions say they have taken steps to address the specific corruption and money laundering risks associated with American political figures and those close to them. Others say they have not, and to date, regulators’ expectations are unclear.  (more…)

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act threatens investment in the U.S.

US dollar note and other currenciesBy Christopher Elias (The views expressed are the author’s own)

LONDON/NEW YORK, (Business Law Currents) – A fiscal tourniquet will put a squeeze on tax evasion – the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is threatening to clog the arteries of the world’s financial system with U.S. withholding taxes and burdensome obligations on non-U.S. firms.

Designed to staunch the bleeding of capital from the U.S. to secret bank accounts, FATCA is clamping down on overseas earnings but its unintended consequences are threatening to undermine investment in the U.S. (more…)

FATCA tax law has bigger impact on foreign than U.S. firms

US dollar note and other currenciesBy Nick Paraskeva

NEW YORK, (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - The soon-to-be-implemented U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, will have a bigger impact on foreign financial institutions than on U.S. ones, financial industry participants were told at a panel discussion on the law, which is placing new duties on compliance officers.

The event was hosted by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and conducted by the group’s Operations & Technology Society’s–Securities Operations Section, reflecting the role that staff in the operations units of firms were expected to have in meeting FATCA provisions.  (more…)

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