Financial Regulatory Forum

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…)

Some U.S. banks awash in ID theft tax-fraud proceeds as IRS cracks down

By Brett Wolf

NEW YORK, Feb. 3 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - Despite a new federal crackdown announced this week aimed at combating tax refund fraud involving the use of stolen identities, current law enforcement efforts are not enough and fraudsters are still pumping massive sums of tax fraud proceeds through U.S. banks, sources told Thomson Reuters.

“IRS and Justice should have been doing this three years ago. This widespread criminal activity is more profitable than drug dealing,” said regulatory consultant and investigator Jim Dowling, a former Internal Revenue Service criminal investigator special agent who also acted as an anti-money laundering (AML) advisor to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.  (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…)

Britain’s offshore havens asked to bump up taxes

By Huw Jones
LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Britain’s overseas financial havens should bump up taxes to wean their economies off credit crunch hit banking, insurance and funds services, a government-commissioned report said on Thursday.

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