W20 Summit 2017 Berlin

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G20-Women Summit 2017 W20 in Berlin Germany.
W20 Communique Final

Diverse, Resilient and Viable –
Stabilising Economies and Societies Through Women’s Empowerment

The main goal of Women20 (W20) is to promote women’s economic empowerment as an integral part of the G20 process. In a broad dialogue using digital tools, expert meetings and roundtables as well as the W20 Summit, W20 joins the global experiences of women’s civil society organizations and women’s entrepreneur associations to implement strong recommendations within the G20 negotiations.

Diversity and full participation are essential for fostering the resilient, sustainable and viable growth of stable economies and societies, whereas homogeneous systems bear risks and uncertainties.  Women’s economic empowerment is thus fundamental for a prosperous world and essential for economic growth, stable economies and social development.

In 2017, W20 will focus on the following four pillars:

Labour Market Inclusion
Increasing the labour market participation rate and the value of work traditionally done by women

Financial Inclusion
Promoting female entrepreneurship and access to finance for women

Digital Inclusion
Closing the digital gender divide

Strengthening the W20
Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment at the core of G20

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, together with Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development and Honorary chair of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion; Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland; Director of the IWF Christine Lagarde; Vice Chairman of the Bank of America Anne Finucane; Kenyan high-tech founder Juliana Rotich; Chairwoman of the Trumpf GmbH Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller;  and First Daughter and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump.

Women20 Germany 2017
WomenTwenty_Ger
 

Harm Bengen
www.w-t-w.org/en/harm-bengen
www.harmbengen.de

Are Women Punished Harder by the Financial Industry?

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A new working paper finds that male financial advisers are considerably more likely to recover after they commit misconduct.

Whet Moser reports: When it comes to sexism in powerful and competitive industries like tech and finance, research tends to start with representation: how many women are employed at different levels of the companies? How many are on corporate boards?

If the number’s not representative of the general population, though, the problem can be difficult to diagnose. Is the problem in the industry itself? Does it go back farther into the talent pipeline, to graduate school, undergraduate, or even K-12, where young women or girls are gradually dissuaded from picking up the skills they need?

A new working paper, When Harry Fired Sally- The Double Standard in Punishing Misconduct from three professors of finance including the University of Chicago’s Gregor Matvos, takes a clever approach to measuring the presence of gender discrimination in finance: what happens to financial advisers after they commit misconduct? The pipeline question is eliminated; the group under examination is already in the industry…

Why would men be more likely to receive second chances, even though they’re statistically more risky as a gender and not significantly more productive? The authors don’t speculate on mechanisms, but finance professor Lily Fang spent five years looking into gender issues in the stock-research field, and found that, perhaps unsurprisingly, “the networking and personal connections that male analysts rely on so heavily to get ahead are much less useful for women in similar jobs.” It’s who you know: and, possibly, it’s not just about getting ahead, but also not falling off the map. Are Women Punished Harder By the Financial Industry

«Laundromat» Money Laundering Switzerland as a Hub

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An anonymous tip to Dutch authorities on thousands of suspicious accounts at Credit Suisse could hardly have come at a worse time for Switzerland and its banks.

Joshua Franklin reports: The information that triggered raids in five countries raises new doubts about the effectiveness of Switzerland’s efforts to shed its decades-old reputation as one of the world’s major tax havens.

“It’s a wake-up call not only for the banking community but also for authorities,” said Mark Pieth, an anti-corruption expert and criminal law professor at the University of Basel.

“Instead of really just being angry at others they should ask, have we really been zealous enough?”

Switzerland is among the countries that signed up to a global data-sharing program led by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, known as the Automatic Exchange of Information, which was designed to root out tax dodgers.

Swiss banks, having paid more than $5 billion to settle allegations of helping wealthy Americans evade taxes, have trumpeted their reformed ways, publicly encouraging clients to sign up to government programs allowing them to declare untaxed assets.

But last week’s raids of Credit Suisse’s offices in London, Paris and Amsterdam as part of a coordinated investigation in five countries show Switzerland still has a way to go to break with its past.

It is a wake-up call for financial markets as well.
“People really thought that, with the upcoming Automatic Exchange of Information and the cleanup of the European client portfolio completed, this stuff shouldn’t be an issue anymore,” Andreas Venditti, banking analyst at Vontobel, said. “Now the market seems to be confused about what to think.”

Another sign that Switzerland has to work harder to improve its reputation was the apparently deliberate efforts by Eurojust, the European Union judicial agency which helped coordinate last week’s raids, to keep Swiss prosecutors out of the loop on enforcement actions.

Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General on Friday demanded a written explanation for the snub.

In the new investigation, raids began on Thursday in the Netherlands, Britain, Germany, France and Australia, with visits also made at three of Credit Suisse’s offices. This followed a tip-off to Dutch prosecutors about 55,000 “suspect accounts”.

One of the big questions is how many of the accounts represent existing client relationships at Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, and how many are legacy accounts from when Swiss banking secrecy shielded customers’ money from tax authorities.

Iqbal Khan, the head of Credit Suisse’s International Wealth Management division, said in an interview he did not know where the 55,000 figure referred to by the Dutch office for financial crimes prosecution had come from as the bank had fewer accounts than that for all of Europe.
OCCRP
Credit Suisse Taxevasion
Laundromat/ Schweiz als Drehscheibe

OCCRP

OECD Economic Surveys: China 2017

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OECD Economic Surveys: China 2017The latest OECD Economic Survey of China projects that the Chinese economy will remain the major driver of global growth for the foreseeable future, with per capita GDP on course to almost double by 2020 from 2010 levels. The Survey recommends continued efforts to rebalance the economy from investment to consumption and to address key risks including high corporate debt, excess industrial capacity and inflated housing prices.

“After decades of breath-taking expansion, the focus should be on making growth more resilient, sustainable and inclusive, and addressing risks to stability,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “China’s economy should now be driven less by physical investment and more by innovation, it should deleverage and it should, above all, become greener.”

Financial risks are mounting on the back of rising enterprise debt and over-capacity in some sectors, as well as real estate price exuberance. Debt owed by non-financial firms in China, encouraged by implicit state guarantees to state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and public entities, reached 170% of GDP in 2016, the highest level among leading economies. Two-thirds of enterprise debt is owed by SOEs. Steps to tackle financial risks should include gradually removing implicit guarantees to SOEs and restricting leveraged investment in asset markets.

 

Laundered Russian Cash Went Through Big Banks

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British banks handled vast sums of laundered Russian money. Billions of dollars were moved out of Russia in ‘Global Laundromat’ operation, with anonymously owned UK companies playing major role.

Britain’s high street banks processed nearly $740m from a vast money-laundering operation run by Russian criminals with links to the Russian government and the KGB, the Guardian can reveal.

HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts are among 17 banks based in the UK, or with branches here, that are facing questions over what they knew about the international scheme and why they did not turn away suspicious money transfers…..theguardian.com

The Global Laundromat: where the money went

OCCRP/Laundromat

International Women’s Day

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The best and worst places to be a working woman

MARCH 8th is International Women’s Day, a date designated by the UN to celebrate and advocate for women’s rights. To provide a benchmark for progress on gender equality in the labour market, The Economist has published its fifth annual “glass-ceiling index”. It combines data on higher education, workforce participation, pay, child-care costs, maternity and paternity rights, business-school applications and representation in senior jobs into a single measure of where women have the best—and worst—chances of equal treatment in the workplace. Each country’s score is a weighted average of its performance on ten indicators. …The Economist

The Economist’s glass-ceiling index measures gender equality in the labour market.

Italy: Online Poker Chiefs Lose Big: 52 years

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An Italian court sentenced on Wednesday
two generations of a Ndrangheta-linked family to a total of more than 52 years in prison for running an illegal on-line gambling empire worth over US$ 65 million.

At the end of a three year-long trial, the Bologna Court sent Nicola Femia, 56, behind bars for 26 years and 10 months for running the mafia-type gambling business. His son Nicola Rocco, 26, received a 15-year jail term, while his daughter Guendalina, 32, was handed a 10-year and three months sentence.

The family controlled poker and casino websites that were hosted in Romania and the United Kingdom but operated in Italy without national license.The groups’ counterfeit slot machines in bars and shops provided access to the virtual casinos, according to the investigators….OCCRP report

Saudi Women in Top Financial Jobs

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Three women have been appointed to top jobs in Saudi Arabia’s male-dominated financial sector in the space of just one week, in what marks a historical moment for both the industry and wider society.

Sarah Al-Suhaimi is now the chair of Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange, the Tadawul; Rania Nashar became the CEO of Samba Financial Group; and on Tuesday it emerged that Latifa Al-Sabhan has been appointed chief financial officer of Arab National Bank (ANB).

Polyp
www.w-t-w.org/en/cartoon/polyp/

 

New Insights Into The Offshore World

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In October 2016, Andreas Frank*, an expert on money laundering, visited the Bahamas to take a look behind the scenes of the offshore world. Mr Frank was kind enough to share his field report with us, which you can scroll through below and download here.

Some introductory words on the report by Mr Frank:

“When it comes to offshore companies, the novel aspect we see here is that banks created these companies with the purpose of letting third parties use them to disguise financial transactions. The point here is that these banks do not simply facilitate tax evasion and money laundering – they actively initiate, promote and support the criminal activities of their clients.

In our case here a bank in the Bahamas established an International Business Company (IBC). The ICB’s directors were directors of a Swiss bank in Geneva, which in turn was the mother of the bank in the Bahamas.

An IBC has no employees, offices, telephones, or e-mail. An IBC has no bookkeeping nor is it required to produce an annual report, nor is it being audited. An ICB does not have to pay any taxes. With a nominal capital of below $ 50 000 only an annual government fee of $ 350 has to be paid. An IBC is not subject to any minimum capital requirements. $ 100, as in the case of Ms Kroes, suffices.

The IBC we are concerned with here, controlled by a Swiss bank, was ordered by a third party, a Swiss wealth manager from Geneva, to transfer several million euros to a Swiss fiduciary. Following the order, the Swiss bank transferred the requested amount to the account of the fiduciary. From there, the fiduciary had the money transferred, via a German bank, to a company in Cologne, Germany.”   New insights into the offshore world

*Andreas Frank:  Former banker with Goldman Sachs and HSBC,with in-depth knowledge of the financial sector. Internationally recognized independent expert in the field of Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Currently serving as an advisor to the Bundestag and the Council of Europe.


2017-02-Report-Government-of-The-Bahamas

See also: Frauen und Kinder leiden unter Korruption/ Woher stammt das Geld?

Deutsche Bank fined $630m over Russia money laundering claims

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Deutsche Bank has been fined $630m (£504m) by US and UK regulators in connection with a Russian money laundering plan. Authorities in US and UK issue fine after saying bank used offices in Moscow and London to move $10bn out of country.

Under the scheme, clients illegally moved $10bn out of Russia via shares bought and sold through the bank’s Moscow, London and New York offices.

Authorities said Deutsche had missed “numerous opportunities” to detect, investigate and stop the scheme. Deutsche Bank said it was co-operating with regulators. It also said it had put aside money to cover the cost of the settlement.

During the investigation, New York authorities and Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found that so called “mirror” trades had been carried out through the bank between 2011 and 2015. Clients would purchase stocks in roubles in Moscow before their counterparts sold the same stock at the same price through the bank’s London branch.

The Financial Conduct Authority imposed its largest ever fine – £163m – for potential money laundering offences on Germany’s biggest bank, which it said had missed several opportunities to clamp down on the activities of its Russian operations as a result of weak systems to detect financial crime between 2012 and 2015.

The US regulator, the New York Department of Financial Services, also fined the bank $425m as it listed problems at Deutsche including one senior compliance officer stating he had to “beg, borrow, and steal” to receive appropriate resources to combat money laundering. It has imposed a monitor inside the bank for two years.

Harm Bengen
www.w-t-w.org/en/harm-bengen
www.harmbengen.de