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Home » Daily Briefing » Morning Briefing 19 August 2016

Morning Briefing 19 August 2016

Morning Briefing

Eric Ben-Artzi, the former Deutsche Bank risk officer turned whistleblower who helped expose false accounting at the bank, has refused to accept his fifty percent share of a $16.5 million award from the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) in protest against the SEC's failure to punish Deutsche executives, according to the Financial Times.

The award follows an investigation that culminated in the SEC fining Deutsche $55 million in 2015 for misstating its accounts during the financial crisis. However, Mr Ben-Artzi said individual executives and not shareholders should pay the fine, arguing that the "revolving door" of senior staff between the SEC and Deutsche had played a role in executives not being punished.

"This goes beyond the typical revolving-door story," Mr Ben-Artzi wrote in the Financial Times. "In this case, top SEC lawyers had held senior posts at the bank, moving in and out of top positions at the SEC even as the investigations into malfeasance at Deutsche Bank were ongoing,"

The Financial Times also reports this morning that the chief executive and former chairman of Monte dei Paschi di Siena are being investigated for alleged market manipulation and false accounting, just three weeks after the Italian lender agreed a €5 billion rescue package.

A spokesman for the bank confirmed that Fabrizio Viola, the chief executive, and Alessandro Profumo, the former chairman, are being investigated by prosecutors in Milan after Reuters reported on the matter. Prosecutors are looking into the allegedly improper accounting treatment of two derivatives trades booked by Monte dei Paschi di Siena between 2011 and 2014.

South Africa's Standard Bank raised its interim dividend by 12 percent for the six months to the end of June, despite after-tax profit falling by 14 percent to 13 billion rand ($974 million).

Profit for the previous interim period was lifted by the disposal of the bank's UK and Brazilian operations, whereas the 300 million rand loss suffered by the bank when Japanese criminals used its cards to steal from ATMs was among the factors contributing to this period's fall in profit. Net interest income rose by 18 percent to 28 billion rand, while non-interest revenue grew by 12 percent to 22 billion rand.

Rod Sims, the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has said it must decide which is the lesser of two evils as it weighs up a request from three of the country's big banks to form a bloc in their talks with Apple over Apple Pay, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Westpac, Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank and Bendigo Bank sought permission from the regulator for a collective boycott of Apple last month, but the ACCC has said it needs more time to assess the case and expects to make a draft ruling in October.

"The banks, by definition, have come to us because they can't get together without breaching our Act,.. and Apple of course is trying to maintain exclusivity, so in its own way that's anti-competitive," Mr Sims said according to the newspaper.

How Lending Club's biggest fanboy uncovered shady loans
Indonesia launches master plan to breathe new life into Islamic finance sector
Co-op Bank loses another £177m and warns Brexit could halt its turnaround
Card fraud: Jump to A$469m led by online details theft
Chinese police have reportedly uncovered $30 billion in illegal banking activity
Iranian mobile payment company Asan Pardakht preparing for IPO
Rakuten establishes blockchain lab in Belfast

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