Deutsche Bank probed by UK regulator for laundering Russian money

#AceNewsReport – Deutsche Bank probed by UK regulator for ‘laundering Russian cash’

Published: 16 Jul 2015 | 16:46 GMT


Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has begun an investigation into whether Deutsche Bank breached anti money laundering laws for its Moscow clients, it has emerged.

The Financial Times reports the inquiry focuses on the bank’s so-called mirror trades executed in London and Moscow.

Deutsche Bank reported the matter itself to the FCA and Germany’s financial watchdog, BaFin.

The investment bank remains under “special measures” instigated by the FCA after several allegations of regulatory breaches.

The FCA’s investigation will focus on trades involving securities purchased through Deutsche Bank in Moscow by Russian clients.

While these financial products were purchased, the bank bought the same securities in Western currencies through its London business.

Regulators fear that the practice, known as ‘mirror trades,’ could be used by Russian clients to illegally move cash out of the country.

READ MORE: ​US regulator examines Deutsche Bank over alleged money laundering in Russia – media

Financial watch dogs in Germany and UK will be analyzing how quickly Deutsche Bank reported the suspicious trades to the authorities.

New York’s banking regulator is also investigating the investment firm’s role in mirror trades.

The US Department of Financial Services has already asked Deutsche Bank to provide information on a suspected bribe offered last year to a bank employee in Moscow, who was asked to conduct stock trades that may have been illegal under anti-money laundering rules.

READ MORE: Swiss UBS first to pay $545mn fine over forex rigging

This latest investigation by the FCA comes after the bank was fined a record $2.5bn by US and UK regulators in April for manipulating the Libor rate – the benchmark for interest rates on trillions of dollars of financial contracts.

The investigation into money laundering comes in parallel with Russian authorities’ efforts to tackle money being kept offshore. In late March, President Vladimir Putin signed a law that allows Russian tax evaders to declare foreign assets and bank deposits to avoid criminal, administrative and tax liability.

Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov explained at the time that the main idea of the Bill to allow people who have made any mistakes in their business activities to declare the property and then become completely law-abiding citizens.

Deutsche Bank probed by UK regulator for ‘laundering Russian cash’


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MARKETS FTSE up but lags euro zone peers after Greek vote

#AceMarketsNews – July.16: LONDON (Reuters) – The FTSE 100 edged higher on Thursday, though without matching the gains seen across the eurozone after Greece’s parliament approved austerity measures, with U.S.-exposed stocks getting a lift.

The FTSE 100 index closed up 0.6 percent, at 6,796.45 points, lagging a 1.5 percent rise for the Euro STOXX 50, with peripheral euro zone markets benefitting from a drop in yields after the dramatic vote in the Greek parliament.

Also in focus were comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who said on Wednesday the U.S. central bank remains on track to raise interest rates this year.

Her comments sent the dollar higher, improving the prospects for U.S.-facing companies such as Pearson, Intercontinental and Wolseley, which rose between 1 and 3 percent.

“There seems to be an American theme on the leaderboard today,” said Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown.

Among other gainers, Rio Tinto added 1 percent after posting a sharp rise in second quarter iron ore output from a year ago, even as selling prices deteriorate and bad weather disrupted operations.

Dixons Carphone climbed 1.5 percent after beating forecasts with a 21 percent rise in yearly profit.

The electrical goods and mobile phone retailer, which was formed in a merger last year, also said its integration was progressing well.

“In its first full year as a merged company, Dixons Carphone is emerging as a worthy challenger to Amazon,” Simon Johnstone, analyst at Kantar Retail, said in a note.

“With strong growth in both online and store based sales, consumers are identifying Dixon’s Carphone as the retailer that can and is bringing technology to life.”

On the downside, Britain’s biggest sporting goods retailer, Sports Direct, underperformed the market with a 0.3 percent rise. Although it posted a 21 percent rise in profit, the company said it would cut its bonus scheme earnings target for 2016.

“The company has revised down targets for 2015/16 after failing to make acquisitions and the stock has slumped to the foot of the board as a result,” said Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct.

BT closed up 0.6 percent after the British telecoms regulator said it might be made to spin off its networks unit, which wholesales capacity to rivals like Sky and TalkTalk, to boost competition in the broadband market.

(Editing by Ros Russell)

FTSE up but lags euro zone peers after Greek vote


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LONDON: Prepare for the Taxpayer to be stitched up as Britain cuts Lloyds stake as full privatisation looms

#AceFinanceNews – July.16: LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has cut its stake in Lloyds Banking Group by a further percentage point to under 15 percent, accelerating its drive to return the bailed-out lender to full private ownership.

The latest sale means the government has so far raised more than 13 billion pounds ($20 billion) from selling its shares in the bank, having pumped 20.5 billion pounds into Lloyds during the 2007/09 financial crisis leaving it with a 43 percent stake.

Finance minister George Osborne has said he wants to return Britain’s banking assets to the private sector at a faster pace and is also looking to sell at least three quarters of the government’s stake in Royal Bank of Scotland over the next five years.

Since last December, Britain’s shares in Lloyds have been sold on the stock market by Morgan Stanley through a trading plan that allows for regular disposals provided the price is above the government’s target of 73.6 pence per share.

That has enabled the government to accelerate the rate of selling its shares and its stake has fallen to 14.9 percent from 24.9 percent at the start of the plan.

The plan is scheduled to run until the end of the year but its success raises the prospect that UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages the government’s stake, may close it early in order to hold back shares to offer to private retail investors.

The final sale could see the government offer around 4 to 5 percent of Lloyds shares to retail investors at a discount to the market price and could take place next March, according to industry sources.

The value of the government’s remaining stake stands at 9 billion pounds, based on the current share price. At 1445 GMT, Lloyds shares were up 1 percent at 86.49 pence.

Osborne is determined to sell some of the shares to retail investors, mirroring the 1980s privatisation drive of then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher aimed at encouraging ordinary Britons to invest in companies.

Lloyds is attractive to private investors because of the dividends it is expected to pay out in the coming years. Prior to its bailout, it was one of the highest dividend paying stocks in Britain, handing over half its profit to shareholders in 2005 and 2006.

The plans to return at least 50 percent of its sustainable earnings to shareholders and that could include extra one-off dividends, further increasing its appeal to retail investors.

Lloyds still faces outstanding issues that could yet cause a rethink to the sale plans, including a review of the industry by Britain’s competition watchdog and the mounting bill of compensating customers mis-sold loan insurance, for which Lloyds has already set aside 12 billion pounds.

(Additional reporting by Nishant Kumar; Editing by David Goodman and Mark Potter)

Britain cuts Lloyds stake as full privatisation looms


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@BBCNews ‘ Mark Carney BOE Says UK Interest Rates Rise by Turn of Year ‘ @AceBreakingNews


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RUSSIA: ‘ Moscow & Tehran in Talks over Supply of Passenger Super-Jet’s to Iran

#AceFinanceNews – RUSSIA/TEHRAN:July.16: Moscow and Teheran are in the process of negotiations, which could see Russia supply Sukhoi Superjet passenger aircraft to Iran, Russia’s Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said on Wednesday.

“Such talks are being held,” Sokolov said, as cited by Reuters. “And not only Superjets, but also other technology is being met with certain interest from our Iranian comrades.” The Sukhoi passenger aircraft commenced operations in 2011.


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#iran, #moscow, #russia, #sukhoi-superjet, #transport-minister-maksim-sokolov

LONDON: ‘ MP’s Vote Themselves 10% Pay Rise While Austerity Measures Apply to Poorer People ‘


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