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This week Dutch authorities revealed to the public that the Netherlands’ largest financial services provider, ING, had violated numerous money laundering laws because they didn’t scrutinize unusual transactions and certain accounts.
Netherlands’ Largest Bank Admits: “ING Clients Used Their Bank Accounts for Money Laundering Practices for Years”
Over the last few weeks, many large financial institutions have been investigated and charged with helping facilitate money laundering. Financial crime prosecutors from the Netherlands have charged the Dutch bank ING with violations, and a $ 900 million dollar fine because the financial institution unwittingly helped facilitate money laundering. The Dutch police explain its “impossible” to really estimate how much money was actually laundered through sketchy accounts and unusually large transactions. However, Margreet Frohberg the lead prosecutor of the case explained in an interview that “hundreds of millions of euros” were illegally transferred.
Moreover, Frohberg explains the money laundering and financing terrorism has been taking place “for years,” and ING did not properly inspect these transfers or examined the accounts to the best of their ability. According to other reports, the money laundering transgressions took place between 2010 and 2016 and some large “unusual” payments stemmed from a firm called Veon (formerly Vimpelcom). Veon is also paying a separate fine of around $ 795 million to the US for money laundering charges as well. ING has admitted to the financial infractions in response this week, stating:
“The shortcomings identified resulted in clients having been able to use their bank accounts for money laundering practices for years”, ING explained.
Too Big to Jail & Too Big to Fail: No Evidence of Individual ING Banks Knowingly Aiding the Money Laundering
The news also follows the recent $ 150 billion dollar money laundering probe aimed at Danske bank, Denmark’s largest financial institution. According to reports, the probe also implicated Deutsche Bank and Citigroup over “allegations of massive money laundering flows from Russia and former Soviet states.”
ING has detailed it will pay the $ 900 million but has explained that no individual ING banking institution was aware of the violations taking place. Dutch prosecutors have also confirmed that they had “found no evidence” of ING staff knowingly aiding the money launderers. However, ING’s Chief Executive Ralph Hamers said ten employees were either dismissed or saw their bonuses taken away.
“We have made unacceptable mistakes,” Hamers explained to the press this week. “This calls for drastic measures, which we have taken,” he added.
2018 is becoming eerily similar to the years following the economic collapse of 2008, where the world saw the banks pay hundreds of billions in fines, but no bankers were jailed. That year the US Department of Justice and Eric Holder promised bankers would be jailed for the economic crisis that plagued the world. Of course, the globe found out later that the bankers and the political nobility were ‘too big to jail.’ Many people believe the current Danske probe that also involves quite a few more financial giants, and this week’s ING money laundering fines clearly show the economic elite have no problems with paying petty fines, because to this very day the banking giants are still ‘too big to fail.’
After responding to the $ 900 million in fines for money laundering charges, the Dutch bank ING also detailed that it does not expect to be charged with fines by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US.
What do you think about ING paying $ 900 million in fines for the money laundering charges? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.
Images via Pixabay, Shutterstock, and ING bank.
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If you’re in a San Francisco BART Station (that’s Bay Area Rapid Transit) this month, there’s a chance you’ll see an ad from an organization that some call a hate group. The ads by the Institute for Historical Review—called out by the Southern Poverty Law Center for reportedly defending…
During a walk-and-talk event with his constituents in June, a German politician accomplished a lot more than chatting with local voters: He discovered a forgotten, 66-foot-long section of the Berlin Wall. Ephraim Gothe, district councilor in Berlin-Mitte, stumbled upon the section of the wall, covered in graffiti and hidden behind…
Sinclair Broadcast Group’s proposed $ 3.9-billion deal to acquire Tribune Media is dead.
Tribune announced Thursday that it is terminating the merger agreement. The companies had the option to kill the sale if it had not closed by Aug. 8. The deal was first announced in May 2017.
Tribune also said…
Saudi Arabia shut down the Twitter account of a government-linked youth group after it escalated the kingdom’s dispute with Canada by appearing to threaten a 9/11-style attack on Toronto. The Infographic KSA site posted an image of an Air Canada plane flying toward the CN Tower, with the caption “As…
Civil unrest in Nicaragua that began in mid-April has left at least 317 people dead, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – Regions – Americas
Investors and ex-employees of China’s HNA Group who bought investment products from a unit of the conglomerate protested outside the company’s headquarters this week, accusing it of taking their money and not returning it.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia
Not everyone is hating the Russia thing : Certain neo-confederates are promising to post a Russian-language page to share ideas with Russians about “Southern nationalism,” reports AL.com . Called League of the South, the Alabama-based group made its announcement only days after President Trump and Vladimir Putin met to discuss issues…
South African financial company Purple Group has confirmed the addition of two cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and ethereum, to its online trading platform. According to a representative, the decision came in response to strong demand from clients earlier this year. The move has expanded the trading options for South Africans, many of whom, according to a recent study, still believe a lot of money can be made from crypto investments.
GT247.com Trades Bitcoin and Ethereum
Purple Group, a South African financial services provider listed on the JSE, has added cryptocurrencies to its online trading platform, GT247.com, allowing its users to buy bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH), local media reported. The decision came in response to strong demand from its customers. Barry Dumas, trading specialist at the group, emphasized that GT247.com allows clients to trade directly in South African rand. “Your rands aren’t converted into dollars like some offerings out there, which can expose you to exchange risks,” he told Business Day.
Purple Group’s representative also noted that despite the decline in cryptocurrency trading volumes over the past months, the platform has seen serious interest mostly from retail clients since the launch of the service earlier this year. “We are seeing a lot more engagement from international institutions like banks and international exchanges looking to regulate cryptocurrencies, as I suspect they want it to be a legitimate asset class in the future,” he pondered.
Taking into account the current state of crypto markets, Purple Group also allows its clients to short the large cap coins, which means investors can benefit from falling prices as well. Barry Dumas pointed out, however, that according to the trading data and the strong buying interest, most clients are expecting higher prices. “We are seeing a decent spread between the bulls and bears but the bitcoin bias in the market is still to be long,” the trading specialist said.
Dumas also commented on the current trends and confirmed indications that the market is starting to stabilize. “We still see some volatility but it’s not at the levels we saw last year,” he noted. In his opinion, the reasons for that have to do with traders becoming accustomed to the crypto market and the developments towards regulating the space.
More Crypto Trading Options Offered
South Africans can also buy cryptos on local crypto exchanges like Luno and Ice3x, as well as via the local desks of international brokerage houses such as Saxo Bank. Another South African investment management company, Sygnia Ltd., announced a couple of months ago its plans to launch a crypto exchange in Q3, 2018. First National Bank is also exploring what it calls “sustainable options” to facilitate crypto trades with a growing number of its customers asking about them.
A recently released report suggests that the interest and the willingness to invest in cryptocurrencies remain relatively high among South Africans. According to the 2018 “Savings and Investment Monitor” survey, conducted by the Pan-African investment bank Old Mutual, 38 percent of the country’s residents, those aware of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, wish they had invested.
A sizable majority, 71 percent, agreed that a lot of money can still be made from crypto investments. Only 43 percent of the respondents have negative attitude towards cryptocurrencies and liken them to pyramid schemes. Measuring the general awareness of cryptocurrency in South Africa, the survey shows that 19 percent have heard of bitcoin, 17 percent admit they “know a bit about it”, and 4 percent “know a lot” about the cryptocurrency.
The Republic of South Africa is the country with the highest number of crypto trading platforms on the continent. The popularity of cryptocurrencies has been growing steadily, and so have the efforts of authorities in Pretoria to come up with regulations. The South African Reserve Bank has recently set up a unit tasked to review its position on cryptocurrencies and a “self-regulatory” approach has been previously suggested by legal experts working in the sector. Speaking to reporters, a high-ranking official of the central bank said in May that SARB does not use the term ‘cryptocurrency’ but refers to cryptos as ‘cyber tokens’ because they don’t meet the requirements of money.
Do you expect South Africa to regulate the crypto space, including trading, in the near future? Tells us in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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