Included in this issue: Publication of the Criminal Finance Bill; Singapore shuts Falcon bank unit, fines DBS and UBS over 1MDB; When is insider trading not insider trading? and more...
Publication of the Criminal Finance Bill
The Criminal Finance Bill was published on 13 October 2016. The Bill covers four parts, including fresh powers to issue Unexplained Wealth Orders and provisions for the extension to 6 months for the moratorium period for the police and the NCA to decide whether to grant consent following the issuing of a suspicious activity report. The Bill also includes provision for the creation of two new corporate offences of failing to prevent a person associated with a body corporate or partnership from facilitating the commission by another person of a tax evasion offence.
Singapore shuts Falcon bank unit, fines DBS and UBS over 1MDB
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has ordered Falcon Private Bank to cease operating within Singapore because of "a persistent and severe lack of understanding" of anti-money laundering requirements. In addition, Falcon was fined $3.12 million.
MAS also fined DBS and UBS for breaching Singapore's anti-money laundering provisions. The banks processed transactions which resulted in over 3.5 billion disappearing from Malaysia's 1MDB fund.
FCA imposes penalties on Sonali Bank
Sonali Bank (UK) has been fined by the FCA and prevented from accepting deposits from new customers for 168 days for failing to maintain adequate anti-money laundering systems despite the FCA's repeated warnings. This failure had a knock on effect on the Banks ability to conduct customer due-diligence, identify PEPs, monitor transactions and file suspicious activity reports. Sonali Bank's MLRO was also fined and stripped of the role of MLRO indefinitely because he failed to raise the problem and even went as far as to suggest the money laundering systems were working well when they were not.
When is insider trading not insider trading?
A US court hearing against hedge fund founder Leon Cooperman will help determine whether someone who buys shares ahead of a major corporate announcement on the basis of inside information but does not ultimately profit from the purchase is still guilty of insider trading under US law. While the UK and EU defines market abuse to include almost any trading while in possession of insider information, the US rules require enforcers to show that the inside information was intentionally “misappropriated”. This may be a struggle given that Cooperman asserts that he did not profit from the information.
Financial Times, 23 September 2016
S. Africa’s Gordhan to Be Charged; Rand Plunges Most Since June
South Africa's credit rating could be downgraded from investment grade to junk because of fraud charges which have been brought against South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Gordhan was a source of investor confidence and was seen as a steady hand to guide the South African economy through what is expected to be its slowest level of growth since the 2009 recession.
Lloyds to use 'audio fingerprinting' in fight against bank fraud
Lloyds is set to introduce new audio fingerprinting technology to target bank fraud. The "audio fingerprint" analyses 147 features of a call- such as location, background noise and number history – and produces a risk score within 30 seconds which indicates to the call handler whether the call is genuine or suspicious. The technology will help detect ID spoofing - when a call is disguised to make it appear as if it is coming from a different phone or location as well as voice distortion. Such audio fingerprinting technology is aimed at stopping fraudsters from defrauding banks by pretending to be customers.
OFAC updates its FAQs regarding certain banking practices relating to Iran
On 7 October 2016, the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) updated its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Iran (i.e. a update to the original FAQs issued in January 2016). The clarifications address the position in relation to certain banking practices linked to Iran and activities covered under General License H. The FAQs are also added to by addressing due diligence practices for non-US persons engaged in transactions with Iran or involved in transactions with Iran.
Health and Safety
Construction company fined after worker losses both legs
A construction company has been fined after a worker had to have both legs amputated after being crushed by a truck.
Roger Daw was operating the truck when he drove down an incline where it became unbalanced and overturned. It appears he was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the vehicle, which landed on his legs and crushed him.
MJL Contractors Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They were fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,312.56.
Metal company fined after worker loses foot
A metal company has been fined for safety breaches after a worker suffered severe leg injuries and lost most of his foot.
24 year-old Luke Simpson, who was an agency worker for the company, was injured when a trolley carrying about 900kg of metal stock fell on his legs causing severe injuries and trapping his foot.
Smiths Metal Centres Limited pleaded guilty to Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £130,000 with costs of £2,456.40.
Star Wars film maker fined £1.6 million for injuring Harrison Ford
A British firm owned by Disney has been fined £1.6m for health and safety breaches after Harrison Ford was crushed by a hydraulic door on the set of Star Wars in 2014.
Mr Ford suffered a broken leg and deep lacerations when he was knocked off his feet and pinned to the floor when a prop door closed on him on the Millennium Falcon set.
Foodles production pleaded guilty to Section 2 and Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and were fined £1.6 million and ordered to pay costs of £20,861.22. The court had formerly been told that Ford could have been killed in the incident while filming at Pinewood Studios in London.
Torbay plumber sentenced after illegal gas work
An illegal gas fitter has been prosecuted for installing a boiler without commissioning it and then failing to register the gas boiler with the Local Authority. He was not qualified or registered to install the boiler and his actions not only breached a number of gas safety regulations but put lives at risk.
Bolton night club owner fined over asbestos exposure
A Bolton night club owner has been fined after he failed to conduct an asbestos survey before refurbishing his nightclub. As a result a number of workers were potentially exposed to asbestos breaching Regulations 5(a) and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
There were a number of other problems with the refurbishment project – there was no competent site manager, workers and subcontractors faced the risk of falling from a height and there were inadequate fire safety precautions, all of which breached Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Partner, Head of Global Investigations/Inquiries