Europe


CrackedSkinMan

Oxfam slams U.K. supermarkets over worker abuses in supply chains

2019-10-11T16:47:00+01:00By

In an effort to cut costs and raise revenue, U.K. supermarkets are endangering employees with such abuses as a lack of toilets, unsafe drinking water, and illnesses resulting from exposure to pesticides, says a new report from Oxfam.

Brexit no deal

U.K.’s ‘no deal’ Brexit readiness report puts onus on businesses

2019-10-08T21:39:00+01:00By

The U.K. government this week released details about the steps it will take to ensure business continues to operate smoothly if the country leaves the European Union on Oct. 31 without a deal.

ProtectWhistleblowers

EU whistleblower protection law gets go-ahead

2019-10-08T14:02:00+01:00By

Whistleblower protections against dismissal, demotion, and other forms of retaliation will come into effect in the European Union within the next two years, according to an agreement signed recently by EU leaders.

Cracks

BDO warns about state of ‘broken’ U.K. audit market

2019-10-07T17:14:00+01:00By

The head of one of the United Kingdom’s biggest accountancy firms has said the audit market is “clearly broken” and “trust needs to be restored,” though how that should be done is “not clear.”

AccountingProbe

FRC investigates EY over Thomas Cook’s books

2019-10-01T18:21:00+01:00By

The U.K. Financial Reporting Council is investigating EY over the audit work it carried out at travel firm Thomas Cook, which recently declared bankruptcy.

Prudential

FCA fines Prudential $26.4M in misselling scandal

2019-09-30T16:14:00+01:00By

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has hit Prudential with a £23.8 million (U.S. $26.4 million) fine for misleading 17,000 customers into accepting a deal with the insurance firm when they might have done better on the open market.

DentedCans

European Commission fines companies $34.5M in cartel case

2019-09-27T14:54:00+01:00By

The European Commission has fined Dutch food-processing company Coroos and French agricultural cooperative Groupe Cecab a total of €31.6 million (U.S. $34.5 million) for engaging in a cartel scheme that spanned more than a decade.

Kroner

Ericsson reserves $1.2B in FCPA case; speaks candidly on compliance program

2019-09-27T14:07:00+01:00By

Ericsson announced it has set aside $1.2 billion to resolve a long-running FCPA investigation that spans several geographies. CEO Börje Ekholm spoke candidly about the shortcomings of the company’s ethics and compliance program and how it’s addressing them.

Emissions

More VW execs charged in emissions scandal; Daimler fined $960M

2019-09-24T20:52:00+01:00By

German prosecutors have charged two current Volkswagen executives and its former CEO for alleged market manipulation practices relating to its emissions-cheating scandal. In a separate action, Daimler was fined $960 million, also related to emissions cheating.

Boris Johnson

Parliament suspension ‘unlawful’ says U.K. Supreme Court

2019-09-24T13:06:00+01:00By

The U.K. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament unlawful, but it stopped short of suggesting the Prime Minister’s motive was to stymie further debate over the government’s Brexit plans.

Swedbank_Automat

Embattled Swedbank names permanent CCO

2019-09-19T13:52:00+01:00By

Faced with numerous AML investigations, Swedbank made several significant moves this week, including naming a permanent CCO and agreeing to waive attorney-client privilege by handing over an internal report to local prosecutors.

Belgium

EU investigating Belgian tax deals with 39 companies

2019-09-16T15:11:00+01:00By

The European Commission is investigating whether “excess profit” tax rulings granted by Belgium to 39 multinational companies gave them an unfair advantage over their competitors.

GDPR

Survey highlights pain points of GDPR implementation

2019-09-16T15:03:00+01:00By

Most organizations failed to meet the May 2018 deadline to comply with the launch of the EU’s tough new privacy rules, and the majority of them still find compliance a challenge, according to a recent survey.

Googlecrop

Google to pay $1B to resolve French tax disputes

2019-09-13T16:31:00+01:00By

Google will pay $1 billion in penalties and back taxes, putting to an end a pair of investigations in France into whether the tech giant properly declared the full extent of its activities in the country.

Parliament

U.K. Parliament closes amid Brexit uncertainty

2019-09-10T19:51:00+01:00By

Boris Johnson’s plans to split from Europe blew up in his face, resulting in one of the biggest false-starts any U.K. Prime Minister has endured. Not only is Brexit likely to be delayed, but Johnson and his government are now legally bound to seek a deal—or else.

European Commission

European Commission still gunning for Big Tech

2019-09-06T14:06:00+01:00By

Coming on the heels of big enforcement actions against Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, the European Commission is vowing to keep fighting against technology giants profiting at others’ expense.

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson loses control of Brexit

2019-09-04T15:00:00+01:00By

Britain PM Boris Johnson’s firm stance on Brexit has been shot down by Parliament; it remains to be seen when (or if?) the United Kingdom will be departing the European Union.

Blockchain

FINMA publishes AML guidance on blockchain

2019-09-03T15:24:00+01:00By

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority has published new guidance on how it applies AML rules to the financial services providers it supervises in the area of blockchain technology.

Danske

Danske reported to police over investment mis-selling

2019-09-03T14:50:00+01:00By

Denmark’s financial regulator has filed a criminal complaint against Danske Bank over a mis-selling scandal that saw its former interim chief executive get fired in June this year.

GreekParliament

A glimpse into Greece’s first anti-corruption chief

2019-08-29T14:15:00+01:00By

Greece’s government has appointed Angelos Binis as its first ever anti-corruption chief to head the country’s newly created anti-corruption body, the Transparency Authority.

Brexit

Deal or no deal: PM promises Brexit on Oct. 31

2019-08-28T18:40:00+01:00By

Several recent decisions by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggest the United Kingdom will crash out of the European Union on the Oct. 31 deadline without a deal.

Microsoft

Microsoft facing GDPR probe in Ireland

2019-08-28T15:57:00+01:00By

The Dutch Data Protection Agency has referred Microsoft to its home EU regulator in Ireland regarding new privacy concerns with its Windows 10 operating system.

Mastercard

Mastercard reveals data breaches in third-party loyalty program

2019-08-27T18:16:00+01:00By

Mastercard is investigating two data breaches relating to a loyalty program it ran in Germany following a leak of personal information that saw customers’ names, addresses, and credit card numbers circulating on the internet.

Greece data

Greek parliament approves implementation of EU data law

2019-08-27T15:46:00+01:00By

Lawmakers in Greece voted to approve the implementation of partner legislation to the GDPR into national law, one month after being threatened with fines by the European Commission.

United Kingdom

Amid industry crackdown, U.K. audit firms evolving with the times

2019-08-23T16:45:00+01:00By

It’s been an intense year for the audit industry in the United Kingdom—and things are expected only to get tougher as a new audit regulator, with new leadership and stronger statutory powers, prepares to take the reins.

Screen Shot 2019-08-21 at 9.34.07 AM

European Data Protection Supervisor head Giovanni Buttarelli passes away

2019-08-21T13:40:00+01:00By

European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli has passed away, his office announced in a statement Wednesday. He was 62.

Parliament

In Brexit gambit, U.K. signs legislation to ban EU laws

2019-08-19T17:42:00+01:00By

The repeal of the European Communities Act provides a “clear signal” that the U.K. government intends to leave the European Union without extending the Brexit deadline—with or without a deal.

FacialRecognition

ICO investigating facial recognition technology in key London district

2019-08-19T17:37:00+01:00By

Concerns abound over whether or not using facial recognition technology violates consumer privacy.

Aspen

Aspen to pay $9.7M to settle U.K. competition concerns

2019-08-15T18:08:00+01:00By

Aspen Pharmacare has offered to pay the U.K.’s National Health Service £8 million (U.S. $9.7 million) following suspicions that the company paid rival firms to delay marketing a vital medicine to retain market dominance.

Ruling

A critical review of the SFO’s DPA process

2019-08-09T17:14:00+01:00By

Companies considering entering a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.K. Serious Fraud Office might instead want to take their chances with a trial following the outcomes of a trio of recent high-profile corruption cases.

Londoncrop

SFO cooperation guidance provides clarity on leniency

2019-08-07T18:04:00+01:00By

In recent guidance, the SFO for the first time has formally set out expectations essential to U.S.-type deferred prosecution agreements, but some say the low number of companies accepting criminal responsibility may negate the provision’s worth.

GDPR

EU assessment: GDPR showing results, but ‘work needs to continue’

2019-07-26T16:25:00+01:00By

The EU’s tough new data rules are “bearing fruit,” but some member states have still not put GDPR into law, and only 20 percent of EU citizens seem aware of which public authority is responsible for protecting their personal information.

Alstom

Appeals Court upholds bribery conviction of Alstom Network

2019-07-23T19:43:00+01:00By

The Criminal Division of the U.K. Court of Appeal has upheld the April 2018 conviction of Alstom Network UK over a bribery case concerning an infrastructure contract in Tunisia.

Boris Johnson

New PM Boris Johnson vows Brexit by Oct. 31 deadline; businesses wary

2019-07-23T16:02:00+01:00By

Newly elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson will enter 10 Downing Street with exactly 100 days to deliver the Brexit he has promised.

Europedata

What we can learn from the biggest GDPR fines so far

2019-07-19T18:38:00+01:00By

Recent record-breaking fines for GDPR violations levied on British Airways and Marriott by the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office offer a glimpse into what GDPR enforcement might look like going forward and serve up a warning to companies that data privacy protocols must be foolproof.

IrelandDataPrivacy

All eyes on how Ireland will handle Big Tech and GDPR

2019-07-19T18:38:00+01:00By

Ireland—home EU regulator to Big Tech firms including Google, Twitter, and Facebook—is the key country not to have issued a GDPR-related fine yet, though the regulator has said it has started at least 19 inquiries into the sector.

EU data flag

GDPR enforcement varies widely by country

2019-07-19T18:38:00+01:00By

Most EU countries have now issued fines under the GDPR. Determining which are the toughest enforcers depends on one’s viewpoint—we lay out country-by-country look at the enforcement trends to date.

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New EC president willing to extend Brexit third time

2019-07-19T17:05:00+01:00By

New European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said she is willing to extend the Brexit deadline for a third time “should more time be required for a good reason.”

Qualcomm

Qualcomm fined $271M for predatory pricing

2019-07-18T15:47:00+01:00By

The European Commission has fined Qualcomm 242 million Euros (U.S. $271 million) for anti-competitive behavior in violation of EU antitrust rules. Qualcomm says it has done nothing wrong and will appeal the finding.

Amazon

EU investigating Amazon over antitrust concerns

2019-07-17T16:34:00+01:00By

The European Commission is investigating Amazon over concerns that the company’s use of data gathered from independent retailers that sell on its marketplace breaches EU competition rules.

NeedsImprovement

U.K. audit regulators see no improvement in audit quality

2019-07-12T16:42:00+01:00By

U.K. audit regulators saw no improvement in audit quality in their most recent inspections, indicating none of the major firms achieved targeted pass rates.

Marriott

Marriott reveals $124M GDPR fine for data breach

2019-07-09T16:23:00+01:00By

Marriott has disclosed in a filing with the SEC that the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office intends to fine it roughly £99 million (U.S. $124 million) for infringements of the EU’s GDPR.

BigTechMonopoly

U.K.'s CMA mulls new regulator to tackle Big Tech

2019-07-09T14:46:00+01:00By

The CMA, U.K.’s competition watchdog, explores whether a separate regulator is needed to oversee leading digital firms that have become “data monopolies” that stifle competition.

Fellouse

Cécilia Fellouse-Guenkel on France’s compliance community

2019-07-08T16:06:00+01:00By

Cécilia Fellouse-Guenkel, executive secretary at Le Cercle de la Compliance in Paris, discusses with columnist Tom Fox how compliance is viewed in France and touches on the country’s new anti-corruption law, Sapin II.

British Airways

British Airways faces record-setting GDPR fine of $230 million

2019-07-08T14:05:00+01:00By

British Airways was hit Monday with the largest penalty to date under the EU’s GDPR, a £183.39m (U.S. $230 million) fine stemming from the compromised data of nearly 500,000 customers.

Londoncrop

Serco fined £19.2M over electronic tagging scandal

2019-07-03T18:50:00+01:00By

The U.K. Serious Fraud Office has approved in principle a deferred prosecution agreement with Serco Geografix for fraud and false accounting that would result in a fine of £19.2 million (U.S. $24.2 million).

UBS

UBS compliance officer convicted of insider trading

2019-06-27T18:17:00+01:00By

A London Southwark Crown Court jury on June 27 convicted two individuals—a senior compliance officer of UBS and a day trader of financial securities—and sentenced them to three years’ imprisonment for insider trading.

Dankse

Yet another misstep by Danske results in firing of interim Danish CEO

2019-06-27T14:06:00+01:00By

Danske Bank has been forced to fire yet another board member—this time for mis-selling thousands of customers a wealth management product that charged excessive fees.

point icons

Public register pros trump cons

2019-06-26T21:02:00+01:00By Matthew Stephenson

Harvard Law School’s Eli Goldston Professor of Law Matthew Stephenson discusses the benefits of public registers.

counterpoint icons

No proof in public register value

2019-06-26T21:00:00+01:00By Geoff Cook

Consultant and independent director Geoff Cook offers evidence on why public registers are still lacking.