Europe


Technology

International banking regulator: Big Tech ‘may pose risks to financial stability’

2019-12-13T18:29:00+00:00By

Big technology firms like Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and Google are a potential risk if they get more heavily involved in providing financial services, says the Financial Stability Board.

MarketManipulation

Morgan Stanley fined $22.2M for manipulating bond prices

2019-12-11T16:24:00+00:00By

France’s financial market regulator has fined Morgan Stanley €20 million (U.S. $22.2 million) for manipulating the price of French and Belgian government bonds in June 2015.

Germany privacy

1 & 1 Telecom fined $10.6M for GDPR violations; company fights back

2019-12-11T15:47:00+00:00By

A German federal privacy watchdog has fined 1 & 1 Telecom €9.55 million (U.S. $10.6 million) for violations of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, but the company says it won’t accept the penalty.

Swedbankcrop

Swedbank announces governance overhaul, launches culture probe

2019-12-10T18:18:00+00:00By

Swedbank CEO Jens Henriksson announced the financial institution is making some major organizational changes “to create simpler and clearer decision-making structures to facilitate the realization of the bank’s strategy.”

Investigate

SFO latest to investigate Glencore over bribery concerns

2019-12-09T18:53:00+00:00By

Glencore announced it is under investigation by the U.K. Serious Fraud Office over suspicions of bribery, making it the third investigation the multinational commodity trading and mining company is now facing.

ArrowsUp

Study: Spike in OFAC sanctions pose compliance challenges

2019-12-06T20:04:00+00:00By

Some companies might scramble to comply with more—and sometimes quickly shifting—sanctions requirements as the U.S. government chalks up record enforcement levels.

GE

EBRD debars GE Power Sweden for record six years in corruption case

2019-12-06T18:55:00+00:00By

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has imposed a record six-year term of debarment on GE Power Sweden concerning a long-running corruption scheme at 2015 acquisition Alstom Power Sweden.

RobotDecisions

ICO draft guidance helps U.K. firms clarify AI choices

2019-12-03T16:34:00+00:00By

The U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office has released guidance that lays out four principles—based on the GDPR—companies must consider when applying AI to their systems.

Vestager-Margrethe

Vestager once again takes aim at digital giants

2019-12-02T18:24:00+00:00By

Margrethe Vestager, European commissioner for competition, once again rallied against Big Tech in a Nov. 29 speech. The politician has promised more oversight of search engines, online marketplaces, social media networks, and app sites to ensure fair markets.

Shush

PRA fines Citigroup for regulatory disclosure failure

2019-11-26T20:43:00+00:00By

The Bank of England has hit Citigroup with a record £44 million (U.S. $56.5 million) fine after it found three of its U.K. units failed to submit complete and accurate regulatory information about the lender’s capital and liquidity levels.

Uber London

Uber stripped of London license for ‘pattern of failures’

2019-11-26T18:53:00+00:00By

Uber has been stripped of its London operating license after the city’s transportation regulator identified a “pattern of failures” by the company, including several safety breaches that placed passengers at risk. It is appealing the ruling.

Rail yard

Alstom U.K. fined $20.8M for role in long-running bribery case

2019-11-25T19:04:00+00:00By

Alstom Network U.K., the British subsidiary of the French rail and power company, has been ordered to pay a total of £16.4 million (U.S. $20.8 million) for bribes it paid to win a contract to supply trams in Tunisia.

AI CWE2019

Regulators need experts in AI, too

2019-11-20T20:56:00+00:00By

Machine learning isn’t something that’s going to happen—it’s already happened. Ali Shah, head of tech policy at the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office, discusses how artificial intelligence will impact regulators.

UBScrop

Hong Kong, Singapore regulators fine UBS $59M for client overcharges

2019-11-20T20:14:00+00:00By

Swiss bank UBS will pay $59 million in total civil penalties in resolutions with both Hong Kong and Swiss regulators for overcharging clients for over a decade.

David Lefort

Ireland vs. Big Tech: The wait continues

2019-11-19T21:37:00+00:00By

It’s been 18 months since the General Data Protection Regulation went into effect, and still no violations have come out of Ireland. Is the Emerald Isle dragging its feet? CW Editor in Chief Dave Lefort attempts to answer that question.

Microsoft

Microsoft updates cloud contract privacy amid EDPS probe

2019-11-18T21:11:00+00:00By

Microsoft has updated the privacy provisions of its commercial cloud contracts amid a European Data Protection Supervisor investigation that revealed “serious concerns” in its preliminary findings.

Crowd1

Photos: Compliance Week Europe 2019

2019-11-14T19:01:00+00:00By Compliance Week

We came, we saw, we complied. Check out some of the sights from Compliance Week’s 2019 European conference in Amsterdam!

WorkplaceIssues

Survey: Workplace equality issues top of mind for European employers

2019-11-14T17:37:00+00:00By

Improving workplace equality is on the list of concerns and priorities for European employers, with many moving to address equal pay and workplace harassment, according to the findings of a newly released survey.

WeakSpots

FRC review of IFRS 16 disclosures highlights weak spots

2019-11-07T17:22:00+00:00By

Companies applying the new standard on lease accounting need to provide more information on its effects, according to a new review by the U.K. Financial Reporting Council, which highlights where it expects companies to provide more comprehensive disclosure in their upcoming annual reports.

ShowMeTheMoney

FRC reveals key trends in U.K. accountancy profession

2019-11-05T15:57:00+00:00By

A new report from the U.K.’s Financial Reporting Council says the Big Four increased their combined “total fee income” by 4.7 percent—even amid a year fraught with accounting scandal.

Collusion

European Commission probing two retailers for possible collusion

2019-11-04T20:35:00+00:00By

The European Commission announced it has opened a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether two French groups of retailers—Casino Guichard-Perrachon and Les Mousquetaires—have coordinated their conduct in the market in breach of EU competition rules.

Wide gap

Big Four stranglehold on U.K. audit market widens

2019-10-29T20:18:00+00:00By

The Big Four’s dominance of the U.K. audit market has grown even further in the past year, according to the Financial Reporting Council’s latest report.

ItalyDataBreach

Data protection compliance lessons from UniCredit breach

2019-10-29T19:03:00+00:00By

UniCredit announced its cyber-security team has identified a data breach that compromised the personal records of approximately three million clients in Italy, highlighting critical compliance lessons for those in the financial services industry.

Gold

EY accused in U.K. gold-laundering scheme

2019-10-29T17:41:00+00:00By

Big Four audit firm EY has been accused of covering up evidence of smuggling by an organized crime gang that was laundering British drug money through gold dealings, according to an investigation by the BBC.

/web/img/field/image/brexitdelay.jpg

Third Brexit delay approved: What’s next?

2019-10-28T17:33:00+00:00By

The countdown clock for the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union has been reset to January 2020, giving PM Boris Johnson a set of new options to pursue in order to facilitate a deal.

Tech Spotlight

Seven takeaways: Privacy, Big Tech in spotlight at ICDPPC

2019-10-24T20:06:00+01:00By

The International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners offered varying perspectives on the latest in data privacy and technology from the likes of regulators, experts, and campaigners.

RiskLessons

Risk management tips from Tullett Prebon compliance woes

2019-10-24T18:57:00+01:00By

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority fined Tullett Prebon (Europe) Limited £15.4 million (U.S. $19.8 million) after its compliance department failed to implement adequate risk management systems.

Microsoft

Microsoft president: Tech companies must embrace privacy regs

2019-10-23T18:27:00+01:00By

At a recent data privacy event, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer discussed the evolution of data protection rules and how new technology needs to better align with privacy regulation.

Boris Johnson

PM Boris Johnson forced to ask for Brexit delay

2019-10-21T14:49:00+01:00By

Confusion surrounds the latest on the Brexit front, with beleaguered PM Boris Johnson sending two contradictory letters to European leaders—one asking for a delay and the other suggesting they ignore this request.

HangUpGloves

EC uses ‘interim measures’ on Broadcom to curb anticompetitive behavior

2019-10-18T18:31:00+01:00By

The European Commission has ordered Broadcom to cut out harsh contract terms with six TV and modem manufacturers because they may infringe antitrust rules. It’s the first time the agency has imposed “interim measures” in 18 years

SFO building

SFO closes long-running LIBOR manipulation investigation

2019-10-18T18:14:00+01:00By

The U.K. Serious Fraud Office has closed its investigation into manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), ending a probe that began more than seven years ago.

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.