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Ghana and Singapore to adopt SME Techs

Discussions to adopt the Business sans Borders ( BSB ) open hub of platforms between Singapore and Ghana have been going on between the Monetary Authority of Singapore ( MAS ) and the Bank of Ghana ( BOG ). The operations aim to benefit the small and medium sized enterprises ( SMEs ) and the micro SMEs ( MSEMs )  in both the countries as they expand their connectivity to counterpart with their economy, whilst introducing pioneering FinTech and digital tools to help each of the SME to effortlessly complete the regular business needs.  MAS and BOG are to be working together on a complimentary Financial Trust Corridor ( FTC ) ingenuity to source great trust, trade and recognition between both countries’ business and financial institutions. These are targeted to help the SMEs and MSMEs of Singapore and Ghana achieve viable growth for the post-COVID 19 pandemic recovery. BSB is a joint initiative started by MAS and Infocomm Media Development Authority on a global digital infrastructure for all-in-one trade and digital business services connectivity. Both MAS and BOG will be closely involved with each country’s trade bodies, platforms, SME associations and financial sector in the implementation of the BSB meta-hub connectivity, which will abridge how SMEs and ecosystems from Singapore and Ghana can discover new buyers, suppliers and key financial and business services.

Ghana SME selling artisanal products or fruits from his Ghana marketplace will be able to digitally find a buyer in Singapore through BSB. This is the leverage BSB has on Artificial intelligence to easily integrate the trade and the business services to be discovered and flown. This enables commerce and the exchange of best in class techs and product services.  The Ghana and Singapore SMEs will also be recommended essential business services, such as financing and logistics support, to complete the trade through BSB.

When both countries want to refer to and utilize the sharing key information relevant for credit assessment, whilst abiding by domestic and international regulations, such as data protection and anti-money laundering requirement, they can use the SME FTC, led by MAS and BOG, which comprises a governance framework and a digital infrastructure. A strong trust is being provided by the FTC for the SMEs by financial institutions expecting a leading growth in the breadth and depth of the financial sector support for the SMEs and businesses making it easier for SMEs which are involved in cross border trade. this trade will obtain fast and more working capital offerings and invoice financing.

Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS said, “We are excited to partner BOG to create the world’s first SME financial trust corridor as well as welcome Ghana into Business sans Borders, an innovative global infrastructure initiative. Together we can start to build increased trade flows and enhance financial trust and services support between our economies through both the FTC and BSB initiatives. Proxtera, a new private entity supported by MAS and IMDA, will help to operationalize BSB and the FTC. With time, these efforts will scale towards a new global paradigm where our SMEs and financial institutions are trusted internationally and have seamless access to wider financing, new trade opportunities and intuitive digital tools.”

First Deputy Governor Dr Maxwell Opoku-Afari, Bank of Ghana, said, “Indeed, we are glad to be a part of this partnership with MAS. The choice of Ghana is an absolute endorsement of how our technological capabilities are growing and will impact strongly on SMEs, in addition to building a robust, resilient and well-connected FinTech Hub.”

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LexisNexis risk solutions study reveals sharp rise of financial crime compliance costs

Decision makers inside banks, investment firms, asset managers and insurance firms identify the drivers impacting financial crime compliance. LexisNexis® Risk Solutions revealed that the results of its annual True Cost of Financial Crime Compliance Study for the U.S. and Canada. The total projected cost of financial crime compliance for the region is approximately $49.9 billion. The survey illustrates the sharp increase in financial crime compliance costs.

The study projects the average annual cost of financial crime compliance for U.S. financial institutions with $10 billion. Pandemic Continues to Spur Growth. The pandemic continues to negatively impact compliance operations. Sixty eight percent of U.S. respondents report longer times required to complete due diligence. Fifty five percent of U.S. respondents report reduced productivity compared.

More U.S. financial institutions now rank real estate and hospitality as top money laundering risk segments. Crime involving digital payments, trade-based money laundering and money mule schemes are on the rise. Digital currency is a growing problem for Canadian firms. Crimes involving digital payments have the greatest impact on compliance costs. Cryptocurrency crimes have the greatest impact on compliance costs for Canadian firms. The survey results demonstrate that financial institutions are battling a broader set of issues.

Survey respondents indicate that a lack of current and extensive data tops the list of Know Your Customer (KYC). Leslie Bailey, vice president of financial crime compliance strategy for LexisNexis Risk Solutions stated that the study shows clear linkages between the pandemic, digital crime and increasing regulations. Hence, financial institutions need to prepare for expanded compliance obligations and risks from emerging financial crime. Bailey added that digital transformation is a game-changer for financial crime compliance operations.

This will require a sophisticated approach that incorporates insight into digital behaviors. This study surveyed 145 decision-makers in the U.S. and Canada. Responses were collected in June 2019, August 2020 and June 2021. Organizations such as banks, investment firms, asset management firms and insurance firms. The total annual cost of compliance across firms was calculated using survey data. The spend amount was generated by multiplying the average percent allocated to financial crime costs.

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COP26 delegates agree on need to deliver on $100 BLN climate finance pledge

Delegates heading to the COP26 U.N. climate summit in Glasgow. These delegates agreed that they must deliver on the $100 billion per year pledge. COP26 president Alok Sharma said that, it is to help most vulnerable nations for tackling the climate change.

After many days of meetings at the pre-COP26 climate event, which happened in Italy, Sharma said that there was a consensus to do more. Which is to keep the 1.5 degrees Celsius target within reach, adding more needed to be done collectively in terms of national climate plans.

The COP26 conference in Glasgow aims to secure more ambitious climate action. This is from nearly 200 countries, those all that have signed the 2015 Paris Agreement for limiting the global warming, well below 2.0 degrees Celsius. And to 1.5 degrees, above pre-industrial levels.

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City’s exposure to Evergrande is very minimal-Hong Kong finance Chief

Hong Kong’s exposure to debt-laden developer China Evergrande Group is very minimal at 0.05%. This is of banking assets, South China Morning Post reported, citing the city’s finance minister. Financial Secretary Paul Chan told the newspaper that it is very minimal and won’t cause them any systemic risks. He added that he had arrived at the conclusion after a recent audit of the local banking sector’s exposure to the company.

Chan also said that the Hong Kong’s stock market was inevitably subject to some volatility. This is amidst a recent mainland crackdown on some industries. But still he believed any setback would be temporary. With liabilities of $305 billion, Evergrande has sparked concerns its cash crunch could spread through China’s financial system. This may reverberate globally and that is a worry that has eased with the Chinese central bank’s vow, to protect homebuyers’ interests. Evergrande has missed two bond interest payments. Bondholders have said this and its offshore debt, amounting to about $20 billion, trades at distressed levels.

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