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Green investments to be part of EU budget rules review

European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said that the possibility of exempting green investments from EU deficit calculations will form part of discussions when EU budget rules are revised. The idea to exempt investments that would help prevent climate change is to support the bloc’s ambition to cut net CO2 emissions to zero by 2050. The EU officials has pet named such exemption of investments in projects such as the “golden rule”.

Dombrovskis told reporters after a second day of EU finance ministers’ talks in the Slovenian town of Brdo that obviously, the question of a golden rule, in one way or another, will be part of the discussion of the EU fiscal framework. Finance ministers from the 27-nation bloc, during this two-day summit have debated over, how to amend budget rules to better fit changed economic realities once EU budget rules. French Finance Minister Bruno le Maire said that the green exemption idea was worth discussing as it would help to generate the very large funds needed to transform their economies over the upcoming years.

Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Bluemel, expressed concern over how such a rule could be made to work in practice. In defining what constitutes “green” investment, its difficulty persists. He also said that from an economic, scientific point of view, this can make sense. But he had repeatedly seen in the past that such exceptions in budgeting practice. As the idea of a golden rule is nothing new, this is often used as an excuse when the political will lacks to obey the rules. He finally also added that the mechanisms must be built in to ensure that they are not misused. The Bruegel think tank presented this idea of an exemption for green investments. It was done in a paper commissioned the ministers. The paper also suggested the EU’s requirement for governments to cut public debt every year by one-twentieth of the excess over 60% of GDP was too ambitious in a post-pandemic economy.

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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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