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Virgin Money and its expansions

Latest news is that Virgin Money is expanding its partnership with FinTech data expert company called the Life Moments, is all set to focus on the development of the sustainability elements provided by the Virgin Money offer to its banking customers.  The agreement is that the Virgin Money’s continuation of developing its working capital health proposition which is to be launched in the autumn. The bank’s existing business current account is said to be transformed and is forming part of its commitment related to the £35m amount which was awarded from the Banking Competition Remedies ( BCR ) for the Capability and Innovation fund.

Being a leading provider of platforms and tools, Life Moments is set to improve customer involvement and create data insights for them. Developing and launching the Virgin Money’s Home buying coach app, the company is working with the bank from early 2020. The application is designed to make the process of purchasing the homes simple and help the first time buyers to climb the property ladder. The future goals of the company is to work on digitizing and capturing the customer responses to an ESG benchmarking tool, which was also developed by the Bank in conjugation with the Future Fit Business. It also aims to integrate the further results and data in to the Bank’s new business current account wellness tracker which is set to provide a tailored digital coaching for the businesses.

Virgin Money on joining the Future-Fit Development council last year became the first company in the Financial Services industry to use the FFD’s Benchmark commercial banking. It has a user friendly set of questions which will help any company to understand the current position it holds via ESG score and guiding with the necessary steps to be involved.

Gavin Opperman Group Business Director at Virgin Money, said that the Sustainability is a key element of their new working capital health proposition. Life Moments had brought them some exciting innovation into their mortgage business thus it was a natural progression to invite the Life moments to collaborate on enhancing their Benchmarking Tool and support their ambition to help their customers in all aspects of their ESG journey. He also said that they have created a strong base but there is more to do, which is why the partnership with Life Moments was so important to the development of their new business’ current account.   

Ben Leonard, CEO and Co-founder of Life Moments, said that, they were pleased to have the chance to extend their partnership with Virgin Money and apply digital training to business banking as they saw many resemblances between the support & nurturing they have established with Virgin Money for first time buyers and how to help small business owners so that they are confident that this will enhance the business banking proposition. He also shared that being able to apply to their platform technology to help businesses which are embed with sustainability is extremely exciting for them and aligns perfectly with their profit & purpose mission.

Graeme Sands, Corporate and Mid-Market Director at Virgin Money, shared that all the businesses, despite of their size or industry, should be rational about their method to sustainability, safeguarding that any future growth strategy taken into contemplation of the ESG impact of their operations. He said that, it wasn’t an easy task, but those that do so often found new chances and they were dedicated to working with their customers and partners, like Life Moments, to provide the support and insight that allowed them to work towards becoming a more sustainable business.


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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