Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse have agreed to pay billion in fines relating to the collapse of the US housing market that contributed to the financial crisis, striking deals before the Trump administration takes power. The government has accused the banks of misleading investors about the quality of their loans. The inquiries related to deals done between 2005 and 2007. Deutsche Bank agreed to a $7.2 billion settlement with the DoJ over its sale and pooling of toxic mortgage securities.
Swiss cooperative banking group Raiffeisen entered a U.S. tax settlement program in the third category, or as a bank with no criminal dealings. The Swiss bank left the programm and it didn't pay any fine, it said on Friday. Raiffeisen, Switzerland's third-biggest bank, three years ago decided to qualify itself as one of the Swiss financial institutions that had not committed any offenses under U.S. tax law. An accord with the U.S. Department of Justice this week "creates legal certainty and ends the tax conflict without payment of a penalty", it said in a statement.
Former BSI banker Yeo Jiawei was found guilty for his role in the most complex, sophisticated and largest money-laundering case involving billions of dollars alleged to have been misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Singapore sentenced former Yeo Jiawei to 30 months in jail after a 12-day trial. He is the third BSI banker convicted in the city state this year. The prosecutors had charged that Yeo had amassed $16.55 million by taking secret profits from 1MDB-linked transactions during his work for the Singapore unit of BSI.
Credit Suisse intends to cut about 900 job places in Switzerland to lift profitability as it gears up for a partial sale of the Swiss division, as Bloomberg referred today, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. Credit Suisse's ultimate goal is to eliminate 1,600 jobs in Switzerland by the end of 2018, the sources said. A spokesman for Credit Suisse in Zurich declined to comment.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is back on the U.S. government's annual list of "notorious markets" that sell pirated goods. The listing carries no penalties but will likely be an embarrassment for Alibaba, which has been trying to burnish its image in international markets. On Wednesday, the Office of the United States Trade Representative dumped Alibaba back on its Notorious Markets List, which “highlights prominent online and physical marketplaces that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting.” This comes four years after the USTR had removed the Chinese e-commerce company from the list after it made some progress in combating fakes.
First International Bank of Israel is liquidating its remaining international business, and will become the only one of Israel's five leading banks that operates exclusively in Israel. Controlled by Zadik Bino, the bank announced that it had signed an agreement to sell FIBI Switzerland to Swiss bank CBH. CBH will acquire FIBI Switzerland's customer portfolio, which totaled 876 million Swiss Franc as of September 30, for seven million Swiss francs, amounting to 0.8% of the assets. CBH will also pay an amount equal to FIBI Switzerland's equity, which totaled 59.2 million Swiss francs as of September 30. The deal is slated for completion by the end of the first quarter of 2017.
The government defended he Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) independence and rejected a number of proposals to reform Switzerland’s central bank. "The SNB's monetary policy concept has proved its worth also in difficult situations such as in the wake of the global financial crisis from 2007 to 2009," the cabinet said in a statement after a meeting. The abandonment of the CHF1.20 peg to the euro in January 2015 saw the franc appreciate further against the euro at the expense of exporters and the Swiss tourism industry. This sparked a raft of parliamentary proposals to force the SNB to change course.
BNP Paribas, the French multinational bank and financial services company, announced today that it has processed several live payments for Panini Group, an international leader in collectibles and trading cards and Amcor, a global leader in packaging solutions, using blockchain technology. It processed and cleared for payments in various currencies between bank accounts located in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The payments were fully processed and cleared in a few minutes, which BNP Paribas says highlights the real potential of this innovative technology which eliminates delays, unexpected fees and processing errors, paving the way for real time cash management.
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