Online gambling sites are no longer welcome in Switzerland after legislators voted to require internet service providers to block the domains of unapproved sites. The Swiss House of Representatives voted on Wednesday in favor of the proposed blockage of Internet access to real-money gambling websites that have not been licensed by local authorities. The measure had previously been approved by the Senate. Discussions over the proposed block of international operators emerged once again in January. However, the effort, which has long been called for by domestic casino, betting, and lottery companies, lost some momentum after Swiss telecoms voiced certain opposition earlier this year. “Blocking websites works – experience abroad demonstrates that,” said Thierry Burkart from the centre-right Radical Party.
Regulators have levied financial penalties of $321 billion on banks globally since the 2007-2008 financial crisis, following regulatory lapses, global currency scandals, and market manipulation, according to a note by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Almost ten years since the financial crisis, the banking industry has not completely recovered, BCG said in an industry report. A number of factors have helped drive this trend, including a more concerted focus from US regulators such as the US’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). However, an overall more aggressive tone from US regulators has helped punish fraudulent behavior, accruing record fines over this period, according to a recent Bloomberg report.
Swiss Post has announced that, from September, it will introduce cash inpayments at the customer’s home in all communities which have only branches with partners. “This will enable private customers who prefer to make inpayments in cash to do so right on their doorstep,” said Swiss Post. The company explained it has introduced this service because branches with partners “cannot offer cash payment transactions due to security requirements and the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering Act”.
The tech industry in the city of Wellington, New Zealand, is looking to recruit tech experts from around the world, offering a free holiday to the country for anyone who can prove their merit. In a bid to supplement Wellington's technology pool, the city is offering "the ultimate tech career trip" by flying 100 people from all around the world to New Zealand to fill 100 jobs. The Wellington Regional Reconomic Development Agency and Workhere New Zealand are paying for all flights and accommodation for the international techies.
Rolex, the luxury Swiss watchmaker, is the brand with the best corporate reputation in the eyes of consumers, according to a new global survey. Reputation Institute (RI), a reputation management consultancy, each year compiles a list of the top 100 most reputable companies in the world based on more than 170,000 ratings collected across 15 countries. Using its proprietary RepTrak measurement system, RI tracks consumers' perceptions across seven key areas: products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership and performance.
The Swiss economy expanded marginally in the fourth quarter, figures from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) showed Thursday. Gross domestic product grew by a less-than-expected 0.1% sequentially, the same pace of expansion as seen in the third quarter. Economists had forecast a quarterly growth of 0.4%. The SECO had earlier estimated flat growth for the third quarter. Switzerland’s export-oriented economy has faced headwinds due to the strength of the franc, which central bank policy makers have repeatedly called “significantly overvalued.” Better growth in the neighboring euro area may help Switzerland, where the manufacturing, retail and tourism sectors have all been negatively affected by the currency. Imports of goods logged a sequential growth of 0.2%, while services import declined 5.2%. The year-on-year growth more than halved to 0.6% in the fourth quarter from a revised 1.4% in the previous quarter. Economists had forecast the growth rate to remain steady at the third quarter's original figure of 1.3%.
At least 180 companies have already declared their interest in working with President Trump to build his proposed wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, just three days after the government announced the contract bidding process was open. More companies will likely signal interest in competing for President Donald Trump’s massive border wall project, but 180 construction and engineering firms from across the U.S. registered to submit a bid for the contract as of Monday evening.
The ban on cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in Switzerland, which expires at the end of 2017, will be extended for another four years, until 2021. Today the Parliament have approved, by 32 votes to two with two abstentions, the relevant revised federal law on genetic engineering. The research will continue to be possible. A motion to extend it until 2025 was rejected. The House of Representatives had previously agreed the extension to 2021. With 25 votes against 18, the senators, contrary to the wishes of the Federal Council, decided that in Switzerland there will be no co-existence of GM and traditional crops.
Global banking giant HSBC has disclosed being probed by tax authorities in India, the US, France and Belgium, including against its Swiss and Dubai units, for allegedly abetting tax evasion of four Indians and their families. Disclosing the "tax-related investigations" in its latest annual report published last week, HSBC further said it has set aside $ 773 million as a provision for various tax- and money laundering-related matters.
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