In financial services, technology is reshaping the front office

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Financial institutions have been making strides toward a customer-centric culture. Do the customers feel it yet?

They might before long. Digital disruption is threatening incumbent firms’ control over the customer experience, prompting leading firms to take a harder look at the makeup of their front office. To understand some of the ways that this is playing out, let’s look at the front office from three angles: automation, regulation, and talent.

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Posted on 22/01/2018 | 0 Comments

Did you forget about QI and FATCA during the holidays? Here’s a summary of the final US tax changes of 2017

Did you forget about QI and FATCA during the holidays Here’s a summary of the final US tax changes of 2017

In what seems an annual occurrence, the end of the calendar year again delivered new publications and changes in the US tax field. The biggest one by far being the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” but there have been more holiday gifts for non-US financial institutions.

This blog addresses recent Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and qualified intermediary (QI) updates issued by the US tax authorities.

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Posted on 18/01/2018 | 0 Comments

Compliance 2025 – A DNA Evolution in Financial Services – Part 1

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Over the 10 last years, the compliance function in financial services institutions grew considerably in size to cope with the increased regulatory driven responsibilities. This resulted in imminent challenges like rising costs, a shifting compliance mandate and need for more strategic investments. The future of compliance will address these challenges by transforming the function to enable an insights-driven organization with strong technological capabilities and initiating a cultural shift. These transformational efforts will ultimately results in a more efficient compliance function with value contribution to the entire organization.

This is the first of our compliance blog series addressing current challenges of the compliance function and how the financial services industry will address these in the near future.

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Posted on 10/01/2018 | 0 Comments

At last! Revision of Circular 24 on the Swiss tax treatment of collective investment vehicles released

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More than 8 years after its first publication on 1 January 2009, the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (“SFTA”) published on 20 November 2017 a revised version of its Circular 24 (“Circular”) with regard to the Swiss withholding tax and Swiss stamp tax treatment of collective investment vehicles (“CIVs”). There are no substantial changes in the revision and these merely reflect the long-standing practice of the SFTA that has previously been communicated through other channels. This blog post aims at outlining the most material changes to the Circular as well as providing asset managers with recommendations on best practice to prepare.

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Posted on 21/12/2017

FATCA and QI responsible officer certification: Are you ready?

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Deloitte recently hosted Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and Qualified Intermediary (QI) responsible officers (ROs) and compliance officers for a dedicated training event on how they should best prepare for the upcoming RO certification requirements.

Representing over 85 different financial institutions, the participants joined interactive sessions aimed at preparing them for the periodic certifications, which will commence as early as July 2018.

This article represents the first in a five-part series that is designed to provide insights into the upcoming QI RO certification deliverables and the priority areas for financial institutions.

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Posted on 20/12/2017 | 0 Comments

FSB discloses the 2017 list of G-SIBs

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The Financial Stability Board (FSB), in collaboration with Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and national authorities, has just released the 2017 list of global systematically important banks, more commonly called G-SIBs. Although the overall number of G-SIBs is still of 30, a slight difference appears with the previous list: Royal Bank of Canada has joined the small circle of the global systematically important banks while BPCE has left it.

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Posted on 18/12/2017 | 0 Comments

Five things to remember about Basel III

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After more than a year of stalled negotiations, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) announced an agreement on the remaining elements of the Basel III post-crisis bank capital framework. Striking a deal on this package of reforms (often called ‘Basel IV’) is a significant milestone in the post-crisis regulatory journey and a huge achievement for the BCBS.

The announced framework bridges a gap – particularly between American and European regulators – on the extent to which banks can use internal models to determine their capital requirements.

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Posted on 14/12/2017 | 0 Comments

PSD2 standard on secure communication: a balancing act

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The European Commission published the final Regulatory Technical Standard (RTS) on Strong Customer Authentication and Common Secure Communication under the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2). In this final version, the Commission confirmed that screen scraping[1] will no longer be allowed once the RTS comes into effect, heeding concerns expressed by the European Banking Authority (EBA) and other stakeholders around security. However, Account Servicing Payment Service Providers (ASPSPs) will still be required to put in place contingency measures in case of unavailability or under performance of their dedicated interfaces during a communication session with Third Party Providers (TPPs).

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Posted on 12/12/2017 | 0 Comments

Business climate brightening across Europe – but financial service companies are lagging behind

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Long awaited, 2017 finally saw the economic turn-around in Europe. Growth is accelerating, albeit from a very low base. And the business outlook for 2018 is bright, as the latest results of the European CFO Survey show (and as is the case for the Swiss results). Optimism is growing, especially for revenues, perceived uncertainty remains high but is receding, hiring and investment intentions are increasing. The outlook for financial service companies is improving as well, but is lagging behind other industries. Margins in particular continue to be more of a problem.

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Posted on 6/12/2017 | 0 Comments

The Saudi Corruption Probe: What a Swiss Compliance Officer should know and do about the topic

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The known facts

The Saudi Arabian Crown Prince (Prince Mohammed Bin Salman) created an Anti-Corruption Committee on 4 November 2017. Subsequently, the Attorney General (Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb) ordered the arrests of several high profile individuals in Saudi Arabia. The targeted individuals include approximately 200 people, including high-ranking princes, as well as a number of the Kingdom’s most prominent business men and former senior officials. The Attorney General is allegedly investigating systematic corruption and embezzlement going back decades and mentioned an expected offense sum of at least USD 100bn.

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Posted on 29/11/2017 | 0 Comments

CFOs looking ahead to 2018 with confidence and optimism

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When looking ahead to 2018, Swiss CFOs are optimistic, as the latest CFO Survey results show. Over the next 12 months, their expectations of the economy, their own company’s business, revenues, operating margins and investment are all positive. They are, however, also more concerned about currency and internal risks, with expectations for employee numbers down on Q2 2017 but still positive. Bank CFOs are as optimistic as those of other sectors, but margins continue to be far more of a problem.

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Posted on 22/11/2017 | 0 Comments

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