Financial institutions to publish bank-specific cyber security policies

The Governor of the Bank of Ghana Dr Ernest Addison, who announced this on Wednesday, said the Financial Institutions would also be required to implement an integrated approach by adopting enterprise-wide frameworks of cyber risk management in line with business objectives.

Dr Addison said this in a speech read on his behalf at the first summit on digital banking and cyber security organised by Standard Chartered Bank.

The summit brings together cyber security experts to share experiences and examine critical issues on digital banking and its associated cyber security risks and how to counter cyber threats in the industry.

Dr Addison said the Central Bank would continue to exercise firm oversight of the payment system, monitor risks associated with digital innovation and develop appropriate regulatory responses without stifling innovation.


He said while digitization of banking operations had engineered innovative financial products and expanded the scope of financial services alongside improved payments and settlement systems, the growth of technology-driven electronic payments are also associated with cyber related risks such as insecure card data systems and identity theft.


It is in this direction that the Bank has prepared a banking sector Cyber and Information Security guidelines to protect consumers and create a safer environment for online and e-payments products.

Among others, the guidelines seek to create a secure environment for transactions within the cyberspace and guarantee trust and confidence in ICT systems.It also provides an assurance framework for the design of security policies in compliance to global security standards and best practices by way of cyber and information security assessments, and protect banks, customers and clients against the potentially devastating consequences of cyber-attacks.

Dr Addison said an integrated approach to cyber security management would support financial institutions achieve both business and security focused objectives, as well as regulatory compliance in an efficient and effective way.

However, he said, regulatory compliance by itself is not cyber security; adding that the onus lies on banks to examine the state of their security systems, identify gaps and design appropriate mechanisms to counter possible cyber threats.“Today’s world is completely different from a decade ago as changes in information and communication technology increase exponentially. Consequently, financial institutions need to undertake cyber security-related due diligence and assessments, identify proper detective controls, and enforce third party and insider risk programmes,” he said.

Business, technology, internet and networking concept. Young bus

Mrs Mansa Nettey, Chief Executive Officer Standard Chartered Bank Ghana, said advances in technology had ushered in new challenges and threats, including cybercrime.“All organisations, which have adopted digitisation, increasingly have to deal with these threats which are becoming sophisticated. What is even more alarming is that the rate of advancement seems to have outpaced developments in cyber security,” she said.

She said it was unfortunate that regulation of cyber security was not harmonised and was not developing as fast, leading individual organisations to try their own solutions to cyber threats. Continued here the remaining article


Hinduja Leyland Finance looks to revive IPO plan

Hinduja Leyland Finance, the commercial vehicle financing unit of truck maker Ashok Leyland Ltd, is looking to revive its plan for an initial public offering (IPO), two people aware of the development said.

The vehicle financier, which first filed its draft red herring prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) in March 2016, planned to raise Rs500 crore of primary capital, according to the draft share sale documents. Investor Everstone Capital also planned to sell a part of its stake through the IPO.


Hinduja Leyland Finance, however, deferred its plans to go public despite receiving the markets regulator’s approval.

“Owing to the uncertainty in the economy on account of demonetisation, the IPO slated for Q3 last year was postponed,” the company had said in July 2017.

“The company is relooking at the IPO. They are likely to go for the share sale within this calendar year,” said one of the two people cited above, requesting anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to reporters.

The company could look at refiling its draft IPO papers by the end of the current quarter, he said. “They can receive a better valuation in the market today than what they would have received the last time as markets are better and they have also considerably grown their loan book in the last two years,” he added.

The revival of the IPO will also provide an exit route for Everstone Capital, which had invested Rs200 crore in the company in 2013, said the second person cited above, also requesting anonymity.

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EDITORIAL – Conor O’Dea: A coup for Cayman Finance

A standard disclaimer in investment literature warns that “past performance is not indicative of future results.” But in the case of Conor O’Dea, the financial services veteran recently selected as chairman of Cayman Finance, a waiver of that warning would be perfectly appropriate.

Mr. O’Dea’s sterling professional track record, decades in the making, gives us confidence in his ability to lead Cayman Finance, along with CEO Jude Scott, to new altitudes of success.

The new Cayman Finance chairman has served in numerous positions for the government and local business organizations, including the presidency of the Cayman Islands Bankers’ Association. But, of course, Mr. O’Dea forged his reputation (which now precedes him) primarily during his long and distinguished tenure at Butterfield Bank (Cayman).


Mr. O’Dea shepherded Butterfield Bank through a period of great growth and oversaw the construction of the bank’s signature downtown George Town headquarters.

In 2016, Mr. O’Dea retired as President & Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of Butterfield Bank (Cayman). His plan was to spend more time with his dear wife Fiona, enjoying Cayman as well as traveling the world while continuing to serve in a non-executive role on Butterfield’s local and global boards. Now, country and duty call, and we are putting Mr. O’Dea back to work.

Those of us who know Mr. O’Dea can attest he is a consummate professional – as comfortable at a microphone before multitudes as he is in a boardroom with major investors and clients. He possesses an uncommon amalgam of diplomacy, financial acumen, toughness and, not to be discounted, indigenous Irish charm and wit.

Mr. O’Dea’s cache of talents will complement the experience and strengths of Cayman Finance CEO Jude Scott, former partner at Ernst & Young, global CEO of Maples and Calder, and, civically, chairman of the board of Cayman Airways. The two will make a formidable team during this particularly difficult time – as offshore centers continue to draw fire from revenue-hungry politicians, globalist regulators and “tax fairness” zealots.


During this protracted struggle, it is best to leave the sunny public relations campaigns to the Department of Tourism and Chamber of Commerce (of which Mr. O’Dea happens to be a former president). Cayman Finance must be prepared to be assertive, even aggressive, on behalf of Cayman’s financial services industry.  click and continue the article.

Brexit: May to meet UK financial services chiefs

The Prime Minister is set to meet with business leaders from the UK’s financial services industry as the government attempts to secure a Brexit deal that will include the sector.

Theresa May will talk with Barclays’ chief Jes Staley and Goldman Sachs International boss Richard Gnodde among others on Thursday.


The Chancellor Philip Hammond will also attend after travelling to Berlin.

He described financial services as pivotal to a “bespoke” trade deal.

In a joint-article for the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper on Wednesday, Mr Hammond and Brexit Secretary David Davis said that “the economic partnership should cover the length and breadth of our economies including the service industries — and financial services”.

They said: “We should use the imagination and ingenuity that our two countries and the EU have shown in the past, to craft a bespoke solution.”

Bloomberg reports that Germany is considering a plan that would give UK financial services companies access to Europe in exchange for payments to the EU budget.

Asked in Berlin if the UK would pay in exchange for bank access, Mr Hammond said: “We will talk about all of these things.”

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Senior executives from the London Stock Exchange will attend the regular meeting at 10 Downing Street along with Mark Tucker, chief executive of insurance group Aviva.

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Ways of applying operational risk management in banks

The banking sector should rank foremost among the many sectors of the economy that have undergone drastic changes in the last couple of decades or so. The convergence of two colossal factors – globalization and the development of technology – has made inroads into the banking sector, impacting it with a force that was seldom seen earlier.

The number one area of the banking sector to be affected by these changes is operations. Many factors such as credit, software, etc. need to be regulated for their risks. However, the core of the banking sector is operations. Because of this, operational risk management in banks is the highest priority for banks.

The Basel Accords



The primacy of operational risk management in banks can be understood from the fact that one of the most important regulations aimed at the banking sector, the Basel Accords, a series of plans to regulate the banking sectors around the world; has operational risk management in banks on top of its agenda. Operational risk management in banks is one of the four areas identified at the second of these conferences, Basel II, the others being regulations concerning capital allocation, disclosure requirements and regulatory arbitrage.


Operational risk management in banks according to Basel

The Basel Accord takes a very comprehensive view of operational risk. It describes operational risk as loss that can occur from a variety of reasons, all of which are linked to the core banking structure. The Basel Accord sees risk as something that can happen from any of the operations concerning the bank. It requires operational risk management in banks to take all of these factors into consideration before arriving at solutions to prevent loss from these operations.


From the Basel Accords perspective, operational risk management in banks need to take into consideration the following events and identify all of these in identifying frauds and losses:

Internal fraud

Any fraud from any of the bank’s employees, insider trading, false reporting of profits are among the kinds of activities listed by Basel as being part of internal fraud.

External fraud

External fraud can happen from a number of sources. It could be robbery, burglary, hacking of security systems or check bounce. These are part of operational risk management in banks.

Employee fraud

Employees can be a major source of bank fraud. Steps towards mitigating actions from employees that endanger the functioning of the bank constitute a major step in operational risk management in banks.

Other kinds of frauds

Operational risk management in banks has to also take other sources of fraud. These can be from wrong entry of accounts, improper documentation for credit or loans, etc.

Ways of applying operational risk management in banks

Basel II has suggested methods which banks can take to apply risk management in their sector. These include:


Finance chiefs say bitcoin is ‘real’ but many think it’s in a bubble right now

Bitcoin is a “real” asset but it’s currently in a bubble, according to a CNBC survey of global finance bosses, with many calling it a “fraud.”

Ninety-seven chief financial officers (CFOs) on CNBC’s Global CFO Council were asked their view on bitcoin. Out of the 43 that responded, 27.9 percent said the cryptocurrency is “real but in a bubble.” Another 14 percent said that bitcoin is “real and still going higher.”

Meanwhile, 27.9 percent said bitcoin is a “fraud” while 30.2 percent of CFOs said they don’t know enough about the digital currency to have an opinion.

Of the finance chiefs based in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, 41.7 percent said that bitcoin is “real but in a bubble” compared to 20.8 percent in the U.S. and 28.6 percent in the Asia Pacific region. A third of respondents in EMEA also think bitcoin is a “fraud,” higher than their counterparts in the other regions across the world.

Karim Hajjar, chief financial officer of Solvay, and a member of CNBC’s Global CFO Council said, that the “jury is out on bitcoin.”

“It’s not a currency we are using for a multibillion dollar business … it’s something we are curious about, we are very very open to, but we haven’t found a way to really integrate it into our business,” Hajjar told CNBC in a TV interview on Tuesday.

“If a hypothetical customer comes to us and says, ‘I have a bunch of bitcoins to buy your products,’ first thing I’ll probably want to do is not turn them away but probably find a way to sell those bitcoins before I commit to the order and then really make sure we meet the needs of that customer.”

Bitcoin hit an all-time high on Sunday, breaking above the $8,000 mark for the first time ever. The price of the cryptocurrency is up over 700 percent this year.

The rapid rise of bitcoin has sparked fierce debate over the the future of the digital currency. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon famously called bitcoin a “fraud” and said anyone who buys it is stupid. UBS meanwhile called bitcoin a “speculative bubble.” And regulators have also been keeping an eye on bitcoin with some clamping down on trading. China recently banned cryptocurrency exchanges.

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HDFC Bank offers virtual accounts to PayZapp users

HDFC Bank will soon start offering digital savings bank accounts, credit cards and instant loans to users of its PayZapp app. The bank also plans to enrol additional merchants for acceptance of electronic payments to increase its present network of 1.2 million shops to 5 million in 18 months.

PayZapp, which was launched two years ago, has more than 14 million users. Over half of these are young users who do not have a bank account. “We are marrying a lot of our strategies by integrating changes that are happening in the market into our own business activity.

HDFC Bank is already a scale player in cards and loan assets. We will use our digital back-end strengths in these businesses to bring more scale into PayZapp,” said Parag Rao, group head for marketing, credit cards and payments business.

According to Rao, PayZapp has the potential to become a 50-million customer franchise with capability for instantly opening accounts and offering credit cards and loans.

HDFC Bank is already the market leader in credit cards with over 1 crore in circulation. It currently issues 2.5 lakh new cards every month. The PayZapp platform is expected to take this to 5 lakh a month. The offered savings account will be a completely digital product and the credit cards virtual, with an option to receive the plastic version. The instant loans would be powered by fintech (financial technology). “Fintech lending is the new kid on the block, which has brought a different way of  sourcing customers for loans,” said Rao.

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