Financial institutions to publish bank-specific cyber security policies

Security guidelines to protect consumers and create a safer environment for online and e-payments products.

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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.

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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.

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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  http://snip.ly/qbja8

Hinduja Leyland Finance looks to revive IPO plan

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

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.

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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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Brexit: May to meet UK financial services chiefs

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

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.

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

A third of respondents in EMEA also think bitcoin is a “fraud,” higher than their counterparts in the other regions across the world.

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

Fintech lending is the new kid on the block, which has brought a different way of sourcing customers for loans.

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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Shockingly few Americans are putting money in a 401k

Both types of accounts share the same maximum contribution and investment options.

There’s a lot of hoopla surrounding President Trump’s new tax plan, which is reportedly considering capping pre-tax 401(k) contributions at $2,400 a year , a far cry from the current maximum contribution of $18,000 for 2017, and $18,500 for 2018 .

But the reality is this: Two-thirds of Americans aren’t even saving money in a 401(k) , let alone maxing out their contributions each year.

In fact, according to data from Vanguard, just 4% of people earning below $50,000 a year max out their 401(k) at the current limits, and 11% of people who make between $50,000 and $100,000 do. People making over $100,000 are the most likely to max out their 401(k), perhaps unsurprisingly, with 32% making the highest allowable contribution.In some versions of the rumored tax proposal, additional retirement savings would still be possible, but would be directed to a post-tax Roth 401(k) instead, reports Business Insider’s Lauren Lyons Cole .

Roth 401(k) contributions are deducted from your paycheck, just like traditional 401(k) contributions. Both types of accounts share the same maximum contribution and investment options. The only difference is when you pay taxes.

Saving in a traditional 401(k) is cheaper today because it allows you to postpone paying taxes until you begin taking withdrawals in retirement. That’s one reason financial professionals like the account so much – theoretically, people will put more money into the account if it takes less of their paycheck to do so.

And yet, only 41% of workers are saving in a 401(k) at the 79% of American companies that offer a plan to employees, Bloomberg reported earlier this year.

Roth 401(k) contributions are deducted from your paycheck as well, but the amount is funded with your take-home pay instead. Meaning, for every $1,000 you save for retirement, you’ll have to fork over $200 or so to the IRS $200, depending on your tax bracket .

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Crypto-Mania Grips Hong Kong as City Looks for Life Beyond Banks

Hong Kong’s government has been throwing resources at the technology.

In the mid-1990s, Johnson Leung embarked on a career in shipping. In the early 2000s, he moved to finance. And now, he runs a Hong Kong startup that aims to improve how container ships are booked using blockchain technology.

Many in Hong Kong hope the city can make a similar leap. The shipping and banking hub, which has struggled for years to nurture a domestic technology industry, is embracing the blockchain revolution as it looks for new sources of growth.

Skeptics say it’s a risky bet on an unproven technology — one with more than its fair share of hype and, in some cases, fraud. But a growing number of Hong Kong entrepreneurs and policy makers are convinced the online ledger system that underlies cryptocurrencies like bitcoin will eventually reshape everything from financial services to supply chains. They say the city’s laissez faire approach toward regulation, along with its expertise in finance and logistics, make it a natural hub for blockchain startups.

“I don’t see why Hong Kong can’t be a leader of blockchain technology,” said Leung, who co-founded 300cubits.tech after more than a decade in the financial industry that included stints as a research analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Jefferies Group LLC. “It’s so new that it’s not like any country has a huge advantage compared to us.”

Hong Kong’s government has been throwing resources at the technology. The city’s monetary authority is developing its own digital currency and is testing blockchains for trade finance, mortgage applications and e-check tracking. Hong Kong’s securities regulator has joined R3, a global consortium that develops blockchain technology for financial transactions, while a government-backed research institute has worked on a blockchain-based system for tracking property valuations, among other initiatives. Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., the city’s publicly-traded exchange monopoly, plans to start a blockchain platform for early-stage companies and their investors next year.

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