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News >> Financial Integrity

Financial services provider Citigroup has announced that it has reached a US$7 billion settlement with several United States authorities in relation to "[residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS)] and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) issued, structured or underwritten by [Citigroup] between 2003 and 2008".

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The European Commission (EC) has made available Facilitating tax compliance, Tackling non-compliance (3 July 2014), the text of a speech delivered by European Taxation Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta at the Intra-European Organisation of Tax Administrations' 18th general assembly in Belgrade.

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The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that Regions Bank has agreed to pay US$51 million to resolve parallel investigations by the SEC, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Alabama State Banking Department into three of its former senior managers. According to the SEC, Jeffrey Kuehr and Michael Willoughby have been fined US$70,000 each and legal action against Thomas Neely is continuing in relation to the three individuals' alleged intentional misclassification of loans, which then led Regions Bank's publicly-traded holding company to "[overstate] its income and earnings per share in its financial reporting".

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The United States Financial Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has announced that it has accepted (30 June 2014) Goldman Sachs Execution & Clearing's (GS) consent to the entry of findings by FINRA.

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced that Newcrest Mining (Newcrest) has admitted contraventions of the Corporations Act 2001 No. 50 (Cth) involving the selective disclosure of market-sensitive information to analysts and failing to disclose this information to the relevant bourse.

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The Full Federal Court of Australia has handed down its decision in ABN AMRO Bank NV v Bathurst Regional Council [2014] FCAFC 65 (6 June 2014). The court has dismissed an appeal by ABN Amro Bank, Standard & Poor's (S&P) and Local Government Financial Services, ruling that local councils are entitled to compensation after they were sold financial products with the safest AAA credit rating, which turned out to be highly risky investments.

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The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that former Rabobank derivatives trader Takayuki Yagami has pleaded guilty for "his role in a conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud by manipulating Rabobank's Yen London InterBank Offered Rate (LIBOR) submissions to benefit his trading positions".

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The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced that the US District Court has ordered (9 June 2014) New York City-based commodity pool operator SK Madison Commodities and its principals Michael Seward and Yan Kaziyev to pay restitution and fines totaling more than US$3.5 million and permanently banning them from the industry.

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The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that former Arthrocare Corporation chief executive officer Michael Baker and the company's former chief financial officer Michael Gluk have been found guilty of a series of fraud-related charges that resulted in financial losses of more than US$400 million.

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The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has launched FATCA Foreign Financial Institution (FFI) List Search and Download Tool, a website which hosts a searchable list of financial institutions registered, accepted and assigned a Global Intermediary Identification Number in accordance with Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) regulations.   

The Associated Press (AP) reports that 77,000 banks worldwide have agreed to share data with the United States Internal Revenue Service to assist it in offshore tax evasion investigations. The agreements will reportedly assist the IRS to enforce the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Deloitte Tax LLP representative Denise Hintzke reportedly stated that the strong uptake indicated that financial institutions "are taking [FATCA] pretty seriously and intend to comply".

AP: 77,000 foreign banks to share tax info with IRS (2 June 2014)
(Source: IRS; AP)

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