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Roei Ganzarski is the CEO of Alitheon, the developer of FeaturePrint®, an optical AI technology helping companies avoid counterfeits.

What do collectible sports cards and the medicine in your cabinet have in common? There’s a chance they are fake or not worth the price tag attached to them—at least that’s the reality as industries grapple with the estimated $2.3 trillion counterfeit market.

In relatively benign cases, counterfeits can lead to financial loss. In worst-case scenarios, they can cause health or safety concerns and even death, when parts, pharmaceuticals or goods are illegitimate and misidentified.

Why Additive Measures Aren’t Enough

The problem of authenticating goods traditionally required additives that call for manufacturing overhauls, such as QR codes, hologram stickers, barcodes or radio-frequency identification and near-field communication tags, serving as a Band-Aid for deeper issues. Having led hardware and software companies, including a machine vision solutions provider, I believe every industry—from aerospace and defense, to precious metals and pharmaceuticals, to automotive and collectibles—needs a source of irrefutable truth to ensure items bought and used by employees and consumers are legitimate, safe and correct.

One thing is for sure: Companies can no longer rely on additives to help solve these issues no more than people can truly rely on a “smart” badge for identification. If you have ever lost your badge, perhaps allowed someone else to use it or had its RFID spoofed, you know they are not reliable as a means of identification.

The path toward a future without fakes and with reliable product identification will need to rely on advanced technology using the items themselves as their own identifier. Think what fingerprints are for humans.

High Stakes In Healthcare

Pharmaceuticals and medical devices are seeing an unprecedented and insidious rise in counterfeit drugs and packaging. The explosive growth of internet pharmacies and generic drugs increases access and reduced costs for many medicines. Unfortunately, these same forces increase the risk of counterfeits, poorly formulated pills or even ones laced with substances such as fentanyl, endangering patients’ lives.

Now with its looming Drug Supply Chain Security Act, going into effect in November 2023, the FDA will require companies across the medical and pharmaceutical industry to eliminate fakes and increase the safe use and identification of drugs. The drive to lower medical costs can lead to the tempting purchase of cheaper medical equipment from less secure sources, resulting in frightening cases such as counterfeit and expired surgical devices or counterfeit HIV drugs, putting patients at risk of serious infections or worse.

Pharma and medical device manufacturers must proactively safeguard their products in a clear and irrefutable way, to protect the lives of their patients. Clear traceability from the production line all the way to the patient must be achieved.

Collectibles And The Third-Party Challenge

Collectibles is another industry rife with bad actors taking advantage of multimillion-dollar price tags for record-setting home run baseballs, decades-old baseball cards or the rare coin. Unfortunately in this space, no governing body exists to regulate fraudulent sales or prevent somebody from replicating a card, getting it certified by a grading company and selling it at an auction. They could even buy an authentic item then “return” it with a counterfeit or lower-grade substitute.

Moreover, with e-commerce becoming easier and more accessible than ever, illegal dealers often push fraudulent items onto collectors directly via third-party platforms. Moving forward, third-party platforms, whether online or physical auction houses and dealers, must perform due diligence and verify that items are what they claim to be. The “neutral third party” or “I am just the marketplace” excuses are no longer acceptable.

Mapping Out Your Strategy

When integrating next-gen technologies to fight counterfeits or track and trace items, map out your needs. First, identify the last point in your value chain where you can be confident the item at hand is in fact what you think it is—whether the beginning or end of your production line, your distribution center or elsewhere. There is no right or wrong answer, but this uncovers potential areas worthy of improvement.

Next, identify potential risk areas between that last point and your end consumer. It might be loading docks, warehouses or retailers—locations that need irrefutable identification capabilities to help you know if your real, legal and correct item made it through or not. If all goes well, you will have a clear trace of your products. If at any point something raises a red flag, you will immediately know in what section of your chain the issue occurred.

For equipment, consider who will be doing the checks and the environment in which they will be done. Will it be one of your employees you can train or a random person assigned to the task that needs to be able to quickly learn the process? Will they be doing this in a controlled warehouse with well-positioned stations, or will this be done “on the move,” requiring something more mobile? Understanding this ahead of time will make planning much easier.

Finally, if you already use additives on your products or packaging, you can easily leave them in place. In fact, you could authenticate that the additives are real and yours. While redundant, this adds yet another layer of security. Alternatively, you can stop using additives altogether, reducing your costs, environmental impact, design impact and more. After all, if I can enter the building with my fingerprint, do I really need to carry around a badge, too?

Epilogue

In recent years, it has become ever more evident that bad actors abound, are ever more brazen and use the most sophisticated tools. Globally, and across widely different industries, the common denominator is that so many products are susceptible to counterfeits, gray market and illegal activity with potentially severe consequences.

To get in front of the plethora of counterfeits circulating the globe, companies need to adapt and apply the next generation of technologies, which not only uniquely identifies any individual item, but also helps manage the vast amounts of data and points of differentiation that it takes to authenticate, track and trace products.


Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?


Mon, 12 Dec 2022 22:45:00 -0600 Roei Ganzarski en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2022/12/13/stopping-counterfeits-requires-a-new-approach-to-authentication/
Killexams : The value of a Certified Financial Planner

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Killexams : Ask an advisor: Does my client need a financial planner or a marriage counselor?

Welcome back to "Ask an Advisor," the advice column where real financial professionals answer questions from real people. The Topic can be anything in the world of finance, from retirement to taxes to wealth management — or even advice on advising.

This week, we're taking a different approach: Our question comes not from an investor, but from an advisor. A certified financial planner in Virginia tells us he's been advising a married couple to the best of his abilities, but he's beginning to wonder if their problems go beyond his purview. One spouse is handling money in a way that not only violates their financial plan, but raises questions of marital trust and honesty.

As various advisors responded, one term that came up again and again was "financial infidelity." While definitions vary, the term generally refers to a situation where someone lies or keeps secrets about money from their significant other. It's a behavior that can break relationships — according to one recent study, 42% of U.S. adults think financial infidelity is just as bad as "physical cheating."

So is this problem just about money, or something deeper? Here's what our CFP in Virginia wrote:

Dear advisors,

When do you draw the line between a couple's need for an advisor or a marriage counselor?

The example I am encountering is that I have been working with a household where we all agree on the action items of a plan, but then one spouse continues to go off and do their own thing with the household finances. I'm talking about taking out six figures in personal loans in order to place options trades to make up losses from prior options trades that didn't pan out. Our meetings started as creating a unified vision and set of goals for the family and implementing action items. Over time it has turned into navigating uncomfortable conversations when the other spouse and I find out about the personal loans at the same time. We are having more conversations about marital trust than about their finances and I am beginning to think we are at that point. I welcome your thoughts.

—Not a financial therapist

And here's what advisors wrote back:

Wed, 07 Dec 2022 14:15:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.financial-planning.com/list/ask-an-advisor-does-my-client-need-a-financial-planner-or-a-marriage-counselor
Killexams : The importance of the PCI Forensic Investigator Certification

In a recent interview, Kevin Pierce, COO, of VikingCloud discussed the importance of the PCI Forensic Investigator Certification and what it means for the cybersecurity industry.

As one of the largest providers of compliance and security solutions, and with many of the top global acquirers and payment service providers as clients, VikingCloud is transforming the way organisations approach cyber defence.

We are focused on delivering integrated compliance and security solutions and work with many of the world’s leading brands. Our customer-centric SaaS solutions enable cutting-edge ways to secure network infrastructures, maintain compliance, and provide assurance testing and assessments.

Our platforms, currently used by more than five million businesses, provide real-time intelligence access to an organisation’s cyber risk landscape and enables the VikingCloud team to partner with organisations of all sizes to ensure proactive management of ever-changing cyber threats and business risks.

What’s more, we are also the world’s largest Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) company, and we were recently certified as a PCI Forensic Investigator (PFI) Company for North America by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC)

  • What is the PCI Forensic Investigator Certification?

The PCI SSC leads a global, cross-industry effort to increase payment security by providing industry-driven, flexible, and effective data security standards and programs that help businesses detect, mitigate, and prevent cyberattacks and breaches.

PCI Forensic Investigators are highly trained independent incident response experts certified by the PCI SSC and approved by the card brands to perform forensics investigations on security incidents that impact Cardholder Data Environments (CDEs).

Certified businesses can perform investigations within the financial industry using proven investigative methodologies and tools.

Thanks to our recent PFI certification, VikingCloud is now certified by the PCI SSC to perform investigations for any breach size, including those larger than 30,000 breached records.

VikingCloud is also authorised to review the outcome of a customer data breach investigation.

Our investigators work to determine the existence of a payment cardholder data breach, the facts and circumstances of when and how it may have occurred and ensure there is no longer an active breach.

  • How important is it for businesses to have the PCI Forensic Investigator Certification?

It’s vital any PFI can be trusted to get to the root of a breach, stop it, and provide valuable insights that will prevent it happening again.

As a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions for a broad range of organisations, we want to ensure we offer our customers every possible solution to enhance their cybersecurity protocols, and certification gives our customers peace of mind that our process and methodology around forensic investigations go above and beyond the minimal requirements.

  • What does this certification mean for those in the Global Banking and Finance industry?

The PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standard) Certification is an industry standard for securing credit card use. Therefore, it’s essential for the financial sector because it involves and aligns all those involved in the transit of banking data. In other words, any company that acts as an intermediary between consumers and their purchases.

PFIs help determine the occurrence of a cardholder data compromise, and when and how it may have occurred. Investigators must work for a Qualified Security Assessor company that provides a dedicated forensic investigation practice. They perform investigations within the financial industry using proven investigative methodologies and tools. They also provide relationships with law enforcement to support stakeholders with any resulting criminal investigations.

  • And what does it mean for businesses that deal with consumer transactions?

A PCI Forensic Investigation can stop a breach in its tracks to prevent further financial damage while getting the required investigation completed. And the scale of financial damage cannot be underestimated.

Global data breaches and the costs of attacks for companies of all sizes are on the rise.

In 2021, large organizations of 10,000-25,000 employees hit by a data breach paid an average cost of $5.52 million per attack. Smaller businesses with less than 500 employees have also seen an increase from $2.35 million per attack in 2020 to $2.98 million in 2021, a 26.8% increase.

Investigations not only uncover the information required to prevent future breaches, they also demonstrate the transparency essential to maintaining a business’ reputation.

  • As businesses become more and more digital, what can we expect in terms of security and payments when it comes to e-tailing and protecting customers?

Between 2020 and 2021, ecommerce fraud rose 18% from $17.5 billion to $20 billion, and fraudsters’ methods will continue to grow in sophistication and diversity in the years ahead.

Tokenization – replacing sensitive data with non-sensitive data with tokens that act as a placeholder for the original data – will become an increasingly invaluable tool for the Payment Card Industry, as it works with all types of data, uses fewer resources, and has a lower chance of failure compared to other encryption methods. Tokenization is also compatible with legacy systems, unlocking new use cases all the time.

Digital identity verification will also become more widespread and trusted. Two Factor-Authentication (2FA) introduces a second level of verification and is one of the most effective ways to protect against password breaches. Although adoption rates are low at the moment, 2FA has already become more accepted over the last two years, with 79% of people having used it in 2021 compared to 53% in 2019.

Furthermore, an increasing number of platforms are switching to 3D Secure 2.0, a new and upgraded version of the protocol that is not just more user-friendly but safer thanks to biometric authentication and a host of other security mechanisms.

  • What are the most critical obstacles facing the cybersecurity world at the moment?

The stark truth is that hackers are getting better at what they do, which means e-tailers in particular need an expert partner to stay updated with security issues and provide around-the-clock protection.

Many businesses pivoted during the pandemic, to replacing face-to-face transactions with online trading, a practice that continues post-pandemic and presents a particular security challenge.

Hackers usually target e-commerce store admins, users and employees using a range of malicious techniques, such as phishing, spamming and malware.

  • Do you feel cybersecurity regulations need changing/updating to reflect the rise of digital working?

Digital technologies are key to future business prosperity, but we must also make sure they are developed responsibly to protect businesses and their customers.

Smart devices are already under renewed scrutiny. In the UK for example, makers of smart devices such as phones, speaker, and doorbells now need to tell customers upfront how long a product will be guaranteed to receive vital security updates. Such regulation is important as just one vulnerable device can put a user’s network at risk.

More cybersecurity regulations will need to be reviewed or introduced as more businesses and consumers inhabit the metaverse. Consumers are arguably most at risk because, unlike in the real world, which has consumer-empowering data privacy acts, like GDPR and CCPA, there is currently no equivalent in the metaverse.

The importance of the PCI Forensic Investigator Certification 4About Kevin Pierce:

As VikingCloud’s Chief Operating Officer, Kevin leads global product development, service delivery, QSA consulting, and managed security testing. Viking Cloud is a 900+ employee, global cybersecurity organization that is transforming how customers approach cyber-defense through managed security, testing, and assessment services. With almost 30 years in the technology space, Kevin has designed and built highly scalable cloud systems for secure data exchange, supply chain optimization, and cybersecurity in multiple industries. He also co-founded two technology companies that each grew to hundred-million-dollar enterprises prior to his exit. Kevin’s current focus is on leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver next-generation cybersecurity solutions across industry verticals. Kevin holds a master’s degree in Business Administration, studied in various Executive Programs at Oxford University and Harvard University, and is a Six Sigma Blackbelt.

Mon, 05 Dec 2022 07:12:00 -0600 en-GB text/html https://www.globalbankingandfinance.com/the-importance-of-the-pci-forensic-investigator-certification/
Killexams : The only way is up: How this financial group achieves exponential growth No result found, try new keyword!Johlfs Financial Group is on a mission to be one of the premier financial and investment planning practices in Colorado. Wed, 30 Nov 2022 10:00:00 -0600 text/html https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2022/12/01/how-this-financial-group-achieves-growth.html Killexams : Inovatec obtains ISO 27001 information security certification

Inovatec Systems now has some proof about its platform security.

The provider of cloud-based software solutions for finance companies and other lenders announced on Tuesday that that its platform has obtained ISO 27001 certification of its information management system, ensuring that all data privacy and information security activities comply with strict ISO 27001 mandates.

The certification was conducted by Schellman Compliance, an ANAB and UKAS accredited certification body based in the United States.

Inovatec explained ISO 27001 is a globally recognized standard for the establishment and certification of an information security management system (ISMS). The standard specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, operating, monitoring, reviewing, maintaining and improving a documented ISMS within the context of the organization’s overall business risks. It sets forth a risk-based approach that focuses on adequate and proportionate security controls that protect information assets and give confidence to interested parties.

“Achieving ISO 27001 certification involves a rigorous methodology that includes the thorough testing and validation of all the technologies and workflows associated with the management, transport, and storage of sensitive personal information and financial data,” Inovatec chief operating officer Danijela Kovacevic said in a news release. “Our clients can be confident that Inovatec’s information security practices are well-suited to satisfying their sophisticated needs.”

Inovatec’s cloud-based technology can enable finance companies and other lenders to streamline processing, decisioning and management with intelligent automation that can be configured to meet users’ needs.

The company’s systems can allow clients to adjust workflows as needed, helping them to grow their business in a competitive industry, without compromising on data security, privacy, and regulatory compliance.

For information on Inovatec’s integrated loan origination system, loan management system, and customer portal solution, visit www.inovatec.com.

Tue, 06 Dec 2022 07:54:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.autoremarketing.com/autofinjournal/inovatec-obtains-iso-27001-information-security-certification
Killexams : UK financial-sector regulation: Just don’t call it Big Bang 2.0

If a regulation is introduced and then its punishments are hardly ever used, does that mean it has or hasn’t worked? You could look at it both ways.

One view – a regulator’s, perhaps – would be that the new rules scared off the bad behaviour so effectively that no one dared misbehave. This we might call the ‘Draghi bazooka’ approach to regulation – a preventative promise to do ‘whatever it takes’ and never actually have to pull the trigger.

On the other hand, one could argue that rarely having held anyone to account under new rules proves only that someone is not very good at enforcing the rules – or that they are unfathomably difficult to enforce in all but the clearest cases.

And so here is UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt writing last week about a proposed review of the UK’s Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR), which was originally put in place in 2016 to focus the minds of senior financial services professionals on the potential risks of their activities rather more than they had been in the run-up to the financial crisis nearly 10 years earlier: “The government will launch a Call for Evidence to look at the legislative framework of the regime, and the FCA [Financial Conduct Authority] and PRA [Prudential Regulation Authority] will review the regulatory framework. The government's Call for Evidence will be an information gathering exercise to garner views on the regime's effectiveness, scope and proportionality, and to seek views on potential improvements and reforms.”

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UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt. Photo: Reuters

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt. Photo: Reuters

This doesn’t, admittedly, tell us very much, but the assumption is that the intention is to weaken the regime at some point. The PRA and the FCA have both expressed their confidence in it over the years, arguing that regulated firms report that it has improved individuals’ behaviour and that the low number of enforcement actions under the SM&CR is merely confirmation of how well it is working.

Well, maybe. But is it really proportionate to threaten senior managers with potential custodial sentences for getting something wrong? After all, plenty of other laws exist to deal with criminal dishonesty and wrongdoing. The SM&CR is surely not there to deal with that, but something else.

But what? Interfering with a whistleblowing investigation, perhaps?

When Barclays then chief executive Jes Staley fell foul of regulators for such an incident in 2018, many were surprised that he suffered little more than a £642,430 slap on the wrist after the regulators said he failed to act with due skill, care and diligence but said he had not breached the requirement to act with integrity.

The bank itself was fined $15 million for the same affair by the New York state department for financial services a few months later.

Staley eventually left the bank in 2021 after another regulatory investigation found that he had not accurately described to the bank his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein – a finding he said he would contest, which was the formal reason for him leaving his post.

What critics of the SM&CR argue is that far from making the industry safer and decision-making better, the regime has let boards and other senior management off the hook

But there is a bigger point here too, which is that the SM&CR was intended to hold senior managers accountable for what happened at their firm, even if it was the fault of others, rather than acting as a new way to monitor their own behaviour. But the examples so far have tended to be focused on an individual’s own behaviour.

Is that because it has in practice proved difficult to show that someone more senior could have and should have been aware of something or prevented some action? Or is it simply that the regime is doing its job?

What critics of the SM&CR also argue is that far from making the industry safer and decision-making better, the regime has let boards and other senior management off the hook.

In the past, they argue, if a risk call or a business decision was utterly egregious, boards would get rid of CEOs and executive committees would get rid of senior managers. Now, the theory goes, this kind of decision is increasingly outsourced to regulators. If they don’t flex their muscles then no one else will, and if they only do it occasionally or inconsistently, then all that has been introduced is a new level of arbitrariness.

And anecdotally, the certification process is also frustratingly clunky: even senior banking staff working in compliance itself can take more than a year to receive approval.

Gripes of that sort may hold more water than another regular criticism of the regime, that it so terrifies potential top talent that it stifles the market for senior executives, and particularly when it comes to US imports.

Some who have been close to the top of banking in the UK in the past dismiss that kind of talk, argue that all regulators can be somewhat capricious and say that bankers are well used to dealing with that.

Here’s what one former very senior executive says: “When you put yourself into one of these big jobs, you know it’s a political thing and that you are in an industry that is by its very definition political. You fully accept that arbitrary things can happen to you. If you are sitting in the US, there are a million reasons why you might or might not take up a senior UK role and the SM&CR will not make your call.”

In the works

The proposed changes to the SM&CR are in the news because they are part of something bigger, much bigger – although also not big enough to be called a 'Big Bang'. On December 9, Hunt went all the way to Scotland to announce the so-called “Edinburgh Reforms”.

But for all the energy that the government is trying to inject into the package of about 30 measures that Hunt announced – many of which will be a long time in the making as they will require consultations and secondary legislation and other such tiresome things – these are proposals that have been in the works for some time.

Back in January 2021, then-chancellor Rishi Sunak was full of excitement about the prospect of reforms to the way that the UK’s financial services sector worked, some of which – it is claimed – have been made possible by the country’s exit from the European Union.

But Sunak struggles to do hyperbole, telling CityAM back then that the package was “a whole range of things we can do slightly differently”.

That’s hardly a man leading a revolution.

And that is surely a good thing. Back then, Sunak sounded pretty relaxed about what exactly this transformative package should be called, “whether you want to call it Big Bang 2.0 or whatever”.

Erase that memory right now. In the wake of the short-lived dream team of prime minister Liz Truss and this year’s chancellor 3.0 Kwasi Kwarteng, we must call it anything other than Big Bang two-point-oh. That kind of talk is so September 2022.

The Edinburgh Reforms please – 'Edinburgh' because it’s not about London (although it mostly is), and 'Reforms' because they make things better and sound less like blowing things up. Less levelling, more levelling-up.

For TS Eliot, the natural contrast to a bang was a whimper, and perhaps that is what Hunt secretly fears too. Sunak might have had it right the first time around. “A whole range of things we can do slightly differently” is a pretty fair summary of what he’s putting forward.

That is partly out of necessity – yes, many of the measures have been knocking around in one guise or another for years, but the new government has not had enough time to construct the kind of coherent full-blown reform package that it is trying to sell this as.

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Change is afoot in the City of London – but doubtless not as much as hoped and not as smoothly. Photo: Reuters

Change is afoot in the City of London – but doubtless not as much as hoped and not as smoothly. Photo: Reuters

And for that reason, this is more a case of dressing up an assortment of smaller moves into one long list to try to get more bang (sorry) out of the announcement.

It is a tricky balance to strike. On the one hand, Sunak, Hunt & co want to make what they are doing sound consequential. On the other, they don’t want to make it sound too consequential for fear of accusations of letting the City run riot in a bonfire of regulations.

So, please pay attention to all this exciting stuff we’re doing, but also don’t forget that things like scrapping the cap on bankers’ bonuses are dull and not worth complaining about.

Tweaks to the fence

None of which is to say that the Edinburgh Reforms – or much of them – don’t make any sense at all.

Take proposed tweaks to the ring fence, which is the point at which the world of the global financial crisis meets the world of high-street banking. Brought in to protect UK retail banking from overseas adventures or the wild west of the financial markets, it was a response to the crisis that sought to make risky businesses able to fail without bringing down retail banks that would then need to be bailed out.

But a very tight ring fence carries unintended consequences with it too. If you are a business operating inside the ring fence, your capacity to do things is constrained and so the danger is that you end up loading up on a few different flavours of the same kind of risk. Your mortgage exposure might be to the same folk as your unsecured credit exposure, for instance. You are probably also lending to the property developers. And then when you consider that all your competitors are in much the same boat, the risk is of exposures that can quickly become concentrated.

It is easy to see a reasonable argument for a ring fence of some sort – if you are a global bank that does business in the UK, there needs to be a mechanism to ensure that your UK retail business cannot be infected by what you are doing outside the UK. Equally, it seems sensible to make sure that retail banking can’t be sucked underwater by a bank’s wholesale business.

With a government in sore need of some defining policy to help it move away from the chaos of recent months, another package is being deployed in the cause of some Great British renaissance

Both of these seem justified by the explicit ensure of retail deposits offered by the government – and the implicit support that goes much further than that.

But it has also long been recognised that there might need to be a discussion around precisely how the ring fence is defined. The measure only came into force in 2019, even though it had been enacted through legislation in 2013. And built into the legislation was a requirement to review the ring-fence regime after two years.

That independent review (Keith Skeoch's Independent Panel on Ring-fencing and Proprietary Trading) reported its findings in March 2022, recommending among other things that the ring fence be changed to focus more on the biggest and most complex banks, and exempting those that can be easily wound up as the resolution regime becomes embedded in the sector.

The Edinburgh Reforms propose taking banks that do not have large investment banking businesses out of the regime altogether, something that will no doubt delight the challenger banks that have long complained of being subject to the same onerous responsibilities as their much bigger cousins.

A proposed move to also lift the applicable deposit base from £25 billion to £35 billion was not in the Skeoch review but would be useful to foreign banks in the UK.

More freedom to do things like hedge inflation and mortality risk is also on the cards. Inflation hedging is needed for project finance, among other things, and the review noted that the fact that ring-fenced banks are not allowed to enter into these swaps means that they have to create a more complex transaction that involves their non-ring-fenced entity.

Likewise, while their inability to hedge mortality risk might not entirely explain ring-fenced banks’ reluctance to offer lifetime mortgages, it is pretty hard to offer the product without it.

Controversial reforms

In the Edinburgh Reforms, two measures in particular have attracted more controversy than most. One was the government’s proposed ability to call in regulatory decisions, something that Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has made clear he dislikes and which the government has now decided to drop – for the moment. It is still expected to attempt to introduce it later.

The other is the broader principle of using the country’s regulatory regime to bolster the UK’s competitiveness versus international competitor finance hubs. The UK’s regulators have long had secondary competition objectives, but these have concerned themselves with ensuring that regulation does not have the effect of stifling competition within the UK market itself.

In letters to the FCA and the PRA, Hunt has now issued new recommendations to both institutions setting out new secondary objectives around the competitiveness of the UK as a global financial centre.

In Hunt’s view, that means helping the government get through its mammoth Future Regulatory Framework Review – the process by which the UK is deciding what to keep and what to ditch of the European Union regulatory regime. It also means ensuring that the country is attractive to international financial services firms. And it means supporting innovation and new technology, including crypto technologies.

That is a lot. But the newish head of the FCA, Nikhil Rathi, already sounds on message. In a Mansion House speech in late October, he said that the organization would “embrace” a secondary objective of promoting growth and competitiveness.

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Nikhil Rathi, FCA

Nikhil Rathi, FCA

Is he right to do so? Is the government straying too far? There are plenty of voices arguing that for regulations to be deployed in support of an objective for international competitiveness will inevitably lead to some regulatory race to the bottom. How could it not?

Such concerns are understandable, but perhaps overdone. To think that competitive advantage in regulatory areas must by definition mean being riskier is to misunderstand what financial market participants find appealing about regulation and what they do not.

Firstly, the strictness of regulation is not what holds financial centres back, but rather its cumbersome or inefficient implementation and its unpredictability. After all, the UK’s legal traditions have given its financial markets good standing around the world and have served as a template for many other legal jurisdictions. That standing has not come about from some perception of UK law as lax. Quite the opposite.

The Truss/Kwarteng episode provides some evidence for this. The moment that the perception of the UK as a rational and predictable actor in fundamental areas of economic policy was lost, was the moment when the biggest damage was done.

But even with regulators acting to help promote the UK as a financial centre, can the Edinburgh Reforms package really make the difference? Talking to London-based bankers, one gets the sense of some hope around long-running aspects such as the Wholesale Markets Review, which aims to tackle frustrations stemming from the European Union’s Markets in Financial Instrument Directive (Mifid II), but still more broadly a collective shrug of the shoulders.

Financial sector reform packages are ultimately less about reform than they are about serving the ends of the administration in power at the time. In the wake of the global financial crisis, it suited politicians to construct a package that went some way to reflect public anger at an industry that taxpayers had been forced to bail out. In the wake of Brexit – and with a government in sore need of some defining policy to help it move away from the chaos of recent months, while elections loom – another package is being deployed in the cause of some Great British renaissance.

The reality is obviously going to fall short of that – one does not need to be a rabid Remainer to observe that for the financial services sector nothing will replace the pre-Brexit relationship with the European Union. But seeing Hunt and Sunak cheerleading for the UK in financial services does mean something. It is a sign of intent, and an acknowledgement that this industry is something that the country should care about, in spite of 2008.

Will anything change? Yes, but doubtless not as much as hoped and not as smoothly. The announcement in Edinburgh may be the last part of this process that looks coordinated.

Mon, 12 Dec 2022 22:24:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.euromoney.com/article/2b0cz2m3c3lzq3kwyfm68/opinion/uk-financial-sector-regulation-just-dont-call-it-big-bang-2-0
Killexams : Segmented approach to promote women entrepreneurship

By Preethi Rao

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: There are a number of recognizable patterns in women’s business ownership that need to be considered in designing development interventions. Firstly, women are less likely to own formal businesses compared to men. In India specifically, they are more likely to own an informal micro-enterprise. Women-led businesses contribute to only around three per cent of the total industrial output at present. Secondly, women-led businesses are typically in consumer-oriented sectors that are less capital-intensive such as textile, apparel, tobacco and retail. These industries are characterized by low barriers to entry, as well as lower productivity, as compared to industries with high male concentration. Thirdly, women-led businesses employ fewer people compared to businesses owned by men.

Also Read: ICICI Lombard announces ‘bancassurance’ tie-up with AU Small Finance Bank

According to the Sixth Economic Census, over 83 per cent of women-run establishments function as sole proprietorship, without any hired workers. Women-led businesses are characterized by subsistent, home-based, conventional businesses accounting for over 80 per cent of enterprises, as opposed to men-led businesses (40 per cent). There are also intrinsic differences in the type of enterprises that women own and control. A study conducted by the British Council finds that less than nine per cent of for-profit companies in India are led by women, while they contribute to over 24 per cent of social enterprises in the country.

Given the multi-faceted nature of women-led businesses, a segmented approach is warranted in promoting and supporting them. Segmentation allows for concentration and effective utilisation of resources. Women-led enterprises can be segmented or grouped according to the type and sectors, as mentioned above, or according to the motivation levels of the entrepreneurs. Creating ‘personas’ of such enterprises and entrepreneurs allows supply side institutions to capture the commonalities in needs and behaviors, and thus customise the support extended to them as a cohort.

In some of the studies undertaken by LEAD at Krea University, we have created personas of women entrepreneurs running home-based businesses including Millennial Entrepreneur (young, educated, independent, risk tolerant), Striving Entrepreneur (middle-aged, makes own decisions, not risk-taking, mature business), and Latent Entrepreneur (long-running business, aspirational, risk-taking). Personas were also based on their level of income (subsistent, conventional, steadfast and opportunity/aspirational). The personas either depict the readiness or business acumen of women entrepreneurs or their ability to scale their businesses. 

As supply-side actors, investors, philanthropists or the government can extend support according to such readiness or aspiration, enabling utilization of resources to create the highest impact. For instance, mature businesses at the micro level will need connections to networks and incubation programs to graduate to being small or medium enterprises, while entrepreneurs who are subsistent or conventional are more likely to appreciate subsidies or schemes aimed to enable a stable flow of income for their families. The level and type of support required varies considerably across segments. Subsistent or striving entrepreneurs are tackling normative barriers which requires a change in attitudes and patriarchal behaviors, best addressed by NGOs and community-based organizations. Whereas, growth-oriented enterprises will require support in accessing finance and linking to markets which can be catered to by the private sector.

Segmentation can also help recognize early adopters of innovations or technology, who can then act as a role model for other women entrepreneurs to be onboarded to newer ways of running businesses. Therefore, there is a need to recognize the variability in women-led businesses and to use a segmented approach to cater to their needs.

Preethi Rao is Associate Director at Krea University’s research centre LEAD. Views Expressed are the author’s own.

The second edition of the ScaleUp Summit by the Financial Express is here. Register now.

Mon, 05 Dec 2022 23:11:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/sme/msme-eodb-segmented-approach-to-promote-women-entrepreneurship/2902817/
Killexams : Jeremy Hunt insists City reforms do not ‘unlearn the lessons’ of 2008 financial crisis – as it happened No result found, try new keyword!Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has unveiled a package of City policy changes on Friday that rows back on regulations to, he hopes, boost competition and growth. Fri, 09 Dec 2022 01:55:00 -0600 text/html https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/other/jeremy-hunt-insists-city-reforms-do-not-unlearn-the-lessons-of-2008-financial-crisis-business-live/ar-AA155e1d Killexams : Our View: Take advantage of available grants and financial services as deadlines for government assistance programs approach

The past two years have been filled with much strife and uncertainty. Economies around the world came to a near standstill and hundreds of thousands experienced job loss as industries slowed, businesses shuttered and the world was forced to find new ways to connect.

But despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges, not all was doom and gloom. Many will denigrate the fact that millions in pandemic assistance funds flowed through the government to help our families and businesses make it through the tough times.

But no matter your views on pandemic assistance funds, the help was badly needed and the support it provided can still be seen today.

The governor’s office announced Monday that applications Prugråman Pinilan grants for child care programs, providers, nonprofit organizations and businesses will be accepted through Dec. 30.

This means sports camps, dance studios and child care providers, including local private schools that serve children between the ages of 5 and 13, still can apply for up to $100,000 to cover rent, utility payments, supplies and even facilities maintenance.

“Our Prugråman Pinilan initiatives provide relief to working families, support for local businesses, and are building a healthy and prosperous future for Guam,” Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio stated in a news release.

This additional support not only helps keep kids safe and occupied with after school activities, it helps provide more jobs for qualified child care providers — a critical factor when we consider the new professionals who recently completed the Guam Community College’s Childcare Bootcamp.

“By providing this training we recognize that childcare facilities can expand their capacities,” GCC President Mary Okada stated in a news release announcing another 16 certified individuals have joined the child care workforce. “This allows families to seek out jobs continuing to sustain their quality and way of life while providing support to our workforce and for our economy.”

Keep an eye out for the latest news on government assistance and vocational programs that will help you, your families and businesses thrive.

Tue, 22 Nov 2022 23:12:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.guampdn.com/opinion/our-view-take-advantage-of-available-grants-and-financial-services-as-deadlines-for-government-assistance/article_b66c2866-6a1d-11ed-97f9-d3db1318bf58.html
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