Henan officials pledge to release funds after China bank protest

Authorities in China’s Henan province say they will start releasing money to customers who have had their funds frozen by several rural banks. The announcement came just a day after a rare protest in Henan’s capital, Zhengzhou, turned violent. Payments will be made in batches from this Friday, local regulators say. The four banks that were the focus of the protests are believed to have frozen a total of 39bn yuan ($5.8bn; £4.9bn) of deposits. In a statement on Monday, the Henan Banking and Insurance Regulatory Bureau and the Henan Provincial Local Financial Supervision Bureau outlined the plans to make … Continue reading Henan officials pledge to release funds after China bank protest

Brazil bank CEO resigns over sexual harassment claims

The head of Brazilian state-run bank Caixa Economica Federal resigned Wednesday amid a sexual harassment investigation against him. The website Metrópoles reported Tuesday that prosecutors were investigating accusations by at least five staffers against Pedro Guimarães, who is a close ally of President Jair Bolsonaro. The case is sealed, according to Brazilian media. “I have to step away at this moment so I don’t weaken the collection of achievements that don’t belong to me personally” at Caixa, Guimarães said in a statement, adding he had Bolsonaro’s support at “every hour” he held the job. Caixa is a key bank for Brazil since … Continue reading Brazil bank CEO resigns over sexual harassment claims

Credit Suisse bank found guilty over money laundering charges

Credit Suisse has been found guilty and fined for involvement in money laundering related to a Bulgarian drugs ring. Switzerland’s criminal court found that the bank did not do enough to prevent members of the crime syndicate from profiting off the trafficking of cocaine in to Europe. It was fined around £1.7m and ordered to pay £15m to the Swiss government. The bank denies wrongdoing and said it would appeal against the ruling. A former Bulgarian tennis player, Elena Pampoulova-Bergomi, who worked at the bank for a period, was found guilty of money laundering by Switzerland’s highest criminal court and … Continue reading Credit Suisse bank found guilty over money laundering charges

US closes loophole for Russian debt payments

The US is cutting off another financial route for Russia to pay its international debts, a move that could push the country closer to default. The US Treasury Department said it would end a waiver that had allowed US bondholders to accept payments, tightening sanctions imposed over the war in Ukraine. Russia, which is rich from its oil and gas supplies, has the funds to pay. It has already signalled plans to contest any declaration of default. The country has almost $2 billion worth of payments that will be due up to the end of the year on its international … Continue reading US closes loophole for Russian debt payments

HSBC suspends banker over ‘nut job’ climate comments

HSBC has reportedly suspended a senior executive who accused central bankers and other officials of exaggerating the financial risks of climate change. Last week, Stuart Kirk, a leader in the bank’s responsible investing team, said: “There’s always some nut job telling me about the end of the world.” At the weekend, HSBC’s boss Noel Quinn posted on social media that he did not agree “at all” with the comments. Mr Kirk, who is global head of responsible investing at the bank’s asset management division, was suspended pending an investigation into a speech he made at an event last week, according to … Continue reading HSBC suspends banker over ‘nut job’ climate comments

Crypto-currency collapse sends tokens tumbling

Crypto-currency markets are being rocked after a popular token lost 99% of its value, dragging down a so-called “stablecoin” with it. The Terra Luna token fell from a high of $118 (£96), last month, to $0.09 on Thursday. The collapse had a knock-on effect on a linked token, TerraUSD, which is normally stable. And spooked investors are now pulling out of major crypto-currencies, sending markets plummeting. The companies behind stablecoins try to ensure they remain in parity with assets such as the US dollar – with one token equalling $1, for example. But on Thursday TerraUSD fell to $0.4 according … Continue reading Crypto-currency collapse sends tokens tumbling

TurboTax agrees to pay after ‘misleading’ low income US taxpayers

Millions of Americans receiving tax rebates from the government this tax filing season can expect a cheque this year from their tax preparer as well. Intuit, the California firm that owns TurboTax, must pay over four million people after reaching a $141m (£113m) legal settlement with all 50 states. It comes after an investigation found the company misled low income Americans into paying to file their annual taxes. Under the agreement, Intuit admitted”no wrongdoing”, company said. Free services were available, but kept hidden by the company, officials say. Americans earning below a certain threshold who used the company’s paid software … Continue reading TurboTax agrees to pay after ‘misleading’ low income US taxpayers

Hedge-fund duo arrested and charged with fraud

The duo at the top of imploded hedge fund Archegos Capital Management have been arrested and charged with fraud. Bill Hwang and his right-hand man Patrick Halligan were accused by US prosecutors of using the firm as an ‘instrument of market manipulation and fraud’. Archegos, a previously little-known family office managing the vast wealth of financier Hwang, fell into the spotlight last year after its spectacular collapse caused some of the world’s biggest banks to lose billions of pounds. Bill Hwang A number of financial titans, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Nomura and most notably Credit Suisse lent Archegos … Continue reading Hedge-fund duo arrested and charged with fraud

Bitcoin becomes official currency in Central African Republic

The Central African Republic (CAR) has approved Bitcoin as legal tender – just the second country to do so. CAR is one of the world’s poorest countries, but is rich in diamonds, gold and uranium. It has been wracked by conflict for decades and is a close Russian ally, with mercenaries from the Wagner Group helping fight rebel forces. Lawmakers voted unanimously to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, said a statement from the CAR presidency. The move puts CAR “on the map of the world’s boldest and most visionary countries”, it said. El Salvador became the first country to adopt … Continue reading Bitcoin becomes official currency in Central African Republic

Swiss ‘Banker Of The Year’ jailed for putting strip-club visits on official expenses

The former head of a Swiss bank has been sentenced to nearly four years in jail for charges including fraud. The court in Zurich heard that Pierin Vincenz, 65, had used his company credit card to pay for strip clubs, Tinder dates, holidays and dinners. Public interest in the case was such that the trial was moved from a Zurich courthouse to a concert hall. Vincenz, who was chief executive of Raiffeisen Bank, and his co-defendant, will appeal against the verdict. According to prosecutors, Vincenz and a former credit card company boss Beat Stocker, had lined their pockets by taking … Continue reading Swiss ‘Banker Of The Year’ jailed for putting strip-club visits on official expenses

World Bank freezes Afghan projects worth $600m over girls’ school ban

The World Bank has suspended four projects in Afghanistan worth $600m (£458m), after the Taliban banned girls from returning to secondary schools. The projects’ aims included improving education, health and agriculture. They also had a “strong focus on ensuring that girls and women participate and benefit from the support,” the bank had said earlier. Last week, the Taliban reversed a decision to allow the schools to open following months of restrictions. The Taliban said schools would only reopen after a decision over uniforms for female students had been made in accordance with “Sharia law and Afghan tradition”. The move has drawn … Continue reading World Bank freezes Afghan projects worth $600m over girls’ school ban

Oh Yeah: Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon set to DJ Lollapalooza

The boss of Goldman Sachs is set to perform at the major US music festival Lollapalooza alongside the likes of Dua Lipa and Metallica in July. David Solomon, who is a dance music DJ outside his day job, was one of the acts organisers of announced on Tuesday. The 60-year-old, who is one of the last listed on the festival’s line-up, said he was excited to play the event. Mr Solomon, who joined Goldman in 1999, shared the news of the gig, which typically draws about 400,000 people, on Instagram. The banker, who earned $35m last year, said proceeds would … Continue reading Oh Yeah: Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon set to DJ Lollapalooza