Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Ahnuld to the rescue: The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority is enlisting the services of a computer-generated likeness of Arnold Schwarzenegger to alert consumers about the approaching deadline to make claims over mis-sold payment protection insurance, which the New York Times calls “one of Britain’s worst personal finance scandals in recent years, one that has cost banks tens of billions of dollars in fines and compensation to customers.”
The £42 million advertising campaign includes “an animatronic model of the head of the Hollywood actor on caterpillar tracks bursting from a pile of apples and shouting at people to ‘make a decision,’” as the Financial Times describes it. Financial Times, New York Times
Wall Street Journal
Risky business: Bank of New York now basically owns the business of clearing U.S. Treasury securities and repurchase agreements on Wall Street, following the exit of JPMorgan Chase from the business. While the transition of accounts to BONY has reportedly been smooth, “many traders fret over the risks of having a single bank handle all clearing and settlement” in the $3.5 trillion market, the paper reports. “Many worry that having all those transactions handled by just one clearing bank potentially exposes the world’s safest bond market to threats ranging from mundane power outages to cyberattacks and terrorism.”
Making friends: Apple said it will allow Chinese customers to use WeChat Pay, the upstart local mobile-payment system, to make purchases in its App Store. The move “underscores the expanding reach of the service owned by technology titan Tencent Holdings,” the paper says. China is now the App Store’s biggest market, based on revenue.
WeChat Pay, which controls 40% of the Chinese market, is gaining ground on archrival Alipay, whose market share has shrunk to about 50% from 80% in the past three years. Apple began accepting App Store payments from Alipay last November. Both payment systems are looking to expand outside China.
Still tweaking: The Labor Department said it will delay the fiduciary rule’s final compliance deadline by 18 months, until July 1, 2019. It also signaled it may remove a provision that would allow investors to file class-action suits against brokers they say failed to exercise their fiduciary duty in managing customer accounts.
“The latest notices shed light on how the government’s re-evaluation of the fiduciary rule, aimed at easing firms’ regulatory burden, is taking shape,” the paper notes. The first phase of the regulation went into effect in June.
Clearing currency: Six large international banks are joining together to create a form of digital cash for clearing and settling financial transactions over blockchain. The banks — Barclays, Credit Suisse, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, HSBC, MUFG and State Street — hope to launch the “utility settlement coin,” which was created by UBS, next year.
The project has shifted “into a new phase of development, in which its members aim to deepen discussions with central banks and to work on tightening up its data privacy and cyber security protections,” the paper says.
Hacker extradited: The alleged perpetrator of a cyberattack on two of Britain’s largest banks has been extradited from Germany to face criminal charges. The hacker, Daniel Kaye, is accused of using an infected computer network to "attack and blackmail Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays." Kaye allegedly brought down digital services at Lloyds for more than two days in January, while Barclays managed to block the attempted assault.
“Cybercrime is not victimless and we are determined to bring suspects before the courts.” — Luke Wyllie, senior operations manager at the U.K.’s National Crime Agency.