Browsing: Banking and Finance

‘Victims of bank fraud should accept the blame and not expect automatic refunds, the boss of RBS warned yesterday.

Ross McEwan insisted it was not the responsibility of banks when customers give their account details – or money – to online scammers.

He said it would be too costly to cover all the losses and people should be more careful.

Asked whether bailed-out RBS, which owns NatWest and has 24million customers, had a duty of care to victims, he replied: ‘No.’

He added: ‘We are working very hard to help customers detect when there are difficulties, but I think this has to be in partnership with the customer and with the bank. You can’t keep blaming this on an organisation where customers don’t take their own duty of care as well.’’

Read more: Abandoned by the bank YOU saved: Boss of bailed-out RBS says customers are to blame if they’re tricked into sending money to criminals

‘It’s been about a decade since the term “mortgage arbitrage” made headlines. It’s back.

In the clearest sign yet of just how late far the investing cycle the developed world finds itself, the FT writes that wealthy British homeowners are again borrowing against their property to invest in bonds, equities, alternative investments or commercial property as the low cost of debt creates opportunities for “mortgage arbitrage”. And while taking out a mortgage to invest in “safer” arbs like corporate bonds, commercial real estate or private equity would be at least understandable, if not excusable, in the current low-yield regime, some more extreme “investment” decisions suggest that the madness and euphoria that marked the peak of the last asset bubble is back: because while growing numbers are prepared to risk using their primary residence as collateral, some are ready to gamble on extremely volatile assets like bitcoin, wine and cars.’

Read more: The Madness Is Back: Homeowners Take Out Mortgages To Buy Bitcoin, Cars And Wine

‘One of the world’s 7 remaining absolute monarchies, Vatican City in the heart of Rome, Italy, is a peculiar city within a city, and one of the wealthiest establishments on earth. If you’ve ever been to the Vatican, which is actually a sovereign nation, you’ve seen the unbelievable wealth owned by the Catholic Church, but how much is the Vatican really worth?

The Rothschild family is believed to hold some five times more than the combined wealth of the world’s 8 top private billionaires, but when it comes to the Vatican, it’s much more difficult to assess its overall wealth. In fact, it’s actually practically impossible to pin down the Vatican’s wealth, as the sum total depends greatly on how you add up their assets and affiliations with churches around the world, and also on who you ask.’

Read more: How Much Wealth Does the Vatican Control?

‘Are we right on the verge of one of the greatest financial collapses in American history? I have been repeatedly warning that our ridiculously over-inflated stock market bubble could burst at any time, but former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan believes that the bond bubble actually presents an even greater danger. When you look at the long-term charts, you will see that an epic bond bubble has been growing since the early 1980s, and when it finally collapses the financial carnage is going to be unlike anything we have ever seen before.

Since the last financial crisis, global central banks have purchased trillions of dollars worth of bonds, and this has pushed interest rates to absurdly low levels. But of course this state of affairs cannot go on indefinitely, and Greenspan is extremely concerned about what will happen when interest rates start going in the other direction…’

Read more: Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan Ominously Warns That The Biggest Bond Bubble In History Is About To Burst

‘Employees at the Bank of England have gone on strike for the first time in more than 50 years over a pay dispute.

Some members of the bank, including staff from security and maintenance departments, staged a picket outside the Bank of England’s central London headquarters on Tuesday. A few of them were wearing masks of Governor Mark Carney.

The three-day strike will overlap with an interest rate decision on Thursday and involves maintenance and security staff at the 323-year-old bank.

About 150 people work in the departments are affected by the stoppage.

Strikers carried signs reading “Bank of England staff want fair pay” decrying their pay rise, mocking it as “derisory.”’

Read more: Bank Of England faces first industrial action since 1960s with staff walkout

‘High street lenders are charging customers up to 800 per cent interest for accidentally breaching their overdraft limit, it emerged yesterday.

The City watchdog named Royal Bank of Scotland as having the most expensive unauthorised overdraft as it lambasted some of the big banks for charging more than payday lenders.

The Financial Conduct Authority warned rip off overdraft fees pose a risk to vulnerable customers and threatened to ban them.

It said it had ‘significant concerns’ about how unauthorised overdrafts operate, describing these charges as ‘high, complex and potentially harmful’.

The investigation found that vulnerable customers were being charged several times the amount they borrowed for dipping into their unarranged overdraft.’

Read more: RBS’s 800% interest for 16 days in the red: Bank named as having the most expensive unarranged overdraft as watchdog threatens to ban rip-off fees

‘If there is a run on the bank, any bank in the EU, you better be among the first to get your money out.

Although it’s your money, the EU wants to Freeze Accounts to Prevent Runs at Failing Banks.

European Union states are considering measures which would allow them to temporarily stop people withdrawing money from their accounts to prevent bank runs, an EU document reviewed by Reuters revealed.

The move is aimed at helping rescue lenders that are deemed failing or likely to fail, but critics say it could hit confidence and might even hasten withdrawals at the first rumors of a bank being in trouble.

The proposal, which has been in the works since the beginning of this year, comes less than two months after a run on deposits at Banco Popular contributed to the collapse of the Spanish lender.’

Read more: It’s Your Money But You Can’t Have It: EU Proposes Account Freezes to Halt Bank Runs

‘Visa recently announced its new Cashless Challenge program, which offers $10,000 to restaurants willing to transition into accepting only digital payments. As the largest credit card processor in the U.S., it’s no surprise Visa is spearheading this campaign. Under the guise of increasing transparency and efficiency, they’ve partnered with governments around the world to help convert financial systems into cashless models, but their real incentive is the billions of dollars in extra transaction fees it would generate.

“We are declaring war on cash,” Visa spokesman Andy Gerlt proudly proclaimed after the program was announced.

The food-based small businesses Visa is targeting are among those that benefit most from accepting cash from customers. When transactions are for amounts less than $10, the fees charged cut significantly into profits. Only 28% of food trucks currently accept credit card payments because of the huge losses they incur from them. The bribe from Visa may seem appealing up front but will be mostly paid back to them over the next few years in fees alone.’

Read more: Banks Are Scheming to Dominate a Future Cashless Society

‘Families piling up too much debt pose a risk to ‘everyone else in the economy,’ the Bank of England warned last night.

It sounded alarm bells over risky mortgage lending, mounting credit card debts and an explosion of car finance deals.

Lenders were heading for a ‘spiral of complacency’ as low interest rates encouraged potentially catastrophic borrowing binges.

In a stark warning that Britain could be heading for another major financial crisis ten years on from the last, the Bank’s director for financial stability, Alex Brazier, said there were ‘signs of boundaries being pushed’ by banks now offering riskier mortgages.’

Read more: Debt-ridden households ‘risk a new credit crisis’: Bank of England’s dire warning over mortgage lending, credit cards and car finance deals

‘Since 2006, a year after Morales came to power, social spending on health, education, and poverty programs has increased by over 45 percent.

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales has been highlighting his government’s independence from international money lending organizations and their detrimental impact the nation.

“A day like today in 1944 ended Bretton Woods Economic Conference (USA), in which the IMF and WB were established,” Morales tweeted. “These organizations dictated the economic fate of Bolivia and the world. Today we can say that we have total independence of them.”‘

Read more: Morales Declares ‘Total Independence’ from World Bank and IMF