Last month, FinCEN released a strategic analysis of BSA filings regarding elder financial exploitation and it revealed some pretty concerning trends.In the six-ish years between October 2013 and August 2019, FinCEN tracked a 20% increase in the number of filings reporting elder abuse and a 30% increase in the amount of money involved in the reported activities. This increase in filings could mean a significant uptick in elder financial exploitation activity, but it could also meant that financial institutions are watching more closely and reporting more often than they used to.SAR narratives of a statistically representative sample indicated that 77% of reported elder financial exploitation scams involved money transfer scams conducted through MSBs. 21% involved theft perpetrated through depository institutions.MSB ScamsThe MSB scams most often involved lottery, person-in-need or romance scams and resulted in the elders sending money to someone they did not know. FinCEN provided brief descriptions of these scams: continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
The 2023 deadline set by the German government to assess the impact of its occupational pension reform is too ambitious, according to speakers at an industry conference.At the end of 2023, five full years from the time the government’s Betriebsrentenstärkungsgesetz (BRSG) comes into force, the government will assess the state of play in occupational pensions. However, panellists at a Willis Towers Watson conference in Frankfurt last week expressed concerns about the 2023 timeline.If the government was not satisfied with the situation it could move to make workplace pensions mandatory, according to Thomas Jasper, head of retirement for Western Europe at Willis Towers Watson.The BRSG, coming into force next year, aims to expand occupational pensions coverage, in particular in small and medium-sized enterprises and among those on low income. One of the law’s main impacts will be the introduction of defined contribution (DC) schemes, if agreed to by trade unions and employers. The German government has previously stated that there were alternatives if occupational pension coverage did not expand as a result of the new reform law. The alternatives would be to introduce a mandatory occupational pension system or oblige employers to auto-enrol staff into a workplace plan.Dirk Jargstorff, head of retirement provision at Robert Bosch Group, urged employers to make use as much as possible of the options introduced by the BRSG. If not, they risked being forced to do something they didn’t want to do, he said.Thorsten Linnmann, responsible for human resources and global pensions at Lanxess, a chemicals company, said 2023 was “definitely” too short a timeframe to judge the success or otherwise of the DC model introduced by the BRSG.Many employers and other people in the pensions industry were still struggling to get their heads round all the facets of the new law and its implications, but it was their duty to break this down for employees, he said.This was a task for the weeks, months and years ahead, and “I hope, not only until 2023,” said Linnmann.Overall he saw the DC model as a positive step and likely to help boost pensions coverage. However, with Lanxess having introduced a new plan earlier this year, the company had little appetite to start over again, he said – at least at the moment.The majority (58%) of delegates at the conference only expected a substantial take-up of the DC model from 2020 onwards. A third envisaged this happening starting in 2019, while only 9% anticipated this happening next year.According to calculations presented by Willis Towers Watson’s Jasper, the BRSG could increase workplace pensions coverage by 25 percentage points, from 40% of employees to 65%.However, he too questioned whether the five years to the end of 2023 would be enough to measure the effect of the reform law. This was a message that needed to be jointly communicated to the government, he said.Willis Towers Watson is to launch a new index to track the effect of the BRSG. The German Pensions Index will capture the development of the German occupational pensions landscape over the coming years starting from the end of 2017. It will monitor the use of different types of plans, opting out models, salary sacrifice, matching arrangements, and more. Bosch re-assessing bAV Riester Technology giant Bosch could decide to re-introduce a state-subsidised Riester pension plan as an occupational offering given that the BRSG has made this more attractive, according to Jargstorff.Bosch used to offer employees a Riester pension savings option more than 10 years ago. Jargstoff said that a comprehensive analysis recently carried out by the company in light of the BRSG had shown that it was an option worth re-examining.The results of the company’s analysis were “at least in their unambiguity, surprising”, he said. However, he emphasised that the company had yet to come to a final decision about offering a Riester.Riester plans have primarily been used by private individuals rather than being offered by employers, but the BRSG has made workplace Riester, or “bAV Riester”, more attractive.From next year, payouts will not be subject to social security payments, as was already the case for privately adopted Riester contracts. In addition, the basic allowance has been increased from €154 to €175.
Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld last week delivered a shallow draught ASD 2310 SD vessel, named Papillon, to De Boer Remorquage SARL, a subsidiary company of Dutch Dredging (Baggerbedrijf De Boer) and Iskes Towage & Salvage. Damen has customised the ASD for a 12-year contract with Grand Port Maritime de Guyane in the ports of Cayenne and Kourou in French Guiana.The ASD has been designed to meet the requirements of the end client – Grand Port Maritime de Guyane – which contributed to the design with its own consultant, Hydro GC. The ASD Tug is Damen’s first delivery to Dutch Dredging, though Iskes Towage & Salvage has a number of Damen vessels in its fleet, Damen said in its release.Managing Director of Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld, Jos van Woerkum, said: “The collaboration with all parties during the design and construction of this vessel has been excellent.”“Working together closely, we have been quickly able to identify the full scope of requirements and turn the versatile Damen ASD 2310 SD design into something that exactly meets the needs of the end user. We wish De Boer Remorquage SARL and Grand Port Maritime de Guyane every success with Papillon.”Joining Papillon in French Guiana later this year, will be a WID 2915 Hybrid Tug. Damen is configuring the vessel with dredging capabilities using the air and water injection dredging method (AIRSET).Following delivery, both vessels will undergo an official naming ceremony in French Guiana.
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has urged Chancellor Rishi Sunak to safeguard the future of London’s high-end casinos by modernising current payment regulations, including an amendment to section 81 of the Gambling Act 2005 to change ‘outdated legislation’.This story featured in today’s SBC News 90. To view the latest round-up, watch today’s edition here.The BGC highlighted the financial contribution of venues including Les Ambassadeurs Club, Crown Aspinalls London and Crockfords Club, which employ 1,350 workers, and are said to contribute around £150 million a year in tax, as well as generating £188 million for London’s GDP and at least £120 million in additional tourism spend.In its statement, the BGC recommended that the government amends section 81 of the Gambling Act 2005 to change ‘outdated legislation’ which effectively forces big spenders visiting the UK to use cheques in order to be able to play.The BGC stated that processing those cheques has become increasingly expensive and outdated, and the casinos have called on the Chancellor to let them provide a fully-regulated funds advance facility to players from abroad.This would enable them to settle with one transaction at the end of their trip, something they are currently barred from doing.“The government is keen to promote Global Britain, so it’s vital that nothing is done which makes it harder to attract foreign visitors to the country,” explained Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC.“We were delighted when casinos were given the green light to open again on 15 August so they could get back to business and play their part in helping the economic recovery.“It is now essential that the Chancellor acts swiftly to facilitate this small change, which would have a massive impact on the ability of high end casinos to re-open again and to recover their business.“Cheques are a 20th century payment instrument that is no longer fit for the 21st century customer or the global banking environment but there has to be a suitable replacement for those businesses that, through outdated law, are unable to transact with their customers any other way.“Our high end casinos are a major ingredient in London’s reputation as a ‘go-to’ destination for high spending foreign tourists. This can all help to get the UK economy moving again.” Share Related Articles Submit UK gambling adopts toughest online advertising code to protect underage audiences August 27, 2020 BGC: Industry is ‘not out of the woods’ as English casinos reopen August 14, 2020 BGC lauds success of whistle to whistle ban August 21, 2020 Share StumbleUpon