Latest Payments News: Aussie Payments Industry Agrees To Split Costs Of Cash-In-Transit Business, and more

Kat Pilkington

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July 1, 2024

Catch up on six of the stories our payments compliance analysts have covered lately, and stay up-to-date on the latest news.

Aussie Payments Industry Agrees To Split Costs Of Cash-In-Transit Business

A coalition of major banks, retailers and the Australian Banking Association (ABA) have reached a cost-sharing agreement with Armaguard, a struggling provider of cash-in-transit services.

Under the terms of the agreement, the signatories will collectively provide around A$50m ($33m) in funding to Armaguard over the next 12 months, subject to monthly key performance indicators (KPIs).

The financial support will assist Armaguard while it restructures its business following its merger with global cash management firm Prosegur, which was announced in September last year.

The agreement, which requires approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), also includes a commitment from all parties to work together on developing an independent pricing mechanism to support sustainable cash delivery in future.

FCA Delays PEP Review Until After General Election

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed that its review of the treatment of politically exposed persons (PEPs) will not be published by the end of June.

Instead, the regulator will wait until after the general election to publish its findings.

“We had been on track to publish the findings from this review in line with the end of June deadline set in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023,” it said.

“However, we do not think it is appropriate to publish the review during the pre-election period. We will now publish it in July once Parliament has returned.”

Last year, the FCA launched a review of the treatment of domestic PEPs by financial services firms following the closure of Nigel Farage’s Coutts bank account.

US Treasury Penalises Italian TV Channel For Transacting With North Korea

A popular Italian TV channel has entered a settlement with the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) after being accused of making payments to North Korea.

Mondo TV, which specialises in animated TV shows, has agreed to pay $538,000 to settle its potential civil liability for apparent violations of OFAC sanctions.

Between May 2019 and November 2021, OFAC said that Mondo remitted approximately $537,939 to a studio owned by the North Korean government as payments for outsourced animation work.

“In doing so, Mondo caused US financial institutions to process wire transfers that contained the blocked property interests of the government of North Korea and to export financial services to North Korea,” said OFAC.

“The settlement amount reflects OFAC’s determination that Mondo’s apparent violations were not voluntarily self-disclosed and non-egregious.”

UAE's New Sandbox Regulation For Financial Services Goes Live

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) has announced that its Sandbox Conditions Regulation for the financial services sector is now in effect.

The regulation outlines specific conditions that must be met by regulatory sandbox participants, including start-ups, fintechs and established businesses from within the UAE and from overseas.

The central bank said its sandbox scheme is aimed at financial service firms that are looking to test innovative products, services and business models within a controlled regulatory and supervisory framework.

The Sandbox Conditions Regulation also contains licence exemption criteria that covers participants on a temporary basis.

“These conditions allow the CBUAE to proactively and effectively assess and respond to these innovations as part of its supervisory activities, and enable participants to understand how best to structure their respective business in a regulatory compliant manner,” said the central bank.

Ethiopia Moves Towards Legal Framework For CBDC Launch

Ethiopia’s Council of Ministers has approved two draft bills that could pave the way for the launch of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Earlier this month, the council approved the National Bank Ethiopia (NBE) Proclamation and the Banking Business Proclamation, both of which will now be referred to the House of Representatives for review.

The draft NBE Proclamation establishes a “legal framework for introduction of central bank digital currency, as necessary”.

In November 2023, the NBE announced that it had partnered with German currency solutions firm Giesecke+Devrient on exploring a potential CBDC.

An Ethiopian CBDC would be the second CBDC to go live in Africa, after Nigeria’s e-naira.

Monaco Faces Potential Greylisting By FATF

The Principality of Monaco is at risk of being added to the international "greylist" for money laundering, according to reports.

Despite recent improvements to financial transparency, Monaco remains under scrutiny, primarily due to substantial illicit money flows originating from neighbouring Italy and France.

The principality's real-estate sector and casino industry have been identified as key vulnerabilities.

A critical report by Moneyval in 2023 highlighted several shortcomings, notably deficiencies in Monaco's judicial system.

The prospect of greylisting for Monaco has the potential to trigger adverse economic repercussions, such as heightened regulatory scrutiny for firms operating in the microstate and a possible downturn in investment.

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