Money laundering is often thought of as a ‘Mob’ type activity. Most people think that they would be involved in it, knowingly or not. Most people would be surprised to learn that in just nine months last year there were 8,652 cases of young people who became ‘money mules’ for money launderers in the UK. The most vulnerable age is between 18 and 24. A ‘money mule’ is someone who moves large sums of cash for a criminal entity in order to ‘clean’ the money by funnelling it through legal channels. Some knew that what they were doing was illegal, but many weren’t aware. A study showed that one third of people would apply for jobs that they think are legitimate but are really ‘money mule’ jobs.

Fake ads are showing up more and more these days and they can be really hard to spot as fake. One way to avoid falling into this trap is to think to yourself – if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Vulnerable people are those who have little or no income. They are usually young but don’t have to be. Anyone wanting easy cash can fall for these scams and find themselves involved in illegal activities that could leave them facing life-changing consequences such as having your bank account closed to facing a jail term of up to 14 years. Keep in mind that money laundering often supports criminal activities such as people trafficking, drugs, and even terrorism.

Some ways to avoid these fake ads and falling victim to them are: not clicking on any link that is asking you to verify or update your bank account details; not answering a call or text from an unfamiliar number regarding your bank account; remember your bank would never ask you for your
personal information over the phone and would never ask you to transfer money from your account, for any reason; and always respond to emails or phone messages by visiting your bank’s website and calling or emailing a person from the actually bank.

Again, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. If you’re unsure about a phone message or email, ask a friend or your bank. Simon Dukes, chief executive of Cifas, said: "This is a serious issue that not only has consequences for the money mule, but for society as a whole. We want to educate young people about how serious this fraud is in the hope that they will think twice before getting involved." So be smart and stay safe.

 

Published in Blog
Monday, 02 December 2013 14:23

Money Laundering: How It Affects Banks

 

Money laundering is commonly defined as a process through which individuals or organisations conceal the original source of a financial transaction. Typically, money launderers attempt to legitimise “dirty” money, or money obtained through criminal activity, by creating the false impression that the received finances are “clean,” originating from legitimate financial currency exchange.

Studies have shown that a massive amount of wealth is laundered annually. Some estimates have placed the value of laundered money in billions of US dollars. In response to these trends, it has become increasingly common for government institutions to develop task forces and financial crimes units in order to ensure that the process of laundering money is made more difficult and increasingly risky for criminal organisations. One of the largest multi-national government sponsored units is the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering, founded in 1989.

The majority of financial institutions around the world are required by law to report suspicious transactions that may be linked to money laundering. Typically, a variety of protocols are put in place which demand that bank employees verify the identity of customers and actively monitor accounts which are host to questionable activity.

One of the greatest threats that money laundering poses to banks and prominent financial institutions is the potential for a loss of credibility and reputation. Following the 2008 financial crisis, an increasing number of financial institutions have been subject to intense oversight and scrutiny in an attempt to shed light on any activity that may take place “behind closed doors” and beyond the reach of law enforcement. Additionally, increased government oversight within the financial industry, particularly in the last five years, has resulted in a variety of policy changes, some of which have resulted in significant modifications of bank policy and practices.

Were it to be discovered that a bank or financial institution acted as either a knowing or uninformed host for money laundering activity, the potential risks to the entity extend far beyond legal troubles. Credibility and reputation are two of the most significant elements influencing the long-term health of a bank. A tarnished reputation brought about by money laundering could significantly affect the economic well-being of such an institution

Published in Money Laundering

 

Money laundering is a term used to define the action of changing money that has been gained through an illegal act. For example, if an individual was to travel to Spain and win money through a bull fight then this money was gained through illegal means according to UK law. If the person was to spend this money back in the UK they would therefore be money laundering.

In recent times the amount of money being laundered worldwide runs into the billions each year. This has stirred up a lot of concern amongst many Governments and regulations are currently in place to help deter anyone who may be tempted to commit the offence.

 

The HMRC considers you to be a high value dealer if you accept any of the following:

  • a single cash payment of 15,000 Euros or more
  • several cash payments totalling 15,000 Euros or more, including a series of payments and payments on account
  • cash paid by a customer totalling 15,000 Euros or more in any 90 day period
  • cash payments totalling 15,000 Euros or more which appear to have been broken down into smaller amounts to come below the High Value Payment limit

If you are a High Value Dealer, then your business will need to be registered with the HMRC Revenue and Customs Money Laundering Regulations.

 

The following are the types of businesses that need to be monitored by a supervisory authority:

  • most UK financial and credit businesses such as currency exchange office, cheque cashers or money transmitters
  • independent legal professionals
  • accountants, tax advisers, auditors and insolvency practitioners
  • estate agents
  • casinos
  • High Value Dealers

Your business does not necessarily need to be monitored by HM Revenue and Customs as there are other supervisory authorities that can carry out the task. There are also designate d professional bodies that act as supervisory authorities. A full list can be obtained from HM Revenue and Customs.

Some businesses will need to register with both the FCA and HMRC. This applies to Money Service Businesses who also do money transmissions. Through the Financial Conduct Authority the business would be required to register under the Payment Services Regulations 2009.

If you think you may be classed as a High Value Dealer then it is extremely important that you complete all the relevant registration prior to accepting any payments otherwise you could find yourself facing a hefty fine for failing to do so.

We work with people and businesses or deal money on a daily basis. We have our state of the art money exchange software called Money Exchanger. Enquire today for details.

Published in Money Laundering

 

The possibility of making money on the foreign exchange market is achievable, however, it is essential that you do your homework first and are fully aware of how the trading system works.

Forex is the largest currency trading centre in the world. The main participants within the trading market are the larger international banks. It has a greater market trading volume than both stock and bond markets and offers investment opportunities for those who choose to navigate it.

Trading in foreign currencies can be tricky as it's hard to know what is going on in another country. Currency and trading analysis is very subjective and highly technical. For example, different traders can look at the same data and come to different conclusions. Carrying out thorough research first is the safest way to protect your assets from other's mistakes.

A good first tip is to ease yourself into the trading market gradually, avoid the temptation of doing too much too soon and risking big losses. Therefore, it's advisable to only use one currency pair when beginning.

Make sure you keep positions to under 5% of your account's value, this will then allow you to make mistakes. By doing this you still have the chance of coming back and winning a trade even after a mistake. It's important to remain conservative in your trading in order to become successful in the market.

When buying into expensive trading programs, make sure you check the customisation options available. You will want to have the ability to alter your system if necessary so that your strategies are still working.

Trading on the Foreign Exchange Market is more about intelligence and judgement than our emotions and gut instincts. You need to think carefully about all the decisions you make. Be wary of the Forex robots as they often turn out to be a big profit maker for the seller and not much for the buyer.

Experienced Forex traders will advise anyone new to the market to take notes on all trades, outline successes and failures and learn from this.

In order to mitigate your risk factors, start out with a practise account, this is a great tool to use in the beginning until you can assess what you are capable of.

Once you feel you have reached a level of stability in your trading strategies, it may be time to move up to a mini account. Try to attempt the scalping method, this involves making a series of trades within short time frames. Keep four-hourly or daily charts when you are trading on the market for best results. This is easily achievable with access to the Internet, which can now keep you constantly updated.

Finally, trading in too many markets can get confusing so make sure you don't over-trade. Over-trading could result in a loss whereas making fewer trades could result in greater profits.

 

Published in Blog
Saturday, 26 October 2013 08:31

How to find the best Forex software for you

 

The Foreign Exchange market is the largest currency trading market in the world. Once you understand the basics of currency trading, there are great profits to be made and you will simply have to plan your trades carefully.

Forex (the Foreign Exchange Market) differs from stock markets in that it can take just a few seconds for a trade to open up and close. The Internet has become a vital tool for communities who make global Forex trading profits. With so much money involved in Forex (around US$2 trillion being traded daily), prices are unaffected by any single investor.

To succeed in this rapidly paced trading world, you will need to have a Forex account backed up by some successful trading strategies. You don't need to have any Forex trading education but it's advisable to seek the guidance of someone who has successful Forex experience. It's important to understand that even if a strategy has worked for someone else it may not be right for you. Begin only with small trades, as the temptation to dive straight in can have severe consequences and result in a loss of capital.

At the beginning, you may want to consider the option of Forex trading software if you are planning to trade of the market. The software programs work by compiling information about the stock market prices. There are two different types of software available.

Web based software - if you plan on being successful in Forex you will need to have a high-speed Internet connection so that you have up to date information exactly when you need it. This form of software is convenient and can be accessed from any computer through your login details. It also benefits from being less susceptible to viruses and it's not very easy to hack due to the high security standards that have been implemented.

Client based software - this software can only be accessed on the computer that it's been installed on. It can also pose potential security risks unlike the web based version. The advantage of this type is that it updates you regularly about changes to the market.

 

Ensure your software offers you two main things:

Provides you with real-time quotes

And gives you the means to trade quickly

A steady supply of information is always provided as brokers store client information on two different severs in different locations. This then transfers all information to the other server should there ever be a failure. Brokers also have back-up systems to ensure that no data is lost under any circumstances.

Once you have your preferred software in place you will be able to begin trading, if you use your head well the possibilities are endless.

 

 

Published in Blog

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