Sunday, August 8, 2021

Germany Throws the Book at Tax Criminals

Cross-border Securities Loans Targeted by EU Tax Auditors

Author: David Schwartz

German courts and regulators have put securities lenders on notice that cross-border withholding tax (WHT) reclaim "schemes" are now "crimes." Recent developments in Germany have cleared the way for sweeping tax audits and potential criminal prosecutions of borrowers and lenders reaching back 25 years. The so-called "cum-ex" trades have been a focus of European regulators, particularly in Germany and Denmark, whose treasuries have been hit hardest by these trades. Lenders are being advised that there is new potential for legal and criminal jeopardy attached to cum-ex securities lending transactions and that principals and their service providers should be ready for heightened scrutiny.

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Friday, June 11, 2021

Apple Sauce or Orange Juice?

The Inadequacy of Existing Databases in Securities Finance

Author: Ed Blount

Databases designed for specific purposes often fail when asked to solve a different problem. As an example, the securities finance databases of leading data providers such as FIS Astec, Datalend, and IHS Markit, designed more than 20 years ago for performance benchmarking, are inadequate when queried for the purpose of the loans themselves. Even regulatory databases enriched with new SFTR filings can only help supervisors monitor leverage based on end-of-day positions, and are unable to determine the propriety of the loans without mapped flow data.

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Categories: All, Commentary, Cross-Post

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Monday, June 7, 2021

RESTORING TRUST IN MARKETS: RMA Podcast Series

Creating ESG Models to Change Negative Views of Financial Markets

Author: Ed Blount

Good morning, this is Ed Blount and I am speaking to you from the Center for the Study of Financial Market Evolution here in Washington, D.C. I've been asked by my good friends at the Risk Management Association, RMA, just up the road in Philadelphia, to offer some thoughts on "how data-based models can be used to change the negative views of financial markets that are held by some bank customers and regulators, especially in the wake of the pandemic."  So, that is an interesting question.

I'm going to approach the answer in two parts:

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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Moving ESG Beyond Policy into Practice

Bankers Seek Common Ground with Politicians

Author: David Schwartz

Accountability in voting is in the news, and nowhere more so than on Wall Street. Through their U.S. credit policy association and its Asian counterpart, Bankers have responded to suspicion among critics that problems abound in the murkiness of the proxy voting practices of asset managers for large pensions, mutual funds, and other institutional investors. With the launch of the "Global Framework for ESG and Securities Lending (GFESL)," the partnership by the two industry associations aims to provide a shared decision-making framework for managing ESG considerations in securities lending. But does it go far enough?

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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Managing Cash for Changing Flows and Structures

Securities Finance Strategies: 1988 - 2005

Author: Ed Blount

Since 1980, the cash-based securities lending program has evolved to become the prevalent form of collateral management model in the United States. By 2005, U.S.-domiciled insurers, pension funds, mutual funds and corporate treasurers had securities valued at more than $1.25 trillion on loan. This evolution has not come without difficulties. In the 1990s, securities lenders found that a rising interest rate environment suddenly depressed the value of their cash collateral investments, in some cases to the point of loss when lenders were unexpectedly required to return cash deposits to borrowers.  A few lenders sustained losses that exceeded the income they had earned over the course of several years, although in several cases agent lenders absorbed the damages in order to protect their franchises.

[reprinted from 2005]

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Categories: All, Traditions

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