Two independent directors on the board that oversees HSBC’s British business may leave the bank over stricter rules aimed at holding bankers more accountable for reckless actions that may lead to the failure of a lender, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Alan Thomson, a member of the audit and risk committees at HSBC Bank, has tendered his resignation and will leave the bank later this month, said the person, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. John Trueman, deputy chairman of the bank’s British business, is also considering whether to leave over the new rules. [Dealbook]
Duo Of HSBC Directors Will Only Sit On Bank Boards With Lax Rules Re: Holding Bankers Accountable For Their Actions, Thank You Very MuchBy Bess Levin
Swiss Bankers Suddenly Bashful About Listing “Sparkling Water,” “Hooker For Client” On Expense ReportsBy Bess Levin
To that end, Hans in accounting is also getting a little too pushy with the “Was this prostitute really necessary? Is this threesome going to help Q4 revenue?” line of questioning. Read more »
A lot of financial services employees are going to take Metro North home tonight, some out to Westchester and CT, others doing the reverse commute from Greenwich, Stanford, and other hedge fund HQs. Even without the bar car, some of you are going to be drunk and probably all of you are going to be hungry. The question you need to ask yourselves is: will you eat chips off the floor like this fellow rider? Read more »
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Expert: Hedge Funds Unlikely To Be Thrilled By Rule Requiring Them To Rat Out Employees Engaging In Securities Fraud, Other Criminal Activities On Their WatchBy Bess Levin
U.S. financial regulators are pushing to turn hedge funds into informers on the white collar crime beat. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is working on a rule that would require U.S. hedge funds to file formal reports notifying U.S. authorities of any suspicious trading by employees or outside parties, the regulatory agency said. The rule being crafted by FinCEN, part of the Treasury Department, would force the $2 trillion hedge fund industry to police itself in much the same way banks, brokerages and mutual funds are required to do by filing suspicious activity reports (SARs) with the unit. Steve Hudak, a FinCEN spokesman, said a proposed rule for the hedge fund industry could be filed for public comment some time in the first half of this year. But the rule, which would cover activities such as insider trading and money laundering, will force funds to spend more money on building out their compliance and legal departments. Hedge fund lawyer Ron Geffner said he expects many in the industry will oppose the new rule as being both intrusive and costly. [Reuters via Dealbook, FINalternatives]
The audit committee has concluded he “violated the company’s standards of ethics” vis-a-vis the whole Lubrizol incident. Read more »
The following excerpt is from The Asylum: The Renegades Who Hijacked The World’s Oil Market, a new book by reporter Leah McGrath Goodman.
The board’s first trip to Dubai did not go smoothy. After meetings with city officials and the DDIA executives, the Nymex directors were looking forward to a night out on the town. They were told that alcohol was hard to come by in a Muslim city, but they’d also been informed Dubai had an impressive selection of exotic prostitutes. “You know what the pecking order is for prostitutes in Dubai? Arab women are the most expensive, followed by the European and American women, then Asians, then Latinas, then, well pretty much everyone else,” says the Nymex straffer who was asked by the board to look into the rates of sex workers for the night (the exchange’s budget, after all, did have a line item for “board entertainment”).
About eighteen of the twenty board members on the trip, according the staffer, wanted to go to the local brothels. “We were staying at the Emirates Towers. When I got back to the hotel that night, a board member was coming in who had two girls with him. At the hotel, you can sign in one hooker, but you have to pay a fee of $100. You can’t sign in two hookers because apparently that would be un-Islamic. The board member wanted me to sign the second girl under my name, because I didn’t have anyone with me. I didn’t want a prostitute under my name, so I wrote another board member’s name instead, and also his rom number. Then I went to bed. Hours later, I get a panicked call from the front desk. They’re telling me to come down, there’s been a big problem.” Read more »
Last month, UBS issued a 44-page set of style commandments for its client-facing employees that included wearing flesh-colored undergarments (never anything red or otherwise flashy), not eating garlic (or anything else that might cause breath issues), how to tie a tie, how to apply make-up, what kind of cologne and perfume to use, a strong opinion against facial hair and one in favor of watches (which demonstrate “trustworthiness and a serious concern for punctuality”). Read more »