Top Stories

October 25, 2022


Credit Suisse fined €238mn in French money laundering deal

Financial services company Credit Suisse has agreed to pay France €238 million to settle claims that it broke laws on money laundering by luring wealthy clients to Switzerland. It is the latest case to be resolved from a series of European investigations into undeclared Swiss bank accounts. In France alone, prosecutors have settled similar claims with HSBC and are pursuing penalties in court against UBS. Credit Suisse was accused by French authorities of encouraging wealthy clients in France to set up bank accounts in Switzerland between 2005 and 2012, which were then out of reach of French tax authorities. The investigation focused on how the bank captured 4,999 French clients with assets under management amounting to a cumulative €2 billion, making an estimated €65 million in profit from those clients. (Financial Times)*


Singapore pledges 2030 emissions cuts, scales hydrogen plans

Singapore has announced plans to slash its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions by around 8% from its existing target set in 2020. The country will now aim to peak its emissions before 2030 and limit its output of greenhouse gases in 2030 to an equivalent of around 60 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (MtCO2e). Singapore’s previous target was to peak emissions at 65MtCO2e by 2030. Singapore said the new 2030 target is the equivalent of reducing the country’s transport emissions by two-thirds. The government said its ability to fulfil the pledge will be contingent on the maturity of new decarbonisation technologies and effective international cooperation. The government added it will seek to build a small-scale commercial facility that uses low-carbon ammonia for power generation, which could come online from 2027. (Eco-Business)


Industry associations block laws that could tackle biodiversity crisis

Industry groups representing some of the world’s largest companies are “opposed to almost all major biodiversity-relevant policies” and are lobbying to block them, according to a report from climate think-tank InfluenceMap. Researchers found that 89% of engagement by leading industry associations in Europe and the US is designed to delay, dilute and block progress on tackling the biodiversity crisis. The study looked at 750 pieces of evidence such as press releases, blog posts, reports, speeches and social media accounts, made by 12 industry associations. It found that industry associations routinely opposed US and EU regulations targeting pesticides, oil and gas production, endangered species and more. JP Morgan Chase, Amazon, Apple, Toyota, Microsoft, Samsung and ExxonMobil are among the members of these associations. (The Guardian)


New fossil fuel projects incompatible with 1.5°C climate pathway

The world should not develop any new sources of fossil fuels if it expects to limit global warming to 1.5°C in line with international climate goals, according to a major study. The report, published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) corroborates the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) findings that no new oil and gas fields should be developed globally in order to meet the Paris Agreement target of 1.5°C warming. The IISD’s findings go further, concluding that there are no possible pathways to 1.5°C that allow for new sources of fossil fuels to be exploited. The findings come as a number of countries across Europe, including the UK, have sought to offer fresh oil and gas drilling licences in the wake of soaring prices and heightened energy security concerns. (Business Green)*


FCA to examine how to regulate big tech’s financial services

The UK’s City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), is to examine how to regulate “big tech” companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon over fears they could harm competition in Britain’s financial services sector. The FCA said that big tech companies could provide innovations in financial services and drive down costs, but also expressed concerns that they could build dominant positions leading to the “potential exploitation of market power”. Google’s parent company Alphabet, Amazon, Meta and Apple all already offer some financial services in the UK. However, the companies are gradually revealing more products, such as Apple’s credit card and planned “buy now pay later” feature. The FCA said it was concerned big tech could become “gatekeepers” to financial services due to their global scale and competitive access to consumer data. (The Guardian)

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