News (#3 March 2018)


USA imposed fine totaling USD 70 million on Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank AG has agreed to pay USD 70 million for adjustment of claims by the US regulatory authority.

For many years Deutsche Bank Securities traders tended to set ISDAfix in favor of some firms’ positions regarding options by funds on interest rate swaps. This is the conclusion drawn by the US Commission on Commodity Futures Trading (CFTC).

Investigative commissions stated that the bank’s employees tried to adjust the rate by a few strategies and that abusive practices were implemented from 2007 to May 2012. The bank’s employees were allegedly aware of this violation of law and even discussed this.

ISDAfix is of particular importance in global financial markets, as it helps to determine the value of trillions of dollars of interest rate swaps and other instruments. Fluctuations in the standard help to determine the effectiveness of structured notes purchased by wealthy people.

Deutsche Bank Securities, a subsidiary of the Frankfurt firm, agreed with the agency’s complaint, though it neither recognized nor denied the charge.


Netherlands took to EU Court matter on rights of British post-Brexit

A court in Amsterdam has authorized the EU Court to consider a claim on the rights of British citizens after Brexit.

The EU Court should decide whether the British have the right to EU citizenship after the country withdraws from the alliance. The process was initiated by five British citizens residing in the Netherlands.

After the court ruling adoption, the British can, for example, be guaranteed such a right as freedom of movement after Britain withdraws from the EU. As is known, more than a million British people live in EU countries; with about 42,500 living in the Netherlands.


Austria initiated investigation into fraudulent scheme involving Bitcoin

Austrian authorities requested Interpol to track persons suspected of creating a fraudulent scheme involving Bitcoin, which affected thousands of investors in and outside the country. Prosecutors inside Vienna unite “hundreds of complaints” against the scheme called Optioment, registered with police departments throughout the country, in one case. Moreover, the documents collected by the FMA, the national financial regulator, are also attached to the case.

The number of victims in the fraudulent scheme could reach 10,000 people, who lost 12,000 Bitcoins, which equals USD 115 million.

The police have identified two suspects in the fraud mentioned in statements given by victims, and also continue to look for more of them, though some are abroad.

Therefore, Austrian law-enforcement officers requested Interpol conduct an investigation against suspects in Denmark, Latvia and Germany. There have been no arrests to date.

Optioment managed the website and also held meetings with 700 retail investors in Austria. Its representatives convinced people that they were working for a “Bitcoin fund registered on Costa Rica”. They promised high interest to depositors, supposedly to be earned on arbitration auctions.

Optioment offered investors to make deposits in Bitcoin for a certain period, from six months to two years, in exchange for a weekly payment of 4%. Additional bonuses were offered to members who brought in new customers.


Appeal petition by Privatbank dismissed

The Kiev Economic Court of Appeal refused to sustain the appeal petition of Privatbank against the ruling of the Economic Court of Kiev, by which Privatbank was denied in upholding the claim against 1+1 Production on recovery of UAH 46.6 million.

According to court documents, in 2015 Privatbank provided two guarantees for a Cyprus company called TV Media Planet Limited for its financial obligations on the specified amount to UEFA (Union of European Football Associations), the European football body.

As reported, these obligations arose as a result of obtaining television rights to broadcast matches of European football competitions by media holding 1+1 from UEFA. According to the contract terms, guarantees were valid until 20 December 2016.

At the same time, the company 1+1 Production provided Privatbank with collateral (as security for TV Media Planet Limited obligations under guarantees) in the form of property located at the address: Kiev, 23 Kirillovskaya Street (there was information that this involved equipment).

According to Privatbank, on 19 December 2016, that is, after the introduction of provisional administration (which took place on 18 December 2016), it received two payment requests from UEFA of 13 December 2016 under guarantee of EUR 1.6 million.

At the same time, the court of first instance stated that Privatbank provided no evidence that it made payments to UEFA, following which the bank could have the right to file a claim against 1+1 Production as the collateral provider for obligations of TV Media Planet Limited to Privatbank.

Moreover, the court drew attention to the fact that, according to the signed agreements, the guarantee expired no later than 20 December 2016.

At that time the bank was managed by a provisional administration. Thus, according to the court’s conclusions, even in the event of receipt of funds from TV Media Planet Limited, Privatbank could not make payments in favor of UEFA due to legislative restrictions.

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