Dutch banking’s transaction monitoring utility gets green light

Dutch banks are working together to build a shared utility to monitor financial transactions, after establishing its technical and legal feasibility. 

First mooted last September, the anti-money laundering initiative, now known as Transaction Monitoring Netherlands (TMNL), is being created by five banks – ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank, Triodos Bank and de Volksbank.

TMNL will focus on identifying unusual patterns in payments traffic that individual banks cannot spot. Together, the five banks handle 9.8 billion payment transactions each year, or 27 million a day.

A shareholder agreement has been signed off by the banks.

Dutch banking association NVB estimates that €16bn of criminal money is laundered in the Netherlands each year. The money comes from activities such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, child pornography and extortion. Criminals make every effort to conceal the origin of their funds, and frequently abuse multiple banks for this purpose.

NVB said in September that

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Locked-down Nationwide staff make 2.5 million video calls in June

Nationwide Building Society staff have taken to video-conferencing through Microsoft Teams, making 2.5 million calls in one month during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The company’s usage of Teams video calls was 3,000% higher in June than February, the last full month before lockdown.

This kind of take-up bodes well for Nationwide and other companies that are planning for different ways of working in the post-coronavirus world.

The building society sent 12,000 staff home to work when the lockdown was introduced and the success of technology to support home working over the last few months has given it confidence to increase remote working in the future.

“Colleagues have a single platform that could support collaboration across the society and was accessible across multiple devices, offering them more choice on how they manage their working day around other priorities,” said Nationwide.

Despite staff being at home, including software developers, the building society

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HSBC customers targeted in new smishing scam

HSBC customers in the UK should be on the alert for a malicious SMS phishing scam designed to trick its victims into parting with their online banking details, according to litigation specialist Griffin Law.

The text phishing, or smishing campaign begins with a text message purporting to come from HSBC, informing its target that “a new payment has been made” through the HSBC app on their smartphone device.

Targets are informed that if they were not responsible for this payment, they should visit a website to validate their bank account. To the untrained eye, the website link – security.hsbc.confirm-systems.com – could conceivably be legitimate, but obviously should on no account be opened.

Victims will then be directed to a fake landing page and asked to input their username and password, along with a series of verification steps, on a fraudulent website that uses HSBC branding. The site will also

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Over 15 billion credentials for sale on dark web

More than 15 billion username and password credentials to online digital services, including bank and social media accounts, are openly for sale on the dark web – over three times the amount available to cyber criminals just two years ago – according to new research from risk prevention specialist Digital Shadows.

This is the equivalent of more than two compromised accounts for every single person on the planet, and is the result of about 100,000 different data breaches, said Digital Shadows. It estimated that more than five billion of the credential sets it found were “unique”, in that they had not been advertised more than once on the cyber criminal underground, and were therefore considered more valuable.

“The sheer number of credentials available is staggering,” said Rick Holland, CISO and vice-president of strategy at Digital Shadows. “In just the past 1.5 years, we’ve identified and alerted our customers

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Banks need to think like Google and not just follow it

Banks are going beyond acquiring and using technology from the likes of Google, Microsoft and Amazon by recruiting the brains to enable them to think like the tech giants.

Few industries can compete with Silicon Valley’s biggest in terms of salaries, but banks can, and are.

Santander, for example, is continuing to populate its senior management teams with executives from the IT supplier sector. Its latest recruits in the senior tech team include former Amazon executive Sebastian Gunningham, who has been appointed vice-chairman of digital banking subsidiary Openbank.

At the same time, Francisco D’Souza, co-founder of IT services giant Cognizant, was appointed group strategic adviser for the development of Santander’s global IT platform. These followed an announcement in March 2019 when the Spanish bank recruited Aiaz Kazi directly from Google as its chief platform officer.

Banks have for a long time been huge IT organisations, with the biggest often recruiting

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FCA estimates about 2.6 million Brits have bought cryptocurrency

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) estimates that 2.6 million people in the UK have bought cryptocurrency, with a significant increase in the past 12 months.

Following online research, conducted by YouGov, the FCA estimates that 1.9 million still hold cryptocurrency, with half of them holding more than £260 worth.

It found that while most owners of cryptocurrency in the UK are knowledgeable, many do not realise they are not protected by regulation.

The FCA research was conducted to gain an understanding of the size of the market in the UK and customer attitudes to cryptocurrencies. The online survey revealed that most people who own cryptocurrencies in the UK are knowledgeable about them, and understand there is a lack of regulation and a risk that prices are volatile. Most owners surveyed (83%) bought their cryptocurrency through non-UK exchanges.

There are hundreds of cryptocurrencies around the world, such as bitcoin, ripple

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