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Home » Daily Briefing » Daily Briefing - 14 February 2018

Daily Briefing - 14 February 2018

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The Russian central bank has said that over one billion roubles ($17 million) was stolen from the banking system in 2017 through the abuse of a bank security-testing protocol known as Cobalt Strike. "More than 240 credit organisations were hit by the attacks, eleven of which were successful. The amount stolen was more than one billion roubles", said the central bank's deputy governor, Dmitry Skobelkin.

The Singaporean multinational, United Overseas Bank (UOB), has reported a rise in fourth-quarter net profit — the firm's latest results show a 16 percent increase in net profit in the period ending December 31, up from 739 million Singapore dollars ($560m) to 855 million. "With the improving outlook across the region, our customers are stepping up on their regional expansion plans and expect further growth in their personal wealth", said chief executive Wee Ee Cheong. Meanwhile, its rival Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) also had good news to share as it saw a 23 percent jump in Q4 net profit as it rose from 789m Singapore dollars to just over one billion.

A bank in Latvia could be banned from conducting business in the United States' financial system by the US Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) over disregarding anti-money laundering safeguards. According to Bloomberg, it would mean that the bank could be denied the ability to transact in dollars because of restricted functionality imposed on correspondent accounts. "ABLV has institutionalised money laundering as a pillar of the bank's business practices", said Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. Although the bank has already responded with a scathing statement, citing "outrageous defamatory information" it still has a 60-day period to submit a written objection.

Chief financial officers and finance leaders will be able to leverage artificial intelligence through Oracle's new app to gain better insights into performance and fresh market opportunities. The app promises to link with the existing Oracle Cloud app — meaning that it can utilise machine learning to analyse a financial institution's data in order to improve decision-making and help drive greater profitability. "Oracle helps finance leaders drive business transformation with ready-to-go applications that combine advanced machine learning with the industry's most comprehensive suite of cloud applications to deliver immediate value and results", said Rondy Ng, senior vice president, Oracle Applications Development.

Ronan Lynch writes: Despite becoming the biggest news site in the world, Facebook continues to insist it is not a publisher, and therefore outside the scope of media laws. That doesn't sit well with traditional news media, because Facebook, along with Google, has been hoovering up almost all new digital advertising revenues, and leaving publishers with a shrinking share of the pie. Now Salon, the San Francisico-based web magazine, has decided on a radical new measure (which once again echoes a plotline from the HBO comedy Silicon Valley). It will invite readers to download crowdmining software Coinhive, which will in turn take the computer's unused processing power to mine the cryptocurrency Monero. So instead of a paywall, Salon will make some Monero while readers peruse the site. A brave move or utter madness? It seems to be a new trend. Russia just arrested a team of nuclear scientists who were using powerful work computers to mine cryptocurrencies. They blew their cover when they tried to connect the supercomputer to the internet.

Fin Keegan writes: Among the useful aspects of the "Who's Who of Banking APIs" being crowdsourced by Prateek Sanjay over on Medium is a list of banks that have taken the bull by the horns and are rolling their own APIs, including BBVA Compass, BNP Paribas and Suresh Ramamurthi's remarkable experiment in Kansas, CBW Bank: find out more about the latter's ambitions in our evergreen interview with one of contemporary banking's great pioneers.

Punjab National Bank detects $1.77 billion worth of fraudulent transactions
Cash is king no more in Germany as cards gain ground

Lafferty Bank Quality Benchmarking

Of the banks mentioned above, UOB, OCBC and BBVA were each given three stars in Lafferty's 2017 Quality Benchmarking report, while BNP Paribas was given two stars. The maximum possible is five stars.

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