Tuesday, 31 July 2012

HSBC’s US$2b cover Money is for cost of US probe and compensation

LONDON: HSBC's chief executive has apologised for shameful and embarrassing mistakes made on anti-money laundering controls as the bank set aside US$2bil to cover the cost of US investigations and compensate UK customers for misselling.

Europe's biggest bank reported a 3% dip in underlying profit and said it had made a provision of US$700mil to cover “certain law enforcement and regulatory matters” after a US Senate report this month criticised HSBC for letting clients shift funds from dangerous and secretive countries.

The report criticised a “pervasively polluted” culture at the bank and said that HSBC's Mexican operations had moved US$7bil into the bank's US operations between 2007 and 2008.

Gulliver: ‘What happened in Mexico and the United States is shameful, it’s embarrassing, it’s very painful for all of us in the firm.’
 
“What happened in Mexico and the United States is shameful, it's embarrassing, it's very painful for all of us in the firm,” chief executive Stuart Gulliver told reporters on a conference call yesterday, adding that the eventual costs could be “significantly higher”.

“We apologise for our past mistakes in relation to anti-money laundering controls, and it is a priority for senior management to build on steps already taken to manage risk and ensure compliance more effectively,” Gulliver said.

Analysts had said the US investigations could result in a fine of about US$1bil.

HSBC is also one of several banks being investigated in a global interest rate rigging scandal that has rocked the sector. Gulliver said it had submitted information to regulators but it was far too early to say what the outcome would be or to estimate the potential cost for the bank.

HSBC has set aside US$1.3bil to compensate UK customers for misselling loan insurance to individuals and interest rate hedging products to small businesses.

The bank reported a pre-tax profit of US$12.7bil for the six months to the end of June, up 11% on the year and above an average analyst forecast of US$12.5bil, according to a poll by the company.

But underlying profit, stripping out gains from US assets sales and losses on the value of its own debt, was down 3% on the year to US$10.6bil.

Shares in HSBC were up 0.7% to 534.6 pence, lagging a 1.8 % rise in Europe's bank index. Reuters  

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HSBC exposed: Drug money banking, terror dealings ...
Moody's downgrades 15 major banks: Citigroup, HSBC ...
Barclays, HSBC, BoA among big European, US Banks ... 

Monday, 30 July 2012

Malaysian lawyer/former golf president in Olympic Court of Arbitration

KUALA LUMPUR: Even before the London Olympics began on Saturday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport was already operational – with a Malaysian on board.

The Lausanne-based CAS has had an ad-hoc division in London from July 17. The London tribunal is presided over by Judge Juan Torruella of Puerto Rico and Gunnar Werner of Sweden.

The tribunal consists of 12 arbitrators from 12 countries, all of whom are lawyers or professors specialising in sports law and arbitration.

Among them is Malaysian Datuk Thomas Lee, a senior partner at law firm Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill.

Lee has also served as an arbitrator during the 2000 Sydney and 2008 Beijing Olympics as well as the Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

“All arbitrators must be lawyers with a background in sport.

“In my case, I have been in involved with golf internationally and nationally for a long time as well as tennis,” said the former president of the Malaysian Golf Association in an e-mail interview from London.

At the Sydney Olympics, Lee arbitrated in two appeals that involved drugs.

“In Beijing, I had a case involving nationality and another involved a wrestler who lost a silver medal bout.”

As for the difference between sports and international commercial arbitration, Lee said arbitrations at the Olympics “are usually concluded in a day and decisions rendered within 24 hours”.

“Commercial arbitrations can last much longer,” said Lee who likes watching athletics, swimming, gymnastics and tennis.

“If (Datuk) Lee Chong Wei gets to the final (in badminton), I hope to be able to support (him).”

By SHAILA KOSHY The Star/Asia News Network

Related Medals Tally

Total
1
China953
17
2
United States575
17
3
France313
7
4
DPR Korea3-1
4
5
Italy242
8
6
Korea222
6
7
Russia2-3
5
8
Kazakhstan2--
2
9
Japan146
11
10
Australia121
4
11
Romania12-
3
12
Brazil111
3
12
Hungary111
3
14
Netherlands11-
2
15
Ukraine1-2
3
16
Georgia1--
1
16
Lithuania1--
1
16
South Africa1--
1
19
Colombia-2-
2
20
United Kingdom-12
3
21
Cuba-1-
1
21
Germany-1-
1
21
Mexico-1-
1
21
Poland-1-
1
21
Thailand-1-
1
21
Chinese Taipei-1-
1
27
Azerbaijan--1
1
27
Belgium--1
1
27
Canada--1
1
27
Indonesia--1
1
27
India--1
1
27
Moldova--1
1
27
Mongolia--1
1
27
Norway--1
1
27
Serbia--1
1
27
Slovakia--1
1
27
Uzbekistan--1
1
Malaysia---
-























































































































































































































Malaysia---
-

Sunday, 29 July 2012

More Malaysian houseowners invest in security equipment now

PETALING JAYA: Concern over house break-ins have led an increasing number of middle-income urbanites to install closed-circuit television that allows them to observe what is going on in their homes even when they are away.

Security equipment distributors said most of their customers are middle-income people living in terrace houses, condominiums and flats who pay between RM3,000 and RM10,000 to install a default package of eight cameras, a television set and a DVR recorder.

Market prices for CCTV cameras range from RM150 to RM600 a unit. A basic DVR recording device costs around RM1,500.

Checks by The Star showed that homeowners usually had CCTV cameras installed in the porch, side and back areas, living room, kitchen, stairs and bedrooms.

Centrix Security Sdn Bhd general manager Jeffrey Tan said the manufacturer has seen a 40% jump in sales of its equipment, particularly CCTV cameras, in the last three months.

According to market estimates, he said, Malaysians were spending over RM5mil per month buying CCTV units.

He said the company now supplied over 5,000 units a month to distributors and expected sales to rise as people became more security- conscious.

Secom Malaysia Sdn Bhd gene-ral manager Kenji Ishida agreed that residents had become
more concerned about home security.

“They have formed associations. Some even invest in CCTVs for the whole neighbourhood while others put up perimeter fencing and set up guardhouses,” Ishida said in an e-mail.

Tham Kok Hing, who runs his own CCTV distribution and installation business, said customers usually order a package deal which includes eight CCTV units.

However, an average double-storey terrace house requires only four cameras to cover all prime vantage points, according to Centrix Application and Development manager Fabian Low Soon Tuck.

“One camera should be placed in the porch area and another at the back of the house. Inside, a camera should be placed in the living room as that is the place where most robberies start and one in the kitchen because most robbers usually enter from the back or through the window,” he said.

Low said customers can have v-cards in their recorders which would sync their CCTV footage online, enabling it to be viewed on mobile devices like laptops and cellphones.

“When an alarm is triggered, users can log on the Internet and see what is going on at home despite being far away,” he said.

According to a National Key Results Area on Reducing Crime analysis by Pemandu (the Performance Management and Delivery unit), house break-ins accounted for 18% of the crime index last year.

Police spokesman ACP Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said there have been many cases where home CCTV footage had been used to apprehend criminals and solve cases.

By NICHOLAS CHENG nicholascheng@thestar.com.my

CCTV system affords safety and peace of mind


PETALING JAYA: Teacher Faruk Senan Abdullah installed 10 CCTV cameras in his house in Penang two months ago after reading about the spate of house break-ins in the newspapers.
“I felt my home needed extra protection besides the alarm system,” he said in a phone interview.

Faruk said he regularly checked on his home by logging into the CCTV footage with his mobile phone while overseas.

Extra eyes: Faruk pointing to the CCTV camera installed in his house after reading about the recent spate of crimes in the newspapers.
 
“The technology is very convenient and I can ensure that my family is safe even when I am away,” Faruk said.

A manager in Damansara Utama who wished to be known only as Ahmad said he and his family feel safer after he had several CCTV cameras installed in their home after a few scary incidents.

“Once, a few thugs tried to break into my house while we were at home. My wife was mugged in broad daylight outside our own house a few years ago.

“That's when I decided to install eight cameras in the hope that the sight of them would make criminals think twice about breaking in,” Ahmad said.

Despite several break-ins in the neighbourhood, Ahmad said he and his family feel safer and have not been targeted since installing the CCTV system.

For Yong (not her real name), the four CCTV cameras installed at her home did not just catch the robbers in the act, but also helped the police to bring them to justice.

The mother of four said her home was burgled by two men and a woman one afternoon while she and her family were out shopping.

According to the camera footage, they climbed over the front gate after realising no one was home.

“The two men pried the front door open while the woman blocked the front and back camera and distracted passers-by. But the side camera that was obscured by the air-condition unit caught their faces and the police could identify them,” Yong said.

The trio were later arrested in Mont Kiara.

Related posts:
A need to invest in security

Berners-Lee, Web take bow at Olympics

Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee takes a star turn during the opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics in London.

Sir Tim looks on as his tweet lights up the stadium.
(Credit: Screenshot by Edward Moyer/CNET)
 
Forget about the ripped-and-rugged sprinters and shot-putters, bring on the gold-medal geeks.

The opening ceremony of this summer's London Olympics obliged that sentiment, as Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee got the star treatment during the extravaganza.

A hip-hoppy dance routine featuring legions of fist-pumping club-types gave way as a stage-set suburban house rose from the ground to reveal a lone keyboard jockey surfing away in solitude.

None other than Berners-Lee it was, and with a flick of his wrist, he lit up the stadium with a grandly flashing tweet: "This is for everyone."


And so, more and more, it is. In the two decades or so since its inception, the WWW has grown from a nerdy curiosity into a tool well nigh as widespread as the telephone or TV. Twitter itself reported today that 9.66 million tweets concerning the Olympics opening ceremony were sent out as the spectacle unfolded -- that's more than the number of tweets sent out about the 2008 Beijing Olympics during the entire run of that tournament. Clearly, the Web is nothing these days if not mainstream (though it bears noting that a digital divide does still exist, even in a country as well off as the U.S.).

Berners-Lee's tweet itself generated almost 10,000 retweets, Twitter said in its blog post. Here, courtesy of Berners-Lee himself, and the Web, is a clip of Sir Tim's big Olympic moment:





Related stories
Tim Berners-Lee: Tell Facebook, Google you want your data back
Tim Berners-Lee speaks out against U.K. surveillance bill
Tim Berners-Lee: The Web is threatened
Berners-Lee calls for higher purpose of Web
Tech advice from Tim Berners-Lee
Pew: Smartphones narrow digital divide
Web accessibility no longer an afterthought
Berners-Lee in a dress and the Web's first uploaded photo


Edward Moyer



Crave writer Edward Moyer, also CNET News' Saturday editor, once built a model of the DNA molecule for a PBS science series--out of telephone cord and tapioca balls. He also worked at USA Today and other pubs--waxing philosophical with Elvis' ex and slurping spaghetti with Roller Girl of "Boogie Nights," among other things. E-mail Ed with your story ideas and insights.

Related post:
Chinese supremacy at Olympics

Medal Count as at July 30, 2012
Leaders

Total
1
China953
17
2
United States575
17
3
France313
7
4
DPR Korea3-1
4
5
Italy242
8
6
Korea222
6
7
Russia2-3
5
8
Kazakhstan2--
2
9
Japan146
11
10
Australia121
4
11
Romania12-
3
12
Brazil111
3
12
Hungary111
3
14
Netherlands11-
2
15
Ukraine1-2
3
16
Georgia1--
1
16
Lithuania1--
1
16
South Africa1--
1
19
Colombia-2-
2
20
United Kingdom-12
3
21
Cuba-1-
1
21
Germany-1-
1
21
Mexico-1-
1
21
Poland-1-
1
21
Thailand-1-
1
21
Chinese Taipei-1-
1
27
Azerbaijan--1
1
27
Belgium--1
1
27
Canada--1
1
27
Indonesia--1
1
27
India--1
1
27
Moldova--1
1
27
Mongolia--1
1
27
Norway--1
1
27
Serbia--1
1
27
Slovakia--1
1
27
Uzbekistan--1
1
Malaysia---
-
Malaysia---
-