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United Kingdom: Icelandic Banks’; UK Firms' Assets Frozen in Response to Bank Collapse

(Oct. 17, 2008) The collapse of several of Iceland's banks has led to a highly charged diplomatic dispute and intensive negotiations between Icelandic and British authorities. A delegation of British Treasury officials was in Iceland over the weekend of October 10, 2008, to attempt to resolve the issue. The failed Icelandic banks reportedly hold over […]

United Kingdom: Competition Laws Waived to Allow Bank Merger

(Oct. 17, 2008) The Government of the United Kingdom is currently in the process of amending its competition laws to facilitate the proposed merger of two large banking establishments in the UK, Lloyds TSB and Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS). On September 17, 2008, the Secretary of State for Business and Enterprise issued an Intervention […]

Indonesia: Amendments to Stock Market and Banking Regulations in Response to Liquidity Issues

(Oct. 15, 2008) Media sources have reported temporary amendments to Indonesian stock market and banking regulations. These amendments include: permitting companies to buy back 20 percent of their paid-up capital, double the previous maximum, without requiring shareholder approval (state-owned enterprises will have access to Rp4,000 billion [sic] (about US$420 million) to buy back their shares), […]

Netherlands Antilles: Development of Islamic Finance Being Studied

(Oct. 10, 2008) The Government of the Netherlands Antilles is reviewing a report, submitted to it by public sector financial services and tax advisors, on the feasibility of developing Islamic financial services in the islands. According to an article on this move, such a system refers to financial activity consistent with Islamic law (Sharia), particularly […]

Nigeria: Work on Financial Bailout Plan

(Oct. 9, 2008) It was reported on October 7, 2008, that officials of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission were meeting to develop a plan to inject private funds into the stock market to bail out the bourse's meltdown. The Federal Government had introduced recovery measures in August 2008 […]

Ireland: President Signs Bank Guarantee Law

(Oct. 8, 2008) The Irish banking system is highly concentrated, with six major domestic banks operating throughout the country. On September 29, 2008, the governor of the central bank warned the Minister of Finance that the Irish banking system was facing an “unprecedented shortage of liquidity in financial markets” and that the risks to financial […]

European Union: Response to U.S. Financial Crisis

(Oct. 3, 2008) The repercussions of the recent financial crisis in the United States have already been felt across the European Union and in other markets as well. On September 30, 2008, in response to the failure of the U.S. House of Representatives to approve a US$700 billion bailout bill, Johannes Laitenberger, a spokesman for […]

Belarus: Individual Credit History Will Be Regulated by Law

(Aug. 29, 2008) On August 20, 2008, the lower chamber of the Belarus legislature approved the Credit History Law, which obligates all banks and credit institutions operating in Belarus to inform the National Bank of Belarus about borrowing and repayment records of banks' individual clients. The Law establishes the procedure under which all institutions interested […]

Germany: Internet Banking

(Nov. 2, 2007) On July 5, 2007, the Administrative Court of Frankfurt am Main upheld an administrative decision of the German Banking Supervisory Agency (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienst-leistungsaufsicht) that forbade a Swiss provider of consumer loans to engage in loan transactions with German customers via the Internet (Verwaltungsgericht Frankfurt/M, docket No.1 E 4355/06 (V), as summarized […]

South America: Bank of the South

(Nov. 2, 2007) Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela have agreed to create a regional development bank based on a proposal of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in order to improve regional trade and growth with their own resources. The Presidents of the seven countries inaugurated the Bank of the South (Banco del Sur) […]