The Critical Stage of CNBC Fast Money

This is a critical time for CNBC Fast Money with initial tests being conducted. It was noted that the CNBC rating has plummeted in the past years as cynical stock traders tried to escape the slowly crumbling industry. However, CNBC executives believe that the market is reviving to its old glory, even with the verge of new competition. How can we say that this US financial investing TV programis profitable?
Even though CNBC ratings might have been suffering from negatives, the network is still in high-revenue tier. Take note of its pretax income of about $ 270 million. With the US reserves and economic monitoring will continue to be the meat of financial talk shows, which is really the nature of the network’s plan to entice its viewers. However, this financial TV program is seen to be more appealing to a more natural type of consumerists or those traders who doesn’t give so much fuss about the weak points but just want to try venturing out with stocks and try to be rich. Is stock-picking important to CNBC?
The answer is yes. The kind of stock-picking in CNBC Fast Money is quite sensitive. In the past trading years in 1990s, CNBC received criticisms for including too many members in the panel who sometimes crazily peddling on stocks even without careful analysis. But CNBC defended that they had found a way to offer new responsible programs. However, the primary idea of the show will still revolve around turning money in the shortest period of time. What are expected changes in CNBC Fast Money?
Since news and analysis on financial trends have turned into measly commodity of the financial world, the network has to consider presenting news and financial information in the most innovative way without compromising responsible programming. The executive producers also want to include cultural relevancy on the program by providing access to the viewers and teaching them how to use such information for their stock trading. How could this happen?
Perhaps the secret of CNBC Fast Money is to widen its appeal without compromising its reputation among its advertisers. The network targets Class A and B market to maintain its standing as a major player in the business world. Fast Money TV program is indeed a primary network asset of CNBC. However, programming is in constant change with new ideas cropping up to develop the program and to implement changes. Talk shows and late night shows could be a challenge yet Fast Money is still a major TV phenomenon.

Options For Getting Your Taxes Prepared

When tax season rolls around each year the are a number of individuals who need to decide how their tax returns will be prepared and filed. Each taxpayer has a number of tax preparation options. These tax preparation options can include self preparation or hiring the services of a tax professional.
Individuals who makes the decision to hire the help of a tax professional are likely to hire an accountant or professional tax preparer. The majority of professional tax preparers are employed by a large company that specializes in tax preparation. Taxpayers are often required to take the necessary documents to a tax preparation office. Popular professional tax preparation companies include H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt. There are likely to be other smaller or locally owned tax preparation companies located in cities or towns throughout the United States.
Taxpayers also have the option of hiring an accountant to prepare and file their taxes. Many individuals who have complicated financial records are likely to hire the services of an accountant because accountants are not only trained in tax preparation, but bookkeeping as well. When choosing a tax accountant to do business with taxpayers are encouraged to ask an accountant about their qualifications or relevant business experience. There are two main types of accountants. One is a person that may just have previous accounting experience and then there are certified public accountants (CPAs). Certified public accountants (CPAs) are required to take a set number of college credits and pass a CPA exam before becoming certified. Certified public accountants are likely to charge their clients more money; however, they tend to offer better results due to their large amounts of training and experience.
The only downside to hiring a professional tax preparer or an accountant to do your taxes is that they are likely to cost a large amount of money. The majority of accountants and other professional tax preparers charge their clients based on the number of state and federal forms that need to be filled out and how complicated they all are. It is not uncommon for an individual to pay over one hundred dollars to have their taxes professionally prepared. For this reason there are many individuals who decide to prepare their own taxes.
When an individual decides to prepare their own taxes they have a number of different tax preparation options. Until recently the majority of taxpayers who prepared their own taxes relied on paper tax forms to file their taxes. Paper forms are not as popular as they used to be; however, there are still many individuals who use them. The majority of taxpayers have federal and state tax return forms mailed to their residence. This is a convenient option that is given to all previous taxpayers. Other taxpayers can obtain federal and state tax forms and their instruction booklets by visiting their local library, post office, or bank.
The reason why paper forms are not as popular as they used to be is because of the development of tax software programs. Tax software programs are available for purchase online or in most retail stores. They are designed to allow individuals to prepare and file their taxes accurately and quickly. There are many tax software programs that transfer a taxpayers information from one form to the next. All tax software programs have a mathematical checker that prevents a number of errors from being reported on a tax return. Tax preparation software programs often come in a standard, deluxe, or premium version. The deluxe and premium versions are likely to include both federal and state tax return forms while the majority of standard versions only include federal tax return forms.
Once a taxpayers make the decision to have their taxes professional prepared or self prepared there are still more decisions that need to be made. Individuals are encouraged to examine their situation and decide whether they should hire an accountant, take their takes to a tax preparation office, file paper tax returns, or use a tax preparation software program. Each taxpayer is likely to make a different selection based on different circumstances. What are yours?

Income Tax Preparation

Income tax preparation is an important aspect of everybody’s life. Each April 15th, United States citizens scramble to get their tax return preparation completed in time for the deadline. In order to make income tax preparation easier, there are many tools available to help make the process smoother. Free income tax preparation and online income tax preparation are methods that are readily available to help make tax season a bit easier.
Free income tax preparation is often available as an incentive for refund anticipation loans. A tax specialist will analyze your finances and prepare your taxes. If it is determine you are entitled to a refund, they take a percentage of that refund.Consequently, the tax preparation service makes money, but not until your refund comes through. There is no out-of pocket expense to you, plus you get the added assurance that your tax preparation is done thoroughly and accurately.
Online income tax preparation is available at many locations to assist you with your filing. The income tax preparation software usually consists of an easy-to-use interface which asks a series of questions. You will answer each question then move to the next screen. Some questions will not be applicable to your particular situation so you will choose the “not applicable” option and continue. The professional income tax preparation software thinks of everything for you. You do not have to be familiar with tax laws or the complexities of tax preparation. Instead, the software will cue you to the possible deductions you may be allowed to take.
Simply answer all the questions on the tax preparation software as completely as you can and your tax refund or payment will be automatically calculated for you. You will then have the option to print out the forms for your signature and submission. If you choose this option, print all the necessary forms that the tax preparation software informs you that you will need. Sign all the forms where appropriate, and attach any supporting documentation. Most income tax preparation software will generate a checklist that you can use to ensure all supporting documentation and forms are properly enclosed.
Many online income tax preparation software systems have electronic submission capabilities. This way, you can file all the necessary tax paperwork without having to go to the post office to wait in long lines. This is especially useful when it gets closer to the tax deadline and many people are rushing to get their taxes posted. The lines can be outrageous and being able to file your return from the comfort of your own home is much more convenient.
Tax preparation help can be found on numerous websites and at the Internal Revenue Service website. If you have a question about the proper way to complete your tax preparation or what forms to file, the Internal Revenue Service website is a great place to look for tax preparation help. Income tax preparation software also often has available tax help files and links for resources.
Tax preparation services are another useful option for tax preparation. Tax preparation services can often be found in kiosks in shopping centers or malls as well as in stand-alone offices. Tax preparation services work for a fee, but they hire highly skilled accountants and tax specialists who will know exactly how to most effectively prepare your taxes to get the maximum amount of deductions. The person who prepares your taxes will walk you through a series of questions and will possibly ask to see certain types of documentation. This process will assist them in developing the most thorough and accurate tax return possible.
Federal and state income tax preparation can often seem like a daunting task. Free tax preparation is available for those who are concerned about their budget. Any fees that are applicable are generally deducted from your refund so there are no up-front costs. Online income tax preparation is available for those who want the convenience of preparing and filing taxes online. You can avoid the long lines and hassle of the post office by choosing this option and you can generally get your refund, if there is one, directly deposited into your checking account. Income tax preparation services are also available at a fee, and are generally used for more complex tax returns. All options are readily available and easy to use. Any of these options will make your tax preparation much easier and less stressful.

Top 10 Myths For Payday Loans

1. Payday loans trap consumers in “cycle of debt”
Although the phrase “cycle of debt” is a favorite among industry critics, it is not based on the truth. Researchers and American state regulators consistently report that 70-80% of customers use payday cash advances between once a year and once a month.
It is important to understand that a payday advance is not meant to be a long term loan. What a payday loan has done is assist millions of families with emergency needs. This means that a payday advance is given only under the agreement that it will be paid off on the applicant’s next payday (hence the term, payday advance). Short-term loan providers also operate a rollover service to help keep the payday advance applicant from being stuck in a long term, high interest rate loan.
2. All operate as loan sharks
A payday loan provided by a reputable payday loan or cash advance company does not take advantage of people. It is meant to be used only for a short term emergency situation by employed persons who need a little bit of help between paydays for emergencies. This is a very common occurrence when most families live pay check to pay check and may not be financially prepared for emergency repairs, travel or medical expenses. In reality, quick payday loans fill a necessary component in the economic world.
3. Rude employees
Payday loan companies do not compete on the price of their loan, therefore it is important for them to compete on other aspects of the service to create a competitive advantage. One of these ways is through customer service and to ensure all employees are financially knowledgeable and are fully qualified for the job to certify their customers are given an excellent customer service. This is further enhanced through the recording and monitoring of telephone calls in and out of the company.
4. Target vulnerable people, the poor etc
Payday advances are marketed toward subprime clients without a distinction in employment or culture. In fact, payday loans are marketed toward those people earning between £10 000 and £25 000 per year. Most payday advance members are under 45 years old and all applicants are currently employed with a steady income and have an active checking account. In reality, payday advances are meant for working adults with an immediate emergency need that cannot be satisfied through bank and union loans.
5. Hide fees and have high interest rates
The payday cash loan facility is required by law to disclose any application fees, interest rates and other fees. In accordance with OFT guidelines, it is a legal requirement that all fees and rates must be clearly outlined and disclosed to the customer.
A payday loan does have high interest rates. This is not because the lender is trying to take advantage of emergencies, but because they are a short term lender. The payday loans are meant to be short term loans, not long term loans that are constantly refinanced with monthly statements. This means that the payday loan company assumes greater risk at the same profit level as other financial institutions.
6. Threaten customers with coercive collection practices
Short-term loan providers are committed to collecting past due accounts in a professional, fair and lawful manner involving no criminal actions. In accordance with BBCA’s guidelines, companies in the UK may not pursue criminal actions against a customer as a result of the customer not repaying their loan. If absolutely necessary and after all other approaches have been tried, the lender may turn the issue over to a collection agency.
7. Operate outside the OFT guidelines
All short-term loan lenders should follow OFT guidelines and are dedicated to practicing all practices and collections in the best way possible. The company strives to educate the consumer and to make sure that our borrowers clearly understand the payday loan process. This is in accordance within the customer selection criteria in a Responsible Lending policy.
8. Unethical
Many posts have been written on consumer forums about how payday loan lenders are unethical and immoral for taking money from people who need it the most. This is not the objective of payday advances; these short-term loans are meant to tie over consumers until payday and be paid back on time. One loan provider operate a ‘Responsible Lending’ policy, listed in this policy are guidelines stating that the company’s charges are transparent and only lend to customers who can pay the loan back. The company also offers a payment plan option if customers are unable to pay back the loan on time; this allows them to pay back a small amount per week which the customer can afford.
Short-term loan lenders who offer payday advances have also been seen to partner with a charity to match customer donations made through the website. For example, one lender has partnered with Starlight Children’s Foundation to match the 50p donation, customers can choose to make on their interest payment.
9. Adds unauthorized charges to accounts
Payday loan providers only charge customers what they owe, and do not want to charge customers more for their loan. All companies ethical practices and responsible lending policy ensures customers only pay back the interest payments and charges which are relevant to their account.
10. Employees are trained to set hooks
Employees from payday loan providers are trained purely for business purposes, and to help customers as much as they can. Employees from short-term loan providers pride themselves on excellent customer service and helping customers out. To employees from this short-term loan lender happy customers mean increase commission.

VA Home Loan Program Or FHA Home Loan Program – Which is the Best For You?

The United States government provides many benefits to the members that are now serving or have serve in the past in the US military. Active and former members of the United States military can take advantages of benefits ranging from education incentives to compensation for disability occurred while in the military to even life insurance programs. One of the most used and most important is the Veteran Home Loan Program that provides assistance in financing a home loan.
There are currently over 23 millions living veterans and just little less than 10% of these veterans have taking advantage of this great benefit. But there is also another government backed home mortgage loan that veterans may want to consider also. This government backed loan is the FHA Home Loan Program.
So if you are an active member of the military, a veteran, or even a surviving or current spouse of a veteran you may want to compare the advantages and disadvantages of both the VA Home Loan Program and the FHA Home Loan Program.
You need to be fully informed before you buy a home because it is a huge decision and making the wrong decision can cost you thousands of dollars in the future.
VA Home Loan Program VS FHA Home Loan Program
VA home mortgage loans are similar to many conventional home mortgage loans but they do have many great benefits that are not found in conventional loans such as: you do not need a down payment, your credit scores can be lower than what is required for conventional loans, and you can “rolled” the closing and loan fees back into the mortgage thus making it a 100% financing loan.
The FHA Home Mortgage Loan Program is the most popular of mortgage loan programs for non-veterans and is growing in popularity because of the tight mortgage market today.
They have some of the same advantages of the VA home mortgage loans such as: they are easier to refinance, more lenient on the credit scores to qualify, and certainly lower down payment than conventional loans. The FHA home mortgage loan down payment is currently 3.5 of the purchase price of the home.
VA Home Mortgage Loan Eligibility Requirements
A veteran will have to get a Certificate of Eligibility that is issued to by the military to qualified veterans. The Certificate of Eligibility will also include the entitlement amount, which is the portion of the mortgage loan that the VA will guarantee. You can get the Certificate of Eligibility from the VA or you can have your mortgage lender get it for you on the Internet.
One big difference from a VA mortgage loan and a FHA mortgage loan is almost anyone can get a FHA mortgage loan, only people that are or have been in the military can be a VA mortgage loan.
There are no income limits for FHA loans, but there are limits on how much a person can borrow and it varies from each county in the country. You can find out from your mortgage lender what the limit is in your area.
VA home mortgage loans do have limits on how much you can borrow but the limits can currently go up to $729,000 in some parts of the country.
Another difference from FHA loans and VA loans is VA does not require a mortgage insurance premium called a PMI. FHA loans do require mortgage insurance (MIP). By getting a VA home mortgage loan you will save this expense which can be quite costly over the years.
VA home loan makes sense if you are a qualifying member or veteran of the military and they will allow you to take advantage of today’s very low interest rate plus you can buy a home with 100% financing.
If you don’t want to tackle the slight hassle of dealing with the VA or you do not have available VA entitlement then a FHA home loan will make the most sense.
Whether you choose the Veteran Home Loan Program or the FHA Home Loan Program you will need to work with an approved mortgage lender who will help you through the mortgage and closing process.
Owning a home is still the American dream and the government has two great programs to help you to achieve that dream, so get more information on the Veteran Home Loan Program and the FHA Home Loan Program and make that American dream happen for you!

Banking Fraud – Prevention and Control

Banking Fraud is posing threat to Indian Economy. Its vibrant effect can be understood be the fact that in the year 2004 number of Cyber Crime were 347 in India which rose to 481 in 2005 showing an increase of 38.5% while I.P.C. category crime stood at 302 in 2005 including 186 cases of cyber fraud and 68 cases cyber forgery. Thus it becomes very important that occurrence of such frauds should be minimized. More upsetting is the fact that such frauds are entering in Banking Sector as well.
In the present day, Global Scenario Banking System has acquired new dimensions. Banking did spread in India. Today, the banking system has entered into competitive markets in areas covering resource mobilization, human resource development, customer services and credit management as well.
Indian’s banking system has several outstanding achievements to its credit, the most striking of which is its reach. In fact, Indian banks are now spread out into the remotest areas of our country. Indian banking, which was operating in a highly comfortable and protected environment till the beginning of 1990s, has been pushed into the choppy waters of intense competition.
A sound banking system should possess three basic characteristics to protect depositor’s interest and public faith. Theses are (i) a fraud free culture, (ii) a time tested Best Practice Code, and (iii) an in house immediate grievance remedial system. All these conditions are their missing or extremely weak in India. Section 5(b) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 defines banking… “Banking is the accepting for the purpose of lending or investment, deposits of money from the purpose of lending or investment, deposits of money from the public, repayable on demand or otherwise and withdraw able by cheque, draft, order or otherwise.” But if his money has fraudulently been drawn from the bank the latter is under strict obligation to pay the depositor. The bank therefore has to ensure at all times that the money of the depositors is not drawn fraudulently. Time has come when the security aspects of the banks have to be dealt with on priority basis.
The banking system in our country has been taking care of all segments of our socioeconomic set up. The Article contains a discussion on the rise of banking frauds and various methods that can be used to avoid such frauds. A bank fraud is a deliberate act of omission or commission by any person carried out in the course of banking transactions or in the books of accounts, resulting in wrongful gain to any person for a temporary period or otherwise, with or without any monetary loss to the bank. The relevant provisions of Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Indian Contract Act, and Negotiable Instruments Act relating to banking frauds has been cited in the present Article.
EVOLUTION OF BANKING SYSTEM IN INDIA
Banking system occupies an important place in a nation’s economy. A banking institution is indispensable in a modern society. It plays a pivotal role in economic development of a country and forms the core of the money market in an advanced country.
Banking industry in India has traversed a long way to assume its present stature. It has undergone a major structural transformation after the nationalization of 14 major commercial banks in 1969 and 6 more on 15 April 1980. The Indian banking system is unique and perhaps has no parallels in the banking history of any country in the world.
RESERVE BANK OF INDIA-ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL OBJECTIVE
The Reserve Bank of India has an important role to play in the maintenance of the exchange value of the rupee in view of the close interdependence of international trade and national economic growth and well being. This aspect is of the wider responsibly of the central bank for the maintenance of economic and financial stability. For this the bank is entrusted with the custody and the management of country’s international reserves; it acts also as the agent of the government in respect of India’s membership of the international monetary fund. With economic development the bank also performs a variety of developmental and promotional functions which in the past were registered being outside the normal purview of central banking. It also acts an important regulator.
BANK FRAUDS: CONCEPT AND DIMENSIONS
Banks are the engines that drive the operations in the financial sector, which is vital for the economy. With the nationalization of banks in 1969, they also have emerged as engines for social change. After Independence, the banks have passed through three stages. They have moved from the character based lending to ideology based lending to today competitiveness based lending in the context of India’s economic liberalization policies and the process of linking with the global economy.
While the operations of the bank have become increasingly significant banking frauds in banks are also increasing and fraudsters are becoming more and more sophisticated and ingenious. In a bid to keep pace with the changing times, the banking sector has diversified it business manifold. And the old philosophy of class banking has been replaced by mass banking. The challenge in management of social responsibility with economic viability has increased.
DEFINITION OF FRAUD
Fraud is defined as “any behavior by which one person intends to gain a dishonest advantage over another”. In other words , fraud is an act or omission which is intended to cause wrongful gain to one person and wrongful loss to the other, either by way of concealment of facts or otherwise.
Fraud is defined u/s 421 of the Indian Penal Code and u/s 17 of the Indian Contract Act. Thus essential elements of frauds are:
1. There must be a representation and assertion;
2. It must relate to a fact;
3. It must be with the knowledge that it is false or without belief in its truth; and
4. It must induce another to act upon the assertion in question or to do or not to do certain act.
BANK FRAUDS
Losses sustained by banks as a result of frauds exceed the losses due to robbery, dacoity, burglary and theft-all put together. Unauthorized credit facilities are extended for illegal gratification such as case credit allowed against pledge of goods, hypothecation of goods against bills or against book debts. Common modus operandi are, pledging of spurious goods, inletting the value of goods, hypothecating goods to more than one bank, fraudulent removal of goods with the knowledge and connivance of in negligence of bank staff, pledging of goods belonging to a third party. Goods hypothecated to a bank are found to contain obsolete stocks packed in between goods stocks and case of shortage in weight is not uncommon.
An analysis made of cases brings out broadly the under mentioned four major elements responsible for the commission of frauds in banks.
1. Active involvement of the staff-both supervisor and clerical either independent of external elements or in connivance with outsiders.
2. Failure on the part of the bank staff to follow meticulously laid down instructions and guidelines.
3. External elements perpetuating frauds on banks by forgeries or manipulations of cheques, drafts and other instruments.
4. There has been a growing collusion between business, top banks executives, civil servants and politicians in power to defraud the banks, by getting the rules bent, regulations flouted and banking norms thrown to the winds.
FRAUDS-PREVENTION AND DETECTION
A close study of any fraud in bank reveals many common basic features. There may have been negligence or dishonesty at some stage, on part of one or more of the bank employees. One of them may have colluded with the borrower. The bank official may have been putting up with the borrower’s sharp practices for a personal gain. The proper care which was expected of the staff, as custodians of banks interest may not have been taken. The bank’s rules and procedures laid down in the Manual instructions and the circulars may not have been observed or may have been deliberately ignored.
Bank frauds are the failure of the banker. It does not mean that the external frauds do not defraud banks. But if the banker is upright and knows his job, the task of defrauder will become extremely difficult, if not possible.
Detection of Frauds
Despite all care and vigilance there may still be some frauds, though their number, periodicity and intensity may be considerably reduced. The following procedure would be very helpful if taken into consideration:
1. All relevant data-papers, documents etc. Should be promptly collected. Original vouchers or other papers forming the basis of the investigation should be kept under lock and key.
2. All persons in the bank who may be knowing something about the time, place a modus operandi of the fraud should be examined and their statements should be recorded.
3. The probable order of events should thereafter be reconstructed by the officer, in his own mind.
4. It is advisable to keep the central office informed about the fraud and further developments in regard thereto.
Classification of Frauds and Action Required by Banks
The Reserve Bank of India had set-up a high level committee in 1992 which was headed by Mr. A… Ghosh, the then Dy. Governor Reserve Bank of India to inquire into various aspects relating to frauds malpractice in banks. The committee had noticed/observed three major causes for perpetration of fraud as given hereunder:
1. Laxity in observance of the laid down system and procedures by operational and supervising staff.
2. Over confidence reposed in the clients who indulged in breach of trust.
3. Unscrupulous clients by taking advantages of the laxity in observance of established, time tested safeguards also committed frauds.
In order to have uniformity in reporting cases of frauds, RBI considered the question of classification of bank frauds on the basis of the provisions of the IPC.
Given below are the Provisions and their Remedial measures that can be taken.
1. Cheating (Section 415, IPC)
Remedial Measures.
The preventive measures in respect of the cheating can be concentrated on cross-checking regarding identity, genuineness, verification of particulars, etc. in respect of various instruments as well as persons involved in encashment or dealing with the property of the bank.
2. Criminal misappropriation of property (Section 403 IPC).
Remedial Measure
Criminal misappropriation of property, presuppose the custody or control of funds or property, so subjected, with that of the person committing such frauds. Preventive measures, for this class of fraud should be taken at the level the custody or control of the funds or property of the bank generally vests. Such a measure should be sufficient, it is extended to these persons who are actually handling or having actual custody or control of the fund or movable properties of the bank.
3. Criminal breach of trust (Section 405, IPC)
Remedial Measure
Care should be taken from the initial step when a person comes to the bank. Care needs to be taken at the time of recruitment in bank as well.
4. Forgery (Section 463, IPC)
Remedial Measure
Both the prevention and detection of frauds through forgery are important for a bank. Forgery of signatures is the most frequent fraud in banking business. The bank should take special care when the instrument has been presented either bearer or order; in case a bank pays forged instrument he would be liable for the loss to the genuine costumer.
5. Falsification of accounts (Section 477A)
Remedial Measure
Proper diligence is required while filling of forms and accounts. The accounts should be rechecked on daily basis.
6. Theft (Section 378, IPC)
Remedial Measures
Encashment of stolen’ cheque can be prevented if the bank clearly specify the age, sex and two visible identify action marks on the body of the person traveler’s cheques on the back of the cheque leaf. This will help the paying bank to easily identify the cheque holder. Theft from lockers and safe deposit vaults are not easy to commit because the master-key remains with the banker and the individual key of the locker is handed over to the costumer with due acknowledgement.
7. Criminal conspiracy (Section 120 A, IPC)
In the case of State of Andhra Pradesh v. IBS Prasad Rao and Other, the accused, who were clerks in a cooperative Central Bank were all convicted of the offences of cheating under Section 420 read along with Section 120 A. all the four accused had conspired together to defraud the bank by making false demand drafts and receipt vouchers.
8. Offences relating to currency notes and banks notes (Section 489 A-489E, IPC)
These sections provide for the protection of currency-notes and bank notes from forgery. The offences under section are:
(a) Counterfeiting currency notes or banks.
(b) Selling, buying or using as genuine, forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes. Knowing the same to be forged or counterfeit.
(c) Possession of forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank-notes, knowing or counterfeit and intending to use the same as genuine.
(d) Making or passing instruments or materials for forging or counterfeiting currency notes or banks.
(e) Making or using documents resembling currency-notes or bank notes.
Most of the above provisions are Cognizable Offenses under Section 2(c) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
FRAUD PRONE AREAS IN DIFFERENT ACCOUNTS
The following are the potential fraud prone areas in Banking Sector. In addition to those areas I have also given kinds of fraud that are common in these areas.
Savings Bank Accounts
The following are some of the examples being played in respect of savings bank accounts:
(a) Cheques bearing the forged signatures of depositors may be presented and paid.
(b) Specimen signatures of the depositors may be changed, particularly after the death of depositors,
(c) Dormant accounts may be operated by dishonest persons with or without collusion of bank employees, and
(d) Unauthorized withdrawals from customer’s accounts by employee of the bank maintaining the savings ledger and later destruction of the recent vouchers by them.
Current Account Fraud
The following types are likely to be committed in case of current accounts.
(a) Opening of frauds in the names of limited companies or firms by unauthorized persons;
(b) Presentation and payment of cheques bearing forged signatures;
(c) Breach of trust by the employees of the companies or firms possessing cheque leaves duly signed by the authorized signatures;
(d) Fraudulent alteration of the amount of the cheques and getting it paid either at the counter or though another bank.
Frauds In Case Of Advances
Following types may be committed in respect of advances:
(a) Spurious gold ornaments may be pledged.
(b) Sub-standard goods may be pledged with the bank or their value may be shown at inflated figures.
(c) Same goods may be hypothecated in favour of different banks.
LEGAL REGIME TO CONTROL BANK FRAUDS
Frauds constitute white-collar crime, committed by unscrupulous persons deftly advantage of loopholes existing in systems/procedures. The ideal situation is one there is no fraud, but taking ground realities of the nation’s environment and human nature’s fragility, an institution should always like to keep the overreach of frauds at the minimum occurrence level.
Following are the relevant sections relating to Bank Frauds
Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860)
(a) Section 23 “Wrongful gain”.-
“Wrongful gain” is gain by unlawful means of property to which the person gaining is not legally entitled.
(b) “Wrongful loss”
“Wrongful loss” is the loss by unlawful means of property to which the person losing it is legally entitled.
(c) Gaining wrongfully.
Losing wrongfully-A person is said to gain wrongfully when such person retains wrongfully, as well as when such person acquires wrongfully. A person is said to lose wrongfully when such person is wrongfully kept out of any property, as well as when such person is wrongfully deprived of property.
(d) Section 24. “Dishonestly”
Whoever does anything with the intention of causing wrongful gain to one person or wrongful loss to another person, is said to do that thing “dishonestly”.
(e) Section 28. “Counterfeit”
A person is said to “counterfeit” who causes one thing to resemble another thing, intending by means of that resemblance to practice deception, or knowing it to be likely that deception will thereby be practiced.
BREACH OF TRUST
1. Section 408- Criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant.
2. Section 409- Criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent.
3. Section 416- Cheating by personating
4. Section 419- Punishment for cheating by personation.
OFFENSES RELATING TO DOCUMENTS
1) Section 463-Forgery
2) Section 464 -Making a false document
3) Section 465- Punishment for forgery.
4) Section 467- Forgery of valuable security, will, etc
5) Section 468- Forgery for purpose of cheating
6) Section 469- Forgery for purpose of harming reputation
7) Section 470- Forged document.
8) Section 471- Using as genuine a forged document
9) Section 477- Fraudulent cancellation, destruction, etc., of will, authority to adopt, or valuable security.
10) Section 477A- Falsification of accounts.
THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA ACT, 1934
Issue of demand bills and notes Section 31.
Provides that only Bank and except provided by Central Government shall be authorized to draw, accept, make or issue any bill of exchange, hundi, promissory note or engagement for the payment of money payable to bearer on demand, or borrow, owe or take up any sum or sums of money on the bills, hundis or notes payable to bearer on demand of any such person
THE NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS ACT, 1881
Holder’s right to duplicate of lost bill Section 45A.
1. The finder of lost bill or note acquires no title to it. The title remains with the true owner. He is entitled to recover from the true owner.
2. If the finder obtains payment on a lost bill or note in due course, the payee may be able to get a valid discharge for it. But the true owner can recover the money due on the instrument as damages from the finder.
Section 58
When an Instrument is obtained by unlawful means or for unlawful consideration no possessor or endorse who claims through the person who found or so obtained the instrument is entitled to receive the amount due thereon from such maker, accept or holder, or from any party prior to such holder, unless such possessor or endorse is, or some person through whom he claims was, a holder thereof in due course.
Section 85:
Cheque payable to order.
1. By this section, bankers are placed in privileged position. It provides that if an order cheque is endorsed by or on behalf of the payee, and the banker on whom it is drawn pays it in due course, the banker is discharged. He can debit his customer with the amount so paid, though the endorsement of the payee might turn out to be a forgery.
2. The claim protection under this section the banker has to prove that the payment was a payment in due course, in good faith and without negligence.
Section 87. Effect of material alteration
Under this section any alteration made without the consent of party would be void. Alteration would be valid only if is made with common intention of the party.
Section 138. Dishonour of cheque for insufficiency, etc., of funds in the account.
Where any cheque drawn by a person on an account maintained by him with a banker for payment of any amount of money to another person from out of that account for the discharge, in whole or in part, of any debt or other liability, is returned by the bank unpaid. either because of the amount of money standing to the credit of that account is insufficient to honor the cheque or that it exceeds the amount arranged to be paid from that account by an agreement made with that bank, such person shall be deemed to have committed an offense and shall, without prejudice.
Section 141(1) Offenses by companies.
If the person committing an offense under Section 138 is a company, every person who, at the time the offense was committed, was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offense and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
SECURITY REGIME IN BANKING SYSTEM
Security implies sense of safety and of freedom from danger or anxiety. When a banker takes a collateral security, say in the form of gold or a title deed, against the money lent by him, he has a sense of safety and of freedom from anxiety about the possible non-payment of the loan by the borrower. These should be communicated to all strata of the organization through appropriate means. Before staff managers should analyze current practices. Security procedure should be stated explicitly and agreed upon by each user in the specific environment. Such practices ensure information security and enhance availability. Bank security is essentially a defense against unforced attacks by thieves, dacoits and burglars.
PHYSICAL SECURITY MEASURES-CONCEPT
A large part of banks security depends on social security measures. Physical security measures can be defined as those specific and special protective or defensive measures adopted to deter, detect, delay, defend and defeat or to perform any one or more of these functions against culpable acts, both covert and covert and acclamation natural events. The protective or defensive, measures adopted involve construction, installation and deployment of structures, equipment and persons respectively.
The following are few guidelines to check malpractices:
1. To rotate the cash work within the staff.
2. One person should not continue on the same seat for more than two months.
3. Daybook should not be written by the Cashier where an other person is available to the job
4. No cash withdrawal should be allowed within passbook in case of withdrawal by pay order.
5. The branch manager should ensure that all staff members have recorder their presence in the attendance registrar, before starting work.
Execution of Documents
1. A bank officer must adopt a strict professional approach in the execution of documents. The ink and the pen used for the execution must be maintained uniformly.
2. Bank documents should not be typed on a typewriter for execution. These should be invariably handwritten for execution.
3. The execution should always be done in the presence of the officer responsible for obtain them,
4. The borrowers should be asked to sign in full signatures in same style throughout the documents.
5. Unless there is a specific requirement in the document, it should not be got attested or witnessed as such attestation may change the character of the instruments and the documents may subject to ad volrem stamp duty.
6. The paper on which the bank documents are made should be pilfer proof. It should be unique and available to the banks only.
7. The printing of the bank documents should have highly artistic intricate and complex graphics.
8. The documents executed between Banker and Borrowers must be kept in safe custody,
CHANGES IN LEGISLATION AFTER ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS
1. Section 91 of IPC shall be amended to include electronic documents also.
2. Section 92 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872 shall be amended to include commuter based communications
3. Section 93 of Bankers Book Evidence Act, 1891 has been amended to give legal sanctity for books of account maintained in the electronic form by the banks.
4. Section 94 of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1939 shall be amended to facilitate electronic fund transfers between the financial institutions and the banks. A new clause (pp) has been inserted in Section 58(2).
RECENT TRENDS OF BANKING SYSTEM IN INDIA
In the banking and financial sectors, the introduction of electronic technology for transactions, settlement of accounts, book-keeping and all other related functions is now an imperative. Increasingly, whether we like it or not, all banking transactions are going to be electronic. The thrust is on commercially important centers, which account for 65 percent of banking business in terms of value. There are now a large number of fully computerized branches across the country.
A switchover from cash-based transactions to paper-based transactions is being accelerated. Magnetic Ink character recognition clearing of cheques is now operational in many cities, beside the four metro cities. In India, the design, management and regulation of electronically-based payments system are becoming the focus of policy deliberations. The imperatives of developing an effective, efficient and speedy payment and settlement systems are getting sharper with introduction of new instruments such as credit cards, telebanking, ATMs, retail Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and Electronic Clearing Services (ECS). We are moving towards smart cards, credit and financial Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for straight through processing.
Financial Fraud (Investigation, Prosecution, Recovery and Restoration of property) Bill, 2001
Further the Financial Fraud (Investigation, Prosecution, Recovery and Restoration of property) Bill, 2001 was introduced in Parliament to curb the menace of Bank Fraud. The Act was to prohibit, control, investigate financial frauds; recover and restore properties subject to such fraud; prosecute for causing financial fraud and matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Under the said act the term Financial Fraud has been defined as under:
Section 512 – Financial Fraud
Financial frauds means and includes any of the following acts committed by a person or with his connivance, or by his agent, in his dealings with any bank or financial institution or any other entity holding public funds;
1. The suggestion, as a fact, of that which is not true, by one who does not believe it to be true;
2. The active concealment of a fact by one having knowledge or belief of the fact;
3. A promise made with out any intention of performing it;
4. Any other act fitted to deceive;
5. Any such act or omission as the law specially declares to be fraudulent.
Provided that whoever acquires, possesses or transfers any proceeds of financial fraud or enters into any transaction which is related to proceeds of fraud either directly or indirectly or conceals or aids in the concealment of the proceeds of financial fraud, commits financial fraud.
513(a) – Punishment for Financial Fraud
Whoever commits financial fraud shall be: (a) Punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term, which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
(b)Whoever commits serious financial fraud shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years but shall not be less than five years and shall also be liable for fine up to double the amount involved in such fraud.
Provided that in both (a) and (b) all funds, bank accounts and properties acquired using such funds subjected to the financial fraud as may reasonably be attributed by the investigating agency shall be recovered and restored to the rightful owner according to the procedure established by law.
CONCLUSION
The Indian Banking Industry has undergone tremendous growth since nationalization of 14 banks in the year 1969. There has an almost eight times increase in the bank branches from about 8000 during 1969 to mote than 60,000 belonging to 289 commercial banks, of which 66 banks are in private sector.
It was the result of two successive Committees on Computerization (Rangarajan Committee) that set the tone for computerization in India. While the first committee drew the blue print in 1983-84 for the mechanization and computerization in banking industry, the second committee set up in 1989 paved the way for integrated use of telecommunications and computers for applying technogical breakthroughs in banking sector.
However, with the spread of banking and banks, frauds have been on a constant increase. It could be a natural corollary to increase in the number of customers who are using banks these days. In the year 2000 alone we have lost Rs 673 crores in as many as 3,072 number of fraud cases. These are only reported figures. Though, this is 0.075% of Rs 8,96,696 crores of total deposits and 0.15% of Rs 4,44,125 crores of loans & advances, there are any numbers of cases that are not reported. There were nearly 65,800 bank branches of a total of 295 commercial banks in India as on June 30, 2001 reporting a total of nearly 3,072 bank fraud cases. This makes nearly 10.4 frauds per bank and roughly 0.47 frauds per branch.
An Expert Committee on Bank Frauds (Chairman: Dr.N.L.Mitra) submitted its Report to RBI in September 2001. The Committee examined and suggested both the preventive and curative aspects of bank frauds.
The important recommendations of the Committee include:
o A need for including financial fraud as a criminal offense;
o Amendments to the IPC by including a new chapter on financial fraud;
o Amendments to the Evidence Act to shift the burden of proof on the accused person;
o Special provision in the Cr. PC for properties involved in the Financial Fraud.
o Confiscating unlawful gains; and preventive measures including the development of Best Code Procedures by banks and financial institutions.
Thus it can be concluded that following measures should necessarily be adopted by the Ministry of Finance in order to reduce cases of Fraud.
o There must be a Special Court to try financial fraud cases of serious nature.
o The law should provide separate structural and recovery procedure. Every bank must have a domestic inquiry officer to enquirer about the civil dimension of fraud.
o A fraud involving an amount of ten crore of rupees and above may be considered serious and be tried in the Special Court.
The Twenty-ninth Report of the Law Commission had dealt some categories of crimes one of which is “offenses calculated to prevent and obstruct the economic development of the country and endanger its economic health.” Offenses relating to Banking Fraud will fall under this category. The most important feature of such offenses is that ordinarily they do not involve an individual direct victim. They are punishable because they harm the whole society. It is clear that money involved in Bank belongs to public. They deposit there whole life’ security in Banks and in case of Dacoity or Robbery in banks the public will be al lost. Thus it is important that sufficient efforts should be taken in this regard.
There exists a new kind of threat in cyber world. Writers are referring it as “Salami Attack” under this a special software is used for transferring the amount from the account of the individual. Hence the culprits of such crimes should be found quickly and should be given strict punishment. Moreover there is requirement of more number of IT professionals who will help in finding a solution against all these security threats.

Fast Money Recap – Earn Through Online Jobs

Now is the time for a fast money recap. Do you think that you can really make fast money through online jobs like marketing, selling, advertisements, surveys and other labors? You may be right but you really have to know the right skills and how to apply them to ensure that you get that money without leaving the comfort of your home.

The possibilities of earning money through online ventures are quite vast. The whole area is quite new and nascent. Everyone is still trying to figure out and explore the endless capabilities. The deeper you get into it more doors open up. So won’t it be nice if a small recap of the fast money is available as a user guide for a new starter? This article may be the answer.

Fundamentals of fast money recap

The first fundamental in fast money recap is to know your skill well. You need to know what you are good at, is it really fast typing, sales, analytic, what is your unique forte. Determining this will allow you to play to your strengths and discard the opportunities that may not truly add value to your business proposition. Understand that the possibilities are endless. Hence there is no rush, take your time and then get into what you are best suited for.

Another thing to remember is to pick and choose your medium to be available online. Do you want to have your own website, blog or you would simply like to leverage the social networking site. Having your own website works the best since you will also be able to leverage the benefits of affiliate marketing. The cost of hosting a website and developing one is not very high while the benefits are worth a lot. If you are serious about making money online then you must invest in a website, which is the second point in fast money recap.

Basic business sense is necessary

The smaller fundamentals may be quite a lot, but it is sufficient to say here that it pays to remember the basics of business sense. Ultimately whatever we are doing is to make money. Hence the traditional methods of using prudence and good financial management and business sense are not going to harm anybody. Keep this in mind and you would not need to refer to any other fast money recap anywhere. Build your business on solid ground and get ready for excellent returns.

Payday Loans: No Credit Check No Fuss Loans

Payday loans are the fastest and most convenient option for getting a cash advance for emergencies before your next payday. However getting payday loans and their repayments involve certain important aspects. Herein we are attempting to answer all your general queries related to Payday loans and we hope it will serve as a tool to open up any mystery surrounding payday loans or cash advance.

What Is A Payday Loan Or Cash Advance Loan?

We daily come across many loan types like housing loan, personal loan, and education loan. However, the payday loans are a new buzz in the market, and it is very popular. This loan is known by many names like “Cash Advance”, “Paycheck loan”, “Check loans”, and “Payday advance loans”. Let us understand what is a payday loan or cash advance loan and how and when it should be used for your maximum advantage. Payday loans are unsecured loans, which can be used for meeting your emergency financial needs and is paid back out of your next paycheck on your payday. Thus, payday loans are the shortest tenure loans among the other loans available in the market.

Are there any limitations on payday loan or cash advance loan usage?

Many a times we face a situation when we need money badly but feel like our hands are tied as our payday is still several days away. In such a scenario, we either have to shelve or defer our plan of purchasing something or go for a heavy interest credit card loan to meet the obligation. The requirement could be to pay up unexpected medical bills, your kid’s school fee, to avoid bouncing of your issued checks or any other financial obligation. In such trying times, payday loans or a cash advance comes in handy. Thus, you can use this cash advance for whatever purpose. There is no restriction on the usage of payday loans.

Am I eligible to receive a payday loan or cash advance loan?

The best thing about payday loans is that they can be had even if your credit rating is not very good. The second best thing about payday loans is that taking a cash advance does not affect your credit rating. All you need to be eligible to receive the payday loans is to have a running checking account and a regular job.

How should I apply for a payday loan?

To apply for the payday loans, we would say it is easier to do than to say. You can apply for payday loans online using Internet. You may be required to supply some basic information such as your Name, Address, and your employer details. Some companies offering payday loans may ask for your Bank Statement or pay stub over fax. The documents required by these companies for payday loans are minimum in comparison to other types of loans.

What is the fee charged for payday loans?

Before applying for payday loans, we suggest that you scan 5-6 companies for the fees they are charging. Some companies offer payday loans without any fee for the first week.

How much cash can I get with a payday loan?

The amount of payday loans ranges from $100 to $1000 depending upon the repaying capacity of the borrower.

What is the length of payday loans?

Normally a cash advance is supposed to be paid back on or before your coming payday. Therefore, the maximum length of payday loan could be up to 30 days. However, some companies are flexible with respect to the loan duration as well. Payday loans can be extended until the next payday. This extension of payday loans however comes at a price.

How long does it take to get a payday loan?

Payday loans are much easier to get and in less time than other loans. After applying for a payday loan online, you will get a telephone call from the payday lender. After completing the small formalities, the cash advance will be credited to your checking account the next business day.

Does this mean I can enjoy my pay without waiting for my payday?

Before you jump for a payday loan, please note that the rate of interest charged for these loans are higher than other loans. Extending the duration of payment will only increase the fees charged. The payday loans or cash advance loan should be used very prudently and only for meeting financial exigencies that cannot be avoided. Please remember that getting a payday loan or cash advance loan too frequently could upset your monthly budget and you may find it difficult to get out.

When an Offshore Bank Fails

Introduction – What we are going to do is describe the legal and mechanical process relating to offshore bank failures. We will discuss what leads up to them, what happens if they fail, and how do the depositors get their money back. The terms and scenarios we depict are generally what happens in the world of offshore banking. In some jurisdictions the terminology and procedures may be slightly different but the general way things proceed will be in line with the scenarios depicted in this article.

Offshore Banks – A brief definition of this term is in order. These are banks that are located in various countries around the world many being in Caribbean Island Nations. These banks have a license that enables them to only do business with people and entities (trusts and corporations) that are not from that country. The offshore jurisdiction does not trust the offshore bank to accept deposits from its citizens or corporation filed in that country. This right away should tell a moderately astute investor that he or she is perhaps not exercising the correct amount of caution when it comes to selecting a bank and an offshore jurisdiction. So the first warning sign is be careful of offshore banking licenses. A bank can be in an offshore jurisdiction and not have an offshore banking license, instead be a regularly licensed bank. Offshore bank licenses can be had in some jurisdictions with as little as a $50,000 deposit with the country issuing the license. Usually this amount is never more than $500,000 and many countries require less. As a point of comparison a regular bank operating in Panama is required to post $10,000,000 cash deposit and the owners go through a rigorous background investigation.

Bank Failure – This is a term relating to the offshore bank being unable to fulfill the demand for funds from their depositors. This can occur for a number of reasons, some bad and some not so bad. The offshore bank may have been found to be below its protective ratios and the government bank auditors or financial ministry may decide to shut the bank down in terms of money going out for a limited period of time to see if the bank can return their ratios quickly to an acceptable level. In the event the ratios return to an acceptable level the bank operation resumes normally and the depositors may not even know anything occurred.

Complaints – The way offshore bank failures generally start is with complaints to the licensing authority of the country where the bank is located stating that requests to withdraw funds are not being met by the bank. To document this the account holder generally retains legal counsel in the country where the offshore bank is located and files a formal demand for the funds to bank with a very short deadline. When this demand is not met the law firm will file a formal complaint to the offshore bank licensing authority who will generally conduct an investigation. They may have their own auditors or hire an independent team of auditors to go through the offshore bank records. They will look to see if there are any loans on the books that do not meet the guidelines for lending such as writing not collateralized loans is usually considered an offense. Loans to the principals of the bank are another red flag. Real estate acquisitions like mansions on the island where the offshore bank is located for the bank executives to live in is another red flag as well. Usually without loans the bank would not fail to meet its ratios. When these loans go bad and there is no collateral to go after then the banks get into trouble. The complaint process is possibly the only way the government is going to know their offshore bank is in trouble and by then it may be too late, but it may not be too late. Remember we are talking about offshore banks here, not regularly licensed regular banks which are audited and watched way more closely by the government and usually by a different government agency than the agency supervising offshore banks. We as a Panama Law firm do not introduce clients to offshore banks which should tell you something.

Loss of Correspondent Bank – Sometimes the offshore bank has just lost one or more of its correspondent banks and can not execute wire transfers until it replaces the correspondent with another correspondent bank which may take several weeks. When the complaints hit the government they will investigate, see that the funds are in place and allow the offshore bank a reasonable period of time to secure another correspondent bank, checking with them for progress reports. This is a not so bad problem that will only serve to scare and inconvenience the depositors.

Offshore Bank Receivership – This is a process whereby the government agency that licenses the offshore bank takes over the offshore bank to control its operation with an eye towards saving the bank. Sometimes they are successful and well sometimes not. Often a team of professionals from a large auditing or accounting firm are brought in. Receivership practices can frequently mean that a percentage of your funds will be unavailable for withdrawal for sometime. This is to prevent a run on the offshore bank which would for sure topple it and thus cost the depositors substantial losses. You may be only able to take out say 25% of your funds. What can often happen is the depositors lose faith and take as much money out as they can and avoid putting in any more money. This usually results in the offshore bank failing totally and being shut down.

Suing the Offshore Bank – What often happens in these offshore bank receivership scenarios is some depositors get scared and act jumpy and sue the bank. The lawsuits generally involve having the court encumber or tie up an amount equal to their deposit. To accomplish this the depositors generally have to resort to deceit or twisting the truth minimally, to make the court think they were not ordinary depositors or the amount in question consisted of funds to be handled in a special exceptional manner. The way the depositors are playing their hand is get the court to hold my money before the bank goes down completely and then my funds get mixed in with all the depositors in the fracas. If one files such a lawsuit they are generally excluded from filing claims as regular creditors (depositors) of the bank in the event of a liquidation and if they lose their lawsuit (an expected occurrence if based on fraud or deceit) they can lose all. Usually several depositors will file such lawsuits if there is any official action taken against the offshore bank and this could push the offshore bank into greater difficulty and if there is a bank liquidation it will be a most complex one with a lot of depositors funds eaten up in legal fees.

Offshore Bank Liquidation – This is of course the sword of gloom in the world of offshore banking. For things to reach this level the government had to have felt that the offshore bank is not salvageable. Generally a bunch of depositors filing lawsuits and jamming up the court system of some island jurisdiction is going to encourage the government there to liquidate the offshore bank in hopes of freeing up their courts. Imagine an offshore tax haven island court system. A small building with one to three courtrooms and maybe three or four judges. These courts hear divorce, child custody, personal injury as in auto accidents, bankruptcy, collection cases, resident disputes with building contractors, traffic court cases, and criminal cases. The court is there to enable the island jurisdiction to function as an independent governing state. It is not going to jam up its courts increasing the wait times for its citizens that are trying to deal with vital matters like child custody where one of the parents is an abusive drunk hurting the children. When the offshore bank gets put into liquidation generally the court cases can be disposed of quickly or even by summary dismissal. The government knows that the people behind these lawsuits are trying to get more money than they would if they just waited for the liquidation to proceed and are not amused by their litigious behavior.

The Offshore Bank Liquidation Process – So now the bank is in liquidation. What does this mean? Basically a liquidator will be appointed to determine what assets the bank has, liquidate what can be profitably liquidated and then see how much money is left. The remaining money will be divided up among the depositors fairly depending on how much they had on deposit in the offshore bank. They will get a percentage of their deposit back. What would be a good return in a liquidation, 75%. What would be a bad return well there was a liquidation in Latvia a few years ago where the depositors got 2%. What is a typical return? There is no number but it should be 33% to 60% unless the bank has been really mismanaged.

The Offshore Bank Liquidator – This is generally a person with an accounting, legal or banking background. They can understand the books of the offshore bank and the laws pertaining to the offshore bank and the liquidation. If the offshore bank had secured loans that went bad (payments not be made according to written loan documents) they will analyze the worth of going after the collateral. If there was a farm in Argentina posted as collateral for a three million dollar loan he may order an appraisal of the farm to see if it really worth that much. If the value of the farm is more than the legal expense of securing and liquidating the asset the liquidator should go ahead and liquidate it. This process may take a year or longer. If a loan was made to a trucking company in Belgium for a fleet of trucks the same liquidation process may occur. This sort of liquidation may take even two or three years depending on what type of liquidation processes may need to be followed. The borrower may file bankruptcy making the liquidation of the secured assets difficult and time consuming in some countries. The bankruptcy court might let the borrower continue making payments and keep the asset which can make for a rather problematic liquidation because now the loan must be sold to reduce it to a net value. Generally such a loan is going to go for a deep discount at best. The liquidator may have to sell the banks real estate, computers, office equipment and furniture, cars, boats, planes etc. All this is time consuming and the assets should be sold at an auction to keep things fair avoiding accusations of selling under the market for kickbacks. There is an inherent conflict of interest in the liquidation process. The bank liquidator generally gets paid handsomely. Think perhaps $150 to $300 an hour or maybe $10,000 to $30,000 per month. It is in his best interest to keep things going for as long as possible. The lawyers the bank liquidator uses are also under this same conflict of interest. How honest and upright these people are going to be is something for which there is no rule but there is generally a control element in the form of a creditors committee. In an honest liquidation the liquidator may elect to distribute the readily available assets the offshore bank has right away. These assets would be the actual cash deposits. This is an encouraging sign to the creditors. Money would usually be held back to allow the liquidation to proceed further allowing for legal expenses etc. Then as real estate and other assets are sold further distributions would be made. Not all liquidations are done so directly.

The Ugly Side of Offshore Bank Liquidations – Sometimes the offshore bank assets are deposited by the liquidator in another bank. Whether or not this is in an interest bearing account is always a good question. If there is $12,000,000 in cash in a bank the interest at 4% a year is a serious amount of money that will tempt people. Legal fees can be padded and kickbacks made to the liquidator from the law firm located on the island jurisdiction the offshore bank is in. Some of these islands where these offshore banks are have less than 100,000 people living in the country. You are foreigners and don’t expect such honest treatment in these tourist island jurisdictions. They may view these offshore bank liquidations as a feast for the locals courtesy of all the rich foreigners. Excessive travel can be run up by the liquidator. He can travel abroad going first class all the way even bringing the lawyers along, all on the clock. The liquidator can reach crooked settlements with people who posted collateral for loans with the offshore bank. Depositors of the offshore bank can file lawsuits for special treatment and the liquidator can settle with them in a crooked manner for an illegal kickback and then they get all their back while you only get a fraction back. Real estate owned by the offshore bank can be sold under market value for a kickback to a friend or relative of the liquidator. Same can be done with cars, computers etc. The liquidator can elect to chase assets not worth chasing to continue his high paying job some years longer than it should require. Remember offshore bank liquidations do not come along every day and the liquidator has no idea where his next job is going to come from. There is a check and balance usually in the bank liquidation process which is described below.

Offshore Bank Liquidation Creditors Committee – A creditor of the offshore bank is generally a depositor but it could be the electric company or the phone company. Generally, the employees are considered priority creditors when it comes to their wages and they get paid off first and fast. The depositor is owed money by the offshore bank based on their deposits, thus he or she is a creditor as far as the offshore bank liquidation is concerned. An offshore bank liquidation is sort of like a bankruptcy proceeding. In an offshore bank liquidation a creditors committee is formed which is something done in many bankruptcy proceedings. The creditors committee could possibly have been formed before the liquidator came into office and they appoint the liquidator with or without the approval of the court, rules vary some depending on the offshore jurisdiction involved. The creditors committee generally is voted into existence by the creditors, the creditors with the most dollars on deposit having the most votes is one way to look at it. All creditors are generally not treated equal. The creditors committee members are all on the same side and that side is interested in getting as much money back as they can. Decisions as to how to spend money chasing assets or potential assets are usually made by the liquidator but the creditors committee can exert control over the liquidator even replacing the liquidator in extreme circumstances. Some bank liquidations have taken place without creditor committees in place. These are generally less than above board liquidations.

Creditor Claims in Offshore Bank Liquidations – When the liquidator is in office the depositors are generally required to file claims. The claims process involves filing identity documents with the liquidator and identifying your account and how much money was in it. Offshore bank liquidations are conducted in open court and these claims wind up as exhibits in the public domain. What I am saying is bank secrecy is not in place once the bank is in liquidation. What one can expect to see is a fair number of depositors failing to file claims because of various reasons often relating to bank secrecy. Of course this means a greater recovery for those who do file the claims while the other folks walk away with a total loss of their funds by choice.

What to do if you are in an Offshore Bank Liquidation – If you are already involved in a bank liquidation you made a mistake and you are going to get hurt. How badly hurt is the question so you should be trying to mitigate your damages. If a creditors committee is forming try to get involved actively, even try to sit on the committee. If the liquidator has not yet been appointed do get involved in that process. Try to find ways to meet other depositors. Call lawyers on the island and ask them to represent a group of creditors collectively. Rest assured other depositors will be calling lawyers on the island and the lawyer can be a contact point to form a creditors committee. The idea may not occur to a lot of these lawyers so help them out a bit. If you can get a creditors committee in place and have it appoint a liquidator you will probably have a honest liquidation, probably. That having been said one must still leave room for the offshore bank itself having been intrinsically dishonest and the bank owners have since ran away with the funds. When you read the offshore bank liquidation horror stories you see that the money trail goes from country to country, bank to bank and then it ends up with a large cash withdrawal which is usually the end of the trail. The offshore jurisdiction may fail to ever prosecute them or file charges which of course make one wonder what was going on. So the key here is to get involved actively. It is real important to open communications with other creditors and get organized.

How to Avoid Being in Offshore Bank Liquidations – The answer is of course simple, avoid offshore banks. Stick to banks with full banking licenses that can conduct banking business with the residents of the country as well as with entities not located in the country.

Offshore Bank Alternatives – The best alternative to these tax haven island offshore jurisdictions is Panama. Panama is a solid offshore tax haven jurisdiction that does not tax offshore derived income and has no capital gains tax or tax on stock market gains. Panama has fully anonymous bearer share corporations where the owners are not recorded in any registry or database. Panama has anonymous foundations which are able to have generally non-freezable bank accounts. Panama has no tax treaties with any country so fishing expeditions are not going to happen. Panama has the tightest bank secrecy laws in the world and when coupled with an anonymous bearer share corporation it becomes the most secure and private structure one could have in the world today. Panama has 400,000 corporations registered there as well as many of the merchant marine vessels and cruise ships in the world. Panama has about 150 banks many of which are large multi-billion dollar international conglomerates, yet the banking operation in Panama is a separate bank corporation operating under Panama bank secrecy laws. Panama has not had a bank failure in over five years. Panama has had only a few bank failures in its history whereas Switzerland had over 15 bank failures during the years 1999 to 2000. Panama tightly regulates its banks. Every Panama Bank must submit monthly auditing reports to Panama’s Banking Superintendent, which is under direct supervision by the Banco Nacional de Panama (BNP), the National Bank of Panama. A list of prominent international banks in Panama includes: Citibank, HSBC, Dresdner Bank, Bank of Tokyo, Bank of Boston, Banco Nacional de Paris, International Commercial Bank of China, Societe Generale, Banque Sudameris, BBVA, Banco Uno, Banco General, PriBanco, Banco del Istmo, Global Bank, MultiCredit Bank, PanaBank, ABN Amro, Banco Aliado, Banco Continental, BancoLat, BIPAN, Lloyds TLB Bank, and the Bank of Nova Scotia. Many of the Panama banks own office building skyscrapers 40+ stories tall with their name on the building. These are not grocery store sized banks found in the island jurisdictions. The Panama Stock Exchange has an average trading volume of $900,000,000.

Panama is free of hurricanes, volcanoes, tornadoes, and earthquakes which is why the Panama Canal was built there. Panama uses the US dollar as their national currency. Panama has modern telephones, cell phones and internet being a country having been built by the Americans which left Panama in 2000. Panama has a treaty with the USA calling for the USA to protect the Panama Canal if it was threatened. This means the peace and security of the Republic of Panama is protected by the USA which could have jet fighters there in minutes. Panama is the new Switzerland of the world.

Fast Money Recap – The 411

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