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Industry roundup: 19 May

Nordea and Nasdaq partner to highlight sustainability footprint of investments

In a collaboration to increase transparency and footprint analysis, Nordea has partnered with Nasdaq to make the environmental footprint of sustainable investments transparent and easy to grasp.

Last year, Nordea launched 11 new sustainable funds as well as a sustainable life and pensions product family as a complement to its Sustainable Choice offering. However, the  bank says that the environmental footprint of investing in sustainable investment products has not always been easily displayed.

The partnership with Nasdaq will create a tool for increased transparency, the Sustainability Footprint. This is designed to enable both customers and advisers to compare the environmental footprint of investment portfolios. The pair hope that the sustainability footprint overview will help customers better understand what sustainability means in relation to investments, so that the importance of making sustainable choices becomes more visible and evident. 

The Sustainability Footprint is primarily available for Nordea's sustainable balanced funds and the strategic sustainable portfolios and will be offered to the bank's customers in meetings with an advisor online or in the branches.


Niche Global selects Volante Technologies’ SEPA Instant Payments cloud solution

Volante Technologies, a global provider of payments and financial messaging solutions to accelerate digital transformation, has announced that fintech Niche Global has selected its cloud-based SEPA instant Payments as a Service solution to accelerate its expansion into the European payments market.

Niche Global is a Hong Kong-based fintech providing instant remittance and debit card solutions in Asia that simplify the complexity of payments for businesses and consumers. By offering SEPA instant payments to their customers, the organisation plans to increase the reach of their digital wallet and omnichannel payment services in Europe.


Westpac files defence in AUSTRAC Federal Court money laundering proceedings

Westpac has filed its defence with the Australian Federal Court in relation to civil proceedings brought by AUSTRAC on 20 November 2019 regarding alleged contraventions of its obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act.

In a statement, Westpac said it accepts the gravity of the issues raised by the AUSTRAC claim and has made a large number of admissions in its response to the Statement of Claim. These admissions include:

  • The non-reporting of IFTIs and, associated tracing information failures.
  • Record keeping failures.
  • Ongoing customer due diligence failures.
  • Failures regarding certain correspondent banking obligations.

The defence also provides some explanation and clarity around a number of the allegations, for example about the nature of the transaction monitoring and correspondent banking assessments Westpac carried out at the time.


Spark Systems funding round attracts HSBC, Citi

Singapore foreign exchange (FX) platform Spark Systems has seen HSBC and Citi join Goldman Sachs as investors after the banks participated in Series B funding. The funding has raised US$16.5m million over two rounds. OSK Ventures International, a Kuala Lumpur-based investment firm, also joined in Series B, which brought the firm's valuation to US$70.5m.

Spark Systems, which has the backing of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), recorded an average US$5.5bn per day trading volume during the first quarter, up from US$2.5bn during the same period in 2019. 

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