Europe

Korean consumers were misled by some of the nation’s biggest financial firms and should get back the money they lost when a German property fund collapsed, South Korea’s financial watchdog recommended Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported. The six firms -- Shinhan Securities Co., NH Investment & Securities Co., Hana Bank, Woori Bank, Hyundai Motor Securities Co. and SK Securities Co. -- should repay the 430 billion won ($317 million) clients lost, a panel at Financial Supervisory Service said.
Read more
Britain's 'highly concentrated' consumer credit ratings market used for obtaining loans is not working well, and a new industry body to help improve the quality of scores is needed, the Financial Conduct Authority said on Tuesday, Reuters reported. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion make up almost all of the Britain's 800 million pound ($946.32 million) credit reference agencies (CRAs) sector. Switching between them is difficult, the FCA said in an interim report, which found no competition concerns that require immediate action.
Read more
These should be great times to be in the wind energy business, especially in Europe. Governments here have long promoted offshore wind projects, and those efforts have accelerated since Russia started cutting natural gas shipments in its war against Ukraine, the New York Times reported. “We need clean, we need cheaper and we need homegrown power,” Ursula von der Leyen, the European Union president, said in August.
Read more
Some European Union lawmakers warned the bloc's executive Commission against unlocking billions of euros in funds for Hungary, saying Prime Minister Viktor Orban was trampling on democratic norms, Reuters reported. The Brussels-based European Commission is expected next week to endorse giving to Hungary funds worth as much as a tenth of the country's estimated 2022 GDP after Budapest moves to improve anti-graft safeguards and the independence of its judiciary.
Read more
The National Bank of Hungary (NBH) left its base rate unchanged at 13% on Tuesday and pledged to maintain tight monetary conditions for a "prolonged period", with inflation only set to decrease more significantly from mid-2023, Reuters reported. The central bank said annual inflation, which was running at 21.1% in October, was now primarily driven by a surge in food prices, where further "unpleasant surprises" could be on the cards in coming months.
Read more
Two Estonian citizens were arrested in Tallinn, Estonia, on an 18-count indictment for their alleged involvement in a $575 million cryptocurrency fraud and money laundering conspiracy, the U.S. Justice Department said on Monday, Reuters reported. Sergei Potapenko and Ivan Turõgin, both 37, allegedly defrauded hundreds of thousands of victims through a multi-faceted scheme, wherein they induced them to enter fraudulent equipment rental contracts with the defendants' cryptocurrency mining service called HashFlare, the department said in a statement.
Read more
Nexo is being sued in London by a family of fintech entrepreneurs who allege that it froze their ability to withdraw up to £107 million ($126 million) of their assets and then intimidated them into selling it all to the crypto lender at a 60% discount, Decrypt.com reported. According to a report by City AM, brothers Jason and Owen and cousin Shane Morton together held millions of Nexo’s NEXO token, along with tens of millions in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They claim to have first aired concerns about Nexo’s compliance and transparency in December 2020.
Read more
European traders are rushing to fill tanks in the region with Russian diesel before an EU ban begins in February, as alternative sources remain limited, Reuters reported. The European Union will ban Russian oil product imports, on which it relies heavily for its diesel, by Feb. 5. That will follow a ban on Russian crude taking effect in December. Russian diesel loadings destined for the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) storage region rose to 215,000 bpd from Nov. 1 to Nov. 12, up by 126% from October, Pamela Munger, senior market analyst at energy analytics firm Vortexa, said.
Read more
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pushed back on Monday against calls from companies to improve trade ties with the European Union and liberalise immigration to help boost growth, saying Brexit had already benefited the country, Reuters reported. Sunak told business leaders at a Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference he was "unequivocal" that Britain should pursue its own agenda on regulation and migration.
Read more