Kerviel’s Walk, Spain Tax Plan, Vietnam Riots: Compliance

Jerome Kerviel, the former Societe Generale SA trader facing prison for a record banking loss, was taken charge of yesterday by French police after prosecutors said his failure to turn himself in would have made him a fugitive.

More than six years after his unauthorized transactions were made public and after three trials in the case, Kerviel, 37, was held by police in Menton, near France’s border with Italy, to instruct him on his three-year jail sentence.

His incarceration will mark the closing of one of the darkest chapters of French banking history. The unwinding of the former trader’s unauthorized bets of more than 50 billion euros ($68.5 billion) resulted in a record loss of 4.9 billion euros for the bank.

Kerviel, who earlier this year met with Pope Francis and had undertaken a walk between Rome and Paris to bring attention to the Pope’s criticism of capitalism, said in a Bloomberg Television interview that he was “ashamed to have been part of this system.” He has appealed to President Francois Hollande to grant immunity to people within the French judicial system who want to criticize the manner in which his case was conducted.

Should Kerviel seek a pardon, the request would be considered after investigation and advice from the justice ministry, Agence France Presse said.

Compliance Policy

EU Said to Question Spain’s Tax Plan to Bolster Bank Capital

The European Union’s statistics watchdog plans to meet Spanish officials to discuss a government pledge to pay the country’s banks as much as 30 billion euros ($41 billion) if they go bust, as part of a program to bolster their capital, a person familiar with the matter said.

The government last year decided to guarantee that amount of deferred tax assets held by Spanish lenders because Basel III rules would otherwise force lenders to exclude them from their capital over 10 years.

Eurostat may meet Spanish officials as soon as next month, said the person, who asked not to be named as the matter is private. The Luxembourg-based statistics agency wants to assess whether the program should count toward the country’s budget deficit and public debt and may extend the inquiry to other countries, the person said.

Spain sought a way of using the public balance sheet to bolster the capital base of its banks under Basel III without adding to the government’s deficit and debt ratios.

Eurostat doesn’t comment on ongoing discussions with national authorities, a spokesman said. A spokesman at the Spanish Economy Ministry in Madrid said the government doesn’t comment on its discussions with Eurostat. A spokeswoman at the Budget Ministry didn’t respond to three calls and an e-mail requesting comment.

FSOC Should Let SEC Take Lead on Asset Managers, Sifma Says

The Financial Stability Oversight Council should allow the SEC to finish its regulatory work affecting asset management firms before possibly naming any such companies systemically important, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association said in a statement.

FSOC, a group of regulators including the Securities and Exchange Commission that’s led by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, should study the effect of SEC actions before naming any asset management firm a systemically important financial institution, or SIFI, Sifma said.

Mary Miller, Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance, earlier told Bloomberg Television that regulators may eventually decide against naming any asset managers systemically important.

Compliance Action

Taiwan Regulator Says Companies Can Negotiate Loans After Riots

Qualified Taiwanese companies affected by riots in Vietnam can negotiate with domestic financial institutions to renew or roll over existing loans, the Taiwan Financial Supervisory Commission said yesterday in a statement on its website.

Vietnam is home to 2,287 Taiwanese companies and about 40,000 Taiwanese work there, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs said 224 companies were damaged in the protests in Vietnam.

Comings and Goings

South Africa Names Bonakele Head of Competition Commission

South Africa’s Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel named Tembinkosi Bonakele as a commissioner of the Competition Commission for a five-year term, according to a statement on the regulator’s website.

The cabinet ratified the appointment.

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