Accounting News Roundup: KPMG’s Revenue; The Dumbest Bank of the Year; PCAOB Inspections SALY | 12.12.13

Hugs all around!

RBS Wins 'Dumbest Bank of the Year' Award [Bloomberg]
Jonathan Weil has found a doozy. RBS will pay $100 million in fines for conducting transactions "with Iran, Sudan and other countries subject to international sanctions." The smoking gun (or at least one of them) is this excerpt from the instructions the bank gave to employees in its payment processing center: "IMPORTANT: FOR ALL US DOLLAR PAYMENTS TO A COUNTRY SUBJECT TO US SANCTIONS, A PAYMENT MESSAGE CANNOT CONTAIN ANY OF THE FOLLOWING: 1. The sanctioned country name. 2. Any name designated on the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) restricted list, which can encompass a bank name, remitter or beneficiary." In other words, a step-by-step guide in avoiding detection. FTW, RBS. 

Criminal Action Is Expected for JPMorgan in Madoff Case [DealBook]
JPMorgan is trying settle with regulators over its role in Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme: "A settlement with federal prosecutors in Manhattan, the people said, would include a so-called deferred-prosecution agreement and more than $1 billion in penalties to resolve the criminal case. The rest of the fines would be imposed by Washington regulators investigating broader gaps in the bank’s money-laundering safeguards." In total, the fines will be close to $2 billion. This comes in the wake of JPM's $13 billion settlement with regulators over its sale of icky mortgage securities. 

UK accounting watchdog to review bookkeeping at banks [Reuters]
The Financial Reporting Council will spend the second quarter of 2014 looking into banks' accounting "to find out why the lessons of the financial crisis are being applied so slowly." During these reviews, the FRC plans to "look at what action top accounting firms took to address specific issues the watchdog already raised with individual accounting firms earlier this year regarding bank audits." It's going to be a great year!

Audit Failure Themes Persist in 2013, Munter Says [CW]
SALY! "Audit regulators are seeing the same kinds of problems in audits after their 2013 inspections that they've seen in recent years, although its too soon to say if the frequency of audit failures has changed."

Grant Thornton acquires Haley and Associates [TCH]
Haley and Associates is a dynamic Canadian insolvency firm.

EY: 'Bitcoin has the potential to be a game-changer' [Telegraph]
“It is more transparent and traceable than real cash,” said Roger Willis of EY’s fraud team, adding that no one has yet managed to exploit Bitcoin's transaction database.

Woman Claws Her Way Out of Locked Bathroom as in ‘Shawshank Redemption’ [ABC]
Well, sort of. She didn't crawl through a sewage pipe and there was no Raquel Welch poster. Still, it's a harrowing story.

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