CAPACITY GLOBAL http://capacity.org.uk Capacity Eco Finance for a greener world Thu, 01 Apr 2021 16:01:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.11 Environmental enforcement http://capacity.org.uk/environmental-enforcement/ Thu, 01 Apr 2021 15:38:00 +0000 http://capacity.org.uk/?p=321 the use of cctv is prominent across the uk

New CCTV approaches to tackle environmental crime

It is a goal in the UK to improve environmental viability to protect the environment and wild habitats.

The three elements of environmental security include repairing damage caused by the military, preventing as well as responding to conflicts and protecting the environment to its “inherent moral value”.

The environmental change can be seen as a security problem to all states, nations and countries, which will require collective action.

It is important to note that environmental change can actually be a threat to national security and can be identified as a potential reason for conflict and violence.

What can be done?

Read more from Science Direct on this issue.

But that’s not the only threat…

cctv cameras not prone to hacking

According to a survey that was carried out in Ireland among environment departments of all Local Authorities, the use of CCTV systems are being more widely used in technology to monitor, track and prosecute illegal environmental crimes and activities.

CCTV installations are being carried out throughout the country and with the help of businesses and homeowners, who make up 96% of this market has been strong helpful hands in helping crack down on these issues. See more about wireless CCTV systems here.

Such crimes include:

  • Waste and litter
  • Fly-tipping
  • Dangerous buildings and structures
  • Garden bonfires

If you see anything please report it to the Met Police here.

How are police cracking down?

A specific task force has been launched to crack down on waste criminals that include former police detectives. The team will be made up of law enforcement agencies partnered with environmental regulators as well as HMRC and the NCA.

Read more:

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Final steps put in place for dormant accounts scheme http://capacity.org.uk/final-steps-put-in-place-for-dormant-accounts-scheme/ Sun, 21 Feb 2021 15:57:55 +0000 http://capacity.org.uk/?p=354

Today we heard the welcome announcement that regulatory approval has been given to Reclaim Fund Ltd to provide the vital link in the transfer of funds from dormant bank and building society accounts to community projects.

A golden principle of the scheme is that customers will always be entitled to reclaim their accounts – no matter how long it is since the account became inactive. A key part of setting up the scheme has been the establishment of a central reclaim fund sitting between the community use of the money and the banks and building societies involved. This has the specific task of receiving dormant account money which meets the 15-year statutory definition, retaining sufficient funds to meet reclaims and releasing funds for use on community causes in each of the four nations, including Big Society Bank in the case of England.

We, in the first instance, has worked with the largest banks holding over 90 per cent of dormant bank account money and these are now in the process of making the final arrangements for the first transfer within the next few weeks. While this remains in work-in-progress, the latest figures support the earlier estimate that we can expect £400 million to be handed over as the first transfer from the larger institutions. Other monies will follow from these and other institutions in future years. The reclaim fund will be required by the FSA to retain a significant proportion of these funds to ensure that it can meet any reclaims made.

In readiness for the scheme, the banking industry has redoubled its effort in recent years to reunite customers with lost or dormant accounts. This has taken the form of a central tracing service – www.mylostaccount.org.uk – and individual institutions undertaking additional proactive searching. In all, mylostaccount, which spans banks, building societies and national savings, has processed 400,000 search applications over the past three years and it is estimated that customers have been reunited with some £150 million in bank and building society accounts.

We are delighted to hear that the reclaim fund has received its FSA authorisation after what has been a very involved process to ensure that it has the capability to model reclaim rates and ensure that money remains for when customers come forward to reclaim previously forgotten accounts.

The reclaim fund is a key component and sits between two very different parts of the scheme: the part that makes sure that customers can always reclaim their money and the part that enables genuinely lost account money to be put to community use.

For further information see ‘Growing the Social Investment Market: A vision and strategy‘ published by the Cabinet Office in February 2011.

The dormant accounts scheme has been carefully designed to be fully compatible with the industry’s central tracing scheme www.mylostaccount.org.uk and other existing schemes.

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Clarity is key to the new regulatory framework http://capacity.org.uk/clarity-is-key-to-the-new-regulatory-framework/ Thu, 11 Feb 2021 15:56:21 +0000 http://capacity.org.uk/?p=351 We found much to support in HM Treasury’s detailed consultation on a new structure for the UK’s financial regulation. Building the New Regulatory Framework offered detailed proposals on how the successors of the Financial Services Authority should operate.

We have however called for greater clarity of how these new institutions might work together. The next generation of UK financial regulators will need to ensure their roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and build strong links with international supervisors.

This comprehensive paper is much more than a dry-as-dust set of proposals. They represent a more significant change to the UK’s regulatory structure. The new regulators will address competition within the financial services UK, and we believe they should also consider the competitiveness of the UK compared to other jurisdictions. This country has built its strong global presence in many industries by being competitive: as a trading nation, this must continue with financial services and their regulation.

These new bodies need a clear framework so they jointly understand who does what and when. As the Bank of England will get new powers to intervene in the event of a crisis, it is crucial that it keeps the Treasury fully informed as crises develop – and crucially at a point at which alternative options are still available.

And they also need good relations with the EU’s supervisory institutions. The EU will continue to grow its influence over the industry through more detailed rulemaking. It is essential that the UK does apply directives, rules or regulations more strictly, or more quickly than other EU countries with which we compete.

We have also made other key points:

  • the need for the new Financial Policy Committee to take account of the government’s policy objectives before taking actions that could have the effect of reducing credit and mortgages, or increasing their costs. These could have an important impact on the legitimate expectations of the public, and the public policy goals of their government; and
  • the need for an independent annual study by the National Audit Office on the totality of the cost of regulation. A number of new bodies are being set up and old ones retained: many firms will be paying for several of them and some will be paying for all of them.

 

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Six minutes of terror on Mars – and what it means for banking http://capacity.org.uk/six-minutes-of-terror-on-mars-and-what-it-means-for-banking/ Mon, 11 Jan 2021 16:00:20 +0000 http://capacity.org.uk/?p=357 It was the six minutes at the end of NASA’s Mars Explorer mission that were the most anxious for Mission Control. The nine months of interplanetary travel from Earth had passed smoothly, but the six minutes which preceded touchdown on Mars required a series of procedures to decelerate the probe from twice the speed of a bullet to a comparatively gentle descent onto the surface.

Therefore it was in those six minutes that Gentry Lee, NASA’s chief systems engineer, concentrated his risk mitigation strategy. In space exploration, small errors can end up in big failures, so at the planning stage Lee set about logging everything that could go wrong, and then set a plan to deal with it.

The NASA approach was one advocated by senior risk officers at the British Bankers’ Association the other day, as Prof Anette Mikes of Harvard Business School showed how risk planning in a very different sphere held lessons for the world’s banks.

Prof Mikes explained to the delegates at the BBA conference centre that, as a chief systems engineer, Gentry Lee was effectively NASA’s chief risk officer for Mars Explorer. He had identified three different types of risk:

  • business as usual risks – those engineering and physical challenges the team already know about, managed and mitigated;
  • development risks – the new technologies and applications to be used on the mission which had been untried; and
  • “unknown unknowns” – those eventualities which, without a lot of imagination, would be unforeseen.
  • Prof Mikes explained that the same model, slightly adapted, could apply to the business of finance. But crucial to all of this would be the adoption of a new mindset among staff: the expectation that every new idea would need to be explained and justified exhaustively, and effectively tested to destruction – and at a senior level.

This last point is crucial: to be able to enforce the essential cultural changes on an organisation, risk monitoring needs to be carried out at every level of the organisation, and the chief risk officer needs to sit close to the top.

Since long before the credit crunch, the BBA has been looking at new ways to think about risk, drawing on experiences from other fields, academic research and many other resources to find new and better approaches to meeting the challenges of today’s financial markets. Understanding and managing risk is the essential defence against another financial crisis, and the debate on how such risks can be properly anticipated, assessed and managed is one of the absolutely key elements of banking reform.

And, as Prof Mikes says with a smirk, it’s not rocket science.

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The FSA and product intervention http://capacity.org.uk/the-fsa-and-product-intervention/ Wed, 09 Dec 2020 16:01:13 +0000 http://capacity.org.uk/?p=359 The question the Financial Services Authority recently posed to the industry was whether it should have additional powers to intervene in product development, and whether it should be able to ban a product outright.

The FSA has been seeking views on product intervention via a discussion paper it published earlier this year. It asked about the criteria which should be used to assess whether to intervene in financial products and whether there are any reliable indicators of where such intervention might be justified.

It is fair to say that if the FSA were to scrutinise new products at an earlier stage in their development life cycle it might anticipate problems before they occur and reduce their likelihood. And prevention would certainly be better for all than retrospective regulatory action.

But the FSA largely has these powers already – which can be used to similar effect as an outright product ban. Product banning is a blunt tool and should only be used as a last resort following reasoned and balanced investigation: as a regulator, the FSA also needs to ensure it does not inhibit competition, which can lead to innovators creating new and better services for their customers.

So the question is whether the FSA can promote innovation while becoming more active in the early stages of a product’s development. A detailed impact assessment and cost benefit analysis of such changes would be the sensible next step.

And if it chooses to take this route, the FSA’s  changes should be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, to better reflect the many initiatives already under way which may resolve the FSA’s main concerns. The Retail Distribution Review, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive review, the Treasury’s Simple Financial Products project and other such initiatives will change the landscape – not to mention the creation of the new Financial Conduct Authority which will be the successor to the FSA.

Voluntary industry standards can help the FSA to meet its objectives here too, as we recently saw with the new commitments for credit and store card customers enshrined in the new Lending Code.

And – crucially – the recent launch of the Money Advice Service and a renewed focus from the government on financial education will also play their part in empowering consumers to make the right decisions for their futures.

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