Man Robs Texas Bank To Pay For Wedding Ring: Fiancee Busts Him

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ABC NEWS)

 

Heath Edward Bumpous from Crockett, Texas was charged with aggravated robbery and booked into the Trinity County Jail for allegedly approaching a bank teller at Citizens State Bank in Groveton, Texas, informing them that he had a weapon and then demanding money which he was then subsequently given, according to ABC’s affiliate station in Tyler, Texas KLTV.

“He basically stated that he was getting married tomorrow so he didn’t have enough money for a wedding ring that he wanted to buy and he needed to pay for the wedding venue,” Sheriff Woody Wallace said.

After receiving news of the robbery, Wallace immediately posted pictures of the suspect on the Trinity County Sherriff’s Facebook page in hopes that the public would be able to provide tips that would lead to the capture of the suspect.

It was then that Bumpous’ fiancée saw the Facebook post and recognized him.

“His fiancée, who he was supposed to marry tomorrow, was able to get in touch with him on the phone when she saw our post on Facebook. She knew it was him. She contacted him and asked him if he robbed a bank … she convinced him that she knew it was him. His picture was all on Facebook. He needed to turn himself in,” said Wallace in a video posted to his Facebook page.

PHOTO: Trinity County Sheriffs Office released a picture of Heath Bumpous who has been accused of robbing the Citizens State Bank in Groveton, Texas on Oct. 4, 2019.Trinity County Sheriffs Office
Trinity County Sheriff’s Office released a picture of Heath Bumpous who has been accused of robbing the Citizens State Bank in Groveton, Texas on Oct. 4, 2019.more +

Bumpous took his fiancée’s advice to heart and decided to turn himself into the Houston County Courthouse and confessed to his crimes.

Wallace says that most of the money was recovered along with clothes that he threw out of the window of his vehicle during his escape and the gun that he had concealed with him as well.

“He is now in custody. He has been charged with aggravated robbery. The district attorney has accepted the charges. It will go to a grand jury and he will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Sherriff Wallace.

China: No timetable for central bank digital currency: PBOC governor

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)

 

No timetable for central bank digital currency: PBOC governor

Xinhua

Positive progress has been made since the People’s Bank of China began to study digital currency in 2014, but there is no timetable for the launch of the central bank digital currency, said PBOC Governor Yi Gang Tuesday.

The PBOC will launch a package that combines the central bank digital currency with electronic payment instruments, with the goal to replace part of cash, Yi said.

The central bank digital currency framework will not change the existing currency supply routes and system, he said.

It will select the best technology in the market through fair competition, involving not only block chain but also new technologies that evolve from the existing electronic payments, he said.

If a digital currency is to be used across borders, it must also meet regulatory requirements designed to combat violations including money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion, he added.

As for the launch time, Yi said there is no timetable, as there have to be a series of moves from studies to tests, evaluations to risk prevention measures.

Experts: Suez Canal $3.6 Billion in Due Certificates to Remain in Banks

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT) 

 

Experts: Suez Canal $3.6 Billion in Due Certificates to Remain in Banks

Tuesday, 20 August, 2019 – 09:45
A cargo ship passes through the New Suez Canal in Ismailia, Egypt, January 17, 2016. (Reuters)
Cairo – Asharq Al-Awsat
Analysts and bankers said that most of the Suez Canal certificates of deposits due on September 4 will not be withdrawn from banks after their due date. They will instead be reinvested in new certificates because the certificate holders are wary of taking risks.

In 2014, the Suez Canal Authority made more than EGP60 billion (USD3.61 billion) from issuing investment certificates for Egyptians for five years with a revenue of 12 percent end of 2016 to around 15.5 percent.

The revenue was invested in building the new Suez Canal and a number of tunnels.

Back then, Egypt permitted the purchase of investment certificates for Egyptians only by individuals, companies and authorities, such as funds.

Mona Mostafa, director of trading at Arabeya Online, told Reuters that 80 percent of due certificates in September would be linked to new certificates because most of the subscribers of Suez Canal certificates are clients of banks and not adventurous investors.

Egypt announced in August 2014 plans to set up the new Suez Canal in addition to the current canal under a project worth several billions of American dollars. The project aims to expand trade along the fastest route of navigation between Europe and Asia.

Egyptian officials hope the new canal would push annual revenues to USD13.5 billion by 2023 from more than USD5 billion.

The Suez Canal was inaugurated in 1869, and its length is around 160 km. It is the shortest maritime route between Asia and Europe. The canal is Egypt’s largest income source of hard currency alongside tourism, gas and oil exports and workers’ transfers from abroad.

Further, Suez Canal revenues reached USD5.7 billion in 2018, rising from USD5.3 billion in 2017.

China to continue implementing prudent monetary policy in H2: PBOC

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

China to continue implementing prudent monetary policy in H2: PBOC

Xinhua

China’s central bank said Friday that the country will keep its prudent monetary policy “neither too tight nor too loose” and make adjustments in a timely and moderate manner in the second half of the year.

The People’s Bank of China will use a variety of monetary policy tools and adopt counter-cyclical adjustments to keep the liquidity at a reasonable and ample level, it said in a national video and telephone conference.

The growth pace of M2, a broad measure of money supply that covers cash in circulation and all deposits, as well as that of social financing scale, should be commensurate with the growth in nominal GDP, said the bank.

Meanwhile, the meeting called for improving the transmission mechanism of monetary policy to the real economy and to further stimulate the vitality of the micro-enterprises in the market.

In terms of preventing and defusing major financial risks, the bank stressed to forestall systematic financial risks and protect the legitimate rights and interests of the public.

The bank also vowed to strengthen supervision and control of funds in the real estate market and adhere to the principle of “houses are for living in, not for speculation.”

In H2, the bank said it would continue to expand market access, promote greater cross-border use of Chinese yuan, speed up the development of China’s legal digital currency (DC/EP) and intensify curbing risks of Internet financing.

Saudi: Iraq, Iran Sign Agreement to Establish Investment Funds

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Iraq, Iran Sign Agreement to Establish Investment Funds

Tuesday, 30 July, 2019 – 11:15
Baghdad – Asharq Al-Awsat
Head of Iran’s Securities and Exchange Organization (SEO) Shapour Mohammadi announced the conclusion of a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) with Iraq.

One of the most important objectives of this MoC is the establishment of mutual investment funds.

The signing ceremony was attended by Chairman of Iraq Securities Commission Alaa al-Saedi and Iraq’s Ambassador to Iran Saad Jawad Qandil.

Fars news agency quoted Mohammadi as saying that the MoC includes the establishment of an SEO branch in Iraq and the creation of a platform for exporting and importing goods through this branch, as well as providing legal and technical advice on the capital market.

“Unifying the legal regime of the Iranian and Iraqi capital market is one of the provisions of the memorandum, which will be overseen by a bilateral joint committee,” Mohammadi said.

Saedi, for his part, said that with the “conclusion of this agreement, exchange of information and experience with Iran will take place in a specialized and advanced manner.”

He added that the Commission seeks to take advantage of Iran’s experiences in the field of securities exchange business.

Qandil said the MoC is a great step towards bilateral cooperation and will contribute to bilateral economic dealings.

An Iraqi official source, who spoke of condition of anonymity, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the MoC includes only covers the stock exchange, noting that the Commission’s law allows such agreements between countries and companies.

However, Iraqi economic expert Bassem Jamil Antoun doubted that the agreement could be implemented given the US sanctions imposed on Iran.

“The Iraq Securities Commission has the right to conclude agreements with countries in case there are agreements that allow it. However, any transfer of money in dollars from Iraq to Iran cannot be performed because Iraq’s Central Bank is committed to applying sanctions on Iran,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“Any money transfer in dollars must pass through the United States.”

Data breach hits Capital One affecting more than 100 million customers

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF YAHOO NEWS AND USA TODAY)

 

Massive data breach hits Capital One affecting more than 100 million customers

Kelly Tyko

USA TODAY

Capital One said Monday personal information, including Social Security and bank account numbers, of more than 100 million individuals was compromised in a massive data theft that led to the arrest of a Seattle woman.

Paige A. Thompson is accused of stealing data from Capital One credit card applications in what is one of the top 10 largest data breaches ever, according to USA TODAY research. .

The FBI arrested Thompson Monday for the theft, which occurred between March 12 and July 17, court records show. Among the data allegedly collected from a company cloud-based server were Social Security and bank account numbers.

The bank said “the largest category of information” accessed from applicants who applied for credit cards between 2005 and 2019 was personal information including names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth and self-reported income. About 140,000 Social Security numbers were accessed and 80,000 bank account numbers from credit card customers, Capital One said.

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Other data that was obtained includes credit scores, limits, balances and “fragments of transaction data from a total of 23 days during 2016, 2017 and 2018.”

Capital One said in a news release that “100 million individuals in the United States and approximately 6 million in Canada” were affected.

The breach was discovered on July 19 and the company said it “immediately fixed the configuration vulnerability that this individual exploited and promptly began working with federal law enforcement.”

“While I am grateful that the perpetrator has been caught, I am deeply sorry for what has happened,” said Richard D. Fairbank, Capital One chairman and CEO, in a statement. “I sincerely apologize for the understandable worry this incident must be causing those affected and I am committed to making it right.”

Last week, Equifax reached a deal with the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 50 states on the 2017 breach that affected approximately 147 million Americans.

European Bank for Reconstruction Hails Egypt’s Successful Infrastructure Projects

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

European Bank for Reconstruction Hails Egypt’s Successful Infrastructure Projects

Saturday, 13 July, 2019 – 11:30
A general view of Cairo, Egypt. (Reuters)
Cairo – Asharq Al-Awsat

Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), said that Egypt is achieving great success in infrastructure projects as part of the economic reform program in the country.

During his meeting with Egypt’s Minister of Investments and International Cooperation Sahar Nasser in London on Friday, Chakrabarti expressed the bank’s keenness to cooperate with Egypt to reinforce economic integration in Africa as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi chairs the African Union for this year.

He noted that the bank is committed to supporting Egypt in its reform efforts. The bank’s investment volume is estimated at USD4.9 billion, with the private sector accounting for 58 percent of the total. Its investments in Egypt account for more than 50 percent of its investments in Africa.

The two officials discussed increasing cooperation between Egypt and EBRD in new fields, such as transportation, amid the bank’s interest in expanding its operations in Egypt.

On Friday, Egypt participated in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

Minister of Finance Mohammed Moeit represented Egypt at the meeting along with Ahmed Kajuk, deputy Minister of Finance for Financial Policy and Institutional Development.

AIIB discussed possible means to reinforce communication mechanisms with neighboring countries and consolidating the partnership between the Asia and Europe through investing in infrastructure and benefiting from successful international experiences.

Cairo is expected to host on November 4-6 the first edition of the Egy Traffic expo on road, bridge transportation, communications, energy and electricity projects.

Amr Shawky, Chairman of the Board of Directors of EGY TECH Engineering, said that in addition to projects, the exhibition will offer radical solutions to traffic and transportation problems, to serve the people and encourage foreign investment in Egypt.

Turkey Plans to Tap 40 Bln Lira ($6.6 Billion) from Central Bank Reserves

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Turkey Plans to Tap 40 Bln Lira from Central Bank Reserves

Monday, 13 May, 2019 – 11:00
A money changer counts Turkish lira banknotes at a currency exchange office in Istanbul, Turkey August 2, 2018. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Turkey’s Treasury ministry is working on legislation to transfer the central bank’s 40 billion lira ($6.6 billion) in legal reserves to the government’s budget to shore it up, three economic officials told Reuters.

The budget is deeper in deficit than expected, said the sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

It was unclear when or whether the draft law would reach parliament, however, though one of the sources said it would happen “soon.”

Turkey’s economy tipped into recession last year after the lira fell sharply. The currency is under pressure again, in part due to worries over the central bank’s depleted foreign exchange reserves, which would help it defend against another crisis.

Separate to foreign exchange reserves, “legal reserves” are what the central bank sets aside from profits by law to be used in extraordinary circumstances. At end-2018, they stood at 27.6 billion lira, according to the bank’s balance sheet data.

A second source with knowledge of the matter said last year’s “legal reserves” combined with this year’s amounted to the 40-billion lira figure, which was cited by all three people who spoke to Reuters.

“The Turkish central bank has around 40 billion lira in legal reserves. The transfer of this amount to the 2019 central administration budget was seen as suitable. This step aims at improving and strengthening the budget,” the second source said.

It remained unclear how much of the reserves would ultimately be transferred and what, if any, new requirements would apply to the central bank.

Central Bank and Treasury ministry officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The transfer would mark the second recent move by Ankara to tap the central bank’s funds to boost its budget. In January, the bank transferred some 37 billion lira in profits to the Treasury three months earlier than scheduled.

“I do not remember the use of legal reserves before. This method came up to stop further deterioration of the budget,” the first source said.

“There needs to be a legislation to transfer the central bank’s legal reserves. The new legislation is planned to be presented to the parliament soon.” the source said.

Turkey’s budget recorded a 36.2 billion lira deficit in the first quarter of 2019, according to Treasury and Finance Ministry data. The deficit is expected to reach 80.6 billion lira by year end.

VA Mortgage Lenders Hit With Federal Subpoenas

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF POLITICO NEWS)

 

VA mortgage lenders hit with federal subpoenas

Federal investigators have issued subpoenas to several mortgage lenders that make loans to military veterans, seeking information on delinquencies and payments.

The investigation is being led by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General in cooperation with the U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York, according to four people with knowledge of the subpoenas.

At least eight lenders, and likely more, have been asked to turn over hundreds of files on VA home loans made between 2013 and 2017, according to two people with knowledge of the request.

The requests include questions about quality control and loan audits.

Some VA lenders have drawn scrutiny from regulators after they sold short-term, adjustable-rate mortgages to military homeowners as interest rates climbed. One VA program in particular — the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan, or IRRRL — allows lenders to put existing VA borrowers into new loans without an appraisal or underwriting and was ripe for abuse.

Michael Nacincik, a spokesperson for the Department of Veterans Affairs OIG, and John Marzulli, a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, declined to comment. Both said they could neither confirm nor deny the existence of any investigation.

Jeffrey London, executive director of the VA’s Loan Guaranty Service, did not respond to requests for comment.

On Friday, Ginnie Mae said it was weighing whether to exclude some of those VA loans from its pooled securities in an effort to tackle a wave of rapid-fire mortgage refinancings that have left some military service members deeper in debt.

In a 14-page request for input, the government mortgage agency called the practice, known as churning, “unhealthy” for the agency.

The loan documents requested by investigators weren’t limited to IRRRLs, according to one person with knowledge of the subpoenas.

The VA subpoenas are landing as HUD is taking steps to rein in the prosecution of lenders who sell mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration.

Many of the nation’s largest banks, including JPMorgan Chase, stopped offering FHA loans after the government, under former President Barack Obama, used the False Claims Act to extract billions of dollars in settlements from dozens of big lenders.

FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery, an appointee of President Donald Trump, has said those cases went too far and that the Trump administration is working with the DOJ to change how the False Claims Act is used against lenders.

Authority to investigate ‘financial service fee’ for Benz sales loan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWSPAPER ‘SHINE’)

 

Authority to investigate ‘financial service fee’ for Benz sales loan

An investigation has been launched after reports that Mercedes-Benz Automobile Finance Co illegally charged a customer a financial service fee, as claims surfaced in Shanghai of dealers also charging fees.

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Administration has asked its Beijing authority to initiate an inquiry.

A woman who bought a Mercedes-Benz she claims was defective from a dealer in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, has now claimed she was cheated over a “financial service fee.”

The woman said she bought the Mercedes-Benz CLS300 from Xi’an Lizhixing Co for 660,000 yuan (US$98,445) but found the engine was leaking oil after she picked it up on March 27. She asked for a refund or a replacement but the dealer only agreed to change the engine.

The incident attracted wide attention after a video of the woman sitting on the bonnet of a Mercedes-Benz while weeping and arguing with salesmen at the 4S dealer store on April 9 was posted online.

The Xi’an market watchdog launched an investigation and asked the dealer to refund the buyer. The regulator also arranged a face-to-face negotiation between the two sides on Saturday, during which the buyer said she had intended to purchase the car outright.

However, the dealer persuaded her to use Mercedes-Benz finance as it is said to feature low interest.

The dealer also “forced” her to pay a “financial service fee” of 15,200 yuan to a personal account without providing a receipt, she claimed. The woman said she thought this was fraud as the dealer hadn’t provided any services.

Mercedes-Benz issued a statement on Sunday, saying it never asks for any financial service fee from dealers or customers.

A Shanghai consumer surnamed Wang who visited several Mercedes-Benz 4S shops to purchase an off-road vehicle said he was asked to take out a loan at the Songzhixing shop on Changshou Road.

The salesperson said the car was popular, and many 4S shops would not sell it if buyers refused to take a loan, Wang said. A salesperson would not get a commission without arranging a loan.

The same requirement was raised by the Minxing Automobile Service Co 4S shop, Wang said.

The Shanghai Consumer Council said yesterday they had received complaints about other automobile companies charging financial service fees.

Lawyers said car sales companies often use various excuses to charge fees to raise their profits, which infringes consumers’ rights to make choices.

A Shanghai consumer surnamed Huang who wanted to purchase a car at a 4S shop last year was told that he must buy a 13,800-yuan package including sticker and tachograph, and a three-year car insurance if he wanted to enjoy a discounted price of the car.

Huang asked several 4S shops the next day, and some had the same requirement.

Meanwhile, a woman Wang Wen who paid 340,000 yuan for a new Mercedes-Benz at the Zhongshengzhixing 4S shop on Jinyun Road in Jiading District found it was faulty.

She asked for a refund, but the 4S shop refused, and offered free exchange, free components and reduction of insurance fees as replacement.

Wang learnt that the car was an “auction car” sold to dealers at a discounted price, and had probably been used for display or trial runs.

A video of a woman sitting on a Mercedes-Benz and arguing with salesmen has gone viral.