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Why Iceland Voted No to Repay Icesaves Debt to Holland, and the UK?

Why Iceland Voted “No” to Repay Icesaves Debt to Holland, and the UK?

The difference in what ordinary people think is right, and their governments can often create a paradox. This was the case when ordinary Icelanders voted a firm “No” to paying the cost themselves, of the huge four billion euro debt left by Icesave- a private bank based in Iceland. Why did the majority of Icelanders reject taking on this debt themselves?

One of the more controversial decisions of many governments was to take on the debts left by the private banks in their countries. This decision left countries like Ireland, facing financial ruination, whilst the United States & Britain sacrificed public services in return for ‘honoring” this debt.

Ordinary Icelanders already faced with higher taxes, and billions in debts, were the first victims of the 2008 financial meltdown. In a second referendum, they said “no” to any bailouts of Icesave. Leaving political leaders in the UK, and the Netherlands angered.

Were the Voters Right?

In a system where government ownership is frowned upon, whilst private ownership, and entrepreneurship is encouraged, people are expected to be responsible for their own financial failings. This was the continued message of European, and American governments before 2008, and the main message of free marketers.

Then the financial crisis came, and suddenly large banking corporations seemed to be immune from this responsibility, as trillions of dollars of debts were passed on to the taxpayer through bailouts. The cost of this has been cutbacks in basic services like education, and the lack of investment in any planned economic growth.

Ordinary Icelanders may of seen the reality of these costly bailouts, and the consequences felt by many ordinary people affected by taking on this debt, also they may of witnessed the immunity in which most leaders in the banking sector were granted after these huge bailouts. Three years later many of these failed financial leaders are advising our governments, living on golden handshakes or still running the banks they ruined.

It was this immunity, which won over the ethical right of both the British and Dutch governments in retrieving these funds, that has led to this rejection of a 4 billion euro bailout. A decision which has angered depositors and governments alike, who see this as a rejection of responsibility.

One problem the UK government may have in persuading these ordinary people to vote “yes,” could of been why they never investigated the directors of Icesave, who reside in London, whilst one of the directors became a special government adviser, after he had lost billions.

We can conclude that if today, we could vote on whether to bail out a bank or corporation, the majority of people would vote “no,” and perhaps insist on the directors take on the responsibility themselves. This ridicules assumptions by our leaders that whatever financial failings large corporations have, they can be passed on to the taxpayer. Perhaps this is one reason ordinary people in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and the United States openly question the fairness of these bailouts.…

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The Great Benefits of Online Banking

The Great Benefits of Online Banking

Online banking has totally changed the way we run our businesses and perform our daily banking tasks. It has made things a lot more convenient and has drastically reduced the time we take to make transactions and carry out other banking activities.

There are so many things you can do with online banking and also you can get a larger variety of internet banking sites that you can choose from. You are able to find online banking services that have no physical offices, or there are even major regular banks that have their own internet banking sites.

Internet banking sites can have interest rates that vary and it is also possible to find different interest rates offered for different bank account types. For example, you can have the same banking site offering a good interest rate for savings accounts and but not for checking accounts.

Online banking also allows you to have more control over your money and you are able to have a look at the status of a deposit or check at any point of time, be it day or night. It also makes it possible to stay clear of errors that usually take place when you are using a regular bank account. For instance, say you wrote a check for something and later on in the night find out from your internet banking site, that you do not have sufficient money in that account to pay for what you bought, you can stop the check from bouncing by simply transferring money from your savings into your checking account. This is not possible in a regular bank account since you have to wait until the banks business hours start.

Another great thing about banking online is that you can make deposits or use your account from anyplace in the world (provided you have internet in that part of the world). All you need is an online banking account.

I have already mentioned that you are able to bank at anytime during the day or night, but now you can bank from any where. Cell phones have taken online banking to the next level and it is now possible to bank even in the outdoors. Whether you are camping or having a nice game of golf, you can make transactions from the very place where you are standing if you have a cell phone with internet capability.

As you can see, there are a number of things you are able to accomplish with such great convenience, thanks to online banking. Online banking will certainly make things a lot easier for you and your business and you will never have to worry about bank timings.…

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Print And Mail Services For Businesses

Print And Mail Services For Businesses

In the modern business world, organizations need to do anything they can to lower infrastructure expenses but still acquire reliable mailing tools. This is why print and mail services are becoming so widespread lately. The businesses that supply this service are making it feasible to outsource both printing and mailing jobs so businesses can refocus their efforts on different areas.

Print mail services are invaluable for businesses that require loads of statement generating or stuffing, form stock printing, notices, direct marketing letters, invoices, and more. This sort of service allows an organization to give their correspondence or notices to the correct men and women without needing to give excessive hours to the project.

These letters and statements should be sent at minimum every month, and occasionally they need to be sent out each week. A company can certainly invest too much effort trying to keep up with the demand if they don’t use a reliable service. By outsourcing to a print and mail service, though, the company will be able to transfer these regular tasks to a company that specializes in sending out mailers on a daily basis.

When a business makes use of print mail services, it may eliminate many of the costs and problems that all too often burden companies that deliver marketing or billing letters on a continuous basis. A print and mail service makes it possible to delegate the publishing, folding, and stuffing stages to other people. In addition, it ensures that the organization will never have to manage its own printer maintenance or pay mail-room personnel.

Probably the most common ways to use outsourced print mail services is in direct marketing. In an effort to reach out to its prospective clients, a business must have a way to distribute its information in a cost effective way. If it squanders all its money on the marketing end of the enterprise, it will not have enough to keep everything else running efficiently.

A print and mail service is an efficient way to deal with all your mailing needs and trim numerous costs out of the enterprise. It is crucial that you make an effort to discover the service that can handle your need and is capable of delivering letters or statements whenever they are required. The best services will, in the long run, make it feasible to run the business as effectively as is possible.…

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A Few Of The Best Caribbean Places For Financial Investment

A Few Of The Best Caribbean Places For Financial Investment

These days, the economy is so volatile that it behooves us to be as smart as possible with your money. It is recommended that you make your money work for you in good investments. The best Caribbean places for financial investment offer a number of good reasons why to invest in the Caribbean. Please reference the following information to learn more.

The economy is wreaking havoc on the country and the world. Many people are realizing that not only is it a good idea to be money smart, that it is a necessity. Instead of letting your money sit in savings accounts or under mattresses, experts recommend that money be invested in order to make money. They also recommend that you do ample homework while making your choice as to what to invest in.

The Caribbean is becoming a very hot spot for investors. Businessmen and the like are finding that making money there is not so difficult, especially if you pick the right countries to invest in there. Through Caribbean mortgage and finance and other financial tools and transactions, they are actually recouping investments and turning profits.

Remember that there are some places in the Caribbean that are experiencing strife and others that offer no real protection for your investment. Putting your money in these countries is tantamount to throwing your money out to sea. Find some articles that are informative on the crime and social unrest of particular countries.

One of the best countries in the Caribbean to invest in is Trinidad and Tobago. This island country near Venezuela is different than most of the other Caribbean islands in that it is not in the hurricane belt. This makes it more attractive than its sister islands that lie in the belt. Investors in Trinidad have less worries about this devastating natural disaster than other countries there.

Also, Trinidad and Tobago have the highest GDP amongst these countries. This translates into a healthier economy, which is what any investor is looking for. The GDP growth rate is impressive as well. The only thing to keep in mind about this country is its rising crime rate.

Another country is the Dominican republic. Unfortunately, it lies in the hurricane belt and is subject to mother nature. However, it is an immense country and has lots of potential for the future. One reason for this is the regional trade agreement down in Central America. This should free up trade and allow for more money to be made quicker.

Also, there is Aruba. This well known island enjoys financial stability from a steady stream of tourist, most of whom are American. Its GDP is one of the highest in the Caribbean and criminal activities and social strife are less here than in other countries. Also, Aruba is located outside of the hurricane belt.

The best Caribbean places for financial investment are gong to be those that have the most stability and potential for growth. Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba and the Dominican Republic are three of the top choices. For the first two, being located outside the hurricane belt is a huge plus as well as strong and growing GDPs. For the Dominican Republic, its size and membership in free trade pacts make it a great choice as well.…

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Things to Consider With Your Choice of Personal Banking

Things to Consider With Your Choice of Personal Banking

There are hundreds and thousands of banks out there. When it comes to deciding which bank to choose for your personal banking it is important to do some research and find out which bank will best fulfill your needs. It is your money and you get to decide what to do with it. Here are some things to consider when choosing where to do your personal banking.

-Is it convenient? Choose a bank that is close by and that you can stop by when out running your errands or one your way home from work. If you bank is all the way across town it could become a real inconvenience to have to go there.

-Compare banks. You can get on the websites of different institutes and see what types of accounts, services, and rates they offer. Find a bank that offers the services you are looking for and provides reasonable rates. Make sure you are getting the best deal on interest rates and costs for services.

-Online banking. Today many people do all of their banking online. If this is something that is important to you, find a bank whose online banking is easy to maneuver and that you feel comfortable using. Research to see which banks have the highest rankings for their online banking.

-Ask friends and family. Ask those you are close with which banks they use. Ask them what they like and dislike about their bank. They have experience with different banks and can offer a lot of recommendations.

Your money is important to you. Where you do your personal banking should be important too. Do the research, follow the suggestions above, and find the right bank to fit your needs. If you take the time to do the work you will find a bank that makes you happy and you will feel good knowing that your money is in a safe place.…

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Ethics in Banking and Business

Ethics in Banking and Business

Ethics has been a common topic in the news recently, and ethical issues have been at the forefront of business and banking for a number of years. At times it might seem like society has grown weary of these ongoing ethical dilemmas, but it is still likely that more problems involving ethics mean that there is still more to be learned from events that involve ethical questions. While banks do not have a monopoly on these matters, there are frequently higher built-in behavioral expectations for bankers that make their ethical lapses slightly more visible and controversial.

Whenever individuals are responsible for managing large amounts of money (as bankers clearly are), there can be temptations to take advantage of the situation. In many cases there are governing laws and regulations which prescribe what is legal, but ethical guidelines are often less formal and rigid. In fact, this lack of specificity is what often leads to an ethical dilemma in the first place. If a bank employee finds themselves asking questions like the following, we should not be surprised if what follows is later referred to as a teaching moment:

Should I tell anyone about this?

Is this really wrong?

Can I get into trouble by doing this?

Is this illegal or just unethical?

The final hypothetical question (Is it illegal or merely unethical?) involves a troubling distinction made by some when confronted by a grey area that is seemingly legal but still questionable. It is true that in some cases ethical violations can also be viewed as illegal, but many unethical acts might be technically legal. Within many companies and banks, it is not unusual for there to be a code of ethics covering many circumstances which are within the law but outside of desired company and banking behavior. Character traits are likely to influence how individuals act in any number of situations that are not spelled out in terms of what to do and what not to do. A relevant definition emerging from a recent scandal suggests that character is what you do when nobody is watching. There can be both good and bad ethics, and one way of determining which is the prevailing standard is by observing what people do when they do not think that anybody is looking over their shoulder.

There have been several banking events in the past 25 years that are usually described in terms of legal and ethical violations by multiple individuals and banks. Such mass ethics lapses are in a special class that deserve more detailed analysis and introspection than can be provided here. One of the best investigations into the ethics and other details of the savings and loan banking crisis was written by William Black and has the following title:

The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One: How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S&L Industry

The savings and loan episode involved multiple examples of bankers taking advantage of a weak regulatory environment, and the factors behind the 2008 banking crisis had several striking similarities. There are many teaching moments that can hopefully help improve the future ethics environment for business and banking.…

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Online Banking in Third World Countries

Online Banking in Third World Countries

A large number of banks in Pakistan are now migrating from the waiting in queues to online banking facility path for its consumers. Many banks have already joined the bandwagon of IT creativity and are providing its customers technology to facilitate customer growth and retention of current customers. The introduction of the ATM facility is one step in this particular direction. Though the strategy of utilizing the internet to create differentiators in the market is critical and detrimental to the overall growth of banks, there is a lacking of vision and timely marketed software that is not creating the rippling effect that senior bankers once anticipated.

It took multiple cycles of development and years of speculated understanding to foster and cater to the needs and requirements of the internet users. Saving time and pain in a fast paced world such as ours is mandatory. Consumers can no longer wait in line at hours at end to obtain check books or wait for bankers to conclude if they are negligible for car loans. Surfing financial statements, loan rates and comparing life insurance can now all be done by a click of the mouse.

The banking trends in the developed countries indicate that technology is now acting as a strong catalyst for improving customer retention as compared to last ten years ago. During early 1990’s, banks were primarily testing the grounds weather to introduce IT into its marketing strategy, but late 1990’s saw a completely different turn where online banks were being introduced and competing with banks that had physical presence. A revolution began incorporating services and value added features that consumers took strong response to.

Etrade corporation successfully penetrated the market by providing online trading in the initial stages with secure links and encrypted passwords. That market soon became saturated with software companies offering lower trading margins. Even AOL anticipated a growing potential and diverted into this expanding market and created moneyonline that now caters to a larger reader audience interested in the trading and finance sector.

Taking into account the blue prints of the banking industry, Pakistan has just started scratching the surface of online banking. Only MCB proclaims online banking facility but still have not been able to successfully deploy this service in the market. It takes conducive marketing research, consumer behavior, availability of internet access, avenues to place wealth and a confidence that banks will be there as time goes on for the IT to play its part.

Many ingredients of the IT equation are completely missing in Pakistan. First of all, the literacy rate of Pakistan determines how many users of internet can this nation truly have. Secondly, only recently mutual funds have started popping up in the financial sector. Thirdly, the overall environment is not ripe to introduce sophisticated software that works on data mining and customer retention. If we only get the banking processes and operations into gear and anticipate an exponential growth of education in this country, can we really work on appreciating the advantages of online banking.…

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A Simple Benefit of Offshore Banking is Seen in Offshore Savings Accounts

A Simple Benefit of Offshore Banking is Seen in Offshore Savings Accounts

A simple aspect of offshore banking is seen in offshore savings accounts. In many tax advantaged locations interest on deposits is not deducted. Although the saver may need to declare savings interest “back home” the ability to let savings compound throughout the year on the untaxed balance will increase the return on your savings.

Interest on a certificate of deposit may be paid quarterly offshore but not be taxable in your home jurisdiction until you return the money to your home jurisdiction. Tax laws will vary from country to country and from offshore jurisdiction to offshore jurisdiction. However, banking in tax advantaged jurisdictions will usually save you money.

If you allow your savings account to accrue over the year and pay taxes “back home” only at year’s end you will make a higher compounded rate throughout the year with will in turn accrue over the years ahead of what you would have seen with an account that stayed in your home country.

This same principle can apply to trusts, off shore funds, and investment bonds as well. If you are uncertain about the tax laws in your home country talk to your accountant. If you want to find a stable, trustworthy offshore banking jurisdiction you should talk to an offshore specialists about this.

Offshore funds, trusts, and investment bonds may be treated the same way depending upon your country of origin. In this case interest compounds tax free and is not taxed offshore upon withdrawal which is when the income from the investment vehicle will typically be taxed back home.

These any many other advantages becomes available by going off shore. Then the next question arises, about where and how to invest and save in tax advantaged locations.

Belize Offshore Banking

Opening an offshore bank account in Belize is easy. You do not even need to go to the bank. You can be introduced to a reputable, competent, trustworthy bank in Belize. You can set up your account online and by fax.

Belize has local, Belize banks, and international banks doing business in Belize. An offshore specialist can easily help you with the right banking choice for your needs. The banking guidelines in Belize provide you with unparalleled privacy and security in handling of your accounts and transactions.

In order to open an account in you need only provide your full name and a copy of your driver’s license or passport, proof of your address, a utility bill for your address, and a reference from your current bank. Ideally you will need to have had a two year relationship with the bank that provides your reference.

Although the bank will need this information to open an account your personal information is not available to third parties without your knowledge and consent. You can do all of banking with your Belize offshore bank online from anywhere in the world.

Offshore Banking

This simply means that you bank in a country outside of your own. Banking offshore usually offers tax advantages as offshore bank interest is not taxed in the offshore location. Also offshore locations offer confidential, secure and convenient banking with access to your account from anywhere on earth.

These banks allow you to set up your accounts and do all of your banking on the internet. You never need to visit the bank. Many companies offer services and will help you choose a bank offering exceptional privacy and asset protection. Besides the advantages of banking tax free the banks will guard your privacy so that you can do business anywhere in the world without the world looking over your shoulder.

How Is a Belize Bank Account Taxed?

The answer is that a Belize offshore bank account is not taxed in Belize. Depending upon the tax laws in your home country you may have a tax liability there but income from your Belize account is not taxed and not reported to anyone except you.

Interest on money in your Belize offshore bank account is paid without deducting for taxes. Belize banks deal with you and not the government of your country. As such you may or may not have a tax obligation “back home” but that is not the business of your overseas banking partner.

You can bank online and carry a debit card for your account and use it anywhere in the world. You can transfer money in and out of your account in complete security and privacy. Your business is with your bank and their business is with you.

Offshore Trusts

If you would like to put money in trust for your grandchildren consider an offshore trust. Depending upon your tax jurisdiction there may be a substantial tax advantage in going offshore. Depending upon your home country …

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Educating Consumers on Mobile Banking Security and Mobile Money Transfer

Educating Consumers on Mobile Banking Security and Mobile Money Transfer

In this day and age, most people have mobile phones. These cell phones are a necessity for modern man. They can be used to make calls, email, play games and send text messages. Many businesses have integrated special templates on their websites to enable access for mobile phones, granting convenience to those on the move or who are extremely busy and work outdoors. The banking industry has invested heavily in mobile banking for its customers and analysts have continued to analyze how this process is being received in the community.

Big banks want to give their customers easy access to their accounts and thus an impetus to use mobile banking. Customers who use their mobile phones for banking needs save banks a ton of money in employee related costs. So banks have made it their priority to ensure that mobile banking security is assured in order for customers to use the application on their phones. There has been mixed reviews of mobile banking. Some people are not comfortable with using cell phones as they feel they may get hacked and have their personal information taken from them. Others feel that the size of the phone screen is small and they would rather just use a personal computer.

Mobile phones may get lost and all the personal information in them can be used to steal bank account information. So, banks have made it a point to ensure that mobile banking security is encrypted and safe for consumers. The good news for customers is that any fraudulent transactions in an individual’s account will be reimbursed fully if their account is compromised.

Mobile phones may be used to purchase merchandise off the Internet. If one sees a product they like while running errands, they may use their phones to visit the website of the store they were in and buy it using the mobile phones. In addition, it is also easy to send funds through the mobile money transfer capability installed on most phones. This eliminates the hassle of going to stand in line at the bank waiting to see a teller for such services.

The advantage of mobile money transfer is the encryption added to the websites that allow transferring of funds. The applications usually have a small lead time that allows for automated signing out of the platform when not in use thus increasing safety and protecting the customer should the phone get lost.…

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Prioritizing Your Duties As A New Manager

Prioritizing Your Duties As A New Manager

To be effective and deliver high levels of performance as a Manager, especially in the face of changing regulations and low morale among some staff in banking and financial services firms, newly-appointed Managers and Team Leaders need to have both a ‘change in mindset’ and clarity on the priorities for their team.

The change in mindset required of you as a new manager will enable you to focus on ensuring that jobs get done, rather than doing the jobs yourself. Managing other peoples’ time and the financial resources of your organisation is not an easy role for some new managers. This is even more difficult if managers spent many years previously measuring their success and effectiveness by the number of tasks they completed alone. In considering priorities for your team, therefore, you should take into consideration immediate/short-term ones and longer-term priorities. The latter will affect not just you and your team but the business as a whole.

A useful place to start is having clarity about your priorities. It is essential that such priorities be communicated to your team. When this is done at the outset, you are able to get support/ ‘buy-in’ for a common or shared team goal. Failure to communicate priorities at the start of assuming duty as a new Team Leader or Manager can result in you being head of a group, rather than leading a team. You may even find yourself faced with the scenario of having multiple agendas and priorities among sub-groups in ‘the team’. The likelihood of this occurring is higher when changes form part of the new priorities and pockets of resistance have developed.

Below are seven pivotal questions you should ask of yourself as a manager, especially if it is your first time ever to manage a team or you have stepped up to performing duties for management of a larger and multi-region team, as part of a global business.

What are my priority/most urgent tasks this week? This should have been planned at least in the previous week and merely updated for any subsequent changes.

What are my plans for the department/team over the next quarter, six months, year,…? Ideally this should be done not only through discussions with your Director/Line Manager but through discussions with members of your team.

Where are the greatest risks to attaining a high level of performance by everyone on my team? In essence, how can I build capability and empower my team to even higher levels of performance.

How do I set common goals and lead/get others to achieve their goals also?

How do I and the team prepare for business/organisation changes over the next year?

What non-financial incentives can I use to reward my team? Financial incentives may not always be the ones valued most highly.

What time management tools can I use most fruitfully to ensure I am effective in performing my duties and meet, if not exceed, all targets?

It is essential that you ask yourself these questions even before you begin your new role. While you may not have all the answers before you start managing your team, you should strive to have those answers within the first 30 days of assuming your managerial role.

The answers you provide to those questions would go a considerable way to helping you get greater depth of clarity in understanding the demands of your role as a team manager and how you can manage the talent in your team and improve your own personal effectiveness and creditability as a Manager or Team Leader.…