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How technology is tacklinghuman trafficking

Alexon Bell, Global Head of AML and Compliance at Quantexa

Technology is both a blessing and a curse for officials fighting against human trafficking.

With the rise of social media and a world growing smaller through communication platforms, alongside the accessibility of online advertisements and encrypted messaging apps, traffickers have a host of technologies at their fingertips to help entrap victims, advertise their services and cover up the trafficker’s own illegal activity.

However, new technologies are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are playing a key role in eliminating human trafficking. Some are used to discoverand rescue victims, others to identify networks of perpetrators. Many of these advancements are beginning to empower governments to source the root of trafficking rings and stop the activity at its core. In turn, this puts a new and heavier responsibility onto banks and corporates to innovate and improve their systems to themselves spot any nefarious activity and feed this back into the global effort against trafficking.

Spotting victims

At the heart of each case of human trafficking is a victim, butknowing the identity of this victim is difficult. Hundreds of images of abused children are shared online every day – even if all of these are flagged, many will be duplicates of cases that have already been actioned. Understanding whether an image is a duplicate or a new photo – which would require a new response from law enforcement – is difficult as such images are hard to track.

Previously, traffickers wanting to proliferate an image could make small tweaks to it, such as adding marks or a resizing the photo….

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Banks will reap gender diversity dividend if they invest in appointing more women into senior roles says The Pipeline report

Women Count 2018 found that in the last three years there has been no progress on gender diversity in senior roles in the FTSE 350 – and by some measures, it is going backwards.

Women Count is the third annual report by The Pipeline, that tracks and analyses the number of women on Executive Committees of FTSE 350 companies. The report found that:

  • The ratio of women on Executive Committees of FTSE 350 companies has stayed the same at only 16% since the first report three years ago.
  • 95% of all P&L roles on Executive Committees are held by men and just 5% by women, a decrease on last year – most women instead perform ‘functional’ roles such as HR, marketing, legal or compliance.
  • The percentage of women executives on main boards has flatlined at 8% between 2017 and 2018. This means 92% are still held by men.

Representation on Executive Committees, unlike representation on Boards, is the best measure of gender equality in the FTSE 350 because executives have power in the running of a company.

Banks continue to have much to do if they really want to improve their gender pay gap, increase women in senior roles and better reflect their customer base. With 25% representation of women on their Executive Committees, this means that men make up 75% of operating committees. Even worse on the main Board, there is 83% representation of men across Executive Director roles. Increasing the number of women in senior…

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Transforming legacy system by migrating to the cloud

Stephan Schmidt-Tank, Senior Manager, Financial Services Business & Market Development at Amazon Web Services 

  1. Is helping clients with core banking software something that AWS has looked at, or would consider looking at?

We’re seeing a wave of change sweeping the industry directly related to financial institutions’ move to the cloud, and core systems are no exception.  Our customers – both financial institutions and providers of financial solutions – are using AWS services to both transform legacy core systems by migrating them to the cloud, and to innovate in this space by bringing new cloud-native core systems to market.

For example, Monzo, a U.K. based bank that is currently live with limited-edition debit cards, uses the AWS Cloud to host its core banking application to leverage scale and flexibility of cloud computing as well as eliminate the guessing game around capacity, provisioning, and infrastructure management.

Another great example includes our work with Starling Bank, the UK mobile-only challenger bank designed and built completely on the AWS Cloud. The bank uses AWS to deliver and scale infrastructure on demand while ensuring proper governance by managing developer privileges for releases on AWS via automation with Slack. Starling Bank also engaged directly, and early on, with UK and EU banking regulators on its use of AWS to build and operate all of its infrastructure, including its core banking. It was able to demonstrate to these bodies that it could effectively meet its security and compliance obligations.

Mambu,

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Through Technology, Venture Capital Needs To Transform. Enter,Exit Factory

“Exit Factory is the entry to a new approach.”

We live in a time of unprecedented technological progress. Fresh business concepts emanate from new technologies and every day we observe their resulting projects. An astonishing $27 billion is invested each week in more than 350 start-up funding rounds.

As a consequence, investors face ever increasing challenges in identifying projects with the highest potential.

Most venture capitalists concede that finding those projects, which are primed for quick exits with a favourable return on their investment, has never been more difficult.

Enter,Exit Factory. Using AI and decentralised blockchain technology, Exit Factory is poised to solve these issues with their own decentralised platform, coined Exit Platform. Exit Platform is aimed at helping both the investors and acquirers, as well as project founders and the team within.

Exit Platform is the first business platform focused on complex solutions to support the venture capital industry. Exit Platform ultimately allows investors to pinpoint a promising project or an entire market area for future investments. It provides complete transparency of all the business processes by relying on Smart Contracts and Blockchain technologies. Exit Platform focusses on granting high yield investments by ensuring the execution of short term exits.

How does it work?

Investors and acquirers will benefit from an AI decision-support system that takes into account a range of economic variables, as well as factors relating to project founders’ and team members’ track records to predict the short to medium-term prospects that have the potential for high-yield exits.

Founders and teams will benefit from the fact that if they are genuinely skilled in their project’s sector, they will be identified by the AI and therefore more likely to be rewarded for their competence.

The AI’s output will be continually assessed and commented on by qualified investment experts, meaning the neural network will get better and better as it is trained by both real world examples of successful exits and the associated variables, as well…

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Uncertainty and Opportunity as Small and Medium- Sized Enterprises Face Banking Change

Over 220,000 small businesses set to form part of the biggest banking shake up in years

Thousands of small businesses across the UK who are the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) customers, are being incentivised to change their banking facilities.

This is set to cause confusion for many small businesses without the time or resources to assess what options are now available in the wider market, according to Duff & Phelps, the global advisor that protects, restores and maximises value for clients.

RBS contacted over 220,000 small business customers with turnover under £25m to inform them of this new opportunity which has come as a result of the £45 billion taxpayer-funded bailout for RBS at the height of the financial crash in 2008. The bank is being forced to provide £350 million for rivals to offer incentives to its customers to switch, as well as £425 million for a ‘capability and innovation fund’ to help other banks and finance firms expand their services to the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) sector.

The so-called ‘alternative remedies package’ stems from the bailout that saved RBS from collapse. Since this qualified as State Aid under European Commission rules, the bank had to agree to reduce its size and market share. It was ordered to sell five parts of the business and while a home was found for four, the challenge arose when it came to its 220,000 SME customers. The original plan – to place all the customers into a newly reformed…

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