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FAQ’S ON APPLYING FOR A CYPRUS PERMANENT RESIDENCY PERMIT BY INVESTMENT (PRP)

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FAQ’S ON APPLYING FOR A CYPRUS PERMANENT RESIDENCY PERMIT BY INVESTMENT (PRP)

The recent simplified amendments to the Cyprus Permanent Residency by Investment (PRP), have proven widely successful in attracting investment into Cyprus from foreign nationals.

The main reasons for this is Cyprus’ geographical location, stable economy, favourable tax regime and robust legal system based on English common law, good education and proficiency of English language as the preferred business language. As well as high standard of living, low crime rate and reasonable property prices and 320 days of sunshine, making Cyprus a preferred PRP jurisdiction.

Here below are frequently asked questions (FAQ’s), pertaining to the Cyprus Permanent Residency Permit, intended to give clarity to those considering the Cyprus PRP.

(1) Is the applicant of a PRP required to be present in Cyprus prior to the filing of a PRP application?

No, the PRP application can be processed in the applicant’s absence and filed on his behalf by virtue of a power of attorney issued by the applicant in the name of a local lawyer for this purpose.

In the event that the client has provided an agent with a Power of Attorney (including the right to sub-delegate his powers under such document), then S&A may receive a Power of Attorney from such Attorney.

(2) Once issued, is the PRP renewable?

No, the PRP is granted for the lifetime of the applicant, provided the conditions for its issue are satisfied.

(3) How can a PRP be revoked? Are there any conditions for maintaining a PRP?

The PRP may be revoked if any one of the following conditions is not met:

  • The PRP holder and/or his dependents and/or his parents fail to visit Cyprus once every two years;
  • The PRP holder and/or his dependents and/or his parents acquire permanent residency in another country;
  • The residential property purchased for the purposes of the PRP application is sold and not replaced with another “first time” sale residential property with a minimum acquisition cost of €300,000.

(4) What type of immovable property qualifies for the purposes of a PRP application?

The properties eligible for a PRP application are required to have a purchase value of at least €300,000 (non-inclusive of VAT) and be a “first time” sale. The applicant may purchase the property through a company of which he and/or his spouse are the ultimate beneficial owners. Any one of the following property combinations is eligible:

  1. one apartment or house;
  2. two apartments or two houses or combination of each;
  3. one apartment/house and one commercial shop/warehouse of up to 100 square meters;
  4. one apartment/house and one office of up to 250 square meters.

Where the PRP applicant purchases two properties, for the purposes of the PRP application the said properties must be purchased from the same developer.

For the purposes of filing the PRP application, the PRP applicant is required to evidence purchase of the immovable property(ies) (irrespective of the date of delivery), and payment of at least €200,000 at the time the application is filed, with the remaining €100,000 to be paid afterwards. Payment of the full amount is required to be transmitted to a bank account held in Cyprus at a financial institution of the seller.

Property purchased previously by the investor may be used for the purpose of PRP application, if all criteria relating to such investment have been complied with.

Property may have been purchased through the CY/EU based company of the investor. In the event that the property has been purchased previously by an offshore company of the investor, which is solely owned by the investor and such property is transferred to the CY/EU Company of the investor then this may be accepted, if all other criteria have been complied with.

(5) Can the Ministry of Interior discover whether the immovable property(ies) purchased under the PRP application have been sold?

Yes, the Department of Migration conducts periodic checks through the local Land Registries to establish whether the PRP holders continue to own the relevant properties or whether the properties have been sold.

(6) Can a PRP holder travel freely within the EU without any additional visas from the country to be visited?

No, a visa from the EU country to be visited will still be required for a Cyprus PRP holder. The PRP however does allow the holder to avoid Visitor Visa requirements within the EU. EU member states apply their own regulations for allowing the entry of PRP holders.  However, by virtue of acquis communautaire, EU and EEA states are legally bound to respect the PRP issued by an EU member state and to enable the holder to enter the visiting EU or EEA country, legally.

(7) Who collects the interest earned on the 3-year fixed deposit of minimum €30,000, which is pledged for the purposes of acquiring a PRP?

Any interest earned is income of the deposit holder i.e. the PRP holder.

(8) Can a PRP holder work in Cyprus?

No, The PRP holder’s annual income, which must be at least €30,000 plus an additional €5,000 for each dependent and €8,000 for each parent, must emanate from sources outside of Cyprus. At the application stage, the PRP applicant signs a statement confirming his intention to not be employed in Cyprus. The PRP holder’s annual income may comprise of dividends of a foreign and/or Cyprus company or salaries from employment outside of Cyprus, or pensions, or rents from abroad or interest on fixed deposits, wherever they are situated.

(9) What are the certification requirements for documents filed in support of a PRP application?

All documents (including birth certificates, marriage certificates etc.) are required to be filed in original or as true translations of the original, duly translated into Greek or English. Documents filed as true translations of the original are required to be legalised in one of the following ways:

  • With the Apostille stamp under the Hague Convention;
  • At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country andthe diplomatic mission of the Republic of Cyprus in the issuing country or the diplomatic mission of the issuing country in the Republic of Cyprus.

(10) What are the supporting documents required to be submitted as proof of the PRP applicant’s source of annual income?

The PRP applicant is required to provide any of the following documents/information as proof of their annual income (indicative list):

  • Confirmation of the applicant’s annual income by the Inland Revenue Department of the applicant’s country of origin;
  • Accountant’s report;
  • Copies of rental agreements, in support of PRP applicant’s rental income;
  • Salary statements from the PRP applicant’s employer;
  • Dividend vouchers in support of PRP applicant’s dividend income;
  • Any other appropriate supporting documentation;
  • Statements from foreign banks confirming receipt of interest income on deposits held in the PRP applicant’s name;
  • Confirmation from the bank on interest received from funds deposited on the bank account.

As a general rule bank statements showing the source of any income are mandatory.

(11) How long must the amount of €30,000 deposited in a Cyprus Bank remain in place? Can it be deposited in any other currency?

The Regulations provide that the amount of €30,000is fixed for three years. It is also possible for the amount to be in a currency other than Euro; provided the total value of the deposit is the equivalent of €30,000 at all times during the three year lock-in period. The interest rate applied to the fixed deposit depends on the terms of offer of each eligible bank. The beneficiary of the interest accrued is the depositor/applicant.

(12)Can the PRP holder release the pledge on the €30,000 deposit, at the expiration of the three-year lock in period?

Yes, at the expiration of the three-year lock-in period, the PRP holder can freely transfer the €30,000. The PRP holder is required to maintain a bank account in Cyprus for the duration of the PRP, as proof of his ability to financially support himself and his dependents without being employed in Cyprus.

(13) What is the age limit for adult children of a PRP applicant to join in a PRP application as adult dependents?

The PRP issued covers the holder’s spouse and children up to 18 years old, as well as the main applicants’ parents. Adult children of the PRP applicant between 18 and 25 years old can join a PRP application provided they are students or undergraduates. (adult children between 18 and 25 years old who are not students or undergraduates cannot join their parents PRP application). Married children of PRP applicants between 18 and 25 years old, that fulfil the criteria can join their parents’ application, however their families cannot.

The said permit is still valid even if the holders have exceeded the age of 25 and even if they do not remain unmarried and/or students and/or financially dependent on their parents.  It is noted that their future spouses or underage children cannot be included as dependent persons on this permit.

Adult children of the PRP applicant who are not financially dependent on their PRP applicant parents can also join in a PRP application, provided the value of the residential property invested in is increased by €300,000for each adult child added to the application.

For example, for an adult child of 30 years old who is financially independent to be added in a PRP application, the PRP applicant is required to purchase a residential property of €600,000 etc. In such an event a confirmation of payment for the 66% of the acquisition cost of the residential property must be submitted with the application (e.g. €400,000 for a property with an acquisition cost of €600.000). Additionally, the adult child, financially independent of the PRP applicant is required to demonstrate a secured income of at least €30,000 derived from sources outside of Cyprus and to maintain a three-year fixed deposit of €30,000.

(14) How soon can a PRP be issued from the day an application is submitted?

A PRP is issued within two months from the date the application is submitted.

(15) How can the PRP holder receive the permit once it is granted?

The PRP holder should visit Cyprus at any stage within one year from the date of issuance of the PRP to receive such a permit, (in order for the authorities to obtain his biometrics) and subsequently every two years thereafter.

(16) How can S&A assist in obtaining a PRP?

S&A can assist with all aspects of the PRP application, including preparation and filing of the relevant application and supporting documentation, the opening of a bank account, and with an introduction to suitable real estate agents in Cyprus. The affiliate law firm of S&A, Dionysiou & Partners, can assist with the drafting of the agreement for acquiring immovable property and advise you on all legal matters relevant to the PRP application process.

(17) Can dependent adults between the ages of 18-25, who have finalized their studies or are not studying, join their parents’ application?

No. The law strictly refers to students or undergraduates. An adult who is not a student cannot join his parents application, irrespective of whether he is or isn’t dependant on them.

(18) How does a dependent (already) studying in Cyprus (or planning to study in Cyprus) join the PRP of his parents?

In the event that the child is a student in a higher educational institution of the Republic, he must submit an applicationfor obtaining a temporary residence permit in the Republic as students under the relevant legislation (EU Directive).

After completing his studies in Cyprus he will be able to submit his application for obtaining a PRP, regardless of his age at that moment, with the sole requirement being hat the parents present an additional annual income of € 5,000.

In the event that the child plans to attend a higher educational institution of the Republic, after having obtained a PRP on his parents’ application, said PRP shall be revoked and a temporary residence permit in the Republic shall be granted.

After completing his studies in Cyprus the PRP shall be re-issued to him, regardless of his age at that moment and with no further requirements to be fulfilled.

(19) What options does the applicant have in the event it is difficult/not possible to obtain a “recent” original birth and marriage certificate in his jurisdiction, or if only 1 original of these documents has been issued?

In this event the applicant can have a copy of the original document translated and duly legalized. This copy along with the original document shall be presented to the authorities who shall make a note that the original was presented to them. The original shall be returned to the client instantly.

We are a market leader in the Residency and Citizenship practice area in both Cyprus, Malta, and Canada. With over 15 years of experience in the sector and 100% success rate in processing citizenship and residency applications. As a leading immigration services specialist, we assist High Net Worth families from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, with their immigration needs.

For further information, or to discuss your personal circumstances in the strictest of confidence, contact Mr Charles Savva, Managing Partner, at [email protected]

Investing

Is It The Right Time To Invest In Gold?

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Is It The Right Time To Invest In Gold? 1

By Zoe Lyons, Hatton Garden Metals

The current climate is one of uncertainty, so it can be difficult to know what to do with your money, particularly investments. When faced with the decision on what to do with your savings, there are a number of options, but one investment which many have opted for over the years is gold buying.

Purchasing gold can be a great investment. Although the price of which can fluctuate just like anything else, the value of gold has generally tended to increase at a good rate and many prefer it over other saving options. With bank interest rates currently at a low and discussions of negative interest rates, many are opting to purchase gold as a way to earn money on their savings.

So is gold buying right for you? We take a look at some commonly asked questions when it comes to purchasing gold.

Why Should I Buy Gold?

Buying gold is often seen as a good investment due to value increases, so you may be able to make a profit from selling it on if the price of gold increases after you have purchased. The price can fluctuate, so profit is not guaranteed and is based on a number of factors. Looking back over previous years since the 1970s, the value of gold has prospered compared to other investment types, albeit with some dips in value at certain points over the past 50 years.

Buying gold also allows you full control as you are the owner. So you can choose if and when you want to sell.

Buying Gold Vs ETFs

When looking at investment opportunities, you may consider ETFs. An ETF is an Exchange Rated Fund, which when purchased is similar to buying stocks and shares. They can be a good investment, but is it more beneficial than purchasing gold?

When purchasing physical gold you will need to consider where to store it. This can incur charges, whereas with an ETF there is no need for storage, but an ETF can come with admin charges and investment management costs. When you choose to sell an ETF, you may also be required to pay a commission, which are often small amounts, but can add up if you are an active trader. There is also less control with an ETF as the price of which can change and is based on the company’s actions.

Gold Bars Vs Gold Coins

If you do choose to purchase gold, you will be faced with the option of whether to buy gold coins or gold bars. Although similar, they have varying benefits.

  • Gold Coins

The purchase of gold coins are often favoured by those who appreciate the historic value of the coin. Many people collect coins, so an investor may be inclined to pay more if they are a keen collector of such. Many may also pay more for gold coins based on their rarity. These factors can affect the price you pay or sell at, meaning the value of gold coins is not solely deemed by the live price of gold, so you may receive a higher price, dependent on the investor. This allows the price of gold coins to be more fluid than gold bars.

  • Gold Bars
Zoe Lyons

Zoe Lyons

Gold bars are not seen as a collectors item and don’t tend to have historical attachments. Because of this, the price is not influenced by these factors and is based on the weight, purity and the live price of gold at the time of selling or purchasing. This allows for a more accurate estimate of the price of your gold bars.

Where Should I Store Gold?

One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to gold buying is storage. If you do choose to purchase gold, you will need to consider storage. Just like anything else of a high value, it needs to be stored securely. Simply keeping gold stored at home could be risky. When kept in your property, if not stored in the correct conditions, it is more susceptible to damp and corroding. There is also the possibility that your home insurance does not cover your gold, so if you are burgled, you could lose your investment. Because of this, it is wise to protect your gold with proper secure storage. Look for companies that offer storage abilities that are covered by insurance and be sure to do your research on pricing and look for cost effective storage as the fees incurred can soon add up. You may also want to look for a company that allows you quick and easy access to your gold to ensure you can buy and sell with ease.

Should I Invest In Silver Too?

Although gold is often a more popular investment option, many choose to purchase silver alongside it. The price of silver tends to be much more volatile than the price of gold, for this reason, many see gold as a safer choice. The price of silver will still have an intrinsic value but may be more worthwhile for those looking into long term investment options due to its VAT charges.

Negative Interest Rates

Although it is not a current practice, there has been recent talk of banks in the UK potentially introducing negative interest rates. If a savings account has a negative interest rate, this could mean you are charged for keeping money in the bank. If introduced, this could mean savers lose out. Instead of receiving interest on your savings, you may be charged a rate for keeping your money in the bank.

Could purchasing gold be a better option for your savings? Possibly, but this will depend on how much you have saved and the rates of the negative interest (if they are introduced). They may be minimal, but if you have a large amount in a savings account, this could add up to an expensive charge. If you choose to use your savings to buy gold, you may make a profit upon selling, but you will need to consider costs of storage as well as the chances of the price decreasing in the future.

So, is it the right time to invest in gold? It’s a very popular question. Hopefully the above will give you a bit more insight into gold investing and how it may work for you, but with any investment, there is never a guarantee that it will generate profit, so take careful considerations when diversifying your portfolio.

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Private public investment is more inter-dependant than ever

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Private public investment is more inter-dependant than ever 2

By Konstantin Sidorov, CEO and Founder of London Technology Club

Today, one thing unites the majority of governments around the world: their fiscal position is destitute. COVID 19 has seen an extraordinary, forced expansion in public sector expenditure, which has come just as the world was getting back on its feet following the Global Financial Crisis. The financial strains are already showing and will become more apparent as we move through the pandemic into social and economic recovery.

If you want to understand the impact that the re-focusing of public sector spending is having, then there is no better example than the space economy. In the US and Europe, we are becoming increasingly reliant on the space rockets and space launch companies pioneered by private investors and entrepreneurs.

NASA, that powerhouse and flag bearer for American national pride, is having to partner with the private sector in order to fulfil their missions. Private investors, the likes of Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos alongside smart use of new technologies have brought the economics of space down and the excitement around what’s possible up. With it comes a whole satellite manufacturing, launch and servicing industry growing to $271bn in revenues in 2019. Of the total revenues in the space economy ($366bn in 2019), government space budgets made up $95bn of that.

Commercial entities, being patiently built and backed by private capital willing to dig deep and progress their own missions has helped fuel the space economy. Many are realising now just how crucial space is for the future of a country’s protection, position in the world and prosperity. In China, India and Russia we still see significant public sector expenditure in space projects as an agent for military and economic expansion. The role of private investors in plugging major gaps in public sector funds and national pride in Western economies is therefore increasingly important.

Private and public investment must be seen as a partnership. We should not forget that Elon Musk’s SpaceX survived from the brink of collapse only because of a ten-figure NASA contract awarded at the last minute. Musk, since then, has looked for public infrastructure contracts to fuel his companies, the likes of The Boring Company winning the contract to build a downtown-to-airport loop, a  government program for high-speed transport in Chicago. Musk proves his products and services work and then secures lucrative government contracts in order to quickly scale which in turn leads to transforming whole industries.

It’s not just space infrastructure where we see this redefinition of the role of public and private finance. The Chinese have invested at least US$160 billion in infrastructure projects as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, creating roads, ports, energy infrastructure and providing aid to foreign governments to create the most ambitious infrastructure project the world has yet seen.

Konstantin Sidorov

Konstantin Sidorov

For Western countries, access to that scale of public finance is not fiscally-possible, a new solution is needed and just as the space race has been redefined by private capital, so will the development of new industries, infrastructure and the reinvigorating of economies facing structural change that has been accelerated by COVID.

Private capital has the huge advantage of being driven by conviction and competence. It can cost-effectively be deployed, fast and targeted with a laser-like focus by entrepreneurs who know exactly what they want to achieve. Private capital, currently, is also in abundance.

In a world which is providing slim returns across multiple traditional asset classes, private capital is being stockpiled and is waiting for the opportunity to be invested for growth. We need private investors to have the confidence to deploy their capital to fuel the system once again.

This new world, post COVID, won’t see public capital replaced. Its role is likely to focus more heavily on health, welfare and critical infrastructure. However private investors will step in where gaps appear. Ten years ago, the scale and ambition of private space companies would have been greeted with snorts of derision and looks of disbelief. Today governments embrace the private capital, and regard the companies that have deployed it as systemically important national assets.

As we look to the future, huge macro trends emerge that demand significant investment: the aging population, the threat of pandemic, the drive to create a sustainable economy and lifestyle, the need to decarbonise, the digital revolution. The list goes on.

Public finance cannot hope to provide the finance and pioneer the bold thinking and accept the risks required to find new solutions that drive us forward in a world of change. That role goes to the private investor and private capital.

For the investors themselves the opportunities are immense, and for society as a whole they are just as big. As we look forward public and private sector needs to embrace private capital. Rather than fearing private investors as locusts who strip organisations and opportunities of profit then fly away, a narrative that gained traction after the last great economic crash. This time we need to see private capital as agents for positive transformation. Private-public partnerships fuelling each other.

Private money is already building rockets that send people and payloads into space, but that isn’t the final frontier for entrepreneurial investors or the societies and economies that benefit from their boldness.

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What should I invest and How do I invest

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What should I invest and How do I invest 3

By Imogen Clarke, The Fry Group

With all the uncertainty that has arisen from 2020, with lockdown threatening businesses and the warning of a second wave, the topic of investments has taken on new meaning. Nowadays, more people are concerned with what makes for a good investment, or, if you’re a novice, how to best invest.

For instance, you might be unsure about the reliability of the company you’re looking to invest in, as well as the long-term prospects of your investment.

If you are unsure of your investments, then it is best to seek advice from financial experts like The Fry Group, who deal with tax, wealth and estate planning. They will see that you have a strong financial plan in place to help meet your objectives. They will develop a strategy that is built around your needs and asses any risks that could hinder your plans.

There are some things you’ll need to consider for your strategy; for instance, are you looking to make investments that are more of a risk and will take longer to come to fruition? Or, alternatively, are you wanting a faster approach that will result in a steady income? Whether or not you decide to play it safe all depends on your current financial situation and whether you have the means to take more of a risk. Do you have any other debts that take precedence over your future plans? Is your investment strategy realistic?

With the aid of a specialist – or investment manager – you can design an investment concept that works for you and your goals, and start to build a regular income from your investments. There are four main areas when it comes to assets (groups of investments) that you can consider:

  • Equities
  • Bonds
  • Alternatives
  • Cash

Your investment manager will test the risks associated with your investment, and if it proves to be a positive investment choice, then you will be able to invest more over time.

So, how do you decide where to invest?

According to The Fry Group, ESG investing (Environmental, Social and Governance) is a good option for investors looking to support businesses that meet their similar ethics.

The main areas of ESG investing include:

  • Environmental challenges (climate change, pollution, etc)
  • Social issues (human rights, labour standards, child labour, etc)
  • Governance considerations relating to company management

According to The Fry Group, “Many investors choose to consider ESG investing in order to ensure any investment decisions reflect personal beliefs and values. As a result, they choose to support companies who are making informed, responsible decisions which take into account their wider societal and global impact. In this way investors can achieve peace of mind that their investments are creating a positive effect.”

ESG investing is also more relevant now than ever, as more businesses are looking to present themselves as an environmentally conscious corporation that recognises the values of their consumers.

As The Fry Group puts it, “In the past, ESG investing has been seen as a niche investment approach, for a relatively small number of people with specific requirements. This has changed significantly in recent years, with a growing awareness of environmental issues such as climate change and an increasing understanding of social issues and human rights. As a result, many people are increasingly interested in reflecting their opinions and lifestyle choices through the way they invest.”

So, if you want your investments to pave the way for your personal values and reflect your own morals, then this is the route to go down. But how does it all work?

There are four areas of ESG investing:

  • Responsible ownership and engagement: when companies are encouraged to make necessary improvements.
  • Avoidance or negative screening: whereby businesses are ‘graded’ based on how ethical their business practices are and are avoided altogether if their methods are not approved.
  • Positive screening strategies:when companies meet the ESG goals and are approved for investments.
  • Impact investment strategies: the purpose of this is to use investment capital for positive social results such as renewable energy.

You will need to take into account your own personal objectives as well as the objectives that meet the ESG investment criteria. And, in terms of financial performance, ESG investing can be hugely beneficial. Those who opt for ESG investing perform a more in-depth analysis into long-term and future trends that affect industries, meaning that they are better prepared for changes in consumer values when they arise. And, with all the unpredictability that this year has offered us so far, isn’t it better to do the research and have all angles covered?

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