Daily Archives: 10/02/2014

Experts to train “thousands” of City bankers on combating fraud and cyber crime

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and the City of London Police have announced plans to train thousands of bankers every year when it comes to spotting scams and acting quickly to protect customers.

Using key techniques developed in the fight against terrorism, the BBA and the City of London Police want to create a ‘virtual ring of steel’ around the City of London, echoing the renowned physical security that protects the UK’s financial centre.

The agreement follows close working between banks and the City of London Police which has prevented fraudsters and cyber criminals stealing £173.9 million from bank customers over the last nine months.

Information circulated by the force’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) to businesses, and disseminated by the BBA as alerts to banks, has led to the identification of 20,000 accounts that were at risk of, or being used to acquire money from victims between 1 April and 31 December 2013.

City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard

City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard

By working together, the banks and the police protect victims who are targeted by organised criminals. Using information received from a variety of sources, the NFIB identifies suspect bank accounts which are being (or may be) used to take money from UK citizens or businesses. Once an alert is issued, steps are then taken to terminate these accounts in order to prevent/reduce further victimisation and harm that the related activity may cause.

Rising threat of cyber criminality

The working relationship between the BBA and the City of London Police is world leading in the fight against the rising threat of cyber criminals. The partnership now aims to establish a global centre of excellence that will help to train banks from around the world.

Training workshops will focus on the latest threats and techniques in the battle against cyber crime such as investigating fraud, bribery and corruption.

Commissioner Adrian Leppard of the City of London Police said: “Over the past 175 years we have learned that the best way to keep the City’s streets safe is by standing shoulder to shoulder with those who live or work in the Square Mile or who visit for leisure purposes.”

Leppard added: “Now in 2014, and serving the country as the national policing lead for economic crime, the City of London Police is also focusing on the rapidly evolving and expanding threat of fraud and cyber crime. The next logical step for us to take is to create a ‘virtual ring of steel’ around what is the financial engine room of the UK. The way we are going to do it is by teaming up with City workers and sharing our experience and expertise with the banks that are now the target of, or being used as a facilitator for organised crime.”

Anthony Browne, the BBA’s CEO, commented: “Cyber crime and fraud are two of the biggest security threats that we face. The systems that we have set up with the City of London Police have helped to protect hundreds of millions of pounds of customers’ money, but we now want to go further.”

Browne explained: “We want to create a ‘virtual ring of steel’ around the City of London and make it even more difficult for cyber criminals to operate here. The banks are often the first line of defence against fraudsters and criminals. By working together we know we can be even more effective at combating cyber crime in order to offer even better protection to our customers.”

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Securitas AB issues Full Year Report: January-December 2013

This morning, Securitas AB has published its Full Year Report for the period January-December 2013.

October-December 2013
• Total sales: MSEK 16 725 (16 751)
• Organic sales growth: 1% (0)
• Operating income before amortisation: MSEK 879 (741)
• Operating margin: 5.3% (4.4)
• Earnings per share: SEK 1.35 (0.19)

January-December 2013
• Total sales: MSEK 65 700 (66 458)
• Organic sales growth: 1% (0)
• Operating income before amortisation: MSEK 3 329 (3 027)
• Operating margin: 5.1% (4.6)
• Earnings per share: SEK 5.07 (3.22)
• Free cash flow/net debt: 0.22 (0.21)
• Proposed dividend: SEK 3.00 (3.00)

Comments from the president and CEO

“Organic sales growth was 1% and reflected the challenging macroeconomic situation prevailing in the US and Europe,” explained Securitas president and CEO Alf Göransson, “affecting in particular the security markets in France, Portugal and Spain. Fragile signs of macroeconomic recovery in Europe and the US have not yet been reflected in security market growth. Latin America continued to show strong organic sales growth.”

Alf Göransson: president and CEO at Securitas

Alf Göransson: president and CEO at Securitas

Margin improvement driven by cost savings

“The quarter-on-quarter improvement trend continued, although it was hampered by the weak security market and slow organic sales growth. The operating margin improved compared with the preceding year, mainly driven by various restructuring and cost-saving actions taken in 2012. We achieved cost savings in accordance with our restructuring plan.”

Sales of security solutions and technology gradually increasing

“In 2012, sales of security solutions and technology represented approximately 6% of Group sales. We have set a target to triple this share of sales by the end of 2015. We continued to increase our investments in resources within security solutions and technology, and the run rate in the fourth quarter of 2013 was 8%.”

Changing market dynamics creating an opportunity for growth

“Due to current market dynamics and a gradual increase of the use of technology in security solutions, the security market in mature markets is no longer expected to grow 1-2% faster than GDP as it has historically, but rather the same pace as GDP. In the future, this trend could be improved through increased outsourcing of currently in-sourced traditional guarding activities and by allowing the private security industry to take over services performed by public authorities and Governments.”

Göransson continued: “The degree to which technology is being integrated into security solutions varies from country to country in Securitas’ markets. However, as the pace accelerates we’re confident that we will be able to gain markets shares by having a stronger and more cost-efficient offering than many traditional guarding companies. We have already seen proof of this in markets where we are well equipped to offer security solutions and where we will be able to grow faster than the security market average.”

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