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The Cost of Complying with Sarbanes-Oxley

- Sarbanes-Oxley may help the public reclaim its confidence in Corporate America, but it’s costing corporations plenty, according to a survey of chief financial officers (CFOs) by Financial Executives International (FEI), a professional organization of CFOs and other senior financial executives. Costs for complying were estimated at $4.36 million, 39 percent more than the $3.14 million they expected to pay (based on a July 2004 estimate from a previous FEI survey). The 217 public companies surveyed estimated internal costs of $1.34 million, $1.72 million for external costs and $1.34 million for auditor fees. The majority of respondents felt that giving investors more confidence in a company’s financial reports was a benefit of Sarbanes-Oxley, but 94 percent thought the costs of compliance would exceed the benefits, a position echoed in a survey conducted by Broadgate Consultants in which 83 percent of the 105 institutional analysts and portfolio managers surveyed felt that Sarbanes-Oxley should be modified to make compliance more cost effective. Similar concerns were voiced at a recent roundtable before the SEC. @ SM Online has highlights from FEI’s Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 Implementation Survey as well as testimony from the SEC roundtab

Money laundering

- Like banks, U.S. money-services businesses are required to implement anti-money-laundering measures, such as reporting suspicious activity and currency transactions. Money-services businesses range from hotels that exchange currency, to check-cashing storefronts, to Fortune 500 companies. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), along with various other federal agencies, recently issued two sets of guidance. The first reminds money-services businesses of their obligations under the Bank Secrecy Act and notifies them of the type of information they may be expected to produce to banks with which they have a relationship. The second sets forth minimum steps that banks should take when their customers are money-services businesses.

Security Economy

- How can you achieve ROI from security applications

Banking on Encryption.

- A bank invests in e-mail encryption.

Did You Know That?

- In 2004, financial institutions were the industry most likely to buy terrorism insurance.

Quick Bytes: The weakest link

- Thirty-five percent of the world’s top 100 global financial institutions were victimized by attacks from within their organizations (versus 26 percent from external sources), up from 14 percent the previous year, according to the 2005 Global Security Survey conducted by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

Quick Bytes: Spoof proof.

- Phishing and pharming scams typically rely on Web-site spoofing, where fraudulent but realistic-looking versions of real sites trick customers into providing sensitive information to con artists. Because financial institution Web sites are typically the ones that get spoofed, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has released a paper to help banks respond to spoofing incidents. @ The OCC bulletin is available through SM Online.

Market Forces vs.Legislation: What’sYour View?

- In the wake of multiple high-profile thefts of consumer information, the protection of personal data held in business databases has become a hot topic. Some legislators have introduced bills that would hold companies liable for inadequately guarding sensitive data as one way to encourage greater security.


- This OCC bulletin helps banks to respond to spoofing incidents.

Quick Bytes: Debating losses

- Research firm Gartner has estimated that ATM and debit-card fraud resulted in $2.75 billion in losses in the 12 months ending in May 2005.

Debating Losses

- Research firm Gartner has estimated that ATM and debit-card fraud resulted in $2.75 billion in losses in the 12 months ending in May 2005. Most, it says, resulted from phishing and keystroke-logging attacks that capture account information and PINs. However, research from TowerGroup, a global financial-services advisor, estimates these losses to be much lower, with less than one percent of fraud losses coming from phishing. Most losses, it says, are from stolen cards and card skimming.@ Criminals Exploit Consumer Bank Account and ATM System Weaknesses is $95 through the Gartner Web site. Turning Phishing into Cash: Criminal Convenience at the ATM? is available from TowerGroup for $1,750; a summary is at SM Online.

Terrorism Insurance

- A bill (H.R. 2761) introduced by Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) that would reauthorize the government-based terrorism insurance program for ten more years has been approved by the House Financial Services Committee. The measure must now be considered by the full House of Representatives.

Major Credit Bureau Offers Credit Freeze

- A major credit bureau offers credit freezes to consumers as a way to prevent identity theft.

Beyond Print

SM Online

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