Inner City Press/FFW: Watchdogging and Taking Action Since 1987


In the United States -::- Non-U.S./Global -::- FFW Campaigns -::- In Other Media

For the Media
Bank Beat /Insurance
Freedom of Information
Human Rights
Current Campaigns
How to Contact Us

Fair Finance Watch is a Non-Governmental Organization Focused on the Fairness of the Financial Services Industries - Banking, Insurance and Securities - to Local Communities, Urban and Rural, North and (Global) South, including under Human Rights Laws

FFW researches, documents and advocates around financial firms' activities, and how they affect local communities. The profiles below are in-process -- For or with more information, contact us -- including at this conference.

Germany     Russia     Sweden   Serbia   United Kingdom 

Citigroup's CitiFinancial has taken global its subprime lending model. In Europe in 2004 it was only in four countries. It is now in a dozen: the UK, Spain, Ireland,
Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Russia, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. In the first two, mortgages are offered. Everywhere else, it’s high-cost personal loans, which is CitiFinancial’s unreformed focus in the United States as well…

General Electric's GE Money now has operations in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK (where its high-cost credit cards have made it the subject of parliamentary debate)…

Belgium/EU - Site (and contacts) regarding "remédier à l'exclusion bancaire et financière" -- remedying banking and financial exclusion - click here (includes a memo regarding "Le droit au crédit approprié" -- the right to appropriate credit, a/k/a the right to fair finance..

Finland -- Click here for the Finnish Bankers' Association's "Good Banking Practices"


Regulatory contact: (The Bundesanstalt für
Graurheindorfer Str. 108
53117 Bonn
Postfach 13 08
53003 Bonn
Tel: +49 (0)228 / 4108 - 0
Fax: +49 (0)228 / 4108 – 1550
E-mail: Poststelle [at] Web:

For consumer complaints:

 Banking law: see,

Some experience:  Recent comments to BaFin on mergers (for example, recent General Electric expansion in Germany) have been responded to thusly:

Felix.Kallmeyer [at] writes

"In the context of our ownership control following section 2b German Banking Act we have to research not only into GE Capital´s business activities in Germany, but also in the USA and worldwide. We consider the information that you delivered on GE Capital´s business practices as important. In a first step, we will request from GE Capital a statement on your concern."  (Kallmeyer 2003; on file with the originating compiler of this database; contact us).

and see


Regulatory contacts

Central Bank of the Russian Federation
Neglinnaya 12
103016 Moscow
Russian Federation
Tel: 7 095 9 217 995
Fax: 7 095 9 219 147

Banking law:


and see



Regulatory contact:

12 Kralja Petra St, 11 000
Belgrade, Serbia
Phone: +381 11 3027-100
Web: http://www.nbs.yu/english/about/index.htm

Instruction on "Buying a Bank," in English (many banks being privatized)

Laws, in PDF: The Law on the National Bank of Serbia ("RS Official Gazette" No. 72/2003, 55/2004)

Law on Banks and Other Financial Organisations ("Official Gazette of the FRY", No. 32/93, 61/95, 44/99, 36/2002 and "Official Gazette of the RS", No. 72/2003)

Serbia squibs from


Regulatory contact:
Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen)
PO Box 7831
Regeringsgaten 48
S-103 98 Stockholm, Sweden
Tel + 46 8 7 878 000
Fax + 46 8 241 335

“The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, Finansinspektionen, is a public authority. Our role is to promote stability and efficiency in the financial system as well to ensure an effective consumer protection.”
“In our company register you can search to determine which companies hold permits to offer financial services, which companies that have registered other financial operations and which foreign companies that have registered cross-border operations to Sweden. The company register in English will be released in December 2004.”
(As of 12/19/04, had not been released -- check for updates at
Also relevant: The Consumers' Banking Bureau, tel. +46-8-24 30 85,

Banking law: see,

Payday and pawn: Cash America International's Q2 2004 Earnings Conference Call (July 22, 2004, Fair Disclosure Wire, Transcript 072204ah.764) stated:

"Our pawn lending operations in Sweden posted a bit of a rebound in the second quarter with local currency denominated income from operations of 13 percent on improved pawn loan yields as the business continues to struggle to achieve growth in pawn loan balances." 

Some experience: Recent comments to the Finansinspektionen on mergers have been responded to thusly:
Margret.Inger [at] writes:
Dear Mr. Matthew Lee,
Thank you for your letter concerning Predatory Lender Household International. You mention in your letter that HSBC already runs the Household´s business model in Sweden in HSBC Bank plc at Västra Trädgårdsgatan 17, Box 7615, 103 94 Stockholm. Financial Services Authority, (FSA), London, has notified Finansinspektionen that HSBC Bank plc - a firm authorised by the Financial Services Authority - has informed FSA to carry out activities in Sweden by its branch in Stockholm. Finansinspektionen has registered that the Stockholm branch has notified the following activitis according to the Banking Consolidation Directive 2000/12/EC in accordance with Annex 1 of the directive:
1.    Acceptance of deposits and other repayable funds
2.    Lending
4.    Money transmission services
5.    Issuing and administering menas of payment
6.    Guarantees and commitments
7.    Trading for own account
8.    Participation in securities issues and the provision of services related to such issues
9.    Advice to undertakings on capital structure, industrial strategy and related questions and advice as well as services related to mergers and the purchase of undertakings
11.    Portfolio management and advice
12.    Safekeeping and administration of securities
13.    Credit reference services
14.    Safe custody services
The branch in Sweden is under supervision of the homecountry, FSA, with exemption for liquidity, which is supervised by Finansinspektionen. According to The Banking Business Act the branch is allowed to carry on the same business in the hostcountry as is allowed in the homecountry. Finansinspektionen has no detailed knowledge about which type of lending, that is carried out in Sweden, why Finansinspektionen therefore cannot verify that the Household´s business model is run by HSBC Bank plc branch in Stockholm. That means that if you have any points of view of the business run by the branch in Sweden, please contact the FSA in London, as the FSA has the homeland-supervision of that business.
Yours sincerely,
Margret Inger
Jurist/Legal Counsellor
P.O. Box 6750
S-113 85 Stockholm
Besöksadress: Sveavägen 167
Telephone    +46 8 787 80 00
Direct Line  +46 8 787 82 05
Telefax      +46 8 791 22 67

Human Rights:  Sweden - Ombudsman against ethnic discrimination; and see

United Kingdom

Regulatory contact:

The Financial Services Authority
25 North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HS
Tel +(44) 171 676 1000
Fax + (44) 171 676 1099

Among the FSA's stated objects is "securing the appropriate degree of protection for consumers."

The FSA is subject to the UK's Freedom of Information Act 2000. Requests can be made to FOI Publication Requests. Financial Services Authority.
25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London. E14 5HS
Telephone: 020 7066 4406
Fax: 020 7066 4407
by form to

[FFW has made a request, regarding HSBC, RBS, Santander/Abbey and others.]

[For practice tips, try the U.K. Campaign for Freedom of Information's User's Guide (in PDF)]

"The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 required the setting up of an arrangement for the investigation of complaints against the FSA. Accordingly, the Complaints Scheme was introduced with effect from 3 September 2001." See,

Complain in writing to: The Office of the Complaints Commissioner
1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf
London E14 5DY

by telephone: 020 7712 1576
by fax: 020 7712 6422
by e-mail

Banking law: see,

U.K. Commission for Racial Equality; and see

Some Experience:

The FSA has confirmed that it considers public comments, for example those submitted in connection with HSBC-Household, and various applications by Royal Bank of Scotland.


Continue navigating on the map below:

 Click here re           Click here re         Click here for          Click here re
 United States          FFW Campaigns    In Other Media      Non-USA/Global

         FFW researches, documents and advocates around financial firms' activities, and how they affect local communities. FFW files its findings with tribunals, regulatory agencies, and elsewhere, including on this Web site . Click here to view analyses of several multinational financial institutions' effects on consumers and the environment, worldwide: for two examples, Citigroup and HSBC. Click here for some initial brainstorming on the application of human rights and international law to the global financial services companies, and for citations (where possible, links) to resource material.  Click here for some September 2004 campaigns -- PNC/Riggs (Finance Watch Reports of August 16, 2004, onwards), J.P. Morgan Chase, etc..  Click here for an ongoing report on the campaign to reform anti-money laundering, tax haven, and bank secrecy laws.   Click here for the Human Rights Enforcement project, including its new (9/04) criminal justice and local human rights project. For or with more information, contact us.

For More information, see:
Human Rights & Finance: Predatory Lending in a Deregulated Network Economy

©opyright 2005 Inner City Press/Community on the Move, Inc. & Fair Finance Watch
Phone: (718) 716-3540. Fax: (718) 716-3161. E-mail: Staff [at]