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Blog : BOARD TALK

Here Comes The FSA - After Big And Small

Posted on March 28, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Here comes the FSA - the UK's Financial Services Authority -  again. Today it has fined and banned two former directors of Cattles plc (Cattles) and its subsidiary Welcome Financial Services Limited (Welcome) for publishing misleading information to investors about the credit quality of Welcome’s loan book and acting "without integrity" in discharging their responsibilities.


The City watchdog has also publicly censured Cattles and Welcome for publishing misleading information.

 

James Corr, Cattles’ finance director, has been fined £400,000 and Peter Miller, Welcome’s finance director has been fined £200,000, and both have been banned from performing any functions in relation to any FSA regulated activities.


It is the latest in a wide range of fines and rulings by the FSA as its MD, Margaret Cole, exits after seven years there. Acting "without integrity" will, one hopes, continue to be censured by the new-look regime in the UK when the FSA splits in two next year.


Earlier this week the FSA fined Coutts & Co,  the Queen's private bank a hefty £8.75m for violating money laundering rules after it failed to conduct proper checks on almost three-quarters of clients that held politically sensitive positions. 


It also publicly censured two Glasgow credit unions for improper lending - making loans to its directors at preferential rates - displaying the breadth of its scope and a welcome focus on both big and small.


Meanwhile, if you missed the Financial Times this morning, you should read its story on fresh allegations about business practices at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp - which you can read here if you have access to FT.Com.


And at Bumi plc, the London-listed miner, its  newly appointed chairman Samin Tan has said that its governance dispute has been all sorted out. Indra Bakrie has stepped down from chairman to co-chairman and Nathaniel Rotschild, who has vacated that role, remains on the board.


Investors will be watching closely and one hopes so will Mr Rothschild, whose reputation was firmly behind the original listing. Bumi's shares are currently almost 40% below the level at which the group listed last year.

Categories: Scrutiny, Accountability, Corruption