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A&L penalty sends FSA fines up fourfold

FSA fines in the first 10 months of 2008 have nearly quadrupled the total figure for 2007, jumping from £5.3m to £20.5m, according to analysis by BDO Stoy Hayward.

October saw fines totalling £7.2m, with Alliance & leicester fined £7m for misselling payment protection insurance.

BDO head of the financial services regulatory practice Fiona Raistrick says: “Time and time again, we see individuals and companies being fined by the FSA for failing to meet regulatory requirements. The penalties being levied by the FSA continue to increase as they take a tougher stance on enforcement in line with their overall policy of imposing higher penalties to achieve credible deterrence.”

She predicts that the level of regulation is to increase further.

Raistrick says: “It is imperative that companies focus on making sure their internal controls are sufficient to mitigate their risks. Having the essential controls to prevent these problems is not rocket science, it just requires a thorough risk assessment and evaluation of the supporting control framework.”


Finding succour

The distress suffered by financial markets following the near-collapse of the world’s banking system and the realisation that the economy is unlikely to escape a painful slowdown have provided an ideal environment for government bonds. Unsurprisingly in today’s hostile climate, capital preservation and safe-haven investing remain dominant themes in asset allocation decisions, and these strategies have been responsible for a dramatic flight to safety.

RBS to slash 3,000 jobs, reports say

Royal Bank of Scotland is reported to be axing up to 3,000 staff across its worldwide operations as the as global recession intensifies in the financial services sector.

Take the rough with the smoothing

The moves by some life offices to cut final bonuses and reimpose market value reductions on their with-profits funds have been met with disappointment by advisers and investors.

Fair grounds

Satisfying the FSA over its TCF requirements begins with training staff and then ensuring the principles filter down into everyday business, say Morse management consultants Mark Lester and Karen Bond.

Seeking quality in uncertain markets

By Ewan McAlpine, Senior Client Portfolio Manager In uncertain times, investors naturally seek safety. But in fixed income markets, what does that really mean? Ewan McAlpine outlines the approach RLAM’s Fixed Income Team will be adopting across its credit funds in response to potentially volatile markets this year. Click here for full article


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