India’s top drugmaker Ranbaxy Laboratories will pay a record fine in the US for lying to officials and selling badly made generic drugs.
Visit link: India drug firm pays record US fine
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Utility giant gave ‘misleading and unsubstantiated statements’ to potential customers about prices and savings, says watchdog
The utility giant SSE is to be fined £10.5m for “prolonged and extensive” mis-selling in what will be the largest ever penalty imposed on an energy provider.
The energy watchdog Ofgem said it found “failures at every stage of the sales process” across SSE’s telephone, in-store and doorstep selling activities.
SSE provided “misleading and unsubstantiated statements” to potential customers about prices and savings that could be made by switching to SSE, according to Ofgem.
Ofgem said the level of the fine reflected the seriousness and the duration of the mis-selling, as well as the harm caused to customers and the likely gain to SSE.
Management at SSE – one of Britain’s “big six” energy suppliers – failed to pay enough attention to compliance, which allowed the mis-selling to take place, added Ofgem.
Ian Marlee, the managing director for markets at Ofgem, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “This is a woeful catalogue of failures by the SSE management.
“This fine represents the fact that what they were doing was allowing a culture of mis-selling to continue. They weren’t doing enough to prevent sharp selling practices from their selling agents. They actually provided misleading sales scripts.
“Some people were being told they were going to get savings when actually they were being put on a worse deal. People were expecting savings and were not getting the levels of savings. People were being told direct debit levels that made it sound like they were going to be better off when in fact they were worse off.
“What we need and what we expect from energy companies is they have a culture of putting consumers first and complying with the rules.
“Clearly SSE management were not doing that which is why we imposed the largest fine on energy suppliers we have ever imposed.”
The fine will be paid to the Treasury, Marlee said.
Energy supplier SSE is fined £10.5m by Ofgem for “prolonged and extensive” mis-selling, the regulator’s biggest ever fine for a supplier.
Read the original: SSE fined record £10.5m by Ofgem
Banking giant HSBC, which was hit with a US fine for money laundering last year, is facing fresh accusations of illegal activity in Argentina.
Read the rest here: HSBC in new money laundering claims
SAC Capital, a hedge fund run by billionaire Steve Cohen, is to pay $600m (£397m), the biggest insider dealing fine in history
A US hedge fund has paid a record $600m (£397m) fine to settle claims that it traded on insider information about a dud Alzheimer’s drug.
US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission said SAC Capital, a hedge fund run by billionaire Steve Cohen, had agreed to pay the biggest insider dealing fine in history to settle the case.
The hedge fund had been accused of profiting from “the most lucrative insider trading scheme ever” by selling shares in the companies developing the drug before the negative clinical trial results were officially released.
SR Intrinsic, a division of SAC Capital, sold $960m of securities in pharmaceutical companies Elan Corporation and Wyeth after a doctor tipped off the hedge fund that the drug, Bapineuzumab, would have negative results. The hedge fund allegedly made a $276m profit from the deal.
Mathew Martoma, who was the manager of SR Intrinsic at the time, received a $9.3m bonus after the deal. Martoma still faces both criminal and civil charges in relation to the case. His lawyer said: “SAC’s business decision to settle with the SEC in no way changes the fact that Mathew Martoma is an innocent man. We will never give up our fight for his vindication.”
George Canellos, acting director of the SEC’s enforcement division, said: “The historic monetary sanctions against CR Intrinsic and its affiliates are sharp warning that the SEC will hold hedge fund advisory firms and their funds accountable when employees break the law to benefit the firm.”
SAC said it was happy to put the matter behind it. “This settlement is a substantial step toward resolving all outstanding regulatory matters and allows the firm to move forward with confidence. We are committed to continuing to maintain a first-rate compliance effort woven into the fabric of the firm.” The hedge fund did not admit any wrongdoing.
Cohen, who has long been the focus of a federal investigation into insider trading, was not personally implicated in this case.
In addition to the Alzheimer’s drug insider trading settlement, SAC also agreed to pay $14m to settle allegations that the $14bn hedge fund traded in advance of Dell’s earning results.
Fruit producer Del Monte wins a reduction in a European Union fine over banana prices, but an appeal by Dole is rejected.
Read more here: Del Monte gets banana fine reduced
Google has agreed to pay a record fine for collecting wi-fi data as part of its Street View service in the US.
See the article here: Google hit by $7m Street View fine
… or at least until the great revenge story got in the way
Here are a few email lines between Isabel Oakeshott, Sunday Times political editor, and her Huhne-spurned friend Vicky Pryce.
“Please don’t tell me what I can’t print. Tell me what I can print.”
“I just want the story out there so he has to resign.”
“My own view is that you would come out of it fine.”
Neither the ex-minister nor his wife came out of anything fine, of course. Both await sentencing for perversion of justice. And Isabel? She got a good story. Her paper made sure Pryce knew the risks. But friendship, surely, adds up to more than this.
The emails show Oakeshott as an occasional mover and shaker in this revenge drama. She did her day job. Yet she was more than that to Vicky: trusted adviser, shoulder to fume on. Could she have hosed Pryce down with perspective and calm, rather than stoked her rage? That’s one definition of what friends are for; and one more example of why friendship and journalism don’t mix.
• For six weeks this summer, while Jon Stewart goes off to direct a film, John Oliver (from Birmingham, via Cambridge’s Footlights) will be front man and star of America’s Daily Show. Sharp, idiosyncratic and hilarious, he’d be the perfect man to present a UK daily satire show, too, if only some broadcaster – C4? – had the courage to plunge in. But fairness, balance and a failure to invest mean the one thing our television never shows is the constantly churning, acrid side of life.
Standard Chartered bank increases profits despite being hit by a $667m (£440m) fine in the US for breaking sanctions on Iran.
Go here to read the rest: Bank sees profits rise despite fine
Bank fined for Libor rate rigging aims to avoid fresh shareholder revolt as chair Sir David Walker examines top pay
Barclays has clawed back up to £300m in bonuses paid to staff, after being fined for Libor-rigging and paying out millions for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance and interest rate swaps.
The bank is expected to reveal in next week’s annual report the extent to which it has reclaimed bonuses paid to its staff in previous years to try to demonstrate to shareholders that it is heeding their calls for pay restraint.
The bank previously insisted it had cut the bonus pool (which still stands at £1.8bn) by the equivalent of the £290m fine for manipulating Libor. The Libor events forced out the chief executive, Bob Diamond, in July 2012.
Sky News calculated that on this basis the loss to staff, due to the penalty for rigging the key benchmark rate, was £450m – the total of the cut to the bonus pool over the £290m fine, plus about half of the £300m being clawed back from staff.
The remainder of the clawback is the result of provisions for PPI, which have in the past two years cost the bank £2.6bn, while the total cost of the mis-selling of interest rates swaps to small businesses has reached £850m.
Even before last year’s Libor-rigging fine, Barclays’ pay policies had infuriated shareholders, who staged a rebellion at last year’s annual meeting when nearly a third of them failed to back the remuneration report.
The bank is keen to avoid a fresh revolt at this annual meeting after its report outlining directors’ pay and the clawback provisions is published next month.
Barclays’ new chairman, Sir David Walker, who replaced Marcus Agius in the wake of the Libor scandal, has already sanctioned a move to provide a break-down of numbers of staff falling within certain pay brackets.
This is expected to show that as many as 600 staff took home more than £1m in 2012, despite the clawbacks and attempts by the bank to show that it was cutting top pay.
Other banks are also expected to be forced to follow the disclosures on pay, including Royal Bank of Scotland which on Thursday is scheduled to publish the extent of its losses for 2012 when it also received a fine, of £390m, for rigging Libor.
Bailed out with £45bn of taxpayer money, RBS has already said its bonus pot has been cut by £300m, the part of its Libor fine that is being paid to the US authorities.
About 1,500 RBS bankers are also seeing their bonuses clawed back due to the Libor fine. The total size of the bonus pot for 2012 is expected to be in the region of £250m to £300m, down on the near £800m handed out the previous year.
Stephen Hester, chief executive of RBS, is expected to insist that the bank is on track to resume dividends in 2014 – for the first time since the banking crisis – despite the torrid performance last year.
Hester is expected to unveil a partial flotation of the bank’s US arm Citizens to enable the bailed-out bank to focus more on its domestic market.
George Osborne, the chancellor, has called on RBS, a bank 82% owned by the taxpayer, to focus on UK small business, corporate and personal banking. He said on Monday that there would be “further progress this week” with regard to this UK-centric approach.