Concerns about the way the City regulator wields its powers are at the forefront of an attempt to ca...
Concerns about the way the City regulator wields its powers are at the forefront of an attempt to call the Financial Services Authority to account, says the FT.
The industry group designed to keep watch on the actions of the powerful watchdog will on Monday kick off the largest survey of the banks, insurers, brokers and financial advisers the FSA regulates.
The survey of 9,500 companies, to be completed by the autumn, is an attempt to gauge concern in the City at the cost and abilities of the regulator.
Mathew Bullock, chief executive of Norwich & Peterborough Building Society and a member of the statutory panel that commissioned the survey, said some companies worried about whether the FSA was following through on promises of light-touch regulation.
The survey will ask companies what they want from a regulator, then rate how well the FSA performs.
Lloyds TSB will face tough questioning from analysts today over the effect of the recent falls in the stock market on funds at Scottish Widows, its life assurance subsidiary, says the Times.
Analysts estimate that the bank, which has more than £100 billion in funds under management, including £70 billion at Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, could be facing up to a £450 million dent on its profit and loss account.
The chief executive of Abbey National has admitted that the bank is now a candidate for takeover after its multimillion- pound losses on junk bonds and loans to Enron, the collapsed US energy giant, adds the Times.
Ian Harley, who has come under intense pressure from investors to step down as head of the banking group, told the Times that Abbey was in discussions with a number of European finance houses. However, negotiations were at an early stage, according to Harley, who said that he had "nothing significant" yet to report.
The chief executive of the bank said: "We are talking about partnership agreements that could move towards (a merger). We are a much better target than most.
"There is nothing significant happening, however. We are not doing anything all the other banks are not doing in Europe, and we have nothing we want to talk about publicly.''
Around 60,000 part-time female workers who are claiming discrimination because they could not join occupational pension schemes before 1995 start the next round of their bid to claim backdated pension rights today, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The women, who continue their case at an Employment Tribunal, had a House of Lords ruling in their favour in March last year. This came after a European Court of Justice ruling that they could backdate their claims for loss of pension benefits to 1976.
The Employment Tribunal will consider whether the women had a stable employment relationship with their employer, which would entitle them to issue proceedings "at the end of any series of contracts", said Catherine Thorpe, partner of Reynolds Porter Chamberlain.
Leading institutional investors are drawing up radical new rules to tackle corporate greed and excessive pay for executives, continues the FT.
The plan, by a group of powerful pension funds from around the world, will put pressure on companies to limit the payment of stock options and cash bonuses to top executives.
The International Corporate Governance Network, whose members control $10,000bn of assets, wants to lay down corporate governance standards on pay that can be applied across countries. The move is the latest sign of shareholder activism over pay in the wake of scandals such as the collapse of Enron.
The ICGN, which is expected to approve the standards at its summit in Milan next month, is backed by some of the world's most influential investors, including Capital Group, Fidleity, Hermes Pensions Management and Barclays Global Investors.
And the government of the Isle of Man will this week announce radical plans to slash corporation tax from 20% to zero, in a gesture of defiance to Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, adds the Daily Telegraph.
The decision is likely to anger Mr Brown and the Treasury since it increases the threat that more companies will be tempted to move offshore to benefit from the Isle of Man's generous tax regime. It has also led to suggestions that other offshore financial centres such as Jersey and Guernsey could also lower their corporation tax rates.
The cost to the Isle of Man of cutting corporation tax is expected to be about £20m a year. However, the island expects the move to bring in new revenues as more companies locate their head offices on the island.
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2,000 people surveyed
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