THE FSA is criticised for the "excessive and growing" costs faced by financial services firms in com...
THE FSA is criticised for the "excessive and growing" costs faced by financial services firms in complying with its regulation, the Telegraph reports.
An independent survey carried out by the Financial Services Practitioner Panel, set up to monitor the Financial Services Authority's effectiveness, found that just one in seven firms thought cost was reasonable.
The research, which questioned 3,890 senior executives in financial firms, found that 50% of chief executives thought the costs were excessive, compared to just a third when the same survey was carried out in 1999 before the FSA became regulator on December 1 2001.
Two-thirds of those questioned also said they expected the cost to go up in the future.
EDINBURGH FUND Managers' chief executive Iain Watt has finally been fired after months of shareholder pressure, the Scotsman reports.
In a mass boardroom clearout, chairman John Wright and three other non-executive directors of the struggling firm - Sir Angus Grossart, Donald MacDonald and Johnnie Blair - stood down yesterday.
Hit by a fall of more than 70 per cent in the company's share price this year - sparked in part by the loss of its biggest client, the Edinburgh Investment Trust - Watt's coat has been on a shaky peg for several months. But Watt has insisted all along that he had the full backing of the board and would retire in March 2005 - as he had always intended.
The news comes just weeks after Tony Watson, the chief executive of EFM's biggest shareholder - pension fund Hermes - resigned from the board citing a "disagreement" over future strategy.
THE UNEXPECTED resignation of Andrew Pople, head of Abbey National's retail banking operation, hit the FT headlines. He resigned unexpectedly yesterday, just hours after the UK bank warned it would slash its dividend and report its first ever pre-tax loss.
Pople, 45, who was once tipped as a future chief executive of Abbey, announced that he would be leaving his job as managing director of retail banking next month to seek a fresh direction.
His departure surprised the market not least because of Abbey's decision to refocus its business on personal financial services, which has been Pople's area of responsibility.
Pople's job was expected to be reduced as the bank restructures its three main divisions into one business.
BIG CHANGES are expected at the Bank of England once Mervyn King gets his hands on the levers of power, says the FT.
When King takes over from the Sir Edward George in July as governor, he can be expected to fashion the Bank further in his own image.
King is said to have been shocked at the number of generalists working at the Bank. Under his tenure, the Bank is likely to be turned into a policy-making institution, staffed by trained economists and rid of the remnants of its atmosphere of a gentleman's club.
MEANWHILE, THE Times reports CHARLIE BEAN, the Bank of England's chief economist, is being tipped to become Deputy Governor to King.
Bean, a former professor at the London School of Economics, enjoys close links with the Treasury. He is seen as the favourite to succeed Mr King as Deputy Governor for monetary stability on July 1.
PRINCE ALWALEED bin Talal, the sixth richest man in the world, has given warning that it is "inevitable" some Saudi investors will be panicked into withdrawing their assets from the US because of what he described as negative depictions of Arabs in Western media, says the Times.
Prince Alwaleed, much of whose $20 billion fortune is invested in the US, in companies such as Citigroup, AOL Time Warner and Pepsi, is reported to have said: "Inevitably . . . when you have the US media making suggestions that Saudi Arabia is not co-operating in the war against terrorism, and clearly when the names of certain Saudi investors pop up once in a while, some of those investors will panic and will want to leave."
But he said that reports suggesting that the amount of assets that would be redirected to other parts of the world could run as high as $200 billion (£130 billion) were "far too high".
IN THE Telegraph, Gordon Brown was accused of fiddling the figures to ensure he did not have to raise Government borrowing still further.
Buried in the detail of Wednesday's pre-Budget report was a table showing that the Chancellor had raised his estimate for the trend rate of productivity growth from 2 per cent to 2.25 per cent a year.
Although the difference appears small, it could save the Chancellor around £5 billion over the next few years.
Brown upgraded his estimates for the trend rate of economic growth in the UK during his April budget from 2.5 per cent to 2.75 per cent.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR will announce a £75m bond to fund its stadium redevelopment and construction of its football academy today, reports the FT.
The privately-placed bond is the largest ever secured by a football club. It will be drawn down only when Tottenham begins work on the capital projects.
It differs from securitisation bonds - highly fashionable among football clubs - which use future income from ticket sales as security, in that it will be secured against the projects when they are completed.
The club is eager to expand its White Hart Lane ground in North London to attract more fans, but it may be forced to leave the area if it cannot secure planning permission. New transport links are also needed round the stadium but local authorities have so far refused to authorise any.
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