The Financial Services Authority is coming under mounting pressure from City investors to clarify the rules which apply to foreign companies listing their shares in London, says the Guardian .
The fund managers are thought to be concerned that a two-tier system of corporate governance is developing, as firms domiciled in Britain comply with one set of rules and those outside with another less stringent one.
Fund managers are concerned that if one of the foreign companies listing their shares on the London market were to fail it would damage the reputation of the City.
They are raising their concerns with the regulator after a large number of foreign companies listed in London last year. Of the £28bn of new shares listed on the London Stock Exchange £10bn came from foreign issuers, says the paper.
UK-domiciled companies are expected to comply with a combined code on corporate governance, which is highly regarded around the world, whereas companies from abroad can list in London and choose not to comply with the code, instead using their local rules to govern relations with shareholders.
AS MANY as 5,000 bank customers a day are currently registering a complaint with the financial ombudsman over high penalty charges, reports the Scotsman.
The number of people phoning the ombudsman's helpline about the issue has soared in recent days as a consumer revolt against fees continues to gather pace.
The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) said this week alone they expect to receive 5,000 complaints every day over "unlawful" charges by banks and building societies.
Reports of charges in excess of £30 being slapped on people who have gone over their agreed level of borrowing by just a few pennies have led to allegations banks are forcing unlawful fees on customers in a bid to boost profits.
Around 50,000 letters are currently being printed off every day from the consumer campaign site www.moneysavingexpert.com.
LLOYDS TSB’S bad debt charges jumped 20% last year but the banking giant expects “significantly lower” growth in the charges this year, says the Daily Telegraph.
The forecast came as Lloyds unveiled annual profits of over £4bn.
The bank said: “Towards the end of 2006 we experienced some signs of stabilisation in the rate of customer bankruptcies and a slowdown in the rate of growth in IVAs.
“As a result we believe that the rate of growth in the retail lending impairment charge in 2007 will be significantly lower than that experienced in 2006.”
Bad debt charges were £1.6bn last year compared to £1.3bn in 2005 although the charge in the second half for UK retail banking was lower than the first six months of the year.
TWO SENIOR HSBC bankers who were dismissed yesterday for their connection to the bank’s catastrophic foray into high-risk US mortgages had been paid $40m (£20m) in performance-related bonuses, reports the Times.
In a revelation likely to spark shareholder concern over rewards for failure, the two are also set to receive at least $2m more in compensation for loss of office.
Yesterday HSBC ousted Bobby Mehta, the chief executive of HSBC North America, and Sandy Derickson, the chief executive of HSBC Bank USA.
The departures come only two weeks after HSBC was forced to issue the first profit warning in its 142-year history because of a sudden $1.8bn blowout in sour loans to Americans with poor credit records.
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