Ministers were facing demands last night to pay up to £4.5bn in compensation to investors who lost money in the Equitable Life scandal after a damning verdict from the parliamentary ombudsman, The Guardian reports.
In a long-awaited 2,800-page report published today, Ann Abraham said she had found evidence of "serial regulatory failure" by the government departments and watchdogs that were supposed to be protecting the insurer's customers.
She identified 10 instances of maladministration in the period leading up to December 2001, called on the government to apologise to policyholders for the "injustice" they had suffered and recommended that ministers set up a compensation scheme.
THE CITY’S TOP fund managers will decide today whether to buy into almost £9 billion of new bank equities issued by HBOS, Barclays and Bradford & Bingley in a big crunch day for Britain's struggling financial sector, according to The Times.
Some of the biggest players in the City are being asked to help rebuild the balance sheets of high street lenders, which have been ravaged by a credit crunch that has lasted more than a year.
But tumbling share prices in recent days have made it more likely that they will shun a £4 billion rights issue from HBOS, the country's biggest mortgage lender.
Shareholders have until tomorrow morning to decide whether to subscribe to millions of new HBOS shares at 275p each.
GOLDMAN SACHS, THE most powerful investment bank on Wall Street, has found itself at the centre of a storm over the events that led to the collapse of Bear Stearns, as regulators issued subpoenas in the hunt for evidence of market manipulation, The Independent reports.
The heads of Bear Stearns and another beleaguered bank, Lehman Brothers, confronted the Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein with allegations that London-based traders were among those spreading rumours that were undermining confidence in their companies.
An angry Goldman Sachs denied the allegations yesterday and said it was confident that the Securities and Exchange Commission would find that the firm did not spread rumours about the two banks' financial position, and instead had actively helped to keep them trading.IFAonline
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