Lloyd's of London's chief executive Nick Prettejohn has charged the FSA with being too soft on insurance brokers and underwriters on the issue of commissions and fees, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Instead of tip-toeing round the issue, Prettejohn has argued the regulator should “come off the fence” to impose mandatory disclosure rules on payments – of the kind that caused a scandal in the US last year.
There, New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer forced an end to the common practice of underwriters paying kickbacks to brokers in return for business.
"Mandatory disclosure is not just about a reaction to Spitzer. It represents the single most effective way of generating positive change in our industry, change that I know the FSA shares our desire to achieve," Prettejohn says.
The Telegraph says the FSA’s response is that mandatory rules partly should not be necessary because “this is the big boys who know how to deal with each other, unlike on the retail side."
THAT POLITICS MAKES FOR strange bedfellows is well known, but consider the following today: The Times reports journalists at The Telegraph are to go on strike over planned job cuts; a poll shows that Labour has regained a 40% rating for the first time since 2002 following a successful election in Iraq; while The Scotsman reports regional plans by Labour members of the Scottish Parliament to boost immigration have been knocked by the latest plans issued by Party colleagues in Westminster to cut immigration numbers.
The strike at The Telegraph comes as the paper’s new owners prepare to invest some £150m in new printing plant outside London, The Times reports.
To help pay for this move, about one-in-six editorial staff will be cut – about 90 jobs – but the move has prompted a strike threat by the slightly more than half of staff affected who are party to collective bargaining through the National Union of Journalists.
The Times does not say when the strike may take place, or how it may affect the Tory party in the lead up to the expected general election in May.
IN SCOTLAND, home secretary Charles Clarke’s presentation of a new immigration system has gone down like a lead balloon with the Scottish Executive, which is working on models showing a population shrinking below 5 million people by 2018.
The blow comes despite months of lobbying by first minister Jack McConnell to the home office to leave some waiver in place to ensure his “Fresh Talent” policy could be put into action to boost Scotland’s population, The Scotsman writes.
ON THE ISSUE OF demographics, the FT reports a wave of lawsuits is about to hit law, accounting and other professional services firms charged with maintaining age discrimination.
This represents a “sea change” as companies in these areas until now have been relatively immune from such suits, the paper writes.
However, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed suit against Chicago law firm Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, alleging it forces older partners to retire or take a demotion.
The key issue is whether partners are considered employees or employers – in which case they would not be covered by the legislation – and to what extent changing business structures are blurring the lines between the two, the paper adds.IFAonline
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