15 January 2016 by Henry Ker
BoE cuts out bad apples
So-called ‘bad apple’ traders – those who quickly jump from job to job in the City of London – could have their bonuses amended after they move, under proposals from the Bank of England. The Prudential Regulatory Authority is proposing to tighten rules around ‘bonus buyouts’. This is where banks remunerate new employees for the bonuses they lost in the job change.
An outright ban on buyouts has been rejected, but there is concern that bankers with a poor regulatory record are using the practice to avoid the strict bonus rules introduced after the financial crisis.
UK governance remains high
The quality of corporate governance in the UK remains high according to the Financial Reporting Council’s report ‘Developments in Corporate Governance and Stewardship 2015’.
90% of the FTSE 350 are complying with all but 1 or 2 provisions of the UK Corporate Governance Code. Although this is a small drop in the level of strict compliance with the code, this is accounted for by new entrants to the market explaining evolving governance and companies waiting on the EU Audit Regulation and Directive requirements on audit retendering and rotation. There is reportedly general improvement in the quality of explanations and a more thoughtful approach to governance.
Amazon accused of being complicit in tax fraud
Accusations have been levelled at Amazon of being ‘at the least, morally complicit’ in VAT evasion. The claims came in a parliamentary debate which saw MPs calling for tougher action against online fraud. Retailers in the UK have said they are having their business damaged by foreign companies that sell their products through online retailers like Amazon and eBay. The sellers do not charge VAT and this allows them to undercut the British market.
Rob Marris, a shadow Treasury minister, commented: ‘There is a moral risk to Amazon — and I think a legal risk — that they are financially benefiting from a fraud because they get a cut of a sale made through them which would not have been made had the fraud not existed.’
London athletics bid has ‘nothing to hide’
Ed Warner, UK athletics boss has stated London has ‘nothing to hide’, after its successful bid to stage the 2017 World Championships was called into question by a damning report into the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) governance. The report claimed ‘corruption was embedded’ within the organisation and the authors of the report want police to investigate past bidding processes.
Ed Warner commented: ‘We have nothing to hide and we would be delighted to spend any amount of time going through our processes with the investigators if that helps root out any miscreants.’
Cyber tops reputation risk survey
Companies are more concerned than ever about the impact cyber attacks have on their business – particularly the effect they could have on their reputation.
According to a survey by Allianz of more than 800 risk managers and insurance experts from around the world, cyber incidents were ranked top of the risks to UK businesses in the UK. This is a rise from third place last year. Similarly, cyber risk rose from fifth to third in the global table – although it topped the list of long-term risks over the next 10 years.