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News digest 09/10/15: Whistleblowing champions and Blackrock proxy access

09 October 2015 by Henry Ker

Banks are required to appoint a whistleblowing champion - read more

Under new FCA rules, banks are required to appoint a whistleblowing champion

Banks required to appoint whistleblowing champion

New rules from the FCA, which come into force in September 2016, place new whistleblowing requirements on building societies, insurers and banks. The rules will require them to appoint a whistleblowing champion, who is a senior manager, and change the way they handle employee whistleblowing. This includes informing all employees of their legal rights, a responsibility to handle all types of employee disclosure, and to present an annual report to the board.

Blackrock introduces ‘proxy access

The world’s largest asset manager has introduced the right for shareholders to nominate directors to the board. Shareholders will need at least a 3% stake in the company, and to have held their shares for more than three years, in order to nominate for elections.

Fifa suspends Blatter

Fifa president Sepp Blatter, secretary general Jerome Valcke and vice-president Michel Platini, have been provisionally suspended for 90 days by the organisation’s ethics committee, amid widespread accusations of corruption and bribery. Chung Mong-Joon, ex-Fifa vice-president, was also banned for six years.

American Apparel files for bankruptcy

Clothing company American Apparel has filed for bankruptcy after diminishing sales and a string of sexual allegations against its founder, Dov Charney. The company has reached a restructuring deal with 95% of its secured lenders in order to reduce debts by up to $200 million (£131 million) – in exchange for equity in the company. This will cut annual interest payments by up to $20 million.

VW boss admits to knowing about emissions scandal

Michael Horn, Volkswagen's US boss has admitted that he knew about the process to dupe emissions test results. He does however deny that either he or other board members knew that their vehicles had actually been fitted with the device. In an apology before the US Congressional Committee, Horn said ‘I would like to offer a sincere apology for Volkswagen's use of a software programme that served to defeat the regular emissions testing regime.’

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