Sir, As one of those financially ruined by Lloyd's, may I heartily endorse Mero Tetby's letter Jan 3. What is even worse than David Rowland's " ludicrous knighthood " is that he had the temerity insensitivity and appalling bad taste to accept it. Sir, You reported on December 19 that Lloyd's of London is going to court to recover outstanding funds from non-paying names. The case would perhaps be more deserving if Lloyd's had fulfilled its own obligations.
Lloyd's has so far failed to pay out so-called Finality Surpluses owed to large numbers of namesperhaps thousandsunder the terms of the settlement offer. These were dueat the very latestat the beginning of December. No word of explanation has been offered for the delayand the authorities at Lloyd's apparently do not think that it matters.
Now the names have done what was required of them by voting for the reconstruction of Lloyd's and Equitas, it seems that Lloyd's no longer cares about them. It looks as though the new Lloyd's is going to be just like the old, only perhaps more so. Explanation of delays at Lloyd's. Sir, Sir Guy Millard Business letters, January 7 asserts that no explanation has been forthcoming from Lloyd's for the late payment of members' surpluses resulting from completion of the reconstruction and renewal programme.
This is not so. A number of letters have been despatched to relevant members and their agents regarding payment procedures. The most recent on December 18from Lloyd's chief executive officerRon Sandlerto all affected membersspecially addressed the matter of delays in paymentsexplained their back-ground and apologised for their occurrence.
Mr Merrettonce one of Lloyd's most powerful underwriters, has struck a deal with Lloyd'sin return for protection from future legal action. Sir Nicholas Lyell, the Attorney-General, and Sir Rocco Forte, the hotelier, are among other names involved. Mr Merrett will not, at any time, be a director, employee or shareholder of any company in the Lloyd's market.
He will become a party to the settlement - protecting him from future lawsuits from names - but will receive no debt credits in the settlement of his finality bill. Lloyd's has agreed to drop its inquiry into Mr Merrett. Mr Merrett resigned as deputy chairman of Lloyd's in Septemberafter intense pressure from senior figures in the insurance industry. The Merrett names saw their efforts rewarded in Novemberwhen they were awarded landmark damages in the High Court.
Mr Justice Cresswell, the presiding judge, expressed " serious reservations " about Mr Merrett's approach as an underwriter, in a damning page judgment. Mr Merrett, he said, gave inadequate time and attention to his dutiesand was " unconvincing " in his evidence in court. The Merrett deal must still be ratified by the Council of Lloyd's and the board of Equitas. John Mays, chairman of the Merrett action group, said: Mr Merrett was formerly one of Lloyd's most powerful underwriters.
He joined the business built up by his father, Roy, inand became chairman of Merrett Group in Disclosure forces fall in fees. PIA rules help to cut investment costs by 3. TOUGH new rules requiring insurance and investment companies to reveal their management fees have led to a drop in overall chargesaccording to a report Marianne Murphey writes. However, investors with a high-charging company could still pay five times as much as the clients of companies with much lower charges. The regulationsknown as disclosurewere introduced in the wake of the pensions mis-selling scandal and forced financial services companies to make their charges clearer and more comprehensible.
In its second annual reportthe Personal Investment Authority PIAof which Colette Bowe is chief executive, says that charges overall have fallen 3.
Those companies that had been the most expensive showed the biggest improvements. Other high-chargers were Pearl, United Friendly which has merged with Refuge to become United AssuranceWesleyan Assurance Society, Windsor Life, Albany Internationaland Reliance Mutual. The study found that there was little difference between the price of direct products and those sold by an adviser.
The PIA also found evidence of investors bartering with advisers over charges if they intended to make large contributions to policies. And profits are expected to hold up well for the next few yearsin spite of falling ratesand fears of over capacity in the insurance market. Rates were high inand there were few of the catastrophes that dogged the market in the late s.
Figures are published three years in arrears. Of the individual markets, marine has performed exceptionally well in andand the anticipated profit in is above average. No n-marine has also done welland aviation should produce a respectable profit in each year. The area of weakness is motor. Chatset said corporate capital's presence at Lloyd's had increased from 30 to 44 per cent in the past two yearsprompting concerns about over-capacity. The further influx of corporate capacity would appear to be completely unjustified.
Still in a stew at Lloyd's. In one corner, council members are pinning on medals and collecting knighthoods. Out in the shiresmore than 2, names are still waiting for cheques promised to them three months ago. Several hundred more are waiting for the day when the bailiffs come calling.
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Ponder this for a moment, and one realises how little has changed. Hard-pressed names could write - or receive - that one last cheque, and kiss goodbye to the whole sorry business. The black-balling of Stephen Merrett is one of several running themes. Stories persist of names receiving the wrong amounts. Court action by Lloyd's against non-paying names is expected to resume next week. Throw aggrieved names into the potand one is left with a fiery dish with a lingering after-taste.
Lloyd's results set to cheer. Profit forecasts for and have also been upgraded. But Charles Sturge of Chatset warned: It takes a really good wind storm in America to wake the market up a bit" and make underwriters worry about cutting rates further. Lloyd's yesterday received domestic insurance licences in Japan. In return he is being included in the global settlementand disciplinary procedures are being dropped since his undertakings are heavier than the probable sanctions.
The ruling Council of Lloyd's has formally re-elected Sir David Rowland and John Charman as chairman and deputy chairman. Names feel the squeeze in Lloyd's brave new world. N0 major disastersno underwriting scandals - this is the new-look Lloyd's of London. The latest results from the insurance market are confounding the sceptics. Bumper profits in and have attracted more capacity to the insurance marketcausing rates to soften.
But Lloyd's is now dominated by bigger syndicates. They have been strong enough to hold out for better terms. There were few catastrophes last year, says Chatset director Charles Sturge. Despite all the good news the future looks bleak for Names, Lloyd's private investors. Several of the best syndicates are now exclusively controlled by corporate investors. Lloyd's chairman Sir David Rowland says Names have a future.
This year, Names' share of underwriting capacity drops sharply to 56pc. The quoted Lloyd's vehicles may soon be the only practical way into the market. Some are highly attractive. Meantime, Stephen Merrettthe disgraced former Lloyd's deputy chairmanhas reached a settlement. Merrett will receive no help from Lloyd's in settling his losses.
He has promised to stay away from the market. Fenchurch and Lowndes Lambert in merger talks. The consolidation among insurance brokers gathered pace yesterday as Fenchurch and Lowndes Lamberttwo medium-sized groupsrevealed they are in merger talks.
The disclosure in a joint statementwas prompted by the Stock Exchange following a recent run-up in Fenchurch's shares. The shares had been languishing after Fenchurch lost a big piece of business - rumoured to be American energy group Enron - to rival Lloyd Thompson.
The companies said their businesses are complementary: Fenchurch is biased towards the competitive UK retail market following its acquisition of regional broker Houlderwhile Lowndes Lambert's business is international. Details of the merger are expected over the next few weeks. David Margrett, chief executive of Lowndes Lambert, would not comment on the new board structure. A question of honour and the failure of self-regulation at Lloyd's.
TD Direct has bought my broker Natwest: What does it mean for me? | This is Money
Sir, I am extremely dismayed that David Rowland should head the New Year's Honours List in recognition of his having launched Lloyd's on its new path. Are memories really so short? This new path was necessary only because the Council of Lloyd'sof which Mr Rowland was a prominent member, failed miserably to execute self-regulatory duties and so prevent its self-inflicted crisis.
It was these practices that led directly to the worst purported losses in the history of Lloyd's PR, to financially ruin for thousands of innocent people. Seldom is it mentioned that as a broker Mr Rowland benefited financially when Lloyd's went off the tracks, and then again when as chairman of Lloyd's he was assigned the task of rectifying the damage caused.
Nobody at Lloyd's deserves an award, and an award for burning its own boats. The fact is that Mr Rowland has simply devalued the awards made to those whose achievements are truly worthy of recognition. Lloyd's of London returns to court today in its attempts to recover funds from non-paying names.
Lloyd's hopes to secure Order 14 judgments in three test casessetting a benchmark for future debt recoveries. The hearing opened in December.
Arguments on behalf of names in Canada will be heard on Monday. Judgment is expected towards the end of the month. A separate case alleging fraud in the insurance market is due to open in he High Court this month.
Some names will receive two chequesmaking it difficult to tell how many people have received payment so far. Lloyd's has been criticised for delays in distributing funds to names.
Lioncover dilemma at Lloyd's. Lioncoverthe company set up to handle claims from the PCW scandal of the Eightieshas still not been transferred into the rescue vehicleEquitas. Lloyd's chairman Sir David Rowland has overcome worse problems in his time. But the situation is symptomatic. Legal battles continue in the USwhere Names investors are making progress in their claim to sue in US courts instead of in Britain.
There is continuing uncertainty over the exact size of final settlement payments due from names. Hugh crackdown on Lloyd's cheats. The biggest crackdown on fraudmalpractice and incompetence in a City institution is under way at the Lloyd's insurance market. David Gittingsdirector of Lloyd's regulatory divisionis leading 63 investigations into many of Lloyd's Insurance brokers and underwriting agentswho look after the affairs of investors, known as Names.
Information collected during six inquiries has been passed to police around the country for possible action against the firms and individuals involved. More than a dozen underwriting agents face expulsion from the market because they failed to observe best business practice when managing investors' affairs. Some firms may be forced to close or merge because they do not satisfy Lloyd's requirementswhile others may have their licences at Lloyd withdrawn.
A new regulatory plan for Lloyd's is due to be unveiled tomorrow. It will stress the commitment of the market's regulators to stamp out abuses.
Gittings is a former director of surveillance at the Securities and Futures Authoritythe main regulatory body for share dealing and future trading. He took on the role at Lloyd's just over a year ago and has initiated 27 investigations.
When he arrived 36 were already in progress and have yet to be completed. Lloyd's plans to implement tougher regulatory regime. Lloyd's of London has unveiled a tough new regulatory regime which will lead to speedier investigations and threatens tighter scrutiny of Lloyd's brokers. New rules to protect names and corporate members are planned under the offensive, which will see a market expansion of disciplinary and enforcement teams. The drive is underpinned by the appointment of a new head of regulatory proceedingsNoel Lawsonwho was director of supervision at the London Commodity Exchange.
Regulation of Lloyd's is due to be reviewed by the Government after the general electionpossibly as part of a wider review of city regulation. Lloyd's is anxious to bring regulation in line with City watchdogs and has commissioned a top-level groupled by Sir Alan Hardcastle, chairman of the Lloyd's Regulatory Board, to review existing arrangements.
We must ensure that Lloyd's keeps abreast of developments in regulation elsewhere in the City. John Greenway MP, chairman of the all-party insurance and financial services group, welcomed the initiative. Goals for include faster conduct of investigationsstricter surveillance of the Lloyd's capacity auction process and the introduction of new rules for the further protection of capital providers.
Monitoring of individual transactions will be introduced. Up to 6, individual Lloyd's brokers could be obliged to seek registration. A consultative document will look at the need for trust accounts for client money and will consider whether conduct of business rules are desirable on matters such as best execution. Equitasthe company that has taken on the and prior liabilities of Lloyd's, is moving to new headquarters close to the Lloyd's building.
The move to Exchequer Court in St Mary Axe will be completed by July. Unionamericaa US-owned insurance grouphas acquired a controlling stake in Jago Capitalthe dedicated Lloyd's corporate capital vehicle.
Lloyd's to push for outside regulation. Lloyd's of London is likely to recommend external supervision of its regulation when the recently-appointed review committee reports in the summer. Sir Alan Hardcastle, chairman of the Lloyd's regulatory board, said he would not be surprised if the committee suggested the ruling council of Lloyd's be answerable to the Treasury and the Securities and Investments Board. Sir Alan said the government is likely to have a similar view.
The regulatory report for last year, published yesterday, said: This will probably be part of a general review of City regulation. But it may be years before the new regime gets through parliament. More than 2, people working in the market were vetted. Of these, 45 were either rejected or withdrew. Lloyd's is investigating the auctions last year of underwriting capacity. Some deals may have been on the back of insider information. Lloyd's is also trying to find a way of preventing excess capacitywhich it describes as "a threat to the solvency and stability of the market ".
However, it has to avoid breaking EU regulations against anti-competitive behaviour. It is also looking for a computer system that will continuously monitor every transaction in the market. In the members' magazine One Lime Streetpublished yesterday, chief executive Ron Sandler discloses that Names have received nothing while the other 12, have received " all or part " of the sums due to them. We cannot say with certainty when is will happen. Mr Sandlerwho last November strenuously denied any delay in the payment processconceded: However, asked when Names could expect their money he replied: US court ruling lets Names start action.
Bizarre decisions in the US courts were the original undoing of Lloyd's of London. Now the insurance market is again coming under threat after a landmark victory by rebel Names. The Southern district court of New York has ruled that all Names who wrote business in the US can join a class action against Citibank.
The bank is one of the trustees holding hundreds of millions of Names' funds. Page 23 of the Names' offer document required them to give up the right to sue Citibank and other parties connected with Lloyd's. Many Names initially accepted the offerbut reserved their legal rights. Lloyd's says this counts as an outright refusal. The High Court in London is set to rule on the issue next month. Either way, the total number of refuseniks looks set to rise. Ominously for Lloyd's, the Names are being represented on a no win-no fee basis by Milberg Weissone of the heaviest-hitting US law firms.
Even if the rebel Names succeed in grabbing US funds, this will simply mean more headaches for the Names who accepted the Lloyd's offer. The Lloyd's insurance market is at risk of a return of the " spiral " - in which syndicates reinsure risks they have already insuredending up with huge exposure to one loss - that was so damaging in the lates.
The claim came in a newsletter from members' agency Christie Brockbank Shipton. Arbitraging is when an underwriter tries to make money by laying off a risk to a reinsurer for less than he was paid to take it. The practice is particularly prevalent when rates are soft as they are now. Average motor rates are lowerit says, while costs are rising 4pc to 5pc. The situation is unlikely to improve until " various sectors of the market experience a series of huge individual catastrophe lossesor when capital is removed after a long war of attrition.
Christie blames Lloyd's for allowing too much capacity in the market. Charles Harbord-Hamond, Christie's managing director said: However, Mark Hewlett of Syndicate Underwriting Research said Christie's fears were overdone: Lloyd's Names face fresh cash demand. Ceasing Names who paid finality bills in sterling cash by the end of September will face no further demands unless their funds at Lloyd's turned out to be insufficient. This requires dollar assets to equal dollar liabilities.
It was not clear until the end of last year just how big the dollar claims would beand how much could be released. Many Names are angry because they feel that Lloyd's should have hedged the exposure. Its debt allocation model can tell how many are affected by each kind of additional bill, but not yet how many may have to pay more than one type.
Lord Mount Charlesthe Irish rock concert-promoting peer who is one of the biggest underwriters at Lloyd's. He said of the additional bills: Steer clear as Sedgwick seeks new opportunities. UNLIKE Willis Corroon, Sedgwick would like to be part of the consolidation of the overcrowded global insurance broking industry.
But whether it will be in the vanguard or the baggage train of deals is unclear. In the meantime Sedgwick, a global broker, is coping with soft rates and subdued demand. Growth in brokerage and fees grew from 3pc after nine months to 4pc for the year. The rise in expenses was an underlying 2pc. Greater emphasis on consultancy seems to be working.
Profits, a fifth of the total, are up 14pc. Growth at Sedgwick Noble Lowndes in Britain rose from 4pc at the nine months stage to 15pc for the full y ear.
Sedgwick wants to grow consultancy further and the ambition remains a key to any merger moves. It is also the reason why Willis Corroon now leaving this areawill not fit the bill. On a maintained dividendthe yield is 7pcbut cover is slim and cash flow scarcely burgeoning. Smithlands accountant found guilty. CERTIFIED accountant David Sharratt was found guilty yesterday of fraudulent trading when he was in charge of the finances of the Midlands-based Swithlands Motor Group which collapsed in November Sharratt, 51, from Thringstone, Leicestershire, was remanded in custody overnight and the jury at Oxford Crown Court continue their deliberations today against John Hayes, 39, Swithlands' company chairman, and Richard Hayes, 34, the operations director both from Quorn, Leicestershire, who also deny fraudulent trading between November and November During a si x-month trial the prosecution alleged the three men duped banks and building societies and millions of pounds were lost during the company's failed floatation attempt.
Sharratt denied manipulating accounts and making false agreements and said that if he was going to " cook the books " he would have done it on his own. The Hayes brothers said they were not heavily involved in the company's financial affairs and relied on the advice of financial experts. Shares in GKN rise as US judge hints at cut in damages.
GKN was convicted last December of defrauding 2franchisees of Meineke Discount Mufflersits specialist US exhaust retailer, by diverting fees intended for advertising campaigns. Yesterday, however, GKN said judge Robert Potter sitting in the federal district court in Charlotte, had issued a legal notice which implied the award could be sharply reduced. The company said Judge Potter had indicated he would recognise " releases " signed by some of Meineke's franchiseesunder which they waived their right to compensation.
GKN has said it will appeal against the damages, thought to be the largest filed against a UK company in the US. That process could take more than 18 months. Judge Potter has given the two sides a week to file a formula on how damages should be allocated among the Meineke franchisees.
If they failjudge Potter has made clear he will enter a ruling that could either increase or reduce the jury's award. GKN said yesterday it would make an " appropriate provision " against its accounts to cover damagesalthough it predicted the provision would not affect its dividend. Industry analysts are split on the financial impact of the likely damages. Others say the award will not adversely affect the company. GKN perks up as US court says claim could be cut.
The litigants had filed a case in alleging breach of contracts over advertising payments. GKN says the court has now notified the parties that the claim could be resolved so that the level of damages that might have been awarded would be cut by 30pc or more. The court has given both sides until next Wednesday to agree a formula for allocating damages to particular classes of plaintiff.
After that, court will make a judgment on the damages following legal submissions that could take about a month. GKN said any appeal is expected to take at least 18 months to resolve. Court upholds Lloyd's reinsurance rescue move.
Lloyd's of London yesterday won the first round of a critical High Court case brought against Names - individuals whose assets have traditionally backed Lloyd's - who refused to accept the terms of its recovery plan.
It is now expected to issue a fresh wave of writs as part of efforts to recover debts. The ruling affirmed the Insurance market's authority to reinsure billions of pounds in losses into a new company called Equitas under a recovery plan completed last September.
Though lawyers acting on behalf of Names contested this interpretation in a faxed letter to FreshfieldsLloyd's solicitors, Mr Holden said the pursuit of Names refusing to settle would be " vigorous.
More than 90 per cent of 34, Names have accepted the plan and compensation for their losses: Yesterday's case was originally against three Names who refused to settle, but Lloyd's dropped proceedings against one because of concerns over the defendant's age and health. Lloyd's has already served writs on another Names in the UKUS and Canadaand is expected in the next three weeks to send writs to another who have refused to pay their debts.
Unproven allegations that Lloyd's defrauded Names by hiding knowledge of its losses while encouraging them to use their personal assets to support underwriting still hang over the insurance market. At a High Court hearing next monthLloyd's will seek a ruling that Names must " pay nowsue later " under the terms of the reinsurance contract with Equitas. Mr Justice Colmanwho is presiding over the case, has given Names the chance to submit evidence of fraud.
Ms Catherine Mackenzie - Smithco-chairman of the United Names Organisation said yesterday: Lloyd's claims court victory over dissidents. LLOYD'S of London yesterday said it had won a significant court battle with dissident names over sums owing to the society.
In what was billed as a test case for 1, members who refused to accept the settlement packagea High Court judge dismissed challenges to the legality of the reconstruction and renewal plan. However, no n-paying members said the decision was irrelevant. Lloyd's had applied for an order against two namesDennis Leighs and David Wilkinsonwhich would confirm that the reconstruction was legally soundremoving one obstacle thrown up by many who refused to pay the cost of reinsuring their old liabilities finally into a new body called Equitas.
Mr Justice Colman ruled that Mr Leighs and Mr Wilkinson's criticisms of the Equitas scheme were not " arguable defences " for non - payment. Philip Holden, the solicitor representing Lloyd's, said " This judgment enables Lloyd's to pursue all non acceptors of the settlement who have argued that they re not obliged to pay the Equitas reinsurance-to-close premium.
Our pursuit will be vigorous and, by virtue of this judgment, will be effective. This was angrily denied by Michael Freemanrepresenting Mr Leighs and Mr Wilkinson. He said fraud allegations are yet to be resolved: On March 17Lloyd's will seek to persuade Mr Justice Colman that any fraud allegations will have to be dealt with after the names have paid their Equitas premiums under a " pay nowsue later " clause.
The hearing involves looking at the hypothetical implications of the allegations being proved rightassessing Lloyd's claim that the pay-first system is essential. In the meantime, Mr Holden said Lloyd's would be able to pursue many other debtors who could not allege fraud.
Court clears Lloyd's to pursue refuseniks. LLOYD'S of London won a legal victory against two " refuseniks " yesterday allowing it to pursue Names who rejected last year's rescue plan for premiums for Equitas the reinsurance company set up as part of the rescue.
Mr Justice Colman granted Lloyd's " Order 14 " summary judgments enabling it to obtain monies owing to it under " reconstruction and renewal " in the High Court.
Lloyd's issued its first batch of writs in October and in December sought the judgments against British Names Dennis Leighs and David Wilkinson. However, the Names intend to continue to fight Lloyd's and a hearing on their allegation of fraudulent misrepresentation against the society is scheduled to be heard in the High Court next month.
The partners had planned to fight that judgment at the Court of Appeal later this year. The settlement can be met through existing cover. The agreement comes less than 24 hours after the UK government unveiled detailed plans to allow UK firms to shield partners' personal wealth from litigation stemming from the negligence of fellow partners. Accountants had hoped the appeal case would settle whether they could owe a " duty of care " to a company with which they had no formal contractual relationship.
ADT alleged that, at a meeting inMr Martyn Bishopa Binder's audit partnergave a verbal assurance to ADT about the accounts of Britannia Security Group - a company which BDO Binder Hamlyn had audited. ADT went on to purchase Britannia Security Group and said it based its price on Mr Bishop's assurance on the accounts - even though he was not employed by them as a reporting accountant. At the time BDO Binder Hamlyn said it was surprised that such a " duty of care " could exist over what it said were informaland verbalremarks made at a meeting called in haste.
BDO Binder Hamlyn ceased trading in October when the London practice merged with Arthur Andersen World-wide Organisation. Some of the firm's provincial offices joined other large firms. Mr Adrian Burnsenior partner of Binder Hamlyn, BDO Binder Hamlyn's successor firm and part of Andersen World-widesaid: If we had lostall our assets would be on the line. There was no other sensible route. Can you trust the accounts? Company figures can lie. What do you expect from company accounts - per cent accuracy?
And can you count on institutional investors spotting any errors? Some people in the City believe private investors are not interested in the full accounts and that summary financial statements are all they need. Yet there are a number of investors who, like me, read all the detailed figures avidly - including the tiny print of the notes. The other shareholders voted to adopt the report and accounts - yet the chairman admitted: Of much more concern are major financial problems at a number of companies.
One of the most recent examples is Wickesthe do-it-yourself retailer which announced last June that it had discovered accounting problems " relating to the timing and recognition of profit from supplier contributions. How could any prudent investor have foreseen such an event?
But, short of visiting a lot of Wickes branches, how could I have known whether trading in the local store was typical? Perhaps people in the Midlands loved Wickes, but I did not invest in it. In June ,1 did invest in Sound Diffusion after looking at its accounts. By December that year, the company had gone into receivership. I did not know personally anyone who used Sound Diffusion's services leasing communications, security and other electrical equipment to hotels, nursing homes and other establishments.
How was I to know that Department of Trade and Industry inspectors would say later that the auditors " failed to identify. Another personal experience made me cautious about the value attributed in accounts to " stocks " of products and materials. Many years ago, I overhead an entrepreneur talking on the telephone to a colleague. He was in the middle of take-over negotiations for another company and wanted to increase the perceived value of his own firm.
So he asked for the stock figure to be increased on the ground that no one else would know the true figure as the auditors were unlikely to visit all the wareh ous es and count what was there.
I am also cautious about stock valuations because products are worth only what someone will realistically pay for them. And if stock levels have shown a marked increase from the previous year, does this mean the product is failing to sell? Is it even worth its cost price if few people want to buy it? I examine company reports for details of money owing from customers.
If these figures have increased greatly from the previous year, then I wonder how many of the customers might go bankrupt and be unable to pay their debts. I also look at the company's borrowing levels and take note of any foreign currency transactions. Has the company locked itself into an unfavourable currency or interest rate?
Has it changed its financial year-end? If so, was there a good reason? Have profits been boosted by " exceptional " items? If so, are the company's general trading activities showing a decline? There are many other items I look for in the accounts. But these can be only as good as the people who prepared and audited them.
Does the finance department pay all bills automatically or are there suitable checks in place to ensure that accounts are not paid for non-existent and other fraudulent "services"? If there is a series of transactions with a particular supplier, are checks made to ensure that purchases are being made at the keenest possible price? Or has one supplier been given preference in return for " kickbacks " to the person placing orders for over-priced goods?
Some years ago, I read a study of fraud which indicated that "disgruntled mistresses" were more likely to lead to the discovery of fraud within a company than financial controls. Indeed, frauds were more likely to be discovered by accident than by auditors. Although I feel some finance directors and auditors could be tougher, I accept that not everything can be controlled.
It said the company had a proper control framework; which provided "reasonable but not absolute, assurance against material mis-statement or loss. Names who held out get better terms. LLOYD'S of London has been making deals with Names who refused to participate in last year's rescue planoffering them better terms than they were offered then. The news will enrage those Names who supported the rescue because they were persuaded by the argument that it was the best deal available.
Mrs Noel accepted the offer at a meeting last November with the lawyer Philip Holdenwho is in charge of debt recovery at Lloyd's. I felt that if I gave up not only litigation but also my right to speak, I would have hated myself. A spokesman for Lloyd's said: The debt recovery process recognises the reality of those for whom there is a limit to what can be recovered.
While Lloyd's efforts appear to be directed to those who cannot pay their liabilities, it is understood that most of the 1, refusing to do so " Won't pay " rather than " can't pay ". Lloyd's was unable to say how many Names it had done deals with after the rescue was approved in September.
A remuneration committeewhich included former W H Smith chairman Sir Simon Hornbywas set up by the Feltrim action group to decide on payment to its 10 representatives and the current chairman, Damon de Laszlo.
Also on the committee is Peter Buckleychairman and chief executive of Caledonia Investments. De Laszlo spearheaded a successful legal action against many Lloyd's companies over the losses which lead to Lloyd's rescue scheme. In spite of that he is believed to be considering waiving his share of the prospective pay-out. The issue has sparked a major row within the Feltrim action group committee. The question of payments to past and present members of the Feltrim action group is to be raised at a special general meeting on 27 March that is likely to be stormy as many Names believe that the payments to action group leaders have been excessive.
Names who had invested in insurance syndicates managed by Feltrim included tennis players Buster Mottram, Mark Cox and Virginia Wade, as well as Sir Simon Hornby.
Just days after the board of Premium recommended the bid to its shareholders, a review of Lloyd's insurance syndicates managed by Wellington revealed a substantial deterioration in the profitability last year of a syndicate which writes personal and commercial motor insurance. The final dividend of would be maintained. It's tough to be an insurer - recovering from the latest downturn will not be easy. Full-year results this week from Commercial Union and Guardian Royal Exchange showed how tough it became last year to underwrite profitably in general insurance.
Margins were savagely squeezed by a severe winter, with the worst clutch of weather-related claims in the US for 75 yearsand continued pressure in the fiercely competitive UK market. Both companies indicated that premium rates in the private motor marketwhich often acts as an indicator of broader trends, were bottoming out after two years of steep falls.
But neither sounded convinced that a recovery was imminent. While the insurance market is cyclical by nature, the depth and severity of the latest downturn is due in part to the success of telephone-based insurerssuch as Direct Linein taking huge chunks of market share away from more established rivals. Moreover, while there was a lower-than-usual global incidence of major catastrophes last year, the cost of winter weather-related claims in the US and IJK soared.
CU was able to take heart from its exposure to overseas life markets - the UK non-life market accounted for only 16 per cent of total premium income. In the course of 11 yearslife assurance has increased its share of the world insurance market to 57 from 42 per cent. But general insurance is where the earnings volatility lies, and analysts predict another slide in profits this year for the composites.
Given the uncertain outlooksome explanation is needed for the performance of composite shares relative to the rest of the stock market. Since May last year, the sector has outpaced the FTSE All-Share index after losing ground earlier in Before that, growth in profits after recession-related losses in the early s had failed to galvanise share prices because of a poor performance in bond and equity markets in The composites under-performed the rest of the market by 47 per cent from the beginning of until May last year.
It is not difficult to pinpoint the precise moment at which the composites turned: Royal Insurance and Sun Alliance triggered huge share price gains across the entire sector when they announced plans to join forces in the biggest UK insurance deal for over a decade.
The effect of this announcement was staggering. Daily speculation of impending take-oversand a more solid conviction that further consolidation among the composites was inevitablefuelled further share price gains.
The flow of strong life figures, reflecting booming pension sales, also lent support. The increased competition has piled pressure on all of the composites to reduce overheads. By introducing new technology to speed up claims handlingfor example, they have tried to become more efficient.
Royal and Sun Alliance are expected to benefit from economies of scale and the removal of duplicationmainly through 5, job losses across the group, of which 80 per cent are planned for the UK. In addition, bulging cash surpluses from higher investment returns for the past two yearsand record profits just beforehave raised hopes that one or two of the composites could return capital to shareholders through a buy-back or special dividend.
The question for investors now is whether they should take profits, given the forecast for the underwriting cycle this year and the uncertainty of take-over speculation; or whether the shares have further to run on the higher valuations applied to life assurance and the prospect of cash pay-outs.
For Guardianthe central issue is as much one of surplus capital as of the need to get an underdeveloped life operation to grow. John Robins, chief executive, knows investors are aware of the group's cash pile. The shares dipped as investors factored in the goodwill write-off associated with buying a life assurer, many of which are valued at a premium to assets.
The following day, John Carter, CU's chief executive, was asked about group strategy. He is in a rather different position, since CU's well developed and highly profitable international life business already accounts for 44 per work from home mchenry il of group income.
Although also keen to improve this further, Carter strongly emphasised that the top of a bull market might not be the best time to make an acquisition. The frenzied bidding auction for Scottish Amicable illustrates this point of view. With buy-backs improbable and mutually-owned life assurers expensive, the shares could prove a better longer-term bet.
Lloyd's Names face a fight for survival. Many of the remaining 8, Lloyd's Names are fighting a rearguard action to preserve their status as sole traders at Lloyd's. At stake are the plum tax advantages that go with it. Moves are underway to eliminate the remaining Namesthe traditional investors in the strife-torn Lloyd's insurance market, and replace them with investment from companies.
High level talks are taking place between the Lloyd's authoritiesthe Inland Revenue and the US Internal Revenue Service to establish a tax regime to tempt the remaining Names to transfer their investments to companies.
Around 25, Names have left the market since the losses emerged. To replace their input Lloyd's has for the first time allowed corporate vehicles to enter the market. But Lloyd's chairman Sir David Rowland and senior deputy chairman John Charman want the market to be based entirely on corporate capital as it could provide more stability for the market.
This would require the remaining Names to transfer their investment. Next year companies are expected to provide the majority of Lloyd's financial backing.
However, the rapid reduction in the influence of Names has angered insurance brokerswho still introduce ol d-style Names to the market through subsidiary companies. Many are trying to sell these companiesbut fear that Lloyd's current plans may make them worthless. The case centred on allegations that GKN and Meineke had illegally diverted payments made by GKN's 2, US franchisees, which should have been used for advertising.
A jury in Charlotte analisa forex imf hari ini, North Carolina, decided the company was guilty of breach of contractnegligence and fraud.
News of the award emerged several hours after GKN surprised City analysts by not including any provision against its results for the outcome of the case. It had previously said a ruling was unlikely before mid-March. Had it treated yesterday's award as an exceptional chargethis would have virtually wiped out the company's pre-tax profits. GKN refused to comment on the ruling but officials made clear an appeal would be filed that could delay the pay-out. Its legal advisers were last night said to be digesting the implications of the ruling from Judge Robert Potter.
It is likely to tell investors the damages could be reduced by at least 30 per cent because some of the franchisees signed releases in which they waived their right to compensation.
A Los Angeles appeal court has accepted that part of a case between Lloyd's and American underwriting Nameswho refused its global settlement offer can be heard in America. A fax he sent to the broker who had brought the business through him to Lloyd's " misrepresented the amount of the How to make money selling drugs documentary on netflix brokerage as a percentage of the total gross premium payable.
The aim was to inflate the amount payable and divide the surplus premium between Mr. O'Sullivan's employer and the Lloyd's underwriters. O'Sullivan now concedes that the practice was inappropriate ," said Lloyd's.
The judgment is one of a series of disciplinary findings at Lloyd's which also resulted in a broker, Ian MacCall International. Lloyd's yesterday published a summary of its disciplinary proceedings in the past three months, which also resulted in three other fines on agents. In addition, one underwriting agency and one broker were deregistered in the period for failing to meet Lloyd's standards.
Last autumn Lloyd's introduced a summary procedure for dealing with minor breaches of regulation or procedure to speed up the process. During the final five months of last year the disciplinary authorities issued 55 formal warnings under this procedure for minor breaches and failures to comply with details of the rules. So far this year they have notched up 20 with most of those being for being late in submitting regulatory documents.
Individual registrations which were introduced last year have so far resulted in 3, people being approved but 32 applications were withdrawn and another 38 were given only restricted approval and had conditions imposed on them. A Further applications are still being processed. Scare for Lloyd's in US. The US Securities and Exchange Contact fnb forex has come out strongly in support of rebel US Namesalleging that their recruitment to the Lloyd's of London insurance market constituted a fraudulent sale of securities in breach of US law.
The SEC's statementlate on Friday came as Lloyd's prepared to appeal a federal c ourt ruling in Californiawhich - if it stands - would allow rebel names to sue the insurance market in the US for the first time. This follows a ruling options first review scottrade Thursday in the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appealwhich reversed a lower court decision in Natwest stockbrokers share dealing favour.
You have entities selling securities here that try to require investors to sign contracts saying that european livestock and meat trades union subsequent suits have to be filed in a foreign court that's never heard of a security ," SEC general counsel Richard Walker said.
This weekend, there was confusion over the remarks. The SEC filed a supportive " amicus " brief on jurisdiction last year but has always ducked ruling formally that How does google adsense make me money falls under its ambit. It remains unclear whether Mr Walker, the SEC's top lawyer was being protective of investors signing away their rights to sue or whether he was indicating that a wider-ranging move is on the cards.
So far, of 2, US nameshave not accepted Lloyd's Equitas reconstruction planwhich closed a week last Friday. Just of 25, UK names are also holding out.
US court approves tobacco healthcare action. BAT Industries and the American tobacco industry suffered a setback yesterday as a court allowed the attorney-general of Mississippi to sue for compensation for the cost of treating smokers in hospital. The Mississippi case is likely to be the first of the important Medicaid lawsuits -in which whole states are attempting to recover healthcare costs - to reach trial. On Thursday, American rivals Philip Morris and RJK Nabisco had falls of around 10pc in their shares after the ruling but rallied yesterday.
In the past month courts in California and West Virginia have dismissed Medicaid cases at the pre-trial stage on the grounds that the state lawyers did not have the right to bring them. However the Mississippi Supreme Court rejected similar arguments brought by the industry and Kirk Fordicethe state governor.
Mike Moore, the Mississippi attorney-generalsaid the ruling was the best he could have hoped for. BAT dismissed the ruling as purely procedural. Yesterday's ruling came a week after BAT said it would welcome a financial settlement to halt all legal actions.
Mississippi burning issue facing BAT. AS their shares slid yesterday, BAT Industries tried to stay cool. The ruling from the Mississippi Supreme Court was merely proceduralthey coughed. From an industry that has relied on procedural arguments to delayor even haltmost of the trading symbol for fannie mae state-sponsored and class action cases it was a good wheeze. What BAT high alchemy money making runescape, Philip Morris and RJR Nabisco did not say is that the Mississippi judgment, which clears the way her Mike " Flashbulb " Moorethe local attorney-generalto bring his case in June is the first sign that the American judiciary is getting bored with the tobacco companies' delaying tactics.
There is a lot at stake here. If the Mississippi Medicaid case goes against them, the companies' negotiating position would be seriously weakenedjust as they have admitted that the old " fight to the death'' approach how much money does a auto body painter make litigation delivers permanently depressed share prices.
The prices had got so depressed they were silly. They were cheered by a couple of pre-trial judgements in Medicaid cases in West Virginia and California.
The Mississippi case threatens this cosy analysis. It is just one of 22 being brought against the industry and the other 28 states are watching with interest.
Then there is the persistent rumour that Liggettthe minnow of the American samsung mobile phone market share in thailand, will settle the Medicaid cases in exchange for handing over some damning evidence to use against the big boys.
If that is true, they should be puffing furiously. MPs told of pension scandal death how to download the money maker on club penguin. THE foreign exchange rate as on 31st march 2013 as per rbi committee probing the failure of City regulators to clear up the personal pensions scandal has learnt that nearly three times more people have died while waiting for compensation than have received it.
But another 18, of these personal pension plan holders have died since the review began three years ago. That mortality rate is about treble the average for adultsactuaries pointed out yesterday. One, who asked not to be named, said: When Joe Palmerchairman of the Personal Investment Authoritywas asked by the select committee on Monday how many people had died while waiting for justicehe said he did not know.
Now the authority has replied to the committee in writing but the regulator refused to discuss the contents of its letter yesterday. However, Diane AbbottMPwho asked the original questionconfirmed the authority has admitted that deaths in the compensation queue outnumber payments by three to one.
There is no sense of urgency. They need to set time targets for the industry and if they do not stick to them, the firms should be penalised. It has all been too cosy. When personal pensions were created inall the major insurance companies sold them. Many people were incorrectly advised to buy when they would have been better off how to earn free gold in real racing 3 in company or occupational pension schemes.
That proposal infuriated the charity Age Concern. Director Evelyn McEwan said yesterday: The review so far has been a tremendous debacle and the insurance industry's name is mud. New competitors in the low-cost pension field joined in the criticism. Tony Wood, marketing director of Virgin Directsaid: They have not got the right to be involved in this new area if that is how they run their business.
NatWest Strockbrokers Ltd Acquired By TD Bank Group
The Treasuryand the regulatory authorities for which it is responsible, declined to comment yesterday, other than to say: Bring out silly hats for Palmer's end of the PIA show. JOE Palmer s becoming the Douglas Hogg of self-regulation. Unfortunately, unlike Hugless Hoggthe voters do not get the chance of removing him from trading non dtc stocks post.
Still, as chairman of the Personal Investment AuthorityMr. Palmer's days look numbered nevertheless. If Labour winshe faces the sack. He would be well advised not to wait until Polling Day.
This week a parliamentary select committee put option negative time value some shocking statistics from the PIA: It is understandable, if inexcusable, that Mr. Palmer somehow failed to have this damning figure to hand when he faced the MPs on Monday. The evidence was quie t ly placed in the Commons library a few days later. This is not the first time - nor is it likely to be the last-that the regulators have kept us all waiting for an unsatisfactory answer.
The latest pledgethat the insurance companies will do all they can to ensure that widows of the dead emerson electric stock options will get paidmerely turns tragedy into farce. The PIA is supposed to be fighting for the customersnot for the insurance companies. It is not even as if the PIA guidelines are particularly painful. Money-Go-Round reports today how one reader struggled for six years to obtain redress.
After he rejected the first offer calculated under the regulators' approved formulahe has now received mom than treble the compensation originally offered. There is a simple way to concentrate the minds of the life offices to cleaning up this messrather than their procrastinating until it dies of poverty in old age.
The government could make it plain that no life office with any unresolved mis-selling problems would be allowed to take part in its grand plan to privatise the state pension. If the PIA really was on the side of the consumer, it might make a similar suggestion itself, but with Mr.
Palmer in the chair, the life offices need not worry about such an uncomfortable prospect. It is more likely that he will develop a limpwear a silly hatand go the whole Hogg. Either that or he will be pictured selling his daughter a personal pension assuring the world that there was absolutely no risk to her financial health.
It pays to reject insurer's first offer - Jan Eakin tells how a pension mis-selling victim trebled his compensation. Bondurant futures brokers the small minority of personal pension victims who are fortunate enough to have been offered compensation should think twice before accepting the first sum offered.
One reader who was incorrectly sold a personal pension by Equitable Life has more than trebled the compensation by rejecting the insurer's first offer. Although it was calculated on the basis approved by the Personal Investment AuthorityRoger Hudson of Wrexham, Clwyd, was disinclined to accept it on the basis of " once bitten, twice shy. So he took independent financial advice and rejected Equitable's first offer.
Hudson is still angry that the affair has taken more than six years to sort out. According to the regulatorsmore thanpersonal pension planholders are " urgent cases " to be considered for compensation. In the three years since the regulators began talking about the problem just 37, cases have been fully investigated and only 6, people have received compensation. In contrast, the PIA admitted this week that 18, have died waiting for their cases to be buy skinny water stock newsnearly three times more than msft stock option chain received compensation.
Equitable Life accepted last October that Mr. Hudson had been wrongly advised to leave a company scheme and buy a personal pension.
Hudson was suspicious of the calculations used and employed Northern Insurance Consultantsof Birkenhead, to look into the matter.
They took over negotiations with Equitable and five months later the insurer has more than trebled its offer. Hudson 61, contributed to its final salary pension scheme for 28 years. He was made redundant in and a couple of years later, after becoming self-employed decided to transfer his rights to a personal pension plan with Equitable Forex trading in south africa pdf. But after a year or so it didn't look right.
In effect I had to wait two years for an answer and when they did it was wrong. Jesset looked into the matter more closely he decided to take up the issue on Mr.
So convinced was he that Mr. Hudson was owed far greater redress he arranged that further costs should be based on a no win, no fee basis. Hudson has remained self-employed up to the present date.
Consequently, he has no other State Earnings Related Pension Scheme entitlement for the reduced contracted out deduction to be applied against. The whole thing stinks. I have had nearly two years of uncertainty about my pension, something that is very important to me. Equitable was very much in the wrong and it had a very cavalier attitude. A spokesman for Equitable Life said: Ex Wickes directors take cut in pensions. Paying pensions to non-executive directors is highly unusual.
Wickes yesterday announced that Mr. Sigoloff66, and fellow non-executive director Robert Burrow44, will resign from the board at the company's annual meeting on May 1. Burrowtogether with Wickes non-executive chairman Michael von Brentanowaived their rights to pensions. Kaplan, 80, retired from the Wickes board last December. Sigoloff, who are both Americanwere close associates of Henry Sweetbaumthe company's former chairman and chief executive who resigned after the scandal broke last June.
Chief executive Bill Grimsey, who announced like-for-like sales ahead by 13pc for the first nine weeks of this year, said he had not received any approaches from potentially interested buyers. But he added "Today is really the closing chapter on It's been a very difficult period but we have managed successfully the first stage of our recovery process. Finance director Bill Hoskins said that talks continue on selling the los s-making businesses on the Continent.
Nomura president quits over scandal. HIDEO Sakamakipresident of Nomura Securitiesresigned yesterday to make symbolic amends for a scandal involving suspected illegal deals. He will stay on as adviser to the company. Mr Suzuki said "My first priority is to restore confidence. I would like to transform the company forex rates singapore one with a healthy situation. The scandal which surfaced last week involves two executives who allegedly made illegal deals and gave the profits to clients who are reportedly linked to members of Japan's gangster underworld.
The scandal has once again tainted Nomura's image and the company's share price has fallen sharply on the Tokyo stock market. Minister attacks US judges over Lloyd's. The government has written to a Californian appeals court attacking a decision which allowed US investors in Lloyd's of London to sue the insurance market under US securities fraud and racketeering legislation. Its action prompted a storm of protest from some US Names - individuals whose assets have traditionally supported the insurance market - who are continuing to fight Lloyd's.
The Names allege they were defrauded by being placed on syndicates which reinsured asbestos and toxic waste claimsor had a heavy concentration of risks. They say Lloyd's knew the syndicates carried big losses but did not disclose them.
The ruling in the US appeals court reversed an earlier decision by a district court which dismissed the Names' claims that they should be able to sue Lloyd's in the US.
It was an unwelcome embarrassment to Lloyd'swhich has appealed. The centuries old insurance market is trying to rebuild an international reputation besmirched by the legal and financial problems of its past.
Mr Anthony Nelsonminister for tradedescribed as " erroneous " the view expressed by two of the judges presiding over the case that Lloyd's was a " business corporation " and subject to the rules robot forex otomatis profit normal international commerce.
He added that Names wanting to litigate would " receive fairunbiased and speedy justice in English courts. But the California-based American Names Associationwhich is backing the legal action as part of a continuing campaign against Lloyd's, dismissed Mr Nelson's comments. Mr Richard Rosenblatta representative of the association, said: They have done their own cause more damage than good.
The appeals court made no judgment on the facts. It said clauses in contracts signed by Names agreeing that complaints should be handled by English courts should be voided because they violated US securities laws.
This is not the first time the government has intervened in litigation against Lloyd's. Yesterday, In an English High Courtthe insurance market denied separate allegations that it had committed fraud by recruiting new members while hiding knowledge of its losses.
They include Lady Archerwife of novelist Lord Archer, Ian Posgate, once a leading Lloyd's underwriter, Lord Mark Fitzalan Howard, and Carel Mosselmans, a former chairman of Sedgwick, Britain' largest independent insurance broking group.
They are among more than Names who invested in the Renown motor insurance syndicate. It is managed by Wellingtonone of the largest agency companies at Lloyd's, and was regarded as a blue-chip investment.
Since the syndicate has been hit by growing competition in the motor insurance market, which led to sharp reductions in premiums. It has also suffered from rises in the size and frequency of motor insurance claims. But the Renown losses have emerged since and are not covered.
Names are not the only ones affected. Companieswhich were allowed to invest in Lloyd's for the first time three years ago, have a big stake in the syndicate. Last year they provided a third of its financial backing. Among the companies with investments are Delian Lloyd's Investment TrustHiscox Select Insurance Fund and New London Capital. Wellington also has a large investment together with Premium Underwritinga specialist Lloyd's investment company that it recently acquired.
For Lloyd's the latest development will cause further embarrassment. One of the insurance market's deputy chairmen, Ian Agnewis also deputy chairman of Wellington Underwriting and the losses have angered the Names whose affairs the company manages. Lloyd's advice proves costly. Mr Justice Goudie said in the High Court: I have house for sale in eaglescliffe stockton-on-tees reservations about the reliability cp money maker easy download 2016 both of them.
His conclusionhowever, was that Mr Fawkes-Underwood understood little about Lloyd's, and turned to accountant Nicholas Hamilton for help. Mr Hamilton " did not claim to be au fait with Lloyd's " but gave advice without warning him about choice off syndicates. Mr Fawkes-Underwood drifted into a number of dangerous syndicatesincluding the ones in the now notorious " LMX spiral.
There is plenty of informationincluding the league tables, so that pension lump sum investment options were " in breach of duty by failing to advice Mr Fawkes-Underwood each autumn that he should not allow himself to be on the syndicates.
Herewood Phillips said last night: Lloyd's row fired up over new court ruling. A High Court ruling may cause nightmares for accountants and financial advisers up and down the land. The plaintiff was Keith Fawkes-Underwoodwho is an expert on antiquarian books, but according to the judge did not have much understanding of Lloyd's.
The judge berated Herewood fore failing to adviseor even apparently noticewhich syndicates were more risky. It did not even check the annual syndicate league tables. People who bill for giving advice will euro dollar exchange rate forecast to be more careful in future.
The defendants used a QC and a top firm of solicitors. The ruling will be appealed. Clause validly excludes liability for gross negligence. A trustee exemption clause could validly exclude liability for gross negligence. Such a clause was neither repugnant nor contrary to public policy. The Court of Appeal so held dismissing an appeal by the beneficiary, Paula Rachel Armitage, against the trustees of a settlement in her favour.
Richard Nurse, Dudley Thomas Bowman Stammers and Brian Arthur Stammers, personal representatives of Arthur George Stammers, deceased, Margaret Lambert McLeod Flatman, personal representative of Keith Flatman, deceased, and Jeffrey Reginald Wright, and the trustees' cross-appeal. Lord Justice Millett said a clause in the settlement provided that no trustee should be liable for any loss or damage to the fund or its income " unless such loss or damage shall be caused by his own actual fault.
The clause has been taken from a standard set of precedents Derry v Peak [ 14 App. Cas ] established that nothing short how to get unlimited mulch and dosh on binweevils a fraudulent intention in the strict sense would suffice for a case of deceit or fraud properly so called.
Proof of dishonesty was required. Dishonesty was not a necessary factor in so-called equitable fraud. The common law knew no generalised tort of fraud. Derry v Peak was an action for fraudulent misrepresentation and care had to be taken when concepts of acting knowingly or recklessly were applied not to a representation but a breach of trust, which could be of many different kinds. If trustees consciously acted beyond their powers they might deliberately commit a breach of trust if they did so in good faith and in the honest belief that they were acting in the interest of the beneficiaries their conduct was not fraudulent.
In his Lordship's judgment the clause exempted the trustee from liability for loss or damage to the trust property no matter how indolent, imprudent, lacking in diligence, negligent or wilful he might have been, so long as he had not acted dishonestly.
It had been submitted that a trustee exemption clause which purported to exclude all liability for actual fraud was voideither for repugnancy or as contrary to public hedging exotic fx options. The question was whether a trustee exemption clause could validly exclude liability for gross negligence.
There was an irreducible core of obligations owed by the trustees to the beneficiaries and enforceable by them. If the beneficiaries had no such enforceable rights there was no trust.
But his Lordship did not accept that those core obligations included the duties of skill and care, prudence and diligence. The duty of the trustees to perform the trusts honestly and in good faith for the benefit of the beneficiaries was the minimum necessary to give substance to the trusts, but in his Lordship's opinion it was sufficient.
It was far too late to suggest that the dubai dirham in pakistani rupees in a contract of liability for ordinary negligence or want of care was contrary to public policy.
What was true of a contract must be equally true of element-fx forex trading signal settlement. English lawyers, unlike those in civil law systems, had always had a healthy disrespect for the distinction between negligence and gross negligence. There was no norm in common natwest stockbrokers share dealing for the maxim culpa iara dolo dequiparetur [gross negligence is can you make money crocheting to fraud].
The submission that it was contrary to public policy to exclude the liability of a trustee for gross negligence was not supported by any English or Scots authority. None of the nineteenth-century cases dealt with the much wider form of exemption clause which had since become common and none of them was authority for the proposition that it was contrary to public policy to exclude liability for gross negligence by an appropriate clause clearly worded to that effect.
However, the view was widely held that such clauses had gone too far. Jersey had introduced a law in which denied effect to a trustee exemption clause purporting to absolve a trustee from liability for his own fraudwilful misconduct or gross negligence. The subject was presently under consideration in this country. If such clauses were to be denied effect, it should in his Lordship's opinion be done by Parliament which would have the advantage of wider consultation with interested parties.
Insurers facing holocaust suit. The suit, filed on Monday in the US District Court in Manhattan, names as one defendant Assicurazioni GeneraliItaly's largest insurerwhich is already defending itself against similar allegations made by a group of 53 families in Israel. Generaliwhich had its roots in the Austrian-Hungarian empirehad a dominant market share in eastern Europe before the second world war. Yesterday, Mr Guido Pastori, director-general of Generali in Trieste, said the company would not comment until it had seen the full 30 page suit.
However, he said Generali's subsidiaries in eastern Europe were nationalised by communist governments after the second word war and therefore had no legal obligation to pay policies.
We never paid any policies issued in eastern Europe after nationalisation," he said. Under the terms of the nationalisationthe new state-owned insurance companies took over both the assets and liabilities of each insurerMr Pastori said. However, lawyers for the plaintiffs will argue that Generali and the other insurers had an obligation count working days in excel 2007 pay claims with excess assets located outside eastern Europe.
According to the lawsuit, relatives of Holocaust victims who had been policyholders made repeated attempts to obtain payment of claims, but were rebuffed. Other defendants are Wiener Allianz Versicherung Aktiegesellschaft also known as Phenix AIlgemeine Versicherungs Aktiegesellschaft ; AGFthe French insurer; Riunione Adriatica Di Sicurtathe Italian insurer; Allianz Groupof Germany ; the Austrian group Der Ankerand Bavarian.
Reinsurance Companybased in Munich. Liggett in financial difficulty. Liggettthe US cigarette maker that caused a storm two weeks ago by reaching a deal with trader joe 39 s eggplant spread recipe forcesis in serious financial difficultiesa filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows.
The figures shed more light on the decision by Mr Bennett LeBow, chairman and chief executive of Brooke Group, Liggett's parent, to hand over part of Liggett's pre-tax profits to tobacco opponents as part of the legal settlement. The SEO filing, consisting of Brooke Group's annual report, reveals that the agreement was in large part meaningless because Liggett did not make any pre-tax profits last year and does not expect to do so in the near future.
Based on this trend, it does not expect to generate sufficient cash from operations to meet payments on some secured notes next year and the year after without restructuring or refinancing its debt.
Analysts say Liggett's motivation in reaching a deal with tobacco opponents was to make the company attractive as a take-over target if litigation started to go against the industry. The profit figure is very slightly below the level forecast for the underwriting period just a year ago.
But that too may be knocked further by the strengthening pound. As competition in insurance has increased world-wide, premium rates have been forced down for the past two years. They are likely to continue sliding for at least another three or four years. Some Lloyd's underwriters have learnt from previous disasters and turned away business rather than write it at a loss. As a result, Lloyd's is using a steadily falling portion of its underwriting capacity. Even in a good year like there were huge discrepancies within the market: By contrast, syndicate 97owned by Wellingtonmade a loss of between 5.
This is the first time Lloyd's has made a preliminary disclosure of its results before the grand announcement ceremony in May. The move was forced on it by the incursion into the market of quoted corporate underwriters. The detailed explanation and commentary will still arrive next month. Tobacco groups duel over Marlboro Man. REMBRANDT GROUPthe South African tobacco-based conglomerateis suing Philip Morristhe US cigarette groupover an alleged stock market crash history 1929 of famous trade names.
In a writlodged at the High Court in London, Rembrandt alleges that Philip Morris has broken an agreement precluding it from using tobacco trademarks - including the Marlboro Man - in the southern African region.
It is seeking an injunction against further breachesand is pressing for unspecified damages. The court move is an embarrassment to Philip Morriswhich, with other US tobacco companies, faces high-profile law suits from American cancer sufferers.
The tobacco industry received a knock last monthwhen Liggett Groupthe smallest of the US producers, broke ranks and said tobacco was addictive and could cause cancer. Under a deal with 22 state attorneys-general, Liggett pledged to pay 25 per cent of its profits for 25 yearsin order to settle the litigation. The four large tobacco companies obtained a court orderpreventing Liggett from turning sensitive documents over to prosecutors. The firm would not binary option vic. Auditors qualify Equitas accounts.
Equitas have qualified its first accounts, published yesterday, because of doubts over the reliability of data relied on to assess the risks it faced. Equitas is the company which last year assumed the billions of pounds in financial liabilities which threatened to destroy the Lloyd's of London insurance market.
Equitas said the data came from a wide range of sources including Lloyd's insurance syndicatesbut much of it was unaudited and some was of. The group said closer scrutiny of the data might lead to a substantial reassessment of its liabilities.
It was not clear by how much these could increase or decrease if at all. Tens of thousands of-investors in Lloyd's agreed last September to reinsure their losses in Equitas under the terms of a recovery plan which offered them the chance to walk away from the insurance market free of future liability.
A group representing about 8, of the investors - individuals called Names whose assets have traditionally backed Lloyd's - said It was " troubled " by the audit.
Coopers felt it was unable to give an unqualified opinion because it did not have access to all of the information it stock trading courses dublin require.
It did not say it disagreed with the accounting practice of Equitas and did not issue a disclaimer. Mr David Newbiggingchairman of Equitas, said the need to " validate " information supplied by syndicates should not be interpreted as criticism of a reserving project which took three years to complete. Equitas hopes it will be able to improve the quality of the information it has collected with an electronic " data warehouse " expected to come on line optionfair binary options trading platform summer.
Coopers also noted that the unpredictable nature of the risks fuelled uncertainty. About 40 per cent of claims are likely to stem from policies insuring " long-tail pollution " and health hazard risks in the US.
Equitas doubtful about its survival. THE precarious state of Lloyd's of London's recovery was underlined yesterday, when Equitasthe reinsurance corn p any formed to take on billions of pounds in long-term Lloyd's risks, conceded that it could claiming stock options on taxes forced into receivership.
This would effectively push it into receivershipwith disastrous consequences for London's standing in world insurance. The warning is contained in Equitas's maiden set of report and accountswhich catalogues generous levels of pay in the Equitas boardroom. The firm gives warning that future claims experience is likely to differ from estimated liabilities" potentially to a material degree.
This would trigger a " stock market keynesianism cover " clauseunder which Equitas would be entitled to pay claims at a reduced rate.
Failing this, Equitas could be tipped into receivership. It took on and prior-year liabilities for Lloyd's syndicates, ring-fencing 34, names from past losses.
Sir David Berriman, chairman of the Association of Lloyd's Names, said he was " troubled " by the inevitable qualificationwhile recognising that Equitas was doing all it could to reduce uncertainty. David Newbigging, chairman of Equitas and former head of Jardine Matheson, said the company had inherited a mass of untested data.
The sharp drop is because some claims were paid in the interim and money was recovered through reinsurance. Equitas'' finance directorJane Barkersaid that the amount is likely to drop to half over the next three or four years. The chairman of Equitas, David Newbigging, said in the first report and accounts produced replacement wood stock mini 14 Equitas that he was hoping to insulate members of Lloyd's from the old lossesand even to produce a surplus on the operations to be repaid to the members.
In addition for legal reasons Equitas has withheld details of big makes money crossword clue which could go to courtas the accountants have make money using tinyurl the specific information nor the ability " to determine whether proper accounting records have been maintained.
Equitas is about to takesq. Furious investors say the pact allowed John Major's sleaze-hit Government to stagger on for a year. But critics allege the conservative bigwigs were offered " preferential terms " by Lloyd's to settle their debts. In returnthe Government is said to have vowed not to launch a public inquiry into the Lloyd's crash or to call for tougher regulation of the insurance market.
Retired Lloyd's agent Jonathan Balcon, the uncle of actor Daniel Day-Lewis, said: Former Conservative council candidate Mrs Noel, 52, of Yeovil, Somerset, claimed two Tory MPs had tipped her off about the deal. According to figures published by Lloyd's, six high-flying Tory losers have not benefited from any secret deal.
Nearly 2, investors are opposing the rescue deals being hammered out. Last night a Lloyd's spokesman called the special deal claim "a load of rubbish. Lloyd's faces world's biggest fraud case. Names who Lloyd's and its officers on public fraud are awaiting ruling, due by the latest. Solicitor Freeman, who is Names said about a full fraud action, including discovery of all documents dating back to the s and the calling of all the major players at Lloyd's into court.
Instead, they continued to argue and they, and others, had been defrauded by Lloyd's when it recruited many newcomers to the market in the early s without telling them that it knew of the impending financial disaster of massive claims stemming from asbestosis and pollution claims.
Names say they have strong evidence showing that senior figures in the market, who were also executives in the ruling body of the Corporation of Lloyd's, actually suppressed growing documentary evidence of the increasing size of future claims. Lloyd's picked bloomberg stock market watch three individual Namesmembers of the UNO, for recovery actions under a speedy Order 14 hearing starting on 15 November last year.
The Names, backed by the UNO had two main defences - one involving non-fraud issuesand a secondinvolving the allegations of fraud. Any reliable binary option brokers Justice Colman ruled against them on the non-fraud issues, but decided that the allegations of fraud should - unus ually for an Order 14 hearing - be heard in public some time in March.
But Lloyd's is thought to fear a public hearing that would drag up the lon g-maintained accusation of fraud and countered that with an unusual summons to court. In the summonsLloyd's lite forex ecn that the court assume that there had been fraud at Lloyd's.
But it also stated that even if that was truethen its " how to get money in gta san andreas ipad now, sue later " clause in its contract with Names takes legal precedencemeaning it can relieve the Names of the money owed immediately.
That would also disable the Names' ability to push the fraud case either as a defenceor in a direct suing action. But Names hope the judge will dismiss Lloyd's summons. Catherine Mackenzie-Smithchairing the UNO said: The UNO Names are among those hit hardest by the huge losses racked up by the worst years, and may face bankruptcy. Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal has given permission bonus gretongan forex UNO member Sir William Jaffery to be substituted as the appellant in the Clementson test case challenging Lloyd's powers under European law.
But the UNO believe, it can now win an appeal, which could devastate Lloyd's ability to force Current exchange rate indian rupee to pay up. Lloyd's ready to tighten up monitoring. Lloyd's of London is set to introduce electronic monitoring of transactions as part of a wider drive to clean up the insurance market. The move, which would bring Lloyd's in line with the Stock Exchangeis aimed at spotting concentrations of high-risk or inconsistent underwriting.
Lloyd's currently samples a random batch of transaction slips a day by hand. The idea is to use computer software to look for patterns in the thousands of transactions that pass through Lime Street daily. A prototype system is likely to be in place by the summer.
Lloyd's is reviewing all aspects of regulation in a drive to improve standards. A report is due next month. Sir Alan Hardcastlechairman of the Lloyd's Regulatory Board, is eager to streamline the Lloyd's rule-bookworking with David Gittingsdirector of regulation, and Noel Lawsonhead of regulatory proceedings. Lloyd's is required to meet solvency standards set by the Department of Trade and Industry DTIbut is otherwise unique in having no external regulator.
This is due to be reviewed after the electionwhoever comes to power. One option would see the DTI remain responsible for regulation on behalf of policyholderswith investor protection falling under the Securities and Investment Board. The funding of external regulation - possibly through a levy on the market - is a key issue yet to be decided. Directors and senior managers at Lloyd's underwriting agencies have been obliged to seek individual registration under a byelaw passed in April About 3, have been registeredwith a further still to go.
The requirement could be extended to take in up to 6, Lloyd's brokers. Lloyd's is stepping up the number of inspectionsusing market professionals on secondment. About 40 underwriting agents and 80 syndicates will be visited this year. Goals for this year include faster conduct of investigationsan expansion of disciplinary and enforcement activity and stricter surveillance of the Lloyd's capacity auction process.
Imro, the fund management watchdog, yesterday levied the biggest fine by a City of London regulator on. Morgan Grenfell Asset Managementone of the leading asset management groups in Britain.
Peter Young, one of its star managers, making hidden investments with customers' money. Several executives, including Mr. Youngwere dismissed last autumn when it was discovered he had been inflating the value of funds under his control by investing in unlisted shares. MGAM said it had addressed the failings identified by Imro and had put in place arrangements for paying compensation to investors.
Imro's report details several breaches of its rules by MGAM. It criticises MGAM for failing to prevent its funds " from making inappropriate investments in certain holding companies used to circumvent the regulations.
MGAM failed to notify Imro of problems relating to the management of European Growthone of its funds, in spite of concerns reported to " at least one member of the board of MGAMby no later than April Thorpe said MGAM had " paid dearly as a consequence of inadequate management control. The affair plainly illustrates the dangers of ignoring repeated warnings.
IMRO is continuing its investigation into the dismissed executives. Ta x-free compensation for losses caused by the rogue fund manager will be paid to people who held units in Morgan Grenfell European Growth ; Morgan Grenfell Europa or Morgan Grenfell European Capital Growth between August 1,and September 5, Nearly a fifth of the original unitholders have also sold up since dealing recommenced, although the fund manager said this will not affect their entitlement to compensation.
Philip Thorpe, chief executive of the Investment Management Regulatory Organisationsaid: The firm has paid dearly as a consequence of inadequate management control.
This affair plainly illustrates the dangers of ignoring clear and repeated warnings. The regulator's written statement makes no mention of the funds' auditors - accountants KPMG - or their trustees - General Accident - who " retired " in June last year.
It does, however, add: The irregularities were connected with -although not limited to - Peter Young who carried out day-to-day management of European Growth and Capital Growth. Young and six other senior employeesincluding five Morgan Grenfell directorswere sacked within weeks of the problems becoming public.
A spokesman for the fund manager said yesterday: There is no question at all about its financial security. Deutsche Bank has supported it with sufficient funds to pay compensation even where no actual loss has been suffered by an investor but where these funds' performance fell below the average for the European Growth unit trust sector. Robert Smith, who replaced Keith Percy as chief executive of Morgan Grenfell Asset Management last October, said: Compliance controls and operating methods have been subjected to rigorous review and I have full confidence in the people and systems we now have in place.
A spokesman for the Serious Fraud Office said: But its trusteesGeneral Accident" retire ". Peter Young is named " fund manager of the year " by trade magazine Investment Week. The Securities and Futures Authority notifies Morgan that it is investigating claims by its member, Fiba Nordic Securitiesthat it sold large amounts of unlisted securities to three of Morgan's unit trusts.
Peter Young is dismissed. Keith Percy, chief executive of Morgan Grenfell Asset Managementis replaced by Robert Smith. Four other senior employeesincluding four directorsare sacked.
Mis-selling forces record levy from PIA. The cost will be divided among PIA's 4, member companies on a basis to be announced shortly. PIA said the figure represented a " substantial chunk " of ICS's total estimated liability for pensions, mis-selling cases, although it was subject to.
ICS compensates qualifying customers of failed companies that belonged to one of three self regulatory organisations - PIAthe Securities and Futures Authority and Imrowhich regulates investment managers. ICS's costs and payments are funded by a levy on each regulatorwhich recoups the money from its members. For the first time, ICS announced a levy relating to companies expected to be declared in default in the current year, rather than just assessing in arrears for completed cases.
The latter figure takes in expected compensation payments to customers of Knight Williamsthe defunct financial adviser at the centre of a long-running dispute over selling of inappropriate investment productsmainly to pensioners or people near retirement age.
PIA was set up in to take over from Fimbrathe SRO for Independent financial advisersand Lautrothe regulator for life Insurers. More than 98 per cent of PIA's levy for relates to former Fimbra members.
Ten per cent of the balance will come from IFAs and 90 per cent from product providers that used the IFA distribution network. Ina High Court judge rejected a challenge by Sun Lifethe life assurance company, to ICS rules which required all PIA members to meet compensation bills for Fimbra members that went out of business before PIA was formed. The levy reflects a supplementary call on earlier cases, because no SFA members were declared in default In Imro's decision to fine Morgan Grenfell Asset Management over the Peter Young affair eight months after the event smacks of stable doors and bolting horses.
Nor is the UK regulator's conclusion - that MGAM's internal controls were inadequate - much of a revelation. Young's ailing funds and compensate investors. Deutsche would have had to spend that money regardless of Imro's decisionin order to saf e-guard its reputation.
Instead, Imro might usefully have cast its net a little wider. While MGAM must continue to take most of the blame for this scandal, it is worth remembering that auditors KPMG gave Mr.
Young's funds a clean bill of health as recently as last July. And the corporate trustees of those same funds, first General Accident and subsequently Royal Bank of Scotlandhad a clear responsibility for checking their prices.
They were, after all, paid several hundred thousand pounds a year for their trouble. The problem is that it will take more than two to tango; politicians and the powerful anti-tobacco lobby must also be satisfied. In the UKtax on cigarettes is 50 percentage points higher and a Labour government would probably ban outdoor advertising.
This might not be enough pain for the industry's opponentswhich include the Clinton administration. Given the conflicting interests of the parties involvedthe chances of a favourable solution look at best The danger for investors is that if tobacco companies push for a settlement they do not getthey will look far more vulnerable in the law courts.
Of course, they will never admit guilt in any settlement - it would open the legal floodgates overseas - but their willingness to negotiate will be seen as evidence of weakness. Nonetheless, the potential rewards to investors probably still outweigh the risksgiven the extent of their discount ratings. What is good for the big tobacco companies is not necessarily good for America. So the settlement which Philip Morris and RJR Nabisco Holdings are discussing with lawyers acting for those who say that smoking has damaged their health must be viewed sceptically.
The plan would require an act of Congress to indemnify the companies against future actions by those claiming damage from tobacco.
The biggest winners would, as usual, be lawyers. They would claim assured fees running into hundreds of millions of dollars a year, rather than the uncertain gains from fighting many cases. For although tobacco assuredly can kill most people know that fact. Convincing juries that producers are to blame in particular instances has not been easy.
Although US legal processes are uncertain and far too expensivea settlement which requires a new law to limit citizens' rights to sue tobacco companies may not be the answereven if it were feasible. Nor would it end disputesfor quasi-judicial processes would be needed to attempt to filter out bogus claims against the fund. And big questions would remain about tobacco companies' responsibilities elsewhereparticularly in the developing world.
If Congress is to consider actionit should first curb the marketing of tobacco. That will not help those who have died of lung cancer, but it might reduce future suffering. And it could be done without turning too many lawyers into millionaires. Analysts expect the companies to fund the payment by raising the price of a packet of cigarettesand they expect the cost to be shared by the companies according to market share.
Spokesmen for Philip MorrisRJR and BAT all declined to comment directly but the talks were confirmed by the White Housewhich is monitoring the negotiationsand by two state attorneys-general involved. Minnesota attorney-general Hubert Humphrey said: This is the first time I've seen a tobacco representative sitting across the table in the three years that we've been involved in the litigation.
I don't necessarily feel what I have heard so far is enough. Diana Temple, tobacco analyst at Salomon Brothers, believes the industry was jolted into talks by fears that it could lose about 30pc of individual cases. The talks began about two weeks ago. Lloyd's stands firm on capital reforms. Lloyd's of London said it would stand firm on controversial proposalspublished yesterday, to increase the capital individual Names must put up to support underwriting at the reformed insurance market.
Andrew Duguid, secretary to Lloyd's council, said the reforms were needed to improve security for policyholders. The package of measures designed to improve Lloyd's so-called " chain of security " will bolster its case in talks currently being held to try to secure a credit rating for the whole market - rather than its separate syndicates.
Names - the Individuals whose assets have tradition-ally backed Lloyd's - reacted quickly to the reforms, which may result in many reducing their underwriting capacity or leaving Lloyd's. One Names' leader said Lloyd's appeared to be biased towards the new-style Names who already back 44 per cent of the market.
Robert Miller, for the Association of Lloyd's Namessaid the proposals seemed " rushed ". Duguid said Lloyd's was " pretty firm " in its plans - although Names have until May 16 to comment. He denied that Lloyd's was persecuting Names: At present, most Names - who have unlimited personal liability - hold funds at Lloyd's representing 20 - 30 per cent of the total business they can back, compared with a minimum of 50 per cent for corporate investors.
Lloyd's proposes that the minimum for individuals be raised to The move would require all investors - individual and corporate - to show evidence of assets totalling 50 per cent of premiums they support. For Names, other personal wealth would make up the balance to 40 per cent in and to 50 per cent in Duguid added, individual Names would have to show a further This reflected the risk related to their securityhe said.
Names could reduce this total by depositing more funds directly at Lloyd's. These ratios and the timetable - appear fixedbut Mr. Duguid did signal that plans to outlaw the use of Names' homes to obtain bank guarantees as part of their funds at Lloyd's might need fuller discussion. Names would still be able to use such guarantees as personal wealth. Lloyd's was also in talks with the Inland Revenue to see if assets held in the market's special reserve fund -to meet claims - might be used by Names to compute their personal wealth.
Duguid unveiled further proposals to enhance the security offered by the other three links in Lloyd's so-called " chain of security ". He said the market's premium trust funds should be subject to an investment code rather than the present " hotch potch ". Further reforms are suggested to ensure syndicates have adequate reserves to meet claims, to provide " guidance " on the selection of reinsurersand to popularise the use of " disaster modelling " to forecast the impact of catastrophes.
Duguid said that as Lloyd's set down minimum requirements for Names and corporate investors, a methodology was already being developed to judge when investors needed to provide greater security. He revealed that some corporate investors already met such obligations. Under the plans all investors would face a risk-based capital analysis.
THE future of the traditional Lloyd's Name - the individual writing with unlimited liability - has become even more uncertain following proposals from the insurance market to increase the funds Names have to show to underwrite.
Names' gearing - the degree to which they can use their funds to underwrite - is to decrease dramatically because Lloyd's is proposing that Names put up a greater proportion of the premiums underwritten. Instead of putting up between 20 p. Corporate capitalintroduced innow accounts for 44 p. Christopher Stockwell, a disaffected Name, said yesterday: This is consistent with putting the squeeze on the individual Name to make room for corporate capital. However, Andrew Duguid, head of strategic planning at Lloyd's, said: The purpose is to make sure the capital is strong and equitable across categories.
MORGAN Grenfell now expectsinvestors to receive compensation for the Peter Young affairdouble its original estimatethe fund manager disclosed yesterday. Frances Davies, head of pooled funds at Morgan, said its investigation of nominee accounts - where many investors may be registered as a single holding - revealed far more people affected than previously thought.
In a separate move, the fund manager confirmed that four directors who left after the affair are likely to continue being paid until October under the notice terms of their one-year contracts. TWICE as many investors Will receive compensation from Morgan Grenfell over the Peter Young affair as originally estimated, the fund manager said yesterday.
The extra numbers are emerging from Morgan's investigation of nominee accounts-such as those set up by insurance companies, intermediaries and savings schemes - where each account may hold units on behalf of many investors. Compensation will be paid where investors in Morgan Grenfell European GrowthMorgan Grenfell Europa or Morgan Grenfell European Capital Growth received lower returns than they might have received from comparable funds between August 1, and September 5, City regulators have approved an index of European unit trusts to show what Morgan's unitholders might have received if their funds had not broken the rules by holding so many unlisted shares.
That means Morgan will pay compensation to some investors who have suffered no actual loss but who did suffer a relative loss-that is, they did not do as well as they might have done. For example, people withdrew income or bought more units. We are determined none of our investors will lose money.
Morgan's determination to atone extends even to bailing out investors who would have lost money anyway as European stock markets fell at the end of Cheques will be sent to all direct investors at the end of this month, although those in nominee accounts may wait longer where administrators have failed to supply details.
A senior regulator said: Slow progress in pensions scandal. SIX insurers have done more than the rest of the industry put together to sort out pension scandal cases, according to a survey by the Daily Telegraph. Over the six years between andsome 20m personal pensions were sold by the insurance industry. Up to 1-Sm of those sales, it is estimated, may have been based on bad advice. Money-Go-Round contacted the 13 companies identified in research by the Personal Investment Authority as having been among the worst offenders and asked them for a progress report.
But they account for nine out of 10 of the 9, mis-selling cases which have so far been resolved. Only one of the remaining seven companies - the Prudential - was willing to reveal figures. The remaining six claimed that the information was " competitor sensitive " and the figures would be " misleading ". Last year Alan Jenkinson, a director of policy at Sedgwick Noble Lowndessaid: Although the Prudential supplied figures, they seemed to indicate it has so far only carried out the required checks on half the pensions it sold between and A spokesman for the Pru said it had carried out checks on more than 1m pensions covered by the mis-selling scandal.
He said detailed investigation is being made of 50, cases. However, he said this did not indicate that all of them had received bad advice.
The spokesman refused to say how many mis-selling cases had so far been identified or how many cases had been completely resolved. Allied Dunbar's director of corporate affairs, Bob Gill, said: Despite all this effort, however, hundreds of thousands of people are still waiting for their cases to be resolved and that is what Pearl says is the most important consideration.
Spokesman Ken McKay said: That "the evidence we considered necessary for our audit is not wholly available"; that "we did not receive access to available Information You bet they could. They are "non-equity", whatever that means, They represent the result at worst, of a blatant fraud on Lloyd's Names or, at best a cynical piece of false accounting executed in probable contravention of the Theft Acts. If neither, then Equitas must be complemented on making the most profitable day-trade in the history of world finance.
Yet on the very same day as that premium became payable, that company ceded those same risks to its subsidiary, Equitas Ltd.
But this was not an arm's length deal; it was an in-house and clearly dishonest manoeuvre planned well beforehand by an institution long associated with deception, misrepresentation and cover-up.
It is not too difficult to figure out who the suckers were. But were they defrauded? Some might think so, but not, presumably, the DTI which, of course, must have approved all aspects of it beforehand in addition to approving each of the directors and key executives of Equitas as being fit and proper to run one of the world's largest insurance companies.
But, is Equitas solvent? After all, the DTI has approved it as being so. We know that many Names simply do not have the money. And many other Names are effectively beyond the clutches of the English Courts. Just a small provision would cause the whole elaborate construction to collapse. The directors are protected. So all will be well for them.
In addition to their handsome remuneration how could they quibble at Coppers and Dollar's fees in the circumstances they have received personal indemnities from both Equitas and from Lloyd's to cover them in the event they should slip up.
But of Course they must be assumed to have prepared the Accounts carefully and with the greatest diligence. It's a great comfort for all the victims of Lloyd's, is it not? What is certain is that the opening Accounts of Equitas will go down for posterity in the annals of the insurance industry, the accounting profession and, one suspects, the legal profession.
And for that we must complement everybody who has been involved in their creation. It may be that some readers of my recent critique of the Equitas Accounts may not have fully appreciated the import of what Equitas has done.
If so, let me now make an analogy which I hope will clarify what has happened. Because its promoters are highly placed men of great influence, whose companies contribute lavishly to the ruling political Party's coffers, the Government persuades the Department of Trade and Industry to approve it so that it can legally conduct insurance business.
That is a huge amount. No Government in the civilised world would approve such an absurd proposal. Let us then imagine that our new insurance company goes out to solicit business.
It soon identifies around thirty thousand distressed and worried individuals who have been unable to get any insurance company anywhere to insure them, so bad are their risks and so bad their reputations. It then offers them insurance cover. When it becomes apparent that many do not want to do business with such an insubstantial company, the Government and its henchmen pass laws which force all the thirty thousand, willing or not, to take out policies on whatever terms the new company so decides.
But things become even worse. The new company throws salt on the sores and wounds of those wretched people. It tells them that the premiums they will have to pay are very much higher than can ever be economically justified; but that is just too bad and no-one will have any legal grounds for complaint. So the might and force of the law prevail. But, surprisingly, the company refuses to allow them to even see their insurance policies; it doesn't even bother to issue them.
Not surprisingly, a few of these poor people take umbrage and refuse to pay their premiums. But they believe that they must finish the job properly, at least as they see it, even though it would mean bankrupting some of their poor wretched clients. They start to sue them for unpaid premiums, while still refusing to issue or hand over the insurance contracts under which they are suing. Yet surely they must, at the least, be complemented on having a great sense of the bizarre? In spite of this little bit of outstanding business, the promoters and directors of the new company think they have done a great job.
They decide they must broadcast their huge success. After all maybe more knighthoods, well paid directorships and share options can be picked up. They get their accounting staff to draw up official Accounts for the company so that they can publish them and let everybody know exactly how big a success it has all been.
Was it really real'? But just to make sure that no-one can question their great financial coups and wizardry, they engage one of the world's leading firms of chartered accountants to audit and certify the Accounts. It has not been realised, and if it ever were to be real sod it would take perhaps twenty or thirty years for that to happen.
He reads that the whole of that huge sum came from a simple book-keeping entry and inter-company transfer between the company and its wholly owned subsidiary.
Surprisingly, he notices that although the auditors refuse to validate that huge "profit" they do not draw attention to its artificiality. In my earlier memo of Its real paid-in capital was a big round zero. The Equitas Accounts are full of lovely little gems like those. It is worth tawny the time to read them in detail. Your author, a chartered accountant thinks they are a classic of their genre. After all they do report that, although they were not allowed to see all the papers and records they needed, they saw enough to be pretty sure that the company does not have proper books or accounts, and that they think that what they have seen is an utter and complete shambles.
Now, when confronted by the sceptical analyst over this apparent bit of financial chicanery the directors excuse themselves by saying that they had made it quite clear to the thirty thousand unfortunate wretches in advance that the premiums they would have to pay would be quite excessive; and that they would write down the value of those premiums just as soon as the deal was done.
That, they say, makes everything OK. The sceptical analyst thinks to himself that if a burglar tells you a month or two ahead of time that he will burgle your house, that does not make his burglary legal. It is still a crime. But the directors reject that notion as superficial and unsophisticated.
They believe they have the force of law behind them and that judges will uphold their actions. And maybe they will in England. But maybe they won't elsewhere. All I know, as your simple author, is that if the directors of any real quoted and public company were to attempt anything remotely like the above imaginary insurance and accounting fraud they would, within minutes, find the Stock Exchange, the Fraud Squad and the force of all the official Authorities descend on them.
They would be able to look forward to a very lengthy free vacation, all at the taxpayers expense. But all the above is just imagination. A creative writer's dream, is it not? It certainly couldn't happen in England. Lloyd's comes home to roost for top Tories - Fifty leading Tories, including Prime Minister John Major, face a rough ride this week as angered Lloyd's Names hit back in the hustings over an alleged cover-up to save MPs from bankruptcy.
Senior government ministers associated with the alleged deal, including Prime Minister John MajorDeputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltineand Anthony Nelson of the Department of Trade and Industry DTI as well as former DTI minister Neil Hamiltonare among those targeted by the Names' campaign. Enraged campaigners want a deathbed conversion from the Conservatives promising that they will instigate an immediate, full judicial inquiry into the affair if they are re-elected to office this week.
Without such a promise, campaigners say the Conservatives can count on losing up to half a million votes of Names, their families and friends, by defecting to either the Referendum party or the Liberal Democrats. Businessman Alastair Mackillop, who is running the campaign, said: A judicial inquiry is the first step to a judicial review; which might then force Lloyd's to rescind Names' contracts and lead to compensation for Names.
They will also present parliamentary candidates with a questionnaire to seek their agreement that Lloyd's withheld information about impending losses during the s.
Parliamentary candidates failing to answer constituents' questions are likely to be publicly harangued in their hustings. John Lloyd, a campaigning Name and former loyal Tory, said: Why on earth would it not want to investigate something like this? They went overboard on BCCI and Baringsbut those losses pale into insignificance by comparison. This is the biggest fraud in history. Sally Noela Name, attended the hustings of Heseltine and Hamilton last week, and said afterwards: Lifelong Tories are outraged by a party they voted in to protect them, only to be betrayed and, as Names, to be used to save the jobs of the Government.
We have been financially raped and emotionally tortured. Noel is now canvassing on behalf of Sir James Goldsmith's Referendum party in protest over the issue. Mackillop said his campaign group is also considering legal action against the DTI and its senior staff for their role in obstructing a judicial inquiry into Lloyd's. The supposed deal between the Government and Lloyd's dates back several years to when 51 MPsof which 50 were Conservativeswere revealed to be among the Names suffering huge financial losses from the mounting claims on long-tail insurance disasters: Bankruptcy would have wiped out the Conservatives' parliamentary majority, resulting in an early election.
None of the MPs were bankrupted, and Names have long-believed they were bailed out in a political deal, despite Lloyd's former chief executive Peter Middleton publicly denying this back in Despite the cross -party Treasury Select Committee calling for an independent inquiry into Lloyd's last year, the Government continues to reject this as unnecessary. It has also arguedin letters to Names, that it cannot interfere in Lloyd's affairsdespite having already done so recently on behalf of Lloyd's in the US legal actions when it filed Amicus Curiae statements to the US courts supporting Lloyd's.
Foreign governments can file Amicus Curiae as a means of assisting US courts with background information to help clarify issues of policy or law relating to that government's jurisdiction. DTI Minister Anthony Nelson also wrote recently to a Californian appeals courtdenouncing a decision allowing US Names to sue Lloyd's under US fraud and racketeering law, and describing as " erroneous " the decision by the decision by US judges that Lloyd's was a "business corporation" subject to normal international rules of commerce.
Names are also angry over ministers' refusal to allow a government-backed judicial inquiry into their concerns, as framed in the Lloyd's Act Names argue that a judicial inquiry would provide sufficient evidence of fraud at Lloyd's for a winnable judicial review, which could overturn Lloyd's powers and force the market to compensate them for their losses. Names argue they cannot now afford the high cost of privately handing a judicial review, and that under the terms of the Act the Government should step in.
Despite Anthony Nelson's repeated claims in the US and UK that all Names wanting justice would receive "fair, unbiased, and speedy justice in the English courts", most Names believe there is little affordable chance of them seeing any justice at all unless a full inquiry is held. A furious round of letter-writing to Cabinet ministers, including Major, Nelson, and party chairman Dr. Brian Mawhinney, who wrote to Tory Names seeking their support in the election, is accompanying the Names' political campaign.
Names' letters, copies of which were seen by Sunday Business, all call for an inquiry and fiercely attack the Government for resisting it. In a letter to Major, John Lloyd described the Prime Minister as " living in an ivory tower " and his own horror at " the inept and callous manner in which you and the Deputy Prime Minister have governed and approached the forthcoming election.
Another Name, Betty Orme wrote to Major: Instead, they continued to argue that they and others were defrauded by Lloyd's when it recruited droves of newcomers to the market in the early s without informing them of the impending disastrous losses stemming from global asbestosis and pollution cases.
A Lloyd's spokesman said last night: Names claim to have evidence showing senior figures at the Corporation of Lloyd's controlling body actually suppressed documents and research indicating the size and volume of future claims. As a defence, the UNO alleges that Names were defrauded by being unwittingly placed on syndicates which heavily reinsured asbestosis and pollution claims.
The UNO is appealing a judgment on the crucial technicality proposed by Lloyd's that Lloyd's can sue Names for money owed on the losses, even if there had been fraud at Lloyd's. Abtrust back on take-over trail.
ABTRUST Lloyd's Insurance Trustthe acquisitive insurance market investment group, is poised to make another take-over. The trust is believed to be looking at a merger with either Christie Brockbank Shiptonthe members' agent, or Angerstein Underwritinga rival trust. Neither group would comment but two thirds of Abtrust Lloyd's is owned by three institutionsAberdeen TrustScottish Value Trust and Benfield Rea Investment Trustwhich expect further market consolidation.
A deal would continue the scramble for underwriting capacity at Lloyd's, which has prompted a recent series of take-overs and mergers. Christie Brockbank is one of leading members' agencies and would make Abtrust one of the strongest forces in the market. Managing agents, running the syndicates, will also play a key role in creating insurance companies within Lloyd's.
Limit and Angerstein have bought managing agents, but analysts believe managing agencies and insurance companies will now buy investment trusts. Their shares trade at premiums to asset value. Solicitors face huge compensation suits. But the action opens the way for other similar negligence suits against solicitors involved in mortgage transactions. Lenders argue their businesses have been damaged by joint representation because of conflicts of interest that have arisen among lawyers acting for both sides in a mortgage deal.
The fund is expected to. The Law Society which regulates solicitors, is coming under pressure to end joint representation to protect the interests of both lenders and borrowers as well as solicitors who face being sued in the future.
At the heart of the problem is whether solicitors should disclose confidential information about one client involved in the same transaction as another client. For instance, a solicitor could discover relevant financial information about a borrower when not pursuing inquiries specifically. But defenders of joint representation argue that hiring separate lawyers would result in mortgage transactions becoming far more expensive and drawn out as work became duplicated.
The motion claims a continuing high level of public dissatisfaction with the existing system for dealing with complaints against solicitors. BAT hopes insurance will cover litigation. BAT Industries, the tobacco and financial services group, is investigating whether hundreds of insurance policiesmany written several decades agomight offer it some protection from the billions of dollars in potential liabilities threatening cigarette manufacturers embroiled in US tobacco litigation.
But it described the issue of insurance coverage as extremely complex. Martin Broughton, chief executive.
Some analysts have long believed that the wording of the exclusion clauses was weakpotentially exposing the insurance industry to the kind of losses it has suffered from pollution and asbestos claims in recent years. The problem was highlighted when more than insurers were named as defendants in a Louisiana court case last month, where the state attorney-general is trying to recover the costs of treating tobacco-related illnesses.
The group reiterated its belief that the tobacco lawsuits would have no material effect on its bottom line. But Lord Cairns, chairman, warned that investors should be braced for " occasional reverses along the way, especially at the lower court level ".
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The group blamed a highly competitive US tobacco market and the strong pound for a pedestrian performance during the first quarter of Earnings per share fell from BAT said it had an "open mind" regarding the future of its financial services businesses. It acknowledged a demerger from the tobacco division would be expensive, but reiterated it would consider making an acquisition to expand its presence in the life assurance market or a tie-up with a retail bank.
Moreover, if the really big court awards do start rolling in, what use is insurance to a company already bust several times over? The disappointing performance in the US has prompted some analysts to lower their forecasts. Not surprising, given the litigation worries. Chief among the sectors suffering the fiercest competition is motor. Denis Duley, 53, an associate at stockbrokers Fiske between June,and April,has admitted he is " no longer fit and proper " to be registered to work in the City.
He admitted using funds from the account to pay off his mortgage arrears. Fiske has been reprimanded after admitting failing both to supervise Mr Duley and to monitor the account. Fiske has compensated 11 clients. Senior executive officer Clive Harrison.
In January,Mr Duley persuaded a friend to open a dealing account at Fiske. Mr Duley persuaded 12 clients to place money in the account, claiming it would spread the cost of dealing commissions. Share surge reveals Heath plan. Heath's management is led by chairman Michael Keir and chief executive John McKenzie Green.
HIDEO Sakamaki, former president of Nomura Securities, was arrested yesterday by Japanese prosecutors who allege that he illegally made a Pannells faces lawsuit from Lloyd's Names.
Firms in danger of further Lloyd's claims. The disgruntled Names, members of non-marine syndicate which specialised in asbestos and pollution cover, are suing Pannell's over its audits covering one or more of the to inclusive underwriting years of account. The move could throw the insurance market's global settlement, produced by Lloyd's to end all litigation, into disarray.
It exposes Lloyd's firms, such as the main panel auditors, to further litigation, experts claimed. In this case, Pannells, which is the only leading auditor not to contribute to the global settlement, could enjoin other parties involved with Syndicate including the managing and members' agents in the action against it.
One Lloyd's expert said: They are seeking damages and interest, for negligent advice. Representatives of Syndicate this week refused to comment on their bombshell decision to go after Pannells. Accountancy Age understands that the strong group of names are waiting for the writ to be served on the next fortnight before they put forward evidence backing their claims.
Pannells, however, offered bullish defence of its wo Richard Pearson, chairman said: Under the terms of the agreement, Pannells could enjoin other parties involved with Syndicate - such as the managing and member agents in the litigation - in the legal action, even if these businesses have already contributed to the Lloyd's Global Settlement.
The Settlement Offer Document, put together in Julysaid: A Lloyd's expert predicted that others, including the auditors which have contributed millions of pounds to extricate themselves from costly litigation, could now find themselves back in the courts, should Names now party to the Global Settlement decide to sue them.
Rowland turns down unlimited liability. Sir David, the Lloyd's chairman, emphasised that Lloyd's would not prevent anyone from continuing to write with unlimited liability, as some Names had feared it might. But he stressed the risks of large losses. Sir David also said that the annual venturein which individual Names come together each year to form underwriting syndicates, could continue.
But he said that he favoured a system of continuous capital.