Regulation Correspondent, Europe
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Jul 26, 2013

Unilever to ditch PwC after 26 years to comply with new UK auditor rule

LONDON (Reuters) – Unilever is looking for a new auditor, after 26 years with PwC, to comply with a new rule, prompted by questions over why accountants gave banks a clean bill of health just weeks before they were rescued by taxpayers in the 2008 financial crisis.

Britain’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said last year that companies should consider changing their auditor at least every decade in order to end cozy long-term relationships.

Jul 23, 2013

Accounting bodies no closer on new bank loan rules

LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) – Accounting bodies found little
common ground on Tuesday to help shield taxpayers from further
bank bailouts despite calls from governments for faster
progress.

The world’s 20 largest economies (G20) appealed in 2009
during the financial crisis for a single approach that forces
lenders to make provisions for souring loans much earlier.

Jul 22, 2013

U.S. and UK fine high-speed trader for manipulation

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Regulators in the United States and Britain fined U.S. trading firm Panther Energy Trading LLC and owner Michael Coscia nearly $6 million for manipulating commodities markets, in the latest crackdown on abuses in high-speed automated trading.

Regulators have been taking a tougher line on high-frequency and algorithmic trading in the wake of the so-called flash crash on Wall Street in May 2010. That was when a free-fall in blue-chip stocks temporarily wiped out $1 trillion in shareholder equity from the markets.

Jul 22, 2013

U.S., UK watchdogs fine high-frequency trader $6 million

LONDON (Reuters) – Regulators in Britain and the United States fined U.S. trading firm Panther and owner Michael Coscia nearly $6 million for manipulating commodities markets, marking one of the first crack-downs on abuses in automated trading.

Regulators are taking a tougher line on high-frequency (HFT) and other forms of automated trading blamed for exacerbating a so-called “flash crash” on Wall Street in May 2010, when blue chips went briefly into freefall.

Jul 22, 2013

Competition Commission pulls back on corporate accounting shake-up

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s competition watchdog has ditched its more radical ideas for shaking up an accounting market dominated by the “Big Four” audit firms, leaving it to the European Union to take tougher action.

Auditors are under pressure to change how they operate after giving banks a clean bill of health just a few months before several lenders had to be rescued by UK taxpayers in the financial crisis.

Jul 22, 2013

UK watchdog pulls back on corporate accounting shake-up

LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) – Britain’s competition watchdog
has ditched its more radical ideas for shaking up an accounting
market dominated by the “Big Four” audit firms, leaving it to
the European Union to take tougher action.

Auditors are under pressure to change how they operate after
giving banks a clean bill of health just a few months before
several lenders had to be rescued by UK taxpayers in the
financial crisis.

Jul 19, 2013

UK’s Big Four accountants to learn their fate

LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) – Britain’s “Big Four” accountants
will find out on Monday to what extent their dominant grip on
the UK market will be loosened to offer smaller rivals a better
chance of competing.

KPMG, Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers
and Ernst & Young check the books of nearly
all top UK companies, with some sticking with the same
accountant for decades.

Jul 18, 2013

G20 requires big insurers to hold more capital

LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) – Top insurers will have to hold
more capital from 2019 to cover risks they pose to the financial
system should they go bust, global regulators said on Thursday.

The announcement is a setback for a sector which argues
that, unlike banks, it did not cause the financial crisis and
should therefore not be tarred with the same regulatory brush.

Jul 18, 2013

UK watchdog criticised for ineffective action on bankers and tardy HBOS report

LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) – Britain’s financial watchdog
drew complaints on Thursday that it had failed to prosecute
enough bankers and delayed too long a report on what went wrong
at HBOS, after UK taxpayers were forced to bail out several
high-street lenders.

At the final meeting of the Financial Services Authority,
which was relaunched with greater powers as the Financial
Conduct Authority in April, one audience member said supervisors
had simply doled out fines equivalent to a parking ticket.

Jul 17, 2013

Regulators give financial benchmark setters some leeway

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) – Global regulators will give
banks and traders some leeway in compiling financial benchmarks
such as Libor, stopping short of U.S. calls for more radical
action to stamp out price rigging.

The guidance from the International Organisation of
Securities Commissions (IOSCO) on Wednesday will cover all
benchmarks, which are central cogs in the global economy, from
interest rates to equities and gold.

    • About Huw

      "Huw is based in London and covers European regulatory issues and global rulemaking bodies such as the G20, Financial Stability Board, IOSCO, IASB and the Basel Committee. He has covered EU regulation in Brussels, the emergence pan-European stock markets, and has also been a Wall Street reporter in New York."
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