City rainmaker could fight fine from watchdog

 
David Hellier
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ANDREW Osborne, the ex-Bank of America Merrill Lynch banker accused of passing inside information to US hedge fund manager David Einhorn, is considering whether to appeal against a £350,000 fine imposed on him by the Financial Services Authority.

Friends say he is adamant he did not pass any inside information to David Einhorn, who has agreed a fine of £7.2m after selling shares in Punch Taverns following a call with Osborne and other advisers.

“Not one of the four other men in the conference call thought any inside information had been passed to Einhorn,” said one friend yesterday.

Osborne, who has been dealing with the case for three years, is said to be weighing up the cost of continuing to contest it.

He was told the size of the FSA fine two weeks ago and has been given a further two weeks to consider it. “The impact this has had on him is enormous. He has a young family, with three children under the age of ten,” said one friend.

He was upset to find the size of the proposed fine had leaked out yesterday. BoA Merrill Lynch is not believed to be supporting him in his legal case.