Pru’s censure strikes fear into UK CEOS
28 March 2013 3:46am
BRITAIN’S heavy-handed regulations are making it an increasingly unsafe environment for chief executives, a lawyer acting for Tidjane Thiam said yesterday, after the Prudential chief executive was censured by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for not contacting it about a proposed £30bn acquisition in 2010.
The FSA said yesterday that Thiam played a significant role, with others, in a decision not to contact it about the proposed acquisition of AIA, and was therefore knowingly concerned in this breach. But the ruling was attacked by Tony Woodcock, a lawyer at Stephenson Harwood, who has been working for the Pru.
“The UK is becoming an increasingly unsafe regulatory environment for CEOs. This is a classic example of retrospective punitive legislation, and it is bad legislation...because those who are subject to it learn little from this decision about where their obligations lie,” he said.
“Few, if any, could have identified from the FSA’s vague principles the precise point at which notification should have been made,” he added.
In censuring Thiam, who becomes the first chief executive of a financial firm in the FTSE 100 to suffer such an ignominy, the regulator made no finding of lack of fitness and propriety in relation to him, an FSA spokesman said.
Thiam is at the helm of a strong group whose London domicile is being questioned because of its growing Asian business, and creeping regulation, including the Solvency II rules.
RELATED STORIES FROM TODAY'S PAPER
In other news
There were delays of up to 30 minutes to trains in and out of Kings Cross Station, after the station was re-opened [Read more]
When a 20-year-old footballer publicly declares he wants to leave a club and his agent hurls insults at one of [Read more]
The outbreak of bird flu in the US is leading to an unprecedented situation for companies reliant on eggs – [Read more]
Germany's finance ministry has denied reports it was considering offering Greece its own parallel currency. [Read more]
Chancellor George Osborne was given a boost today, as higher tax receipts helped shrink the deficit by more than [Read more]
Beleaguered spread-betting firm Plus500 today suspended trading in its shares on London's junior market, following [Read more]
The news that card and electronic transactions have overtaken cash as the UK’s preferred method of payment is [Read more]
Despite the crippling effect of election uncertainty, offers received in April were up 15 per cent on last year [Read more]
Former secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles is to be knighted, 10 Downing Street [Read more]
Network Rail engineers have destroyed the Abbey Wood station as part of the Crossrail development that is expected [Read more]
The Championship looks set to once again be named the fourth most-watched league in Europe, following a seven [Read more]
The Costa Coffee owner said Brittain was "the standout candidate from a very strong field". [Read more]
Sugary foods may be taxed to cover the costs of treating obesity, a government minister has said.
European governments must increase efforts to adopt structural reform if “lasting stability and prosperity” [Read more]
Accounting, finance and economics - choose to study any of these subjects anywhere and you'll be likely to land [Read more]
Badly-behaved bosses are a nightmare if you're the unfortunate employee who has to work for them - but they're [Read more]