Prudential hit with £30m fine

City A.M. Reporter

THE CITY watchdog has fined insurer Prudential £30m for failing to inform it about its plans to takeover Asian rival AIA in 2010.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) said this morning that the size and scale of the deal would have transformed the company's financial position, strategy and risk profile and that a planned £14bn cash call would have been the biggest ever in the UK.

"Prudential failed to deal with the FSA in an open and cooperative manner when it was seeking to acquire AIA in early 2010, because it did not inform the FSA of the proposed acquisition until after it had been leaked to the media on 27 February 2010," the FSA said.

The watchdog added that chief executive Tidjane Thiam played a significant role, along with others, in the decision to contact the FSA about the proposed acquisition.

Prudential said it regretted, with hindsight, not informing the FSA earlier about its Asian plans. But it emphasised that the investigation was into past events, did not concern current conduct and that the FSA did not consider its breaches "reckless or intentional".