Regulator to Highest Fines in a Decade By Suzi Ring – 2013-10-04T15:11:31Z The U.K. finance regulator recorded its largest month of fines in more than a decade in September, buoyed by a 137.6 million-pound ($221.2 million) penalty against JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) over the London Whale debacle. Industry fines totaled 169.5 million pounds last month and brought total penalties from the Financial Conduct Authority in 2013 to 339.5 million pounds, according to statistics published today by Wolters Kluwer NV (WKL) , Europe s largest tax and legal publisher. The year-to-date total is larger than any other full year since 2002. The regulator fined JPMorgan as part of a probe into losses exceeding $6.2 billion on a derivatives position built by a trader who came to be known as the London Whale because his bets were so large. The past year has also seen the regulator punish banks embroiled in the scandal over rigging of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor. The FCA is endeavoring to keep up with the international trend towards greater levels of fining and is continuing the trajectory started in the U.K. by the Financial Services Authority in its latter years, said Barnabas Reynolds, a London lawyer at U.S. law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP. The FSA became the FCA in April this year. FCA fines increased considerably last year hitting 313.4 million pounds at the end of 2012 compared with 66.1 million pounds in 2011. The FCA is clear that where there is poor behavior we will act quickly with punishments we believe reflect the seriousness of what has taken place, the FCA said in an emailed statement. To contact the reporter on this story: Suzi Ring in London at firstname.lastname@example.org To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at email@example.com
Banks” starring Tom Hanks. LONDON U.K. based indie producer Alison Owen, whose resume boasts Saving Mr. Banks and Jane Eyre, will give this year’s industry keynote address during the BFI London Film Festival. our editor recommends U.K.’s Curzon Inks Deal With British Telecom’s Digital Platform BT TV Owen, the managing director of Ruby Film and Television, will use her keynote to examine whether cinema is under threat thanks to fierce competition from games and online, and will explore what in her view makes the form of the two-hour movie experience so unique. STORY: British Film Institute VOD Service to Include Day-and-Date Releases She will follow previous industry keynote names that to date have included Harvey Weinstein, James Schamus and Ken Loach at the festival. Other industry events include the return of the Cross-Media Forum, run in partnership with Power to the Pixel, the Film London Production Finance Market (PFM), and project development scheme Think-Shoot-Distribute. And Oscar and BAFTA winning actor Colin Firth will lend starpower to an industry panel discussion entitled “Focus on Sustainability” to look at what the British industry can do to grow. Other events include “A Piracy & Distribution Workshop: FindAnyFilm.com,” in which the Industry Trust for IP Awareness and industry professionals will discuss piracy. The festival runs Oct. 9-20 and closes with Saving Mr. Banks, starring Tom Hanks.
Fire sweeps boat on London Duck Tours; passengers leap into the Thames
After reports of the fire were received late Sunday morning, firefighters, a police helicopter and paramedics rushed to the scene. Several people were pulled from the water, and the blaze was eventually extinguished. Police said all 28 passengers and two crew members on board the vessel were safe. No one was seriously injured, and three people treated at a London hospital for “minor smoke inhalation ailments” have all been discharged, London Duck Tours said. Most of the people on board the boat were foreign tourists, ITV reported. The company and the London Fire Brigade both said the cause of the blaze, which damaged one third of the vessel, was so far unknown. River tours suspended Borough Cmdr. Alison Newcomb of London’s Metropolitan Police said that the maritime coast guard is investigating. “At the conclusion of that investigation, I anticipate they will make a decision with regards to future tours,” she told ITV. London Duck Tours said it has stopped operating tours on the river until the reason for the fire has been established. “Should technical or safety modifications be required to our fleet, these will be introduced prior to the service recommencing,” Duck Tours said, stressing that it “operates to the highest safety standards.” “London Duck Tours operates a fully modernized fleet of nine vehicles that have been completely rebuilt and refurbished between 2002 and 2012,” it said. “This includes new, purpose built hulls, new engines, computerized systems and steering equipment.” The company said it was fully cooperating with investigators and regulatory authorities. Previous problems Amphibious tour vehicles have run into trouble in the past. In June, a duck boat sank in the British city of Liverpool.
London steals title of best city in the world from Paris
Or its reputation for rudeness. But the City of Light, one of the most visited cities in the world, has been knocked off its perch as best city in the world by London and Sydney in a new index released this week. According to the latest edition of the Anholt-GfK City Brands Index which measures a citys brand image, power and appeal, Londons stock has gone up in the world as it took the top spot in the biennial ranking. Possible reasons could include the fact that the city continues to bask in the afterglow of a successful Summer Olympic Games and has maintained a presence in the international spotlight with a string of historic milestones that include the Queens Coronation ceremony and the highly anticipated birth of a new royal with the arrival of Prince George. London also took the top spot as the city where individual cultures are appreciated and where foreigners can “easily fit in.” The Aussie capital of Sydney, meanwhile, enjoys a stellar reputation around the world for being the safest and friendliest city. The City Brands index measures the value of a citys international reputation across six dimensions: its international status and standing; esthetic; a category called pre-requisites such as affordable accommodations and the standard of public amenities; people; pulse (interesting things to do) and its economic and educational potential. More than 5,140 interviews were conducted in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Russia, South Korea, the US and the UK for the index. And while Paris was able to take the top spot in the category of Pulse, where the city failed to crack the top 10 ranking was in categories such as Friendly People and Safety. This summer, in a bid to shed their longstanding image of being rude and surly, the citys chamber of commerce published an etiquette manual for Parisian restaurateurs, taxi drivers and sales staff on how to welcome international tourists. …despite its indisputable charm, the capital has work to do when it comes to welcoming visitors, the chamber admits. And earlier this year, high-profile muggings of Chinese tourists robbed of their passports, plane tickets and cash shortly after landing in Paris tarnished the citys image, as did footage broadcast worldwide of soccer-related riots which broke out not far from the Eiffel Tower. Meanwhile, other notable movements on the index include Tokyo, which suffered a 7-spot drop from tenth place in 2011 to 17th place in 2013. Amsterdam, meanwhile, shot up the ranks from 17th spot to 11th position this year. And while Rio de Janeiro was ranked the third friendliest city on the list, the city fell to the bottom of the heap when it comes to safety (47 out of 50) — a particular concern given it’s set to host the World Cup and the Summer Olympics, the report points out.