Regulations and Law

Shareholder Rights Directive Agreed – But It’s Still Defective

There has been agreement within the EU on the final form of the Shareholder Rights Directive. What follows is the press release issued by Better Finance (a body that represents individual investors across the EU and of which ShareSoc is a Member). PRESS RELEASE PRESIDENCY AND PARLIAMENT AGREE ON REVIEW OF SHAREHOLDERS RIGHTS DIRECTIVE: LIMITED IMPROVEMENTS FOR SHAREHOLDERS 14 December 2016 - On 9 December 2016 the EU presidency and the EU Parliament agreed on the final version of the new Shareholders ...

FCA Consultation on Changes to FSCS Scheme Compensation

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) pays out if you have lost money as a result of an authorised financial services firm going bust or otherwise being unable to pay compensation for various failings - for example a bank or stockbroker. The scheme is funded by a levy on services firms. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is currently undertaking a public consultation on changes to the scheme. At present there are limits to the protection FSCS provides which vary by financial product. ...

Paysafe Attacked by Shorters

Electronic payment company Paysafe (PAYS) has come under attack today by a blogging company named Spotlight Research. The share price fell by as much as 38% during the day and finished 18% down at 305p. Spotlight admit they may be shorting the shares. The 50+ page document they have published makes various allegations but the key ones are that Paysafe have been enabling illegal gambling and money laundering, particularly in China, India and other Far East countries. They allege a lot of ...

Companies House About Face

According to a Commons statement issued by the BEIS Government Department, Companies House has decided not to remove company records after six years as previously proposed (and even before a formal consultation took place). ShareSoc did write to Companies House objecting and Private Eye did a good job of publicising the issue. Retaining Companies House records is important if one wants to see the track record of company directors and the companies with which they were involved. So this is at ...

FCA Proposes to Clamp Down on CFDs

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is proposing to clamp down on CFDs (contracts for difference) and similar financial products such as binary bets. CFDs are complex financial products that have historically been used by sophisticated traders. But they have been growing rapidly in usage by small retail "investors" and the FCA reports that 82% of them lose money based on a review of such accounts. CFDs are a way of acquiring an interest in a listed company without paying stamp duty. It ...

RBS Settlement Announced – But Why Has the FCA Done Nothing?

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have announced a settlement of the litigation over the rights issue in 2008 with three out of the five investor groups who were pursuing the company. They have reserved £800 million to settle all the claims and are continuing to negotiate with the remaining litigants. But private investors may be reluctant to settle because of the high legal costs that will erode any settlement, the low value of the settlement (the claims were originally estimated ...

ShareSoc Welcomes Corporate Governance Review

ShareSoc has issued the following Press Release: ShareSoc (the UK Individual Shareholders Society) welcomes the Government's announcement today of a review of Corporate Governance in both public and larger private companies. It is good to see that the Green Paper both discusses the problems of executive pay and the influence of stakeholders other than shareholders on businesses while setting out a number of options for further reform. As regards director pay, the document makes clear that despite more obligations on companies on ...

ShareSoc Highlights Investor Concerns to Select Committee

ShareSoc (the UK Individual Shareholders Society) was asked to give evidence to the Business, Energy, Innovation and Skills (BEIS) Select Committee Inquiry on Corporate Governance. Cliff Weight represented ShareSoc at the inquiry on the 23rd November. You can watch the session in which he appears by clicking on this link (Cliff appears in the second half of the session): http://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/053aad45-73c6-43e4-9d36-fd43c3850b60 Here is a summary of some of the points he and other witnesses made: Cliff indicated that individual shareholders are under-represented: The views of ...

Aero Inventory – Deloittes Fined

There was a brief mention of the latest news on Aero Inventory in the recently issued ShareSoc Informer Newsletter, but here are a few more details. False accounts are a common problem in AIM companies (Aero Inventory and Globo are just two examples apart from the recent case of Redcentric). Let us hope the auditors of Redcentric (PWC) take note of the recent record fine imposed on Deloittes of £4 million in relation to their audit of Aero Inventory, plus £2.3 million ...

Pension Protection – It’s Easy

The question of whether to apply to HMRC for “Pension Protection” is something that investors might wish to consider. With the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement coming up on Wednesday (23rd...