UK watchdog seeks to overhaul scandal-hit consumer investment market



There have been too many scams and scandals in Britain’s financial services’ market and a fundamental review is needed, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Tuesday.


Consumers have suffered from a string of financial scandals going back decades, from endowment mortgages to pensions and the sales of payment protection insurance.


They have also suffered the losses costing banks billions of pounds in compensation and raising questions about the competence of regulators.


The FCA has issued a “call for input” to help it decide how existing rules can address such “harms” and identify where other authorities can help, or if the government can consider extra powers for the watchdog.


“The consumer investment market is not working as well as it should,” said Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s interim chief executive.


According to him, there have been too many scams and scandals and too often consumers are offered unsuitable products or advice; as a result, many consumers lack confidence in the investment market.


Feedback will be used to shape the FCA’s work over the next three years.


“Consumers only start to sense that a financial product is `too good to be true when the promised return is around 30 per cent or more, and there is a need to reduce the amount of unsuitable advice being given.


“This is challenging in a market with more than 5,000 advice firms and over 27,000 advisers, where the majority of advisers are meeting our standards,” the FCA said.


The watchdog said it wanted to look into a “polluter pays” model whereby a firm giving bad advice foots the compensation bill, rather than the current system of every firm paying towards the industry-wide Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).


“Firms can hold more capital based on the risks they pose, or riskier firms pay more towards the FSCS.


“More safeguards may be needed for the increasing numbers of consumers using platforms to buy financial products, which can tempt them into investments that may not be right for them,’’ the watchdog said.


Edited By: Peter Dada
Source: NAN

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye
Source: NAN


LCCI receives ISO certificate



The Bureau Veritas, an international certification  body, on Tuesday officially presented the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) with the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 9001: 2015 certificate.

According to the ISO, ISO 9001:2015 specifies requirements for a quality management system when an organisation needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

It is also for an organisation that aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

Speaking at the ceremony in Lagos, the LCCI President, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, LCCI President, said the certification was in line with the primary objective of the chamber to promote, support or oppose legislative or other measures affecting trade, industry, commerce and agriculture.

She said that the feat reflected the chamber’s commitment to consistently ensuring its alignment of quality management systems with global best practices.

Mabogunje said that the certification had put the LCCI at par with internationally recognised standards.

“The journey in the quest for the ISO 9001:2015 certification began in September 2018, under the leadership of the former president, Mr Babatunde Ruwase (FCA) who approved its commencement.

“It is therefore most heart-warming and a delight that the LCCI  has met the requirements for the ISO 9001:2015 certification after several months of hard work and preparation.

“It demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement, excellence in our service delivery, value proposition to members and the business community in general,” she said.

Mabogunje said that the LCCI, in keeping to its vision to remain a role model, became the first chamber of commerce in West Africa and the second in Sub Saharan Africa to be ISO certified.

“With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, our processes have been tested.

“We know without a doubt that the certification made it easier to improve on our level of efficiency, cost-reduction measures and overall productivity.

“It also enabled us adapt to the new normal in our decision-making processes and our digital transformation into the virtual space for business and operations,” she said.

In his remarks, Mr Ohioze Unigbe, Managing Director,  Bureau Veritas,  said the certification brought the LCCI in line with  globally accepted and accredited quality management system.

Unigbe stated that the certification was a monumental achievement for the chamber, as it was one of the first to get certified to ISO 9001:2015 standards.

“The standards help companies grow, and when they start growing, they need to embrace global standards and practices to aid that growth, and this is what this certification does.

“It helps companies position themselves for that big growth they are experiencing and expecting.

“I think this is a monumental achievement and I will like to congratulate all the stakeholders involved.

“The chamber is one of the first chambers of commerce to get certified to ISO 9001 standards.

“This is no easy feat, LCCI made it look easy, but I can guarantee you it is not an easy feat,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Oluwole Sogunle
Source: NAN
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Fiat Chrysler posts loss of 1.24 bln USD in Q2




Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) reported a net loss of 1.24 billion dollars in the second quarter of this year, according to the quarterly report released by the Italian American automaker on Friday.

Revenue of the Detroit-based automaker dropped 56 percent year on year to 13.9 billion dollars in the second quarter; and United States sales of Fiat Chrysler fell 39 percent year-over-year, with Ram trucks dropping 35 percent and the Jeep brand falling 27 percent.

In the second quarter, adjusted pre-tax losses of the automaker were 1.1 billion dollars, down 161 percent; diluted losses per share were 0.78 dollars, down 232 percent.

Fiat Chrysler also reported adjusted pre-tax losses of 698 million dollars in Europe, 70 million dollars in Asia and 114 million dollars in Latin America in the second quarter. The Maserati luxury brand lost 117 million dollars.

FCA’s loss in the first half of 2020 was 3.08 billion dollars.

Nevertheless, cost controls in North America yielded the automaker 46 million dollars in pre-tax earnings in the second quarter amid the novel coronavirus pandemic

Investors are paying attention to the potential of FCA’s pending merger with French automaker Groupe PSA, the Detroit News reported on Friday.

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Italian-American automaker FCA posts net losses of 1 bln euros in Q2




Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) posted net losses of 1 billion euros (1.18 billion United States dollars) in the second quarter (Q2) this year, the company said in its financial results Friday.

FCA said it shipped 424,000 vehicles worldwide in Q2, down by 63 percent compared to the same period last year, due to COVID-19 pandemic-related production stoppages and demand disruptions.

The automaker added it has secured a three-year, 6.3-billion-euro credit facility with Intesa Sanpaolo, one of Italy’s major banking groups.

“The proceeds of this facility will be dedicated exclusively to FCA’s activities in Italy and to support the more than 10,000 small and medium enterprises that make up the Italian automotive sector,” it said.

FCA CEO Mike Manley was optimistic about the company’s outlook. The company was able to “contain the impact of the COVID-19 crisis,” he said in a statement.

“Our plants are up and running, dealers are selling in showrooms and online, and we have the flexibility and financial strength to push ahead with our plans,” Manley said.

FCA designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles in a portfolio of brands. It employs nearly 200,000 people around the world.

Earlier this year, the company announced that it is in joint venture talks with Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co., Ltd. (Foxconn) to develop and manufacture electric vehicles in China.

As well, FCA is in the process of completing a 50/50 merger with French automaker Peugeot S.A.

“The COVID-19 crisis has further underlined the compelling logic of… the merger,” FCA said in the statement, adding that “we expect to meet the objective of combining as a single company by the end of the first quarter of 2021.”

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Abia attains self-sufficiency in rice production- FADAMA III coordinator



Mrs Ezinne Otuka, the State Programme Coordinator (SPC), Abia State FADAMA III, says the state has attained self-sufficiency in rice production.

Otuka who spoke on Thursday in Umuahia, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , attributed the success story to the agricultural reform programmes of Abia Government.

He said that the programmes encouraged the FADAMA User Groups (FUGs) and others in the state to go into commercial agriculture.

She said that there were over 34 clusters of rice fields across the state, supported by the programme as well as 188 registered FADAMA Community Associations (FCAs).

“In Abia, we have 188 FCAs and 2, 084 FUGs trained and fully funded by the programme. The Abia Federated FCAs which cuts across commodity and institutional lines have been duly registered,” she said.

She said that the governor recently opened up additional 103 hectares of rice field to be cultivated in 2020, bringing the total hectares of rice field in the state under FADAMA programme to 1, 360 hectares.

Otuka said that the state government recently inaugurated a rice mill to serve as off taker for rice production in Acha community, Isiukwuato Local Government Area of the state.

She said that the rice mill had the capacity to produce 24 tonnes of rice per day, adding that agricultural activities in the state under the programme had been very rewarding.

“Our farmers now produce the rice we use in the state and even sell to neighbouring states,” she said.

The SPC said that FADAMA programme had helped to boost food security and sufficiency in the state, adding that the Abia FADAMA Office had received commendations from the national office.

“We can conveniently say that Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, has shown uncommon passion and zeal to ensure that the state achieve food security,” Otuka said.

Edited By: Obike Ukoh (NAN)
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