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UK FSA bans insurance broker Harbinder Panesar; imposes hefty fine

An investigation by the FSA revealed that between August 2008 and December 2010 Panesar misappropriated over 180,000 pound from Elite and Motorcare Warranties

London: UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) has banned insurance broker Harbinder Panesar from working in the financial services industry and imposed a fine of 212,237 pound (Rs1.8 crore) for misappropriating money from his business and selling faulty policies, reports PTI.

 

Panesar was the director of South Wales motor breakdown insurance firm, Motorcare Elite and his fine also takes account of his operation of Elite.

 

“The Financial Services Authority (FSA) today banned insurance broker, Harbinder Panesar, from working in the financial services industry and fined him 212,237 pound,” the FSA said in a release.

 

An investigation by the FSA revealed that between August 2008 and December 2010 Panesar misappropriated over 180,000 pound from Elite and another insurance broker he previously ran, Motorcare Warranties.

 

“Harbinder Panesar has left a trail of destruction behind him: misappropriating funds from his businesses, acting recklessly towards consumers, and taking two firms into liquidation,” FSA’s director of enforcement and financial crime Tracey McDermott said.

 

The FSA has cancelled the permission of Elite, meaning it can no longer do authorised business. Elite is currently in liquidation.

 

“So egregious were his actions that even though he has only recently been discharged from bankruptcy, we will not reduce the fine because of financial hardship,” McDermott said.

 

Such dishonesty and recklessness not only posed a risk to consumers, but also to other market participants and to confidence in the financial system as a whole. Panesar is learning the hard way that we will not stand for this kind of activity, McDermott added.

 

Panesar allowed Elite to sell his product, “Supreme Plus”, which fundamentally failed to meet customers' needs, sell policies that were outside the scope of cover offered by its underwriters, fail to report policies accurately to its underwriters, and sell policies after Elite's deal with an underwriter had ended.

 

All of these meant that over 6,000 customers were left without the motor breakdown insurance cover they had paid for, FSA said.

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SEBI cancels registration of Fidelity MF following its buyout by L&T Finance

In November, L&T Finance had completed the acquisition of Fidelity's mutual fund business in India for an undisclosed amount

Mumbai: Capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has cancelled the registration of Fidelity Mutual Fund following its buyout by L&T Finance, reports PTI.

 

The decision was taken following the acquisition of Fidelity Mutual Fund by L&T Finance and at the request of FIL Fund Management, the Asset Management Company (AMC) of Fidelity Mutual Fund.

 

SEBI, through its letter dated 14th January, has "cancelled the certificate of registration of Fidelity Mutual Fund and has withdrawn the approval granted to FIL Fund Management to act as the Asset Management Company."

 

Consequently, Fidelity Mutual Fund, FIL Trustee Company and FIL Fund Management cannot carry out any activity as a Mutual Fund, Trustee Company and asset management company, respectively, with immediate effect.

 

In November, L&T Finance, a part of diversified group Larsen & Toubro, had completed the acquisition of Fidelity's mutual fund business in India for an undisclosed amount.

 

L&T Finance is a part of engineering conglomerate L&T Group and Fidelity Mutual Fund is part of the US-based Fidelity Worldwide Investment.

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COMMENTS

Nilesh KAMERKAR

4 years ago

Somebody at PTI has goofed up... The headline is grossly misleading.

Reality being, Fidelity does not want to do MF business in India anymore; whereas the headline makes it sound as if Fidelity has been disallowed to do MF business in India.

Printer's Devil?

SEBI seeks more details on Diageo's offer for United Spirits

SEBI is not comfortable with certain provisions of the proposed offer from Diageo, including those related to preferential allotment of shares, and it fears that minority shareholders of United Spirits might be at a disadvantageous position under the existing terms of the deal

New Delhi: Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has sought fresh clarifications from global liquor giant Diageo regarding its Rs5,441 crore open offer for stake purchase in UB group's United Spirits Ltd -- a development that could further delay the closure of this deal, reports PTI.

 

This is the second time in about a month that SEBI has sought clarifications from Diageo through the liquor major's merchant bankers, JM Financial, with regard to the proposed deal.

 

Sources said the regulator is not comfortable with certain provisions of the proposed offer, including those related to preferential allotment of shares, and it fears that the minority shareholders might be at disadvantageous position under the existing terms of the deal.

 

The bankers had submitted their reply to SEBI after the latter sought clarifications from them in December, but the regulator has now sought fresh clarifications from them.

 

As per SEBI's latest weekly status update of pending open offers as on 11th January, the "reply (is) awaited" from merchant bankers for United Spirits open offer.

 

UK-based Diageo had announced a deal more than two months ago on 9th November under which it agreed to acquire up to 53.4% stake in United Spirits for an aggregate amount of Rs11,166.6 crore.

 

As part of the deal, Diageo would acquire 27.4% stake for Rs5,725.4 crore through a combination of share purchase from existing promoters and preferential allotment of shares. In addition, it had offered to acquire an additional 26% stake for Rs5,441.07 crore through an open offer for public shareholders.

 

Any acquisition of 25% or more stake in a listed company triggers a mandatory open offer for purchase of additional 26% stake from the public shareholders and the same needs to be cleared by the market regulator.

 

The proposed open offer for an additional 26% stake in USL entails purchase of about 3.8 crore shares at a price of Rs1,440 per share, totalling to Rs5,441 crore, by Relay BV, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Diageo.

 

The open offer was earlier scheduled to start on 7th January but it was postponed in absence of necessary regulatory approvals.

 

SEBI had received the draft letter of this open offer on 29th November.

 

An acquirer can go ahead with the open offer only after SEBI issues its "observations" on the same.

 

USL, the country's largest spirits company, is part of Vijay Mallya-led UB Group, whose aviation venture Kingfisher Airlines has been going through turbulent times for many months now and its licence is currently suspended.

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