London Evening Standard: FSA bids to sink Shell man's appeal: “THE Financial Services Authority has sensationally asked an independent tribunal to block an appeal case launched by former Shell chairman Sir Philip Watts.”: “Watts' outburst last month was the first time the oil executive had commented on the reserves scandal that has crippled Shell this year.” (ShellNews.net)
18 October 2004
THE Financial Services Authority has sensationally asked an independent tribunal to block an appeal case launched by former Shell chairman Sir Philip Watts.
The City watchdog has urged the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal to throw out claims by Watts that it broke its own rules by identifying him when finding Shell guilty earlier this year of stock market abuse in overstating oil and gas reserves.
It wants a preliminary decision to be made on the prejudice claim in the hope the rest of the case will then have to be shelved.
'We are confident that he was not [identified] and that the tribunal will agree with us,' it said in a short statement today.
'This would mean that the tribunal will have no jurisdiction to consider the other matters which Sir Philip has referred to the tribunal.'
Watts tore into the FSA last month, accusing it of riding roughshod over his rights by identifying him in a 'flawed' report into the reserves crisis that led to his ousting at Shell in March.
He claims that although the regulator did not name him directly when fining Shell £17m, the matters obviously centred on the periods when he was in charge. He added that reports about the FSA document identified him as an allegedly guilty party.
Today's counter-argument from the FSA will add to the sense of intrigue already building up around the case but is also certain to throw up yet more controversy about the watchdog's powers.
Insurance group Legal & General has poured scorn on the FSA's disciplinary procedures in an unprecedented appeal against a £1.1m mis-selling fine. The closing arguments are due to be heard this week.
Since Legal & General launched its action, FSA chief executive John Tiner and chairman Callum McCarthy have raised concerns about the increasing number of costly appeals it faces.
Watts' outburst last month was the first time the oil executive had commented on the reserves scandal that has crippled Shell this year.