Daily Telegraph: Watchdog clears Watts over Shell
reserves error: Thursday 10 November 2005
Miller (Filed: 10/11/2005)
Sir Philip Watts, the former
chairman of Shell, was yesterday cleared of any
wrongdoing by the City's watchdog for miscalculating the
amount of oil it had left in its reserves.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA),
which last year fined the oil giant £17m for committing
market abuse and breaching stock market listing rules,
said it would take no further action against the
individuals it had been investigating.
|Sir Philip Watts
has maintained throughout that he acted properly
Sir Philip, who resigned in March
2004, and Walter van de Vijver, the former head of
Shell's Exploration & Production arm, were both
investigated by the FSA over their role in the reserves
Sir Philip's lawyers, Herbert Smith,
said last night: "Sir Philip Watts is very pleased that,
after a long period of investigation, including detailed
consideration of his representations by the Regulatory
Decisions Committee, the FSA has decided that no action
should be taken against him.
"This vindicates the position Sir
Philip has maintained throughout: that he acted properly
and in good faith at all times."
In the US, where Shell was fined
$120m (£70m) last year and is under investigation by the
Securities & Exchange Commission, John Dowd of Akin
Gump, Mr van de Vijver's attorney, said: "He has
steadfastly maintained from the beginning that the
allegations were without merit. Now the FSA has
vindicated his position."
The FSA last night defended its
18-month investigation into the two former Shell
directors. A spokesman commented: "It's absolutely right
that we will always investigate cases where we think
there may have been wrongdoing."