The Council of the European Union (EU) has announced that the Committee of Permanent Representatives has endorsed an agreement between the Hellenic Presidency of the Council and European Parliament representatives on a draft directive for the disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large public interest entities in the EU with over 500 employees. The draft directive would require such companies to disclose, annually, a statement of policies, outcomes and risks relating to environmental, social and employee-related matters including a description of its diversity policy, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery matters. Where the company has not pursued such policies, it must explain why.
Oxfam International (Oxfam) has released its Company Scorecard, which provides Oxfam's first annual assessment of the social and environmental policies of the ten biggest food and beverage companies worldwide since February 2013. According to Oxfam, nine of the ten companies improved their scores with the top three performers being Nestle, Unilever and Coca-Cola, all of which had policies addressing "issues like hunger, poverty, women's rights, land grabs and climate change in their supply chains". General Mills made no improvements in its policies and was ranked last, while Associated British Foods (ABF), Kellogg, Danone, Mars, Mondelez and PepsiCo were all marked as slow improvers in 2013.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS) has decided not to proceed with a plan to delay the payment of UK bonuses, which had intended to take advantage of a cut in the top rate of income tax and thereby potentially save bankers tens of millions of pounds in tax. Despite being legal, the plan was met with much public criticism, including from Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King, UK Treasury minister responsible for the City of London Sajid Javid and British Bankers' Association chief executive Anthony Browne.
The United States (US) Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has released its Opinion (3 March 2014) in In Re: Deepwater Horizon. According to BP plc (BP), the Court has decided to deny BP's request for a permanent injunction preventing payments to business economic loss (BEL) claimants whose alleged injuries are not traceable to the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill. BP argued that such claimants are not proper class members under the terms of the Economic and Property Damages Settlement (the Settlement) reached in 2012; however, Reuters reports that the Court rejected BP's argument that this interpretation of the Settlement would allow businesses to recover for fictitious losses.
The United States (US) Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) as conservator of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) has made available Settlement Agreement (24 February 2014 - available via the media release below) reached with France-based bank Société Générale (SG) and associated individuals and entities over alleged breaches of federal and state securities laws.
Syncora Holdings Ltd (Syncora) has made available Annual Statement 2013 (February 2014) for its financial guarantee insurance subsidiary Syncora Guarantee Inc (SGI), which states that SGI has received US$400 million from JPMorgan to settle SGI's residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS)-related claims against JPMorgan and its affiliates.
The United Kingdom (UK) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has banned (24 February 2014) Arnold Eber from the financial services industry after finding that his conduct as chief executive officer of since-dissolved CIB Partners Ltd included the various failures.
The United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that a former executive of Toyota Group subsidiary Denso Corp (Denso) has agreed to plead guilty to obstruction of justice in relation to a DoJ antitrust division investigation and will serve a one-year prison term.
The United States (US) Department of Transportation (DoT) has announced that it has fined South Korea-based airline Asiana Airlines Inc (Asiana) US$500,000 for delays and other failures in communicating with the family members of passengers on Asiana flight 214, which crashed at San Francisco International Airport on 6 July 2013.
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