The City roundup video: Bleakest day for the FCA

Video: Jim Armitage provides a run-down of the day's major news from the City

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The Independent Online

Don't miss out on the goings on in the business world, with our daily round-up of the biggest news from the City.

It was the bleakest day for the Financial Conduct Authority, the City's regulator, since its foundation in 2011.

Why?

Because today saw the launch of a long-awaited report which was sternly critical of how the FCA revealed secret information to a newspaper about its plans to investigate Britain's vast insurance industry to a newspaper.

This was, effectively, a sanctioned leak – really not the way the main regulator of the world's biggest financial market should behave. In the words of the report’s author, Clifford Chance lawyer Simon Davis, the FCA created a "false market" in the shares. “High risk, poorly supervised and inadequately controlled” is how the report summarises the watchdog.

Essentially, the whole thing comes out looking like a ham-fisted spin operation by the regulator to paint itself as the big tough City policeman. But it wasn't thought through, and a cheap publicity stunt ended up potentially costing your, and my pension funds – which invest in the companies whose shares were sent gyrating as a result  - many millions of pounds.

Elsewhere, BG, the former gas exploration arm of British Gas, sold its Australian gas pipelines for £3.2bn and Standard Chartered, the UK-based bank, admitted the US authorities would be monitoring its New York offices for a further three years to check closely that it is not breaking sanctions.

Finally, NBrown – mail order fashion group for the larger lady – has admitted sales plunged 11 per cent at its Jacamo and Simply Be brands thanks to the unseasonably warm weather. Let's hope the current cold snap brings it a happier time this Christmas.

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