The City roundup video: Swiss National Bank sends companies into tailspin

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The fall-out from the Swiss National Bank’s removal of a cap that controlled the value of the Swiss franc against the euro has sent several companies into a tailspin.

The most high profile is West Ham shirt sponsor and currency broker Alpari UK which was forced into insolvency this morning by heavy client losses.

Two other major currency brokers were crippled with virtually the entire market betting the cap would stay. The sudden reverse and resultant plunge in the euro against the franc exposed the biggest currency broker in the US — New York-listed FXCM at the cost of 900 staff. In New Zealand broker Excel was forced to shut down as it clients lost out.

The Swiss stock market continued to be hammered by the move as more falls followed a 9% plunge yesterday as investors braced themselves for a huge export blow.

The move comes just a week before business leaders meet at the Swiss alpine resort of Davos and they’ll be expecting to pay more for their coffee.

Elsewhere there was relief for oil giant BP after a US judge revealed the maximum fine it will face over the Gulf of Mexico spill will be$13.7 billion. That may sound a lot but it had been predicted it could be counting nearly $18 billion of coffers but the amount of oil it dumped in the 2010 spill was not as much as feared.

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