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Royal Dutch Shell European Fraud

Financial Times: It is vital that we all work together, says SEC

“…Cox… became chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission in August…”: “He highlighted US “scandals” at Enron, WorldCom, HealthSouth, Global Crossing, Qwest and Tyco. But he said they were not unique to the US, and noted “European frauds” at Vivendi, Royal Dutch Shell and Parmalat. “Cross-border collaboration in international enforcement is growing in importance because massive financial frauds by major market participants have rocked the global financial world,” he said.”

Friday 7 October 2005

By Andrew Parker in New York

Published: October 7 2005

The new head of the chief US financial watchdog yesterday pledged co-operation with overseas securities regulators to nurture investor confidence.

Christopher Cox, who became chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission in August, said cross-border collaboration was perhaps most important in dealing with wrongdoing by companies and individuals.

His speech, to a conference of lawyers, was the first time Mr Cox had publicly addressed the international dimension of his work.

He stressed the common commitments of national financial regulators to “clear and transparent disclosure” by companies and “strong and swift enforcement”, and said they were continually developing a “common language”.

“It is absolutely vital that we do so, because serious collaboration is going to be necessary in addressing global investor confidence,” said Mr Cox.

He highlighted US “scandals” at Enron, WorldCom, HealthSouth, Global Crossing, Qwest and Tyco.

But he said they were not unique to the US, and noted “European frauds” at Vivendi, Royal Dutch Shell and Parmalat. “Cross-border collaboration in international enforcement is growing in importance because massive financial frauds by major market participants have rocked the global financial world,” he said.

Foreign companies with US share listings have complained about the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley law on accounting and corporate governance because it imposes a raft of new and expensive rules on them. The SEC has introduced rules that complement the law, but Mr Cox said the watchdog had no interest in imposing different regulations to overseas regulators “just for the sake of being different”.

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