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£17m fine against Royal Dutch Shell in 2004, the watchdog’s largest to date, for market abuse

Financial Times: Retailer was unusual target for City watchdog

By Alistair Gray

Published: May 13 2008 03:00 | Last updated: May 13 2008 03:00

By the FSA’s standards, yesterday’s decision was significant more for the nature of its target rather than the scale of penalty – even if Land of Leather was awarded a 30 per cent discount for settling early, writes Alistair Gray.

It is dwarfed by the £17m fine against Royal Dutch Shell in 2004, the watchdog’s largest to date, for market abuse.

Neither does it come close to the £13.9m Citigroup had to pay in 2005 for destabilising the eurozone market.

Still, its six previous fines relating to payment protection insurance have been rather more modest. The largest, against HFC Bank, amounted to £1.1m.

Other than the £270,000 levied against Redcats, the home shopping company, the PPI fines thus far have been confined to financial service companies, although car dealerships Eastern Western Motor Group and Cathedral Motor Company have been censured publicly.

The watchdog levied less in fines in 2007 than in the previous six years. Fines totalled £5.3m compared with £13.3m in 2006, although at 23, the number was near the 28 of 2006.

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