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UK’s FCA scraps executives’ bonuses after life insurance probe

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(Bloomberg) — The U.K. financial regulator scrapped bonuses for some senior executives facing criticism in a report into the agency’s handling of publicity around a life insurance review, said a person with knowledge of the decision.

The award of the bonuses to all 9 executive committee members of the Financial Conduct Authority — the U.K.’s counterpart to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in the U.S. — was postponed in April pending publication of the report. In 2013, FCA Chief Executive Officer Martin Wheatley received a bonus of 86,000 pounds ($135,000) as part of his 667,000 pounds compensation. The person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private, didn’t give details on who was affected by the move.

The FCA has been under fire by officials, including Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, for briefing the Daily Telegraph in March on plans to review sales of life insurance policies. The ensuing article sent insurers’ shares tumbling, wiping as much as $4.2 billion from their market value while sparking an external investigation.

The regulator said yesterday that three members of its executive committee will step down amid a restructuring of the organization. Clive Adamson and Victoria Raffe (in charge of supervising and authorizing firms and individuals for financial services) will leave in January, while Communications Director Zitah McMillan is set to depart this week.

The results of the investigation led by Clifford Chance LLP lawyer Simon Davis will be published tomorrow.

Ruth Wharram, a spokeswoman at the FCA in London, declined to comment. It’s unclear whether Wheatley will be among executives losing their bonus.

The Financial Times reported the bonus decision earlier.


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