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Argos owner Home Retail Group is setting aside at least £30m in compensation after admitting thousands of store card customers were overcharged. The company has launched a detailed review into the issue, which relates to "buy now, pay later" plans for some of the retailer's 1.5 million store card holders who were charged excess fees for late payments. Chief executive John Walden said it affected up to 10% of Argos card customers. They are expected to receive compensation of up to £100 each and Home Retail (Other OTC: HMRLF - news) will write to affected customers in the next few weeks. The group said it had found that "a more extensive customer redress programme" would be required than first thought when the issue was discovered earlier this year, increasing the likely cost by about £30m. https://uk.news.yahoo.com/argos-owner-faces-30m-bill-085323975.html?nhp=1
The Financial Services Authority has fined Prudential up to £30m and censured its chief executive Tidjane Thiam. The penalty, first revealed in The Daily Telegraph, relates to the insurer’s failure to have followed the correct protocol in notifying the City regulator ahead of its abortive $35.5bn (£23.4bn) bid for Asian rival AIA in 2010. The FSA said in a statement: "Prudential failed to deal with the FSA in an open and cooperative manner when it was seeking to acquire AIA in early 2010, because it did not inform the FSA of the proposed acquisition until after it had been leaked to the media on 27 February 2010." The insurer is thought to have agreed the fine as a settlement after a lengthy stand-off with the regulator. Talks between the two sides are understood to have been going on for more than a year, with the FSA initially demanding a fine of as much as £80m and a further £400,000 penalty for Mr Thiam. The size of the FSA fine is expected to raise eyebrows in the City. A penalty of £30m would be one of the biggest the regulator has levied - topping the £29.7m handed to UBS in November last year for failing to prevent “large-scale unauthorised trading” by rogue trader Kweku Adoboli. The FSA said: "The failure to inform the FSA was significant because it resulted in the FSA having to consider highly complex issues within a compressed timescale before making a decision as to whether to suspend Prudential’s shares. More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/insurance/9956392/FSA-fines-Prudential-30m-and-censures-chief-Tidjane-Thiam-over-AIA-deal.html