UK’s ‘reckless banking’ charge to carry seven-year jail term
Credit: Reuters/Thomas Peter LONDON | Wed Oct 2, 2013 7:35am BST LONDON (Reuters) – Domino’s Pizza (DOM.L), Britain’s biggest pizza delivery firm, posted a 4 percent rise in third quarter underlying UK sales and said its revised expansion plans for Germany were on track. Domino’s said on Wednesday like-for-like sales at its 669 UK stores had risen 4 percent over the 13 weeks to September 29, driven by rising online and mobile demand. That represented a slowdown from the 6.4 percent achieved in the first half of the year, when new products and promotions boosted sales, but was above analyst forecasts which had predicted a rise of 2.5-3 percent. Total sales for the period rose 10.4 percent to 140.9 million pounds ($228.3 million). The company said it intends to open 50 stores in the current financial year. The group, which makes almost all of its sales of pizzas such as Pepperoni Passion and Meatilicious in the UK and Ireland, has big plans for expansion into Germany but in July was forced to slow them, as higher labour costs meant it would break even there as much as two years later than hoped. To help improve its performance there Domino’s is handing the running of its poor performing own-managed stores over to more experienced franchisees, a model that is behind its success in the UK. Domino’s said on Wednesday it was confident that a good number of those transfers would be complete by the year end. Like-for-like sales over the period in Germany climbed 9.4 percent, while sales in Ireland marked nine periods of consecutive growth with a rise of 2.4 percent. Domino’s chief executive Lance Batchelor said the group remained on track to meet full-year forecasts. The company is on average expected to report a pretax profit of 48.67 million pounds, according to a Reuters poll of eight analysts. (Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Neil Maidment)
They should not, of course, be freely available. “I think addiction to anything – drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc – is not a good thing, but outright prohibition hands revenue streams to villains.” Under Mr Barton’s direction, Durham Constabulary launched Operation Sledgehammer, a sustained campaign to “get in the faces” of organised crime gangs. He has previously claimed to seek inspiration in the way notorious Prohibition-era mafioso Al Capone was finally brought down not for bootlegging, but tax evasion. The officer, who has served for nearly 34 years, said he had witnessed a worsening drug addiction problem since prohibition began in 1971 with the Misuse of Drugs Act. He argued that pushers had made billions from adulterated drugs, transforming them into local folk heroes for young people. “Decriminalising their commodity will immediately cut off their income stream and destroy their power,” he said. “Making drugs legal would tackle the supply chain much more effectively and much more economically than we can currently manage.” Mr Barton said that offering drugs therapeutically through the NHS and similar organisations would avoid the spread of HIV and hepatitis C among needle users. But he underlined that he was in favour of their use in a controlled environment, rather than a “free for all”. “I am saying that people who encourage others to take drugs by selling them are criminals, and their actions should be tackled,” he said. “But addicts, on the other hand, need to be treated, cared for and encouraged to break the cycle of addiction. They do not need to be criminalised.” Earlier on HuffPost: Loading Slideshow #1: Cannabis The UNODC estimates that 2.8-4.5% of the global population aged 15-64 used cannabis in 2009.
Mike Barton, Police Chief, Says UK Should Decriminalize Drugs Because Drug War Is Failing
Chancellor George Osborne said the government accepted its main recommendations, although he did not agree with some proposals. Unusually, and to the annoyance of Tyrie and opposition lawmakers, the bill is undergoing significant changes in the un-elected upper house of the British parliament because the government wanted to avoid lengthy delays in the lower house. The new ‘reckless banker’ offence would apply to those listed on a newly-established register of senior bankers if they make decisions which lead to the failure of a bank, or fail to stop other making such decisions. “The maximum sentence for the new offence is seven years in prison and/or an unlimited fine,” a briefing note by the finance ministry said. “The new offence will strengthen individual accountability for senior bankers, and act as a deterrent against misconduct.” The government also said it would accelerate the process of splitting up any bank which tries to circumvent new rules designed to ring-fence their retail operations from riskier investment banking activities. Fearing that banks might try to circumvent those rules, earlier this year the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (PCBS) recommended a backstop power that could force full separation if a bank didn’t stick to the spirit of the legislation. “Banks will game the rules unless discouraged from doing so,” said Tyrie. “The revised amendments enable the regulator to split a bank which tries. That creates a strong deterrent against gaming the ring fence.” The government has also adopted the commission’s proposal that the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), one of Britain’s new financial supervisors, be asked to promote competition within the industry. It is keen to break the dominance of the country’s biggest four lenders – Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and HSBC – which control around three quarters of UK retail accounts. The requirement will be secondary the PRA’s main objective of ensuring the financial safety of the firms it regulates. It will also bring forward plans to reform regulation of bank’s payments systems in order to make it easier for new challengers to enter the industry. (Additional reporting by Guy Faulconbridge in Manchester; Editing by Greg Mahlich) @yahoofinance on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook Related Content Chart Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the “Enter symbol/company” at the bottom of this module. You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.