Latest Posts

PSU listed firms may be first to separate chairman, MD posts

Sebi had set up the 21-member panel in June this year to advise it on issues relating to corporate governance. Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint

Sebi had set up the 21-member panel in June this year to advise it on issues relating to corporate governance. Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint

New Delhi: As a Sebi panel on corporate governance mulls benefits of splitting the posts of chairman and managing director at listed firms, the public sector units may be the first where such a move could be implemented.

While a final decision would be taken by capital market regulator Sebi with regard to listed companies, the public sector banks already have separate persons for the positions of chairman and MDs as per the decision taken by the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Sebi rules require that the listed companies may voluntarily separate the two posts to avoid any conflict of interest, but the regulator has so far refrained from making it mandatory.

However, a Sebi panel on corporate governance is now discussing a proposal to suggest to the regulator that the two posts at listed companies should be separated for better business practices, a member said.

As the board, headed by chairman, is required to play a supervisory role about the decisions taken by the managing director or CEO-led management, it would give a strong signal about robust corporate governance practices at listed firms in India if the two posts are held by separate individuals, the Sebi panel member added.

A number of advanced economies have similar rules while the split in the two posts at banks has worked out well in India also, he added.

The panel is also looking into a comparative study of the corporate governance practices at various Indian listed firms that have voluntarily split the two posts, as against those where the two posts are held by the same person who also happens to be from the promoter family in majority of the cases.

The panel is expected to submit its report to Sebi next month after which the regulator will take a final call and initiate a public consultation process, if required.

“Managing directors work under the supervision of the board of directors whereas chairman is the head of the board, therefore common position of chairman and MD always leads to potential conflict of interest. Splitting of position of chairman and MD is a welcome step towards better corporate governance as it will make easier for the board members to review the performance of the MD and fix accountabilities for his functioning,” said Pavan Kumar Vijay, founder, Corporate Professionals.

“Non-executive chairman will have lesser conflict and unbiased approach towards the functioning of the executives, including the managing director,” he added.

“This step is forward looking and already PSU banks have implemented it. This will enable better governance and will augment independence,” said S. Ravi, chartered accountant, who has been on several PSU boards.

Sebi had set up the 21-member panel in June this year to advise it on issues relating to corporate governance. It includes representatives from companies, stock exchanges, professional bodies, investor groups, law firms, academicians, research professionals and Sebi officials.

Go to Source

New law firm seeks would-be gov’t whistleblowers, requires Tor and SecureDrop

Enlarge
Kate Ter Haar

On Monday, a former top State Department official who blew the whistle three years ago on what he saw as overzealous surveillance announced a new non-profit law firm, Whistleblower Aid. Unlike most other whistleblowing organizations, however, Whistleblower Aid is employing a few crucial digital tools to help, including Tor and SecureDrop—and it’s entirely pro bono.

“We’re also helping people go to Robert Mueller if they have evidence of crimes by senior officials,” John Tye, the former official, told Ars, referring to the Department of Justice special counsel that is currently investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

Tye’s partner is Mark Zaid, a well-known national security attorney based in Washington, DC. Unlike most modern law firms, which conduct nearly all business by phone and e-mail, Whistleblower Aid outright eschews these methods.

Enlarge

“You should only discuss your case with a lawyer that you trust, over a secure channel,” the group’s site proclaims. “Never use e-mail, web forms, regular phone calls or text messages. In-person meetings should be conducted away from all electronic devices.”

In addition to its regular webpage, Whistleblower Aid also maintains a .onion URL as well: http://wbaidlaw6quwv7h3.onion/.

“We want to earn the trust of people who have been 20-year veterans at the NSA,” Tye continued. “It’s the only way we felt that we could provide the security that our clients would want.”

Perhaps more importantly, Whistleblower Aid requires the use of SecureDrop—a Tor-enabled submissions system that was originally designed for journalists.

“You and I know the last 10 years it’s been one data breach after another, private corporations, government agencies, the Office of Personnel Management hack, even the NSA is getting hacked and having their own tools stolen,” Tye added. “So digital security is at the front of everyone’s mind. It was at the front of my mind at State and I didn’t want to put my complaint in an e-mail or a call. We are creating the highest level of security that we can create and that’s to build the trust of people who have very sensitive information.”

Three years ago, in the aftermath of the Snowden revelations, Tye told anyone who would listen to focus on the authority that the federal government claims under Executive Order 12333—”twelve triple three.”

When he first stepped into the limelight in the spring of 2014, John Tye tried really, really hard to stay within the official channels of whistleblowing. He didn’t send a cache of documents to WikiLeaks. He didn’t leak selected materials to journalists. Rather, he took the slow, methodical route—filing formal complaints with various Inspector General offices and sending letters to Congress. He only received perfunctory responses, nothing substantial.

Then, in July 2014, Tye publicly aired his grievances in the op-ed pages of The Washington Post. The piece was even submitted for pre-publication review by the State Department and the NSA to ensure the op-ed did not contain classified information, but neither agency appears to have changed a single word.

In the three years since he came forward, Tye admitted that the government’s policies with respect to 12333 hadn’t “measurably changed,” but he added that if he had chosen to leak outside of official channels, “I could have been prosecuted,” he said. “I’m not sure that doing it a different way would have solved it.”

Go to Source

Slovak firms fail to defend against modern cyber attacks

The companies often think that the standard systems are enough to protect them from threats.

The majority of companies in Slovakia use standard IT security systems to protect themselves from threats, such as anti-virus programmes and firewalls. On the other hand, only a few firms use more sophisticated security tools against modern threats like ransomware or other attacks resulting in the failure of websites and services.

This information stems from the recent survey carried out by the GfK agency in May among more than 100 IT managers and company owners. It suggests that while 93 percent of companies use the former group of security tools, the latter is used by only 38 percent of firms, the SITA newswire reported.

The companies often think that the standard systems are enough to protect them from threats and to meet the legal requirements, explains Roman Čupka, regional country manager of Flowmon Networks.

“On the other hand, these tools fail to quickly and effectively respond to sophisticated threats, like the Wanna Cry attack or the so-called DDoS attacks that have recently put the websites of Fun Radio, Sme and RTVS out of operation,” Čupka said, as quoted by SITA.

Companies have good experiences with both kinds of protection, the GfK survey showed. While 83 percent of respondents said they consider the ordinary systems beneficial, 80 percent said the same about the above-standard systems.

The survey also suggests that the importance of sophisticated security solutions is underestimated not only by their limited use, but also by weak investment plans that companies have been following for years. About 20 percent of companies plan to invest in above-standard IT systems in the following three-five years. The percentage of companies planning to invest in standard IT systems is slightly lower: only 16 percent.

“In terms of the massive widening of the new types of threats that can avoid the ordinary preventive protection of the computer networks, this number is quite low,” Čupka said, as quoted by SITA.

Yet, new legislation, such as the draft law on cyber security and the new regulations concerning the protection of personal data, will force many organisations to deal with preventive security measures and also utilise above-standard solutions to identify and respond to these threats as soon as possible, he added.

As many as 37 percent of organisations plan to use the new tools to protect themselves from harmful code in the following three-five years. They then want to implement new technologies for application security, for recording the activities of infrastructure and IT systems, their users and administrators, as well as tools for detection, collection and assessment of cyber events and to verify the identity of users planning to enter the information systems, SITA reported.

Go to Source

New York governor wants credit-reporting firms to follow cyber rules

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that he wants credit-reporting firms to comply with the state’s cyber-security regulations, the latest government official to crack down on the industry in the wake of the massive Equifax hack.

Also on Monday, Bloomberg News reported that federal authorities have opened a criminal probe into stock sales by three Equifax Inc (EFX.N) executives before the company disclosed the massive data breach, news that has weighed heavily on the stock price.

The company has said the executives were unaware of the hack when they sold the stock for $1.8 million.

Equifax shares rose 1.5 percent on Monday after losing about a third of their value since the hack was announced. The Equifax breach discovered on July 29 exposed sensitive data like Social Security numbers of up to 143 million people.

Cuomo said he planned to require all credit-reporting agencies to register with the state and comply with its cyber-security rules.

The proposed regulation would take effect in February, Cuomo said in a statement. If the companies do not register, they risk being barred from doing business with financial companies regulated by New York state.

The state would be able to bar credit-reporting agencies, including TransUnion (TRU.N) and Experian Plc (EXPN.L), as well as Equifax, from doing business in New York if the state found they engaged in “unfair, deceptive or predatory practices,” Cuomo said.

“The Equifax breach was a wake-up call,” Cuomo said. “And with this action, New York is raising the bar for consumer protections that we hope will be replicated across the nation.”

Proposed regulations are typically subject to a period for public comment before they become final.

A New York state cyber-security regulation, the first of its kind in the United States, took effect on March 1. It requires financial firms to take measures to protect networks and customer data from hackers and disclose cyber events to regulators.

Maine is the only U.S. state that requires credit agencies to register, said William Lund, superintendent of the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection. But its law does not cover cyber security, an issue the bureau will have to consider, Lund said.

Maine, which has been registering credit-reporting agencies since the 1990s, has 30 such agencies on its roster, ranging from the largest to those dealing with everything from check approval to tenants’ rental histories, he added.

The three credit-reporting agencies did not respond to requests for comment on Cuomo’s plan.

Bloomberg reported on Monday that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether Equifax’s chief financial officer, John Gamble, and two other executives broke insider-trading rules by selling stock after the breach was discovered in July and weeks before it was disclosed this month.

Reuters was not able to confirm the Bloomberg report.

Separately, the company issued a statement saying a second Bloomberg report late on Monday about a second cyber attack in March referred to a breach at Equifax payroll unit that was previously reported to regulators, customers and consumers and also been covered by the press.

“Equifax complied fully with all consumer notification requirements related to the March incident. The two events are not related,” the statement said.

Reporting by Diane Bartz and Suzanne Barlyn; Additional reporting by Sarah N. Lynch, David Shepardson and Dustin Volz; Editing by Jim Finkle, Leslie Adler and Michael Perry

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Go to Source

Crackdown on business firms without permits on

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

NEWLY installed city permits and licensing division chief Allan Abayao vowed to intensify the crackdown on business establishments operating without business permits in all the barangays in the Baguio City.

Abayao said his office will continue the year-round ocular inspections of the business firms operating in the barangays to ensure that they are always complying with the permit requirements.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan started the campaign in 2010, resulting to the closure of hundreds of establishments.

The drive prompted many business owners to comply with the law resulting to the increase in the number of business permits issued and in the tax collection over the years as per the records of the city treasury office.

As per the procedure, those found without business permits upon inspection are issued a notice to secure business permits, directing them to immediately cease and desist from operating and giving them five working days to process their permits.

After five days, a verification process will be done to check on their compliance. Those who fail to secure the requirements and are still operating will be issued a closure order through an administrative order by the city mayor as a final warning for them to comply.

If after another five days passed and they still fail to comply, the establishment will be padlocked by the team from the permits and licensing division, public order and safety division, the barangay officials concerned and the Baguio City Police Office.

Public order and Safety Division and barangay officials will ensure establishments will remain closed until such time that the owners have secured the permits.

Those who will defy the closure permit and will insist on operating without complying will be referred to the city legal office for the filling of appropriate case.

Abayao said the barangays play a crucial role in the monitoring and reporting of defiant and headstrong business owners since they are at the scene.

“We encourage our barangay officials and even residents to continually monitor and report to us businesses operating in open defiance to our laws,” he said.

As of September 14, the office has issued a total of 17,931 regular business permits. Last year, total of 19,083 permits were issued. (PR)

Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on September 19, 2017.

Latest issues of SunStar Baguio also available on your mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. Subscribe to our digital editions at epaper.sunstar.com.ph and get a free seven-day trial.

Go to Source

Are Manchester firms addressing workplace wellness?

According to mental health charity Mind, one-in-four people experience a mental health problem in the UK each year – so the
likelihood is high that someone in your workplace is struggling with stress, anxiety or depression right now.

While several of Manchester’s key entrepreneurs have spoken publicly about their experiences, the reality is that many more workers stay silent.

“It takes a lot to get over the slightly warped, alpha male attitude in business where you have to suck it up and get on with it,” said Professor Vikas Shah, a serial entrepreneur and international business icon, who has spoken freely in the press about his anxiety and depression.

Professor Shah is managing director of the Swiscot Group, a Manchester-based textiles and commodities trading firm, visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship with MIT Sloan and an honorary professor at the Alliance Manchester Business School.

He elaborated: “There’s also the sense that as a business ‘leader’ you shouldn’t show weakness. It’s not that people have said not to talk about these things, it’s just that this attitude has become a dogma within business.”

Vikas Shah

Professor Shah, who has battled anxiety since his teens, explained that the pressures of being a young business owner caused his stress levels to rocket.

“As I got into the workplace and started my own business in a very high pressured world, I found that these issues became magnified, and instead of just feeling anxious I started to feel depressed and couldn’t function the way I wanted to because of an overwhelming sense of emotion.

“It got so bad that I considered suicide. At that point I decided enough was enough and that I needed to get serious about getting help.

“The issues are very resolvable. People get well and get back to normal, if they seek the proper medical help.”

Although attitudes to mental health are changing, he believes that a huge amount of people in the business community are experiencing related problems, all the while suffering in silence due to the stigma surrounding stress, anxiety, depression and similar conditions.

“A surprising number of people have approached me privately since I opened up about it, revealing that they have gone through similar issues and asking for my recommendations for help.

“In America, everyone by default has a therapist. It’s like having a dentist. In the same way people would think you’re strange for not having a dentist, therapy is very normal.

“The brain is the most complex organ in the body and is likely to fail us occasionally but we still feel somewhat embarrassed about having a specialist to help us look after it.”

Sam Jones, Tunafish Media

Sam Jones, managing director of the innovative digital marketing agency, Tunafish, based in Manchester, is another business leader who has spoken frankly about panic attacks.

Like Professor Shah, Jones said his anxiety started at a young age.

“I am generally an anxious person and this started when I was a kid,” he said.

“It’s something I have always kept to myself because, at first, I didn’t know what it was – I just knew it wasn’t normal.

“Then I got bit of help at university and started to understand what it was and how I could look after myself a bit more and keep an eye on the signs.”

Jones and two friends launched Tunafish in 2011, when Jones was just 22. The business has grown rapidly and achieved widespread acclaim, with Jones receiving a string of awards including Made in Manchester Business Development Professional of the Year in 2014. He kept his panic attacks private until he had a full-blown panic attack in the office in front of his team.

“They thought I was having a heart attack,” he said.

“They wanted to call an ambulance and I had to explain that I’d be ok in about 30 minutes. From there the only real option was to be open about it.”

Panic attacks can last from five to 30 minutes. During an attack, a sufferer experiences sudden attacks of intense anxiety or fear, during which they can feel as if they are going to either die, lose control, or go crazy.

Physical symptoms can include shaking, feeling disorientated, nausea, rapid, irregular heartbeats, dry mouth, breathlessness, sweating and dizziness.

The symptoms of a panic attack are not dangerous, but can be very frightening.

Video Loading

Jones decided to talk about it publicly when a journalist friend urged him to do so as part of Mental Health Week, in May.

“I now know that it’s something that many business owners go through,” said Jones. “After I spoke about it, loads of people got in touch – people who I’d never have imagined had issues with anxiety, to say that they had problems with it too. There’s still a bit of a stigma, but if people talk about it this stigma will go away.”

Candid discussion about mental health is certainly a step forward, but Professor Shah wants to see businesses using their influence to lobby for real change so that mental health is treated in the same way as our health issues in the workplace.

He urges businesses to look at their HR policy and ensure that it’s flexible enough to make allowances for any mental health issues, and to
prioritise training staff on how to deal with these.

“The first aid approach is very important,” he said. “As much as you have people trained in first aid by law, your business should have people trained in mental first aid. It is really important and there are lots of providers that do that.”

One such provider is Anxiety UK, headquartered in Manchester and the country’s leading anxiety disorders charity.

In addition to supporting individuals, it delivers training and consultancy services to businesses from major blue chip companies to SMEs, health bodies, schools and colleges and other voluntary sector organisations.

According to Anxiety UK, work related stress, anxiety and depression is costing the UK’s economy an estimated £70-100bn annually, and 70m sick days per year. Close to 250,000 new cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety were diagnosed in the UK in 2015 – 668 a day, or one every 2.1 minutes.

“The very first step is to ensure companies understand what stress, anxiety and depression are,” said Nicky Lidbetter, chief executive.

“It’s a two-pronged approach. Employees need to be trained on what stress is and how to manage it, as they don’t always recognise the symptoms themselves. Then managers need to be trained in how to recognise the signs and deal with them.”

The charity also provides tailored Employee Assistant Programmes (EAP) for companies. EAPs are intended to help employees deal with personal problems that might adversely impact their work performance, health and wellbeing.

They generally offer free and confidential assessments, short-term counselling, referrals and follow-up services for employees and their household members.

Beyond this, Lidbetter emphasises that there are many small steps a company can take to foster a culture of openness and support, such as putting up posters displaying information on mental health and where to get help, or appointing wellbeing champions in the workplace.

“It could be as simple as organising running groups, a Pilates class or reminding employees to take breaks from their desks and get outdoors at lunch time,” she said.

“Companies could also run mental health workshops. Employees will show up to these kind of events without thinking there is a stigmatic mental health label on them.”

Lidbetter believes that mental health strategy doesn’t have to be costly and that all employers should have a duty of care to ensure that employees are psychologically safe.

“In years to come, we will be viewing the psychological safety of our staff in the same way we view health and safety legislation around physical safety in the workplace.

“There will be an expectation that employers will see that staff are psychologically safe, and it will no longer be an optional thing as it will become something that’s clearly mandated.”

Liz Cotton

Companies must take issue seriously

With mental health and wellbeing being such a topical issue, it comes as no surprise that we are experiencing such a significant upturn in enquiries from our employer clients in this area.

Similarly, we have seen a marked increase in the number of tribunal claims where an employee relies on a mental illness, often depression and anxiety to support a disability discrimination claim.

Typically, we are asked about how to approach an employee who discloses they are struggling, for example, with stress, anxiety and depression, strategies to support and manage them and the various risks associated if an employer gets things wrong.

There remains a degree of stigma associated with mental illness and there is clearly still some way to go.

However, what I have found encouraging is how keen our clients are to learn more about managing mental health at work.

Having asked what area of employment law they most wanted JMW to provide training on, mental health and wellbeing came out top.

I would say that employers are now more receptive to the reality that mental illness is a serious issue and just as valid as physical illness in terms of the potential impact for a business not just in terms of absence levels but on productivity generally and risk.

The law protects employees from disability discrimination and both physical and mental impairments can amount to a disability provided the other key ingredients to support disability are present.

Anxiety stress and depression (and related conditions) which are substantial and long term and have an adverse effect on an employee’s day to day activities (for example the ability to concentrate) may amount to a disability giving rise to protection under the Equality Act 2010.

Where someone is protected there is a positive duty to make reasonable adjustments in many cases.

Andy Burnham

This might mean you need to consider things like extending flexible working policies to allow commuting outside of rush hours, allowing staff to take time off work for appointments, make changes to a working area, home working, temporarily re-allocating tasks they find stressful and difficult.

It is always advisable to maintain clear lines of communication with the employee and for the employer to ask him or her what they feel might help them in their role.

Other potential claims that an employer might face include personal injury, breach of contract, constructive dismissal and Harassment.

I would recommend to all employers that they take a proactive approach, one such step would be to revisit their equality and diversity policy and consider introducing a stress at work policy.

I would also advise employers to offer training to its managers on for example how to recognise the tell-tale warning signs of stress, anxiety and depression, how to respond when an employee discloses that they have depression for example equipping management with skills will not only instil trust between the employee and the manager who is dealing but will mean that any reasonable adjustments that might be needed can be implemented at an early stage.

This will hopefully translate into fewer absences and a more engaged workforce.

It is also worth noting that if an employer does end up having to defend a discrimination claim they are in a better position to rebut a claim where they can satisfy a tribunal that as an organisation there is a culture of equality and diversity led from the most senior management and that discrimination will not be tolerated.

Liz Cotton, partner and head of employment at JMW Solicitors LLP

Go to Source

SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Pomerantz Law Firm Announces the Filing of a Class Action against Equifax, Inc. and Certain Officers – EFX 

NEW YORK, Sept. 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Equifax, Inc. (“Equifax” or the “Company”) (NYSE:EFX) and certain of its officers.   The class action, filed in United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and docketed under 17-cv-07082, is on behalf of a class consisting of investors who purchased or otherwise acquired Equifax securities, seeking to recover compensable damages caused by defendants’ violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

If you are a shareholder who purchased Equifax securities between February 25, 2016, and September 7, 2017, both dates inclusive, you have until November 13, 2017, to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class.  A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com. To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll-free, Ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and the number of shares purchased. 

[Click here to join this class action]

Equifax is a global provider of information solutions and human resources business process outsourcing services for businesses, governments, and consumers.

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that:  (1) the Company failed to maintain adequate measures to protect its data systems; (2) the Company failed to maintain adequate monitoring systems to detect security breaches; (3) the Company failed to maintain proper security systems, controls and monitoring systems in place; and (4) as a result of the foregoing, the Company’s financial statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

On September 7, 2017, Equifax disclosed a cyber security incident involving consumer information impacting 143 million U.S. consumers.

On release of the news, the Company’s share price fell $24.09 per share, from a closing price on September 7, 2017, of $142.72 per share to a low of $118.63 per share on September 8, 2017, a drop of approximately 16.8%.

The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Paris, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com

CONTACT:
Robert S. Willoughby
Pomerantz LLP
rswilloughby@pomlaw.com


Go to Source

SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Pomerantz Law Firm Announces the Filing of a Class Action against Equifax, Inc. and Certain Officers – EFX 

NEW YORK, Sept. 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Equifax, Inc. (“Equifax” or the “Company”) (NYSE:EFX) and certain of its officers.   The class action, filed in United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and docketed under 17-cv-07082, is on behalf of a class consisting of investors who purchased or otherwise acquired Equifax securities, seeking to recover compensable damages caused by defendants’ violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

If you are a shareholder who purchased Equifax securities between February 25, 2016, and September 7, 2017, both dates inclusive, you have until November 13, 2017, to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class.  A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com. To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll-free, Ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and the number of shares purchased. 

[Click here to join this class action]

Equifax is a global provider of information solutions and human resources business process outsourcing services for businesses, governments, and consumers.

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that:  (1) the Company failed to maintain adequate measures to protect its data systems; (2) the Company failed to maintain adequate monitoring systems to detect security breaches; (3) the Company failed to maintain proper security systems, controls and monitoring systems in place; and (4) as a result of the foregoing, the Company’s financial statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

On September 7, 2017, Equifax disclosed a cyber security incident involving consumer information impacting 143 million U.S. consumers.

On release of the news, the Company’s share price fell $24.09 per share, from a closing price on September 7, 2017, of $142.72 per share to a low of $118.63 per share on September 8, 2017, a drop of approximately 16.8%.

The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Paris, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com

/EIN News/ — CONTACT:
Robert S. Willoughby
Pomerantz LLP
rswilloughby@pomlaw.com


Go to Source

Portugal seeks to shelter public firms from failing bank bail-ins

Reuters

By Sergio Goncalves

LISBON, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Portugal’s government is seeking to give more protection to deposits by public firms and large institutions in case of bank failures that hit senior bond holders, Deputy Finance Minister Ricardo Mourinho Felix said on Monday.

Currently, institutional deposit holders with more than 100,000 euros ($119,550) are considered common creditors, the same as senior debt holders, when they are called to bail-in, or help pay for, a bank in trouble.

“With (our changes), the deposits will be clearly safer than senior debt. The goal is (higher) stability of the financial system and to make these deposits a safer savings instrument, so that there are no doubts about it,” Mourinho Felix told Reuters.

In Portugal’s 2014 and 2015 bank rescues, such deposits were already fully protected, but based on case-by-case decisions by the resolutions authority rather than a law.

Mourinho Felix said the proposed change follows May guidelines by the Bank of Portugal and the European Central Bank, and the added protection will be in the same mould as already in place in countries like Italy and Germany.

The draft bill should be ready in the next few weeks and the government hopes to have it approved in parliament by the end of the year.

“We are talking about public companies’ deposits in the Portuguese financial system, but also pension funds’ deposits, including the social security system and by the (state debt management agency) IGCP,” he said.

Mourinho Felix said the plan was not targeted at any specific cases such as Novo Banco, which was carved out of the 2014 collapse of Banco Espirito Santo, but would apply to all banks.

The country’s biggest bank collapse still haunts its financial system three years on as Novo Banco still runs the risk of being liquidated if an agreed sale to U.S. fund Lonestar fails.

The sale hinges on a so-called liability management exercise, or a heavily discounted bond buyback, that the bank has to perform first to generate additional capital worth 500 million euros.

A group of bondholders has opposed the terms, threatening to block the operation. ($1 = 0.8365 euros) (Writing By Andrei Khalip, editing by Axel Bugge/Jeremy Gaunt)

Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.

Go to Source