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Friday newspaper round-up: BP, RBS, John Lewis…

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08/03/2013
BP warns settlement costs to be 'significantly higher' from oil spill; RBS awards boss $700k bonus despite systems glitch; John Lewis staff share £210m bonus pot.

According to the Financial Times, oil giant BP has warned of settlement costs ‘significantly higher’ than $7.7bn in relation to its payout to business and individuals affected by the 2010 oil of spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In a note last week, the company forecasted the civil trial to cost it $7.7bn, but payments being made under the deal have come in higher than expected, the paper said.

According to The Guardian, the frontman of the UK bank Royal Bank of Scotland, Stephen Hester, is set to receive a bonus of 230,000 shares worth around £700,000 for his work in 2010. This will be the final payment of the only bonus he has been given since taking over the lender in 2008. The payment coincides with a new computer systems glitch that left customers without access to their accounts this week.

High Street department-store group John Lewis, owned by its employees, is to give its 84,700 staff an annual bonus worth 17% of their salary, The Guardian writes. On the average salary, this would equate to a bonus of £4,000. The payout totals £210.8m, up from £165.2m last year.

A former equities trader from Legal & General has been jailed for two years after the Financial Services Authority (FSA) secured its first prison sentence in connection with its biggest insider trading case on Thursday, reports The Times. Paul Milsom pleaded guilty to sharing information not known to the public about L&G’s dealings in UK-listed shares to stockbroker Graeme Shelley, who then placed spread bets or bought contracts for difference on the stocks, the paper said.

New accounting rules by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) could hit banks with billions of pounds in new losses, The Telegraph reports. The paper said that the IASB is setting out a set of rules changes that will require lenders to recognise losses far earlier in an attempt to make the financial system less prone to a crisis.

The Financial Times reports that Goldman Sachs has been identified as one of the weaker financial groups on Wall Street after stress tests by the Federal Reserve. The paper says that Goldman would suffer a $20bn loss in a hypothetical crisis and its core tier-one capital ratio would drop to 5.8%, close to the minimum requirement of 5%.

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