News in Brief – 21 May

FD under investigation

Philip Easterman, former FD of Westminster Healthcare, is being investigated by the stock exchange for allegedly selling company shares a month before it reported a profits dive. The English ICA member resigned on the same day last week as the profits warning, sending the shares plunging by 66.5p. He sold his entire share holding on 28 April at 369p each, raising #79,200.

G7 moves to enforce tax

Finance ministers of the G7 countries have backed a major initiative to tackle harmful tax competition. The agreement allows a greater flow of information between states to curb international tax evasion and avoidance.

Wilde Sapte partners quit

Arthur Andersen’s merger with Wilde Sapte has hit another snag. Two of the law firm’s leading asset finance partners have left to join rivals Allen & Overy. David Smith and Mario Jacovides voted for the merger, and Smith was one of the Wilde Sapte partners in line for the status and pay of an Andersen Worldwide partner.

Jersey appointment

Richard Pirquet, a former managing partner of Ernst & Young’s Jersey office has been nominated to serve on the island’s financial watchdog committee.

Devolution promise for Scots

Scottish devolution minister Henry McLeish moved to ensure the Edinburgh parliament has a powerful Westminster-style Public Accounts Committee. He also protected the independence of the new Auditor General for Scotland.

UK tax is ‘too complex’

The UK’s complex tax system is threatening to bury small businesses in red tape, the Chartered Institute of Taxation has said. Delegates at the Tuesday’s agm called for a simpler system.

News editor wins again

Jon Bunn, Accountancy Age’s news editor, yesterday won ACCA’s annual award for the UK’s leading professional press accountancy journalist for the second year running.

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