Your Weekly Commercial Awareness Update – w/c 24th September 2018

Your Weekly Commercial Awareness Update – w/c 24th September 2018

Here are this week’s headlines, brought to you by our Student Commercial Awareness Team:

Do Banks protect us enough from scams?

Reported by Zara Smith

It has come to light that £500m has been stolen from Bank customers by scammers and fraudsters, over only six months. Not all this money was covered and so could not be repaired to the customers.

The banks suggested this money has been used to fund terrorism and crimes. “The criminals behind it target their victims indiscriminately and the proceeds go on to fund terrorism, people smuggling and drug trafficking, whether or not the individual is refunded.” Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, suggested.

Unauthorised fraud is repayable back to the customers. This is because the payments were not authorised by the account holder; was a payment carried out by an unauthorised third party. Luckily, £358m was able to be repaid back to the customers.

However, authorised push payment (APP) scams do not cover any losses for the account holder in these types of scams. APP is when a customer pays for something, but they never receive the goods they believe they have paid for, e.g. payment for a holiday. In this case customers lost £145m through APP scams.

Other popular scams are when they pose as the account holders bank or even the police, and trick them into sending money. This has been reported, on average, to cause a loss of £11,402.

Banks have said to be acting inadequately in response to scams and the consequent losses. They are on the increase; customers have been warned to remain vigilant and check directly with their banks about any unusual transactions.

For more information, see Sky News.

Identity of Novichok agent revealed

Reported by Anna-Mei Harvey

Investigative journalism sites, The Insider and Bellingcat have claimed to have identified one of the Russian suspects previously believed to be Ruslan Boshirov.

The journalists believe that the real name of Boshirov is in fact Colonel Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga, a decorated intelligence officer from the Russian military.

Since the Salisbury poisoning in March, the Home Office and British government have firmly pinned the blame on Russia. It has been claimed that the attack on the Skripals was the work of two spies who, until this point, have denied any and all involvement claiming instead to have been foreign tourists. The Kremlin has also firmly rejected any and all claims it was involved in the nerve agent poisoning denying that it sent the orders to carry out the attack.

Chepiga is believed to hold the Hero of the Russian Federation award given to him around four years ago which coincidently coincided with the initial targeting of the Ukraine by Russia. The medal is thought to be issued personally by the president to Russian heroes “as recognition of services to the state and the people of Russia involving a heroic deed.”

At this stage both the Home Office and Scotland Yard have declined when asked to comment further on the claims. It is however understood that the agencies will be investigating these claims further and are taking them seriously especially since Scotland Yard have released statements expressing their belief that the previously identified suspects were in fact using aliases.

For more information, see The Guardian and Sky News.

Comcast outbids Fox in auction for Sky

Reported by Rui Ci Lee

US cable giant Comcast has outbid Rupert Murdoch’s Fox in the bidding war for Sky TV. The battle to takeover Sky, Europe’s leading direct-to-consumer media business, has played out for almost two years. It began in December 2016 when Fox made its first bid for the 61% in Sky. Fox already holds 39% of shares in Sky.

The UK Takeover Panel which regulates merger and acquisition activities, had intervened in the battle for the London-listed Sky by setting out guidelines for a three-rounds auction process. It is not common for the Panel invoke this procedure to conclude takeover battles in the UK, with there being only three such situations since 2007.

One example would be the £6.2 billion sale of Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus to India’s Tata Steel in 2008. The procedure was invoked in the bid for Sky when neither Comcast nor Fox declared their latest bids best-and-final with just two weeks left before the end of the 60-day offer period.

Comcast’s bid for £17.28 per share beat Fox’s offer of £15.67 per share. On Wednesday 26 September 2018, Fox announced that it will sell its minority stake in Sky to Comcast for about £12 billion. The fight for Sky is painted against the backdrop of the battle in the entertainment industry as the rise of Netflix and Amazon forces media companies to innovate their distribution, technology, and content production.

The takeover of Sky will help Comcast with its home market in the US dwindling, seeing how Sky boasts 23 million subscribers and Premier League football rights.

Read more at BBC, Guardian, Reuters, and the Financial Times.

Beckham to avoid prosecution for speeding

Reported by Jutha Cheewat

Beckham will not be prosecuted according to his lawyer, Nick Freeman. The former England football player has been accused of speeding in a 40-mph zone, in January. He then pleaded not guilty in August.

Nick has been known as a celebrity lawyer ‘Mr Loophole’. He argued on the issue of technicality in relation to the late delivery of the notice of intended prosecution (within the 14 days).

He added “If the Crown can’t prove that the letter was sent by first class post then the concept that it arrives in two working days goes out of the window,”.

The trial was a success.

District Judge Barbara Barnes at Westminster Magistrates Court said she was satisfied with the evidence provided. English law recognises and consider extraneous circumstances including postal deficit.

According to the Manchester Evening news, the judge concluded that;

“I find that on the balance of probabilities it’s more likely than not this NIP was actually not served on the registered keeper of the vehicle within the 14 days as required.

What I find is the fact it did not arrive in the post room of Bentley Motors Ltd until February 7 and therefore was one day outside the legal limit.

The defendant in this case cannot be convicted.”

This is a prime example of how the adjectival law is applied and its impact on the final result in practice.

Read more at BBC, Guardian, and the Manchester Evening News.

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