Business Briefs - April 16

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s City watchdog, has fined Bank of New York Mellon (BNY) £126 million for failing to keep customer money safe during the financial crisis.

The fine was levied on the bank’s London branch and on Bank of New York Mellon International for breaches that spanned nearly six years from November 2007 to August 2013.

BNY is the world’s biggest custody bank, whose business is looking after financial assets such as stocks and bonds for customers.

BNY said the fine was fully covered by pre-existing legal reserves and no clients suffered any loss as a result of the issues identified by the FCA.

The FTSE 100 surged to a fresh all-time high yesterday, buoyed by oil and retail stocks.

Next, Dixons Carphone and Sainsbury’s were among stocks on the front foot as the top flight closed up 21.5 at a record 7,096.8. It also set a new intraday high of 7,111.7.

A rise in the price of Brent crude to nearly $60 a barrel was also a factor as BP improved 4.85p to 475.8p and Royal Dutch Shell lifted 36p to 2122p.

Money spent on advertising in the UK reached its highest level in a decade during the past year, with further increases forecast.

The latest Bellwether report, published today by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) predicts a 4.2 per cent increase in UK advertising spend in the coming 12 months. This follows a tenth successive quarter of upward revisions to marketing budgets, extending the current run of expansion to two-and-a-half years.

Figures for the three months to the end of March – which typically marks the end of the budgeting year for advertising – found more than 27 per cent of those surveyed had increased their marketing budget during the first quarter. About 15 per cent signalled a fall, giving a positive net balance of 11.8 per cent.

The figure marked improvement on the 6.1 per cent balance reported in the final quarter of 2014.

The Bruichladdich Islay distillery, has doubled sales while French owner Remy Cointreau saw organic revenue edge marginally up in its latest financial year.

Paris-listed Remy, which acquired Bruichladdich for £58 million in 2012, said it was now reaping the benefits of a strategy it has pursued with the distiller in the last two years.

Its plans have centred on doubling the production at the island distillery, positioning its brands in upmarket outlets, and achieving greater efficiency in marketing.

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