UK - Shell has been accused of "unprecedented misconduct" for misleading the market over the extent of its oil and gas reserves.
The Financial Services Authority confirmed it was fining the oil giant £17m for “market abuse” following the recalculation of its energy stocks.
Shell’s “recategorisation” of 4470m barrels of oil earlier this year wiped £2.9bn off the firm’s market value.
The 25% downgrade of oil reserves sparked investor criticism and led to the departure of chairman, Sir Philip Watts.
The subsequent FSA regulatory inquiry concluded that Shell was guilty of “particularly serious” market abuse and of breaching listing rules.
Shell was found to have made false or misleading announcements about its reserves between 1998 and 2003, and failed - despite warnings - to correct the statements until the period January 9 to May 24 this year.
FSA enforcement director Andrew Proctor said timely and accurate disclosure was “fundamental” to maintaining the integrity of the UK’s financial markets.
He said: “The size of the penalty in this case reflects the seriousness of Shell’s misconduct and the impact it had on markets and shareholders.”
Shell, which still faces legal action from investors, is set to update shareholders on September 22 on its plans to improve its corporate governance.
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