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Universal fined £90,000

The Financial Services Authority has fined Universal Salvage £90,000 for a breach of its Listing Rules. Martin Hynes, the former CEO of Universal, was personally fined £10,000 as well. He has since resigned from the company.

The FSA found that Universal had failed to notify the market of the loss of a major contract with Direct Line. The obligation was triggered on April 16, 2002, but Universal did not make the announcement until seven days later when it also reported worse-than-expected trading figures – at which point the share price fell by 55%.

FSA Director of enforcement Andrew Procter said: “The delay, and therefore this enforcement action, could have been avoided if the company had taken responsible preparatory measures when it first emerged the contract might not be renewed.”

The FSA gave credit to both Universal Salvage and Hynes for their co-operation in the investigation.

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