The pound has fallen to its lowest level against the dollar and the euro this year, as mounting fears that Britain is at risk of crashing out of the EU without a deal prompted an across-the-board sell-off in the world’s financial markets.

Sterling fell sharply against all major currencies as investors sought to insure themselves against the growing possibility that talks between London and Brussels break down over the coming months.


Three senior executives at a company that leased fire engines to London Fire Brigade have been banned from the accounting profession for a total of 42 years for misconduct and for activities in some cases “facilitating fraud”.

John Shannon, former chief executive of Assetco; Raymond Flynn, its former chief financial officer; and Matthew Boyle, who was financial controller, also were fined a total of £500,000.

The sanctions are the most stringent to have been handed out against company directors by the Financial Reporting Council, which regulates accountants. The council said that the actions of the three executives were the most serious misconduct it had pursued.


A fifth of shareholders at Investec have rebelled over the financial services company’s plan to reappoint KPMG as its joint auditor, following a string of high-profile controversies involving the accounting firm’s South African business.

Investec, which is listed in Johannesburg and London, made the unusual decision to publish a lengthy statement accompanying the results of its annual shareholder meeting setting out why it had decided to stick with KPMG.

This follows a series of revelations over the past 18 months about KPMG’s practices in South Africa — including its work for the Gupta family, who have been accused of corruption — and for VBS, a mutual lender that collapsed in March.