INSURANCE

AIG exits stricter oversight

A panel of federal regulators has voted to remove insurance giant American International Group from the tougher government oversight that had been imposed on the company in the wake of its near collapse in 2008.

The Financial Stability Oversight Council said late Friday it had voted 6-3 to rescind the designation that AIG could pose a threat to the U.S. financial system if it faced financial distress in the future.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen both supported the move.

The decision represents one of the most high-profile examples of the push by the Trump administration to dismantle what it sees as unnecessary regulatory burdens erected following the 2008 financial crisis.

AIG’s near collapse led to the largest government bailout of the crisis.

FITNESS

Insider trading investigated

A former executive at a major Minnesota-based fitness firm and eight other people are accused in a new federal indictment of using insider information to make nearly $900,000 by scooping up stocks before word of the company’s sale pushed share prices higher in 2015, according to charging documents unsealed Friday in Chicago.

Shane Fleming, 54, the then-vice president for corporate sales at Life Time Fitness Inc., allegedly passed the insider tip about the company’s pending sale earlier in 2015 to a friend.

That friend then allegedly told his girlfriend and other friends.

All nine defendants are charged with conspiracy and each faces at least one count of securities fraud.

A conviction on a single fraud count carries a maximum 20-year prison term.

The company share price rose from around $58 on March 5, 2015, to around $70 one day later after a newspaper first reported the pending sale.

Life Time Fitness, which owns fitness centers across North America (including a Beachwood location), officially announced on March 16 of the same year that two private equity firms were buying all company shares for $72.10 per share.

AUTOS

VW to take massive charge

Volkswagen says it expects to take charges of about $2.9 billion in the third quarter to cover the costs of buying back and retrofitting diesel cars in North America.

The German automaker said Friday that it is increasing provisions for a buyback and retrofitting program for 2-liter TDI vehicles that was part of settlements over its diesel emissions scandal. It said that the program “is proving to be far more technically complex and time consuming.”

The company has been under a cloud since 2015 over its equipping of diesel cars with illegal software that enabled cheating on U.S. emissions tests.

Volkswagen has agreed to more than $20 billion in fines and civil settlements over the scandal, and it may have additional problems on the horizon in the United States.

RIDE HAILING

Uber, UK officials set meeting

London’s transport authority said Friday its commissioner will meet with the chief executive of Uber next week.

The meeting with Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi comes after London transit authorities decided to strip the ride-hailing service of its license to operate in the British capital.

Uber said its new chief executive was “looking forward” to the meeting in London and wanted to work with city authorities to “make things right.”

The city’s transportation agency, Transport for London, said last week it would not renew Uber’s license when it expires Sept. 30, citing a lack of corporate responsibility.

Among the factors considered by the regulator was Uber’s “approach to reporting serious criminal offenses” and its use of software designed to evade the authorities.

Uber has said it plans to appeal the ruling and accused London’s regulator of caving in to special interests “who want to restrict consumer choice.”

Compiled from staff and wire reports.