Jun 25, 2019

Southern Water fined for ‘serious failures’

Southern Water has taken a whopping £126m financial hit because of "Serious failures" in its sewage treatment operations and deliberate misreporting of its performance. The payout is grist to the mill of Labour's Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, who want to renationalise water companies in England. Critics have blamed a lack of spending since privatisation and a system that allows sewage to be dumped into waterways for a deterioration in water quality. Private equity owners - such as UBS Asset Management and JPMorgan Asset Management at Southern - are already under scrutiny. This is not Southern's first run-in either: it was criticised by the pensions regulator in December, was one of four water companies singled out by Ofwat for "Basic data errors" in 2017 and was fined £2m in 2016 and £20m in 2008.

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