Thames Water fined £9.7m

Ofwat has fined Thames Water £9.7m, equivalent to 0.7 per cent of turnover, for misreporting information and delivering poor service to customers. This is a final notice after the initial proposal to fine the company in September 2007.

The fine represents £8.3m, which is 0.6 per cent of 2006-07 turnover, for misreporting information on customer service; and £1.4m, 0.1 per cent of 2005-06 turnover, for failing to meet the minimum service standards. Ofwat cites deficient systems and low business priority on reporting non-financial data led to Thames Water misreporting customer service information.

Ofwat chief executive Regina Finn said: ‘The penalty reflects the importance we attach to reliable, accurate and complete information and gives a clear signal to both the company and the water sector that non-compliance is not a cheap or easy option.’

Thames Water welcomed the news, which it said reduced the proposed figure of £12.5m in recognition of earlier representations and cooperation with Ofwat investigations.

Thames Water chief executive David Owens said: ‘We are pleased that Ofwat have accepted our representations on the level of the fine. This is still a high figure considering that the failures were unintentional, rather than deliberate, but we welcome the reduction.’