Nissan faces SEC probe over executive pay after Ghosn arrest | Business News

The US Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Nissan over executive pay, the automaker has said.

The probe from the US financial watchdog compounds problems facing the car manufacturing giant, still taking in the impact of the arrest of former chairman Carlos Ghosn over alleged financial misconduct.

Announcement of the investigation comes days after the French government confirmed that Mr Ghosn had resigned as chief executive and chairman of car maker Renault.

Mr Ghosn faces two charges of under-stating his pay over the course of eight years, and a third related to an alleged scheme to transfer personal losses to the Japanese automaker’s books.

Mr Ghosn remains in jail in Tokyo, having failed to post bail twice.

Carlos Ghosn is 64 and has driven recovery at the Renault and Nissan brands
Carlos Ghosn has denied wrongdoing

Nissan, which said it began investigating Ghosn after a whistleblower report, also faces charges over the alleged under-reporting of compensation in Japan.

“I can confirm that we have received an inquiry from the SEC, and are cooperating fully,” said Nissan spokesman Nicholas Maxfield.

He declined to provide further details.

According to Bloomberg News, the SEC investigation will focus on whether Nissan disclosed executive pay correctly and had adequate controls to prevent improper payments.

Ghosn has denied any wrongdoing, but Nissan moved quickly after his arrest to remove him as chairman.

The Franco-Brazilian-Lebanese tycoon has also been removed from leadership posts at Mitsubishi Motors and Renault.

The three automakers form an alliance that was forged and led by Ghosn.

France’s finance minister said on Sunday that a severance package for Mr Ghosn should not be “exorbitant” and that the French state would follow the matter closely.

France’s CGT union has estimated Ghosn’s severance package to be worth €25-€28m (£22m-24m), in addition to an annual pension of €800,000 (£690,000).

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