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Inside the lavish lives of the billionaire family behind Boohoo, the fast-fashion giant called out in an investigation into workers being paid just $4 an hour at suppliers’ factories

Mahmud Kamani (L) is photographed with rapper Snoop Dogg, business partner Carol Kane, and his son, Samir.
Mahmud Kamani (L) is photographed with rapper Snoop Dogg, business partner Carol Kane, and his son, Samir.

Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for bohooo

  • Boohoo is the UK’s fast-growing fast-fashion retailer that was set up in 2006 by Mahmud Kamani and his business partner Carol Kane and is now valued at more than $4.3 billion

  • The company has come under intense scrutiny this month after a Sunday Times investigation found that a factory supplying its clothes was paying workers as little £3.50 ($4.37) an hour and flouting COVID-19 social distancing rules.

  • The company said it is investigating the report and described the conditions as “totally unacceptable.”

  • Here’s the story of Kamani, the man behind the empire, and his glamorous life with his wife and three sons. 

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The rise of the Kamani family is frequently described by the British tabloids as one of the UK’s great “rags to riches” tales. 

Mahmud Kamani, the patriarch of the family, is the 55-year-old billionaire behind Boohoo, the UK’s fast-fashion clothing company that has achieved explosive growth in the past few years and is considered to be one of the few retailers to have dodged the retail doom and gloom. 

Kamani, who is now one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country and has worked his way up the UK’s rich list to be worth just over $1 billion, started his career by selling cheap clothes to market stallholders and high-street brands in the UK

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FCA to tell lenders to extend payment freeze on car finance and high-cost credit

New and nearly new cars are displayed for sale on a forecourt of a car dealership. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
New and nearly new cars are displayed for sale on a forecourt of a car dealership. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Friday indicated that it will tell rent-to-own firms, car finance providers, and pawnbrokers to keep offering payment freezes to borrowers in financial difficulty in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Under extended proposals, customers who have yet to request a payment freeze would also have until 31 October to do so, the FCA said.

Under a payment holiday announced in April, the FCA ordered firms to give drivers a three-month freeze on payments if the pandemic had left them in temporary financial difficulty. It told firms not to end agreements or repossess vehicles for such customers.

READ MORE: Quiet end to the week for stocks as US coronavirus numbers in focus

Firms offering rent-to-own, “buy now, pay later” and pawnbroking agreements were also expected to provide a three-month payment freeze for struggling customers.

Customers who have already sought support under these initiatives would be entitled to further support, such as payment deferrals or reductions, for a further three months, the watchdog said.

The ban on repossessions should also continue until 31 October, it advised.

READ MORE: ‘Green recovery’ risks voter backlash unless it boosts households and jobs

The FCA said that it had opened a consultation on the proposals and welcomed comments from industry on them by the close of business on 6 July, noting that it expected to finalise the guidance to

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No politics, please! Hong Kong finance professionals impose self-censorship after security law

By Sumeet Chatterjee and Scott Murdoch

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A year ago, growing anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong were a hot topic in conversations among bankers, lawyers and other investment professionals in one of the world’s biggest and freest financial hubs.

On Thursday, two days after China imposed a controversial new security law on the city, you could almost hear a pin drop. Bankers were tight lipped, shunning any mention of the legislation over the phone or messaging apps in a sign of how much disquiet it has triggered.

More than half a dozen people Reuters spoke to said they chose not to talk about the impact of the law on their businesses with their colleagues and external contacts, though there had been no such official instruction from their respective organizations.

The sweeping legislation pushed the semi-autonomous city, which is the regional home for a large number of global financial companies, on to a more authoritarian path.

The law punishes crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.

While it doesn’t directly impact the financial sector, its provisions including giving a special police unit extra powers of search, electronic surveillance and asset seizure that have stoked concerns among some professionals.

‘IT COULD CHANGE THE WAY WE COMMUNICATE’

Both Hong Kong and Chinese government officials have said the law is vital to plug gaping holes in national security defences exposed by months of sometimes violent protests against the local government and Beijing

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To His Own Surprise, Crypto Volume Pumper’s Business Is Still Thriving

Eleven months ago, Alexey Andryunin was sure his business was not long for this world. 

A 22-year-old math student from Moscow, Andryunin built a business inflating trade volumes in little-known crypto tokens issued during the 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) craze. In a head-turning interview CoinDesk published last July, Andryunin candidly described the underworld of micro-cap tokens and exchanges surviving on artificial volumes ginned up by paid “market makers” (a traditional finance term used loosely in this context.)

At the time, Andryunin thought his business was heading to a decline: ICOs were moribund, the token market was shrinking and a new wave of regulatory attention was about to scour the shadier corners of the crypto space. 

Related: BitMEX Owner HDR Appoints Former Bank of China Exec to Board

He now says he was mistaken. Business is growing again as token promoters pay him to pump their projects so they’ll be accepted on crypto exchanges. It doesn’t hurt that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rise in investors looking for the next crypto opportunity.

“We were about to switch to big data analysis, but we didn’t have a moment to start there [because] the crypto market suddenly turned around to us,” he told CoinDesk recently. 

In addition to inflating volumes, his firm is providing all kinds of services to token projects. It will code apps when the founders of the projects have nothing but an idea, Andryunin said – for a price.

Flashback: For $15K, He’ll Fake Your Exchange Volume

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