UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

Press Round-up – March 8


Osborne urged to ignore calls to spend
A report published on Thursday by accountancy firm PwC will urge British finance minister George Osborne to bank any one-off improvement in the public finances this year rather than attempt to use the spare cash to prop up growth. (Times)

Green tax must be cut to save companies, says Cable
British Business Secretary Vince Cable is pushing finance minister George Osborne to scrap a 740 million pound environmental burden on the UK’s business in this month’s budget. (Independent)

GE expects growth in Latin America to overtake Asia
General Electric expects revenue growth in its industrial business in regions such as Latin America to overtake that of its traditional growth engine of Asia, led by China and India, in 2012. (FT)

Millions to be hit by jump in mortgages
Millions of British home owners are likely to see the cost of their mortgages rise – even though Thursday marks the third anniversary of interest rates being cut to an historic low. (Times)

Press Round-up – March 7


RBS should be split up, says Cable
British Business Secretary Vince Cable has called for state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland to be broken up to create a vehicle for lending to small companies, as ministers scramble for ways to unblock credit lines to the sector.  (FT)

Osborne makes budget pledge to small firms
British finance minister George Osborne has promised businesses that credit easing, the government’s long-awaited plan for getting cheap loans to small businesses, would be under way by the budget, as anxious financial markets suffered their worst day’s trading since December. (Guardian)

Press Round-up – March 6


Regulators consider Libor overhaul
UK regulators and global banks are discussing a potentially far-reaching overhaul of the calculation and regulation of interbank lending rates, amid claims that the benchmark for $350 trillion contracts worldwide may have been subject to manipulation.  (FT)

Print room scam insider traders made £1 million
An alleged insider-trading ring made more than 1 million pounds using secret share tips stolen from the printing rooms of two of the City’s biggest investment banks, a court heard yesterday. (Times)

Press Round-up – March 5


Banks still long way from completing “living wills”
Banks are a long way from finishing the “living wills” that spell out how they can be stabilised or shut down in a crisis before a June deadline, with European and Japanese banks far behind their U.S. and UK counterparts, according to a survey by Ernst & Young. (FT)

Millions to be affected by higher mortgages
Mortgage bills are to rise for millions of households after Britain’s biggest home lender, Halifax, announced an interest rate increase that will cost average borrowers at least 16 pounds extra a month. (Times)

Press Round-up – March 2


A380 wing cracks related to UK design fault
Wing cracks that have grounded the Airbus 380 superjumbo have been identified as the fault of design engineers at the manufacturer’s state-of-the-art facility in England. (Times)

Osborne to defy calls to remove tax rate
British finance minister George Osborne is to defy calls for the removal of the 50 pence upper rate on income tax and will instead instigate a clampdown on wealthy homeowners in an attempt to demonstrate that the rich cannot avoid Britain’s austerity programme.   (FT)

Press Round-up – March 1


50p tax rate is delaying UK recovery, say businesses
The 50 pence higher rate of income tax is “damaging the economy” and delaying the recovery from recession, more than 500 entrepreneurs and business owners warn on Thursday. (Telegraph)

Shareholder warns Murdoch will lose BSkyB position
One of BSkyB’s biggest investors has warned that James Murdoch’s exit from News International suggests he will soon lose his position as chairman of the pay-TV broadcaster. (Telegraph)

Press Round-up – February 29


BTG takes steps towards listing
BTG Pactual has mandated Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan to help manage its initial public offering as it tries to build one of the biggest independent emerging market investment banks. (FT)

Google in EU showdown over privacy rules
Google has found itself on a collision course with European regulators after a provisional finding that its new privacy policy breaches European law. (FT)

from MacroScope:

There be feudin’ at the BoE

The once-good relationship between Bank of England Governor Mervyn King and his most likely successor, Deputy Governor Paul Tucker, is coming  under increasing strain, according to a new book by former Daily Telegraph journalist Dan Conaghan.  It  alleges   King’s management style and and alleged disdain for the financial markets is to blame.

While the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee remains reasonably collegiate, on other matters King more than lives up to the description from former chancellor Alistair Darling that he is ‘incredibly stubborn’, says Conaghan, who now worksas an asset manager.

Press Round-up – February 28


Data show ECB loan spur for bond rally
Italian and Spanish banks accelerated their sovereign debt purchases by a record monthly amount in January, underlining how the use of cheap funding from the European Central Bank has contributed to a bond rally among peripheral euro zone countries.   (FT)

Prudential pays small sum to UK taxman
Prudential, the UK insurer which on Sunday confirmed it is considering moving its headquarters to Hong Kong, has paid just 234 million pounds in UK tax over the last five years.  (Telegraph)

Press Round-up – February 27


UK’S Prudential may move to Hong Kong
Prudential, one of Britain’s oldest insurers, is considering plans to uproot its headquarters from London to Hong Kong amid concerns about the impact of new European capital adequacy regulations. (FT)
HSBC set to claw back ‘mis-selling’ bonuses
HSBC, Britain’s largest bank, is set to claw back thousands of pounds of bonuses from executives after the mis-selling of nearly 300 million pounds of long term care bonds to elderly customers.(Telegraph)
Lloyds and RBS may tap ECB’s LTRO funds
Britain’s two part-nationalised banks, Lloyds  and RBS, plan to tap the European Central Bank’s special three-year funding scheme for a combined amount of about 15 billion euros, on a par with some of the euro zone’s largest banks. (FT)

Wells Fargo set for further expansion
Wells Fargo plans to increase the size of its wealth management and insurance divisions through acquisitions as well as buying more assets from shrinking European banks, its chief executive says. (FT)