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Daily News Roundup: Friday, 19th October 2018

Posted: 19th October 2018


Name checks to begin on bank payments

As part of plans to combat fraud, the name of someone receiving a payment will be as important as their bank details for the first time from next summer. The plans, which have been revealed by Pay UK, will alert the sender if the name does not match the account. It is designed to combat cases when fraudsters mimic a genuine business and attempt to trick people into sending money to an account controlled by the con-artist. UK Finance said the latest plans provided “some useful clarity” and that the industry was fighting fraud on many fronts. Gareth Shaw, from the consumer organisation Which?, added: “With losses to bank transfer fraud increasing dramatically, it's clear this measure can't come in soon enough.”

HSBC set to become first foreign company to list in China

HSBC is set to become the first foreign company to trade on a Chinese bourse under plans by a new stock exchange link between London and Shanghai. The plan is for HSBC to issue Chinese Depositary Receipts (CDRs). “We are studying the proposed framework for the listing of Chinese Depositary Receipts under the Shanghai-London Stock Connect but cannot comment further at this time,” a spokesperson for HSBC said.

BNP Paribas cuts staff in London

BNP Paribas has told its staff in London that it plans to make up to 40 redundancies as a result of the market turmoil which has hit profits at trading desks in the Square Mile. The French bank also intends to cut back on hiring. None of the job losses are said to be related to Brexit.

OakNorth attracts interest from Saudi-backed fund

Softbank’s Vision Fund has announced plans to invest hundreds of millions in British digital-only bank OakNorth, which would make Saudi Arabia’s sovereign investment fund an indirect shareholder. If the deal goes through OakNorth would likely become the first UK company sold to a Saudi-backed investor since the alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Santander unveils office plans

Santander has unveiled plans for a new state-of-the-art campus to replace its offices in Bootle, Merseyside. The £75m complex will house around 2,500 staff.

Ariane de Rothschild on why she wants to shake up private banking

The FT carries an interview with Ariane de Rothschild, head of Edmond de Rothschild, who explains why she wants to shake-up private banking.


BBVA and Anthemis launch London incubator

BBVA and fintech-focused venture capital firm Anthemis have teamed up to launch a joint venture builder for London fintech start-ups. The partnership aims to find start-ups that can create the next big technologically-innovative products in financial services, deploying capital and resources to help them achieve their goal.

Private equity deals fail to keep up pre-crisis success

Analysis by Cambridge Associates and Bain & Company has shown that increased competition has trimmed the number of successful private equity deals.


German investigation into tax wheeze spreads to Spain’s Santander

Santander has become embroiled in a fraud investigation in Germany into a share-swapping scheme that allegedly allowed investors to reclaim billions of euros of tax they never paid.

Libor traders facing jail

Two former Deutsche Bank traders have been found guilty of rigging Libor rates to boost profits. Senior New York trader Matthew Connolly and London-based colleague Gavin Black were convicted in New York of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Spanish banks hit by supreme court ruling on mortgage fees

Shares in Spanish banks fell sharply after Spain’s supreme court ruled they should pay certain fees on mortgages, potentially costing the sector an estimated €4.5bn in compensation.

NAB head questioned

Andrew Thorburn, the head of National Australia Bank, is set to be questioned by federal politicians in Australia about the “appalling behaviour” uncovered at the banking royal commission.

Deutsche Bank names Sewing confidant as top transaction banker

Deutsche Bank has announced that Stefan Hoops is to replace John Gibbons as its top transaction banker at its investment banking arm.


Budget airline suspends operations

The low-cost airline Cobalt, which has operated flights in and out of Cyprus since 2016 - including flying UK holiday-makers to the island - has suspended operations as of midnight on Wednesday. According to reports, Cobalt had failed to reach a deal with a potential new investor.


Rics: Construction boosted by renewed growth

Latest figures from Rics show the UK’s construction sector remains buoyant in the wake of rising workloads. In the last three months 20% more chartered surveyors reported a rise rather than a fall in their workloads, thanks to strong take-up of activity in the private housing and infrastructure sectors. Rics found that the near-term outlook for the construction industry “remains upbeat”, but respondents pointed to a softening of growth over the year ahead, with the proportion of house surveyors expecting a rise in activity dropping in the last quarter from 41% to 33%.


UK regulators unveil joint plan to protect savers

The Financial Conduct Authority and the Pensions Regulator have unveiled plans to ensure millions of retirement savers get better value for money on their pension investments. The regulators identified four issues to be addressed: people struggling to maximise their pension savings; money not being managed according to savers’ needs; poorly looked-after pensions; and a lack of trust and understanding undermining pension decisions.

Ombudsman rebuked over review

The Financial Ombudsman Service has been accused by the Treasury Select Committee chairwoman Nicky Morgan of focussing more on how cases are investigated than whether outcomes had been properly decided. Her criticism follows a review of Britain's highest financial arbiter.

No cliff-edge on derivatives

Olivier Guersent, an aide to Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission’s head of financial services, has said there will be no cliff-edge drop for derivatives if Britain leaves the EU without a deal. He made the remarks after Mr Dombrovskis had said that derivatives clearing was an area of concern.

Nearly half of insurance claims disputed

According to research from insurance company Mactavish, large commercial insurance claims can often take years to resolve and nearly half are disputed by insurers. Mactavish said the increasing complexity of insurance meant many companies do not understand the risks they face and may not have appropriate cover.

Swiss Re faces $1.1bn hit from natural catastrophes

Swiss Re, the reinsurance company, has announced it will take a $1.1bn hit from natural catastrophes in the third quarter of the year. Separately, Nikolaus von Bomhard, former CEO at Munich Re, is to return to the reinsurer as its chairman just two years after he left the company.

Invesco to buy OppenheimerFunds from MassMutual for $5.7bn

Invesco has agreed to buy rival Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance’s OppenheimerFunds unit for $5.7bn. The deal will lift Invesco’s assets under management to $1.2trn.


Amgen invests £50m in gene-reading company Oxford Nanopore

Amgen, the U.S. biotech group, has invested £50m in Oxford Nanopore, a UK developer of gene-reading machines.


Rank takes casino hit

Rank Group said takings at the company’s venues fell 6.1% for the four weeks to mid-October, with its chain of Grosvenor Casinos seeing a drop in like-for-like revenue of 7.2%. Meanwhile, sales at its Mecca bingo halls fell 5%. However, Rank recorded a 46% growth in like-for-like takings at its newly-acquired Spanish bingo house Yo Bingo.

GVC finance boss moves to private equity

The CFO of GVC Holdings is to leave the gambling operator after less than seven months in the role. Paul Bowtell is leaving to join Alchemy Partners.


Publicis posts third quarter improvement

Publicis said third quarter net revenue rose 1.3% to about €2.20bn (£1.9bn), excluding the impact of acquisitions and foreign exchange. The performance was a slight improvement from the unexpected drop in net revenue the advertising company faced in the previous quarter because of poor results by the group’s U.S. healthcare communications business.


Amazon creates 1,000 highly skilled jobs

Amazon has unveiled plans to create more than 1,000 jobs in the UK. At least 600 “highly skilled” roles will be added in Manchester working on software, machine learning and AWS, its cloud computing business. The company will also create 250 and 180 jobs at its development centres in Edinburgh and Cambridge respectively.


Ranks of UK ultra-rich swells

A report by Credit Suisse shows the number of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) in Britain - those with fortunes of more than $50m (£38m) - rose over the 12 months to summer 2018 by 8.5% to 4,670, while the average Briton saw their wealth, including property, grow by 1% to £213,000.


Banker turns Uber driver to land float

According to reports, Michael Grimes, head of global technology investment banking for Morgan Stanley, has been moonlighting as an Uber driver outside of working hours, in an attempt to win the bank a lucrative role in a potential flotation of the company. The Telegraph points out that it is an unlikely side job for a veteran banker of several big tech flotations, including Facebook and LinkedIn, earning a multimillion-dollar salary.

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