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Daily News Roundup: Friday, 26th July 2019

Posted: 26th July 2019


Walkout threat hits bank compensation scheme

Business representatives have threatened to withdraw their support for a new banking compensation service for small companies unless it is overhauled. The business banking resolution service is aimed at companies too large to access the Financial Ombudsman Service but lacking the financial clout to pursue claims through the courts. But two of the groups closely involved in the design of the scheme have threatened to walk away unless their demands are met, Nikki Turner, director of SME Alliance, said she had suspended participation in the main steering group designing the new compensation service until such time as its eligibility criteria “is properly considered and revisited”. And the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on fair business banking said it would also leave the steering group unless wholesale changes are made. Kevin Hollinrake, co-chairman of the APPG, said there was an “impasse” between some business representatives and the seven major banks over various aspects of the new service. Chief among them is the exclusion from the process of anyone who has been through a previous banking redress scheme.

Metro Bank shares tumble as Hill steps down

Shares in Metro Bank fell to an all-time low yesterday, the day after the lender announced that co-founder Vernon Hill is to step down as chairman. Shares in Metro fell by 19% to 385p after it said that customers had pulled out £2bn this year following a big accounting error in January.

Barclays eyes Deutsche's prime finance book

Barclays is considering a $20bn portion of Deutsche Bank's prime brokerage business, as it continues to build up its business serving hedge funds.

Nationwide to double overdraft rates

Nationwide is to double overdraft rates after the Financial Conduct Authority banned fixed daily or monthly charges. The building society will charge a single interest rate of 39.9% on agreed overdrafts and remove fees on its main bank accounts.


Advent swoops on Cobham

Defence firm Cobham has accepted a £4bn takeover bid from American buyout specialist Advent International. But the deal could face political scrutiny, with some MPs wary of foreign takeovers in the British defence sector. Reflecting on the deal, the Telegraph’s Ben Marlow says other British businesses including Saga, ITV, and WPP are prime targets for private equity groups.


Eurozone prepares for interest rate cut

The European Central Bank has hinted it could cut interest rates to tackle a slowdown in the eurozone economy. It said a weak manufacturing sector and uncertainty about Brexit and trade threatened to derail growth in the bloc. The ECB, which kept interest rates on hold on Thursday, said it saw rates at present or lower levels until mid-2020. It is also considering other measures to support the eurozone, including resuming quantitative easing.

Profits fall at Permanent TSB

Pre-tax profit at Permanent TSB fell 50% to €28m (£25m), in the first six months of the year. The bank lost income on restructured loans sold late last year and put aside additional money to cover a fine relating to the tracker mortgage scandal.

TBC Bank founders resign

The founders of Georgian lender TBC Bank, which is listed on the London stock exchange, have resigned from its board after they were charged with laundering almost $17m.

Banks test faith of investors as show of public spirit wilts

Banks from 37 countries are struggling to agree on a new set of ‘equator principles’, raising the prospect that the existing principles will become worthless in the eyes of investors.


Nissan to cut 12,500 jobs worldwide

Nissan is cutting 12,500 jobs worldwide - more than double the amount previously announced. The Japanese car giant will reduce its production capacity and the number of models it produces by 10% by the end of 2022, but it did not say where the cuts will fall. It comes as the firm tries to shore up its finances amid weakening sales.

JLR falls further

A slump in sales and ongoing Brexit contingency planning have taken Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) further into the red, with the Coventry-based firm posting a £395m pre-tax loss and revenues of £5.07bn for the three months to June - on the back of global vehicle sales declining 11.6% to 128,615.


FCA staff not forced to cooperate with LCF review

Financial Conduct Authority employees will not be forced to meet with the leader of an independent investigation into the handling of collapsed mini-bond provider London Capital & Finance (LCF). In April it was announced an independent investigation would review the FCA's handling of LCF’s supervision and failure, with Dame Elizabeth Gloster heading up the process. The former judge said she was keen to hear from as many of those affected as possible and encouraged anyone who "wants to engage in the investigation" to get in touch. But a protocol outlining the ground rules of her inquiry shows employees at the regulator will not be obliged to meet with Dame Elizabeth as part of the investigation.

UK watchdog extends financial sector’s no-deal Brexit reprieve

The Financial Conduct Authority has extended the grace period for financial services firms to meet rules coming into force in the event of a no-deal Brexit - to December 2020.

Mastercard appeal goes to Supreme Court

Mastercard’s battle over a £14bn consumer rights claim is headed for the Supreme Court, after justices granted the US company leave to appeal. Mastercard faces Britain’s biggest class action over allegations that 46m consumers paid higher prices in the shops because of fees that Mastercard charged merchants in the 16 years to 2008.

Hedge fund Caxton moves headquarters from New York to London

Caxton Associates has told investors that its headquarters is now in London rather than New York, reflecting a recent burst of hiring in the hedge fund’s London office.

Tech platform SquareBook aims to entice more companies to list

Technology platform SquareBook is aiming to lure more companies to public markets by linking them directly with potential investors, sidestepping the investment banks that dominate the process.


AstraZeneca's cancer drugs boost sales

Cambridge-headquartered drugs giant AstraZeneca has posted bumper sales of its new cancer drugs, resulting in a 14% rise in sales to $5.7bn (£4.6bn) in the three months to the end of June. Sales at the firm’s oncology division bloomed 51% over the quarter - to $2.2bn.


Fuller’s toasts growing revenues

Following the sale of its beer business to Asahi earlier this year, London pub chain Fuller’s has reported strong revenue growth in its first full-year results on the back of strong gin and non-alcoholic drinks sales, and vegan and vegetarian meal options. Though pre-tax profits fell 40% to £29.1m following a £17m one-off costs bill, revenue for the full year to March 30 was up 7% to £431.1m.


Mail Online growth boosts DMGT

Strong growth for Mail Online offset a decline in business to business revenue at Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) in the nine months to June, with the publishing group posting a modest 2% decline in revenue. DMGT’s consumer division grew 2% over the period, boosted by a rise in advertising income.


House values grow by £11 per day

House values in the UK have grown by an average £11 a day since January, according to analysis by property website Zoopla. An average of £2,046 was added to each home in six months. Homeowners in the West Midlands saw the biggest increase, at £36.58 per day, but Londoners lost £71 daily.

Brexit uncertainty blamed for fall in commercial property investment

Investment in UK commercial property fell by a third in Q2, according to CoStar, with the amount spent on deals totalling £9.1bn in the three months to the end of June.


Retail sales decline again

Retail sales have fallen for the longest period in eight years, according to the latest CBI monthly Distributive Trades Survey, with sales volumes down for the third consecutive month in the year to July - the longest decline since 2011.


Spurs announce AIA sponsorship deal

Tottenham Hotspur has confirmed a new eight-year shirt sponsorship deal with AIA - worth £320m in total.


Economists draw up modern index of prosperity

Proposals have been drawn up by a team of Cambridge economists to replace GDP as the standard measure for national prosperity with one that includes social and environmental capital. Researchers at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy have published a first draft of principles that they believe will “improve economic measurement [and] guide effective economic policymaking”.

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