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Daily News Roundup: Friday, 7th September 2018

Posted: 7th September 2018

BANKING

Banks yet to pass on rate rise to savers

According to research provided by Moneyfacts, seven of the ten biggest banks have yet to pass on last month’s interest rate rise in full to savers for their most popular accounts. The research shows that the average rate for the most popular easy-access savings accounts has risen by 0.06 percentage points since the Bank of England upped rates. HSBC, NatWest, TSB and RBS increased rates for some of their easy-access savings accounts by 0.1 percentage points. Santander, Halifax and Bank of Scotland increased rates by the full 0.25. However, Lloyds Bank has not increased the rate for an easy-access account and Barclays upped one by 0.05 percentage points.

StanChart names ex-Commonwealth Bank executive as COO

Standard Chartered has appointed David Whiteing as its next chief operating officer (COO). The former Commonwealth Bank of Australia executive will start in Singapore next week. The bank also said it will announce a new role for current COO Doris Honold in “due course”. Michael Gorriz, group chief information officer, will continue to lead the group's digital innovation projects.

Monese secures $60m from investors

Digital lender Monese has raised $60m as investors continue to pile into fintech. The firm, whose backers include PayPal, targets those who struggle to get a traditional bank account and has now raised $76m since its launch in 2015. The Telegraph points out that, despite the massive investment in the sector, fintech start-ups have yet to make a serious challenge to UK high street banks. Analysis shows the top five banking apps most used by Brits are Halifax, Santander, Lloyds, Barclays, and NatWest.

Monzo “turning off” debit card top-ups

Digital bank Monzo has announced that it will not allow customers to top up their account with a debit card after October 2nd. Customers will instead have to add funds to their account with a bank transfer or having their salary paid in directly. The move is expected to save the bank £4m each year in top-up fees to third parties.

Tap into OneSavings

Richard Evans in the Telegraph’s Questor recommends investors buy shares in OneSavings Bank. He says they look undervalued given the bank’s strong growth.

INTERNATIONAL

Citigroup revamps investment banking operation

Citigroup has reorganised its investment banking operation, two days after announcing CFO John Gerspach would retire. Tyler Dickson and Manolo Falco will run a restructured version of the operation that combines the corporate and investment bank with the capital markets origination business. Jamie Forese, president of Citi and head of the Institutional Clients Group, said that the investment bank reshuffle was "separate from the changes announced earlier in the week".

Thiam rules out political career

Tidjane Thiam, the CEO of Credit Suisse, has ruled himself out as a candidate for political office in his native Ivory Coast. Mr Thiam said he intends to stay at the helm of the Swiss bank for some time.

AUTOMOTIVE

Ford recalls millions of vehicles

Ford is recalling around 2m cars in the US, Canada and Mexico, after a number of faulty seatbelt issues were discovered to be a potential fire hazard.

AVIATION

British Airways probes data theft

British Airways has revealed that it is investigating “as a matter of urgency” the theft of customer data from its website and mobile app. The airline said personal and financial details of customers making bookings had been compromised. About 380,000 transactions were affected, but the stolen data did not include travel or passport details.

CONSTRUCTION

Bovis hikes dividend after strong first-half

Bovis Homes thanked strong customer demand across all regions, low interest rates, healthy competition in the mortgage lending market and Help to Buy for its latest set of results. Profit before tax jumped 41% to £60.2m this year, up from £42.7m in the first half of 2017, leading the housebuilder to increase its interim dividend to 19p per share, an increase of 27%, along with a special dividend of £60m. The firm confirmed revenue of £432.2m between January and the end of June this year, up 1% on last year.

Crossrail delays could cost £20m

Transport for London has warned that £20m in net revenues could be lost because of delays to the full Crossrail route, running from London to Shenfield, Essex. London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, has said he is “keen to ascertain costs” arising from the construction and testing problems of Crossrail.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Brexit hitting equity fund outflows

Brexit uncertainty took UK equity fund outflows to £315m in July, according to fresh data from the Investment Association. Its chief executive Chris Cummings said net retail sales were positive in the month, with savers putting almost £1bn into UK authorised funds, however he added: “Within the equity sectors, the UK is still firmly out of favour amid Brexit uncertainty, with outflows totalling £3.5bn since the beginning of the year.”

Oaknorth valued at $2.3bn

London-based fintech firm Acorn Oaknorth has been valued at $2.3bn (£1.8bn) after it secured $100m in backing from two Singaporean state-backed funds EDBI and GIC, as well as NIBC Bank, Clermont Group, and Coltrane Asset Management. The fresh capital will be used to power growth of its machine learning credit monitoring engine Acorn Machine, which the group currently licenses to more than 10 international banks.

Pension saving at record high

Auto-enrolment has pushed the number of workers putting money aside for old age to a record 15.1m – up 1.5m on last year. Private sector pensions surged to a new high of 8.8m active savers while public pensions hit 6.3m, according to the ONS. Reflecting the shift of risk from employers to employees, final salary schemes have fallen to a record low while defined contribution schemes have increased.

Just Group delays dividend

On the back of an 85% increase in its adjusted operating profit, to £124m for the six months ending June 30, Just Group has delayed its half-year dividend due to potential new lifetime mortgage rules. The pensions provider and life insurer said the Prudential Regulation Authority's consultation on lifetime mortgages, which may require it to set aside more money to protect clients from the risks of mortgages, could lead to a “material reduction in our capital position” and that it had deferred its dividend until there was greater clarity.

EU court rules UK pensions lifeboat fund cap is unlawful

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the Pensions Protection Fund’s £35,000 cap on high earners pushed into the UK’s pensions lifeboat fund is unlawful.

HEALTHCARE

Novartis offloads part of Sandoz generics business in US

Novartis is selling parts of its generics business Sandoz to Aurobindo in a deal worth at least $900m.

LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY

Ei Group explores commercial properties sale

Britain’s largest pub operator Ei Group has said that it has appointed Rothschild to explore options including a full or partial sale of its commercial properties business. Ei has also launched a £150m unsecured bond offering and a tender offer for its outstanding £97m convertible bonds.

REAL ESTATE

ZPG chief steps down

Alex Chesterman, the founder of Zoopla Property Group, has stepped down as chief executive. The development comes two months after ZPG was acquired by Silver Lake for £2.2bn. Mr Chesterman will remain on the board.

RETAIL

Dixons Carphone remains on track

Dixons Carphone has reported trading in line with forecasts, keeping it on track for a full 2018-19 year pre-tax profit of around £300m, down from the £382m made in 2017-18. The group, which issued a profit warning in May and suffered a data breach, said like-for-like sales were flat in the 13 weeks to July 28th, with demand for televisions offset by weaker sales of white goods and mobile phones. Chief executive Alex Baldock said: “We've made good progress in setting a clear long-term direction for the business.”

SPORT

Takeover would have no impact on England

Mark McCafferty, the chief executive of Premier Rugby Ltd (PRL), has said that the proposed takeover of the Gallagher Premiership rugby league by CVC Capital Partners would have no negative impact on the England team or players.

HSBC pull out of naming rights deal

HSBC have pulled out of negotiations to buy the naming rights at Tottenham’s new football stadium.

ECONOMY

Paris overtakes London in the super-rich league

Tax breaks introduced by Emmanuel Macron and a stronger French economy has lured the world’s ultra-rich to the country’s capital, with Paris now ahead of London for the first time as a top destination for the super-rich. Britain is now in sixth place and France fifth in the city stakes. New York lost its top spot to Hong Kong while Tokyo came third and Los Angeles fourth. Etienne Lefevbre, editor of financial daily Les Echos, said the French president has “effectively halved the tax paid by the very wealthy” while Corinne Dadi, a tax lawyer with Stehlin, said for the first time in 15 years she was organising returns to Paris. Ms Dadi said those wishing to leave London cited “Brexit plus a huge fear of Jeremy Corbyn” and Britain’s decision to slash “non-dom” tax perks.

OTHER

City heading for ‘token’ Brexit deal

An unnamed senior City figure has claimed that the UK is unlikely to get more than a “token, minimalist” Brexit deal for financial services. “They will say it's the most comprehensive deal the EU has ever done on services with any third country and that will be true, but it will not only be less than we have through the Single Market, it will be dramatically less,” the source told City AM. Meanwhile, a secret Treasury document detailing the Government’s no deal contingency planning, codenamed Operation Yellowhammer, has warned of the importance in maintaining confidence “particularly … for financial services”.

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