BoE prepared to intervene if Bramson destabilises Barclays
The Bank of England is ready to intervene if Edward Bramson destabilises Barclays, BoE governor Mark Carney has suggested. Asked if he was concerned that the corporate raider's bid to join Barclays’ board could cause turbulence in the financial system, Mr Carney said: “I try and avoid talking about a specific institution. But it's absolutely paramount that the core of the banking system is adequately capitalised, manages their risk well and is focused on delivering sustainable returns to their shareholders.”
OakNorth attracts $440m investment from SoftBank
SoftBank’s Vision Fund is set to invest $440m in OakNorth in a move which will make the British banking start-up one of the most well-funded technology companies in the world. The deal, which is expected to be announced today, follows OakNorth’s last $100m fundraising in October. The funding will be used to expand OakNorth's SME loan origination and credit capabilities to banks and lending institutions across the US and Canada.
Banks to blame for decline of home ownership?
The Standard’s Anthony Hilton questions whether banks are partly to blame for the decline of home ownership. He cites a recent study which notes that since the 1980s - when banks were first allowed to compete for mortgages - they have wiped out most of the building societies and now account for 70% of mortgages. Securitisation of mortgages means bank credit “runs way ahead of new housebuilding, and prices rise,” says Mr Hilton.
Europe's private equity deals outshine UK
Private equity deal value in 2018 was down 27.7% in the UK, according to a report by the European Private Equity Breakdown, which indicated that the rest of Europe saw deal value drop by just 5.9% over the same time frame. "With many of the major European economies looking fragile, including Germany, a hard Brexit may be enough to throw the whole region into recession,” the report added.
Merger to create sixth largest US bank
BB&T is to buy SunTrust for $28bn in the largest banking merger since the financial crisis. The tie-up will create the sixth largest US bank by assets, valued at $66bn and serving 10m customers across America. The combined bank also would leapfrog the equity value of international banks such as France's BNP Paribas and Japan's Mizuho and will be worth more than Barclays and Deutsche Bank combined.
NAB bosses step down
The two heads of National Australia Bank have resigned after this week’s report on the country's scandal-hit financial sector singled them out. NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn said he was stepping down after recognising the "desire for change", while chairman Ken Henry said he was also leaving after acknowledging that change was necessary.
Credit Suisse freezes bonus pool after tough year of rebuilding
Credit Suisse has frozen its 2018 bonus pool, with its board seeking to balance distributions to shareholders with employee pay, while a voluntary cap on executive pay is to be lifted. Meanwhile, Credit Suisse's asset management arm has successfully tested blockchain to process investment fund trades.
Rothschild facing conflict of interest allegations
Rothschild & Co is facing allegations of potential conflict of interest in the campaign by the hedge fund Elliott to break up Telecom Italia. French media giant Vivendi has written to the board of Telecom Italia to raise concerns over ties between Rothschild deputy chairman Paolo Scaroni and Elliott.
Nordea replaces its chairman after activist attacks poor results
Torbjorn Magnusson is to replace Bjorn Wahlroos as chairman at Nordea. The announcement comes a day after activist investor Cevian Capital criticised a 21% dip in quarterly profits.
SocGen to cut €500m in costs from investment bank
Société Générale has lowered its financial targets and says it will cut €500m in costs from its investment bank in response to tough market conditions.
UniCredit reports best earnings in 10 years
UniCredit’s net operating profit for last year was €6.4bn, 13% up on the previous year and the highest level since 2008.
What I would do as the next president of the World Bank
Writing in the FT, World Bank presidency candidate David Malpass defends his US nomination and sets out his vision for the institution.
JLR posts £3.4bn loss
Jaguar Land Rover booked a loss for the last three months of 2018 as sales collapsed in China. The company booked a £3.1bn reduction in the value of its plants and other investments leading to a £3.4bn quarterly loss, its biggest to date. Sales for the quarter were £6.2bn, down from £6.3bn a year earlier.
Flybe will wind up company if shareholders reject sale
Flybe has warned shareholders it will wind up the company if they do not back a sale to a consortium led by Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Air. The airline said failure to approve the £2.2m sale to Connect Airways group would mean investors were unlikely to get anything for their shares.
Bellway weathering Brexit storm
Bellway is expecting sales increases over the year ahead, despite the continuing Brexit uncertainty among many of its property peers. Total revenue in the six months to the end of January is expected to have risen more than 12% to just under £1.5bn, as the average selling price has risen by 6.5% to £293,800 during the same period.
Investors pull billions out of funds
Private investors in Britain cashed in their investment funds for the third successive month in December, pulling out £1.65bn. If follows outflows of more than £2bn in both October and November. Total net retail sales fell from £48.5bn in 2017 to just £7.2bn in 2018, according to the Investment Association, which said savers were pulling out of UK stocks because of Brexit uncertainty.
Beazley profits slide 55%
Pre-tax profit at Lloyd’s of London insurer Beazley fell 55% to $76.4m in 2018, following destructive storms in the US and Japan and lethal wildfires in California. Meanwhile, Beazley’s chief executive Andrew Horton has backed moves by Lloyd’s new chief executive John Neal to shift international focus to the US.
Zurich profits jump as life insurance sales pick up
Zurich’s profits jumped by a fifth last year on the back of cost savings, an improved underwriting performance and higher sales of life insurance products.
LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY
Thomas Cook losses hit £60m
Thomas Cook is mulling the sale of its airline business after seasonal losses deepened by £14m year on year to £60m for its first quarter. Revenue for the period increased by just 1% to £1.66bn, and the holidaymaker blamed "customer uncertainty". The Standard's Jim Armitage says: "In short, this sale is a good idea. Whether it can fetch a decent price is another matter altogether."
MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT
Twitter profits rise but shares fall
Shares in Twitter have fallen 10% after the company said revenue for the first quarter of 2019 is expected to be between $715m and $775m, below analysts' forecasts. The share fall came despite the company reporting profits of $255m (£197m) for the final quarter of 2018, more than double the $91m profit it made a year earlier.
Ad shop Publicis knocked by slowing sales
Shares in advertising group Publicis fell almost 15% yesterday after the group said organic revenue growth had dropped by 0.3% in the fourth quarter.
House prices drop in January
UK house prices fell by 2.9% in January compared with December, according to the Halifax. The mortgage lender said it was the second time in three years that the new year had begun with a significant fall. However, prices were 0.8% up on a year ago, with the average home costing £223,691.
UK watchdog puts property funds on daily watch as outflows surge
The Financial Conduct Authority has stepped up scrutiny of retail real estate investment funds over concerns of a liquidity crunch similar to that which followed the 2016 Brexit vote, where redemptions prompted funds to suspend trading.
Bank of England slashes growth forecasts
The Bank of England has left interest rates unchanged at 0.75% but slashed UK growth forecasts amid continuing Brexit uncertainty. BoE governor Mark Carney warned that Britain’s economy will grow at its slowest rate for a decade this year and could yet tip into recession. The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee cut growth forecasts for this year to just 1.2% of GDP, down from its November forecast of 1.7%, which would be the UK's weakest economic expansion since 2009.