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Daily News Roundup: Friday, 8th June 2018

Posted: 8th June 2018


TSB chief sees position under threat from MPs

The Treasury Select Committee has written to TSB’s board demanding it reconsider chief executive Paul Pester’s position as "a matter of urgency", following the large-scale IT issues at the bank. The firm’s chairman Richard Meddings responded that Mr Pester "continues to have the full support of the TSB board."

Coleman to leave Co-op Bank

Liam Coleman has said he plans to step down as chief executive of the Co-operative Bank, after 18 months in the role. Mr Coleman stated that he felt "a great sense of achievement in how much we have collectively delivered both to address the fundamental issues the organisation faced back in 2013 and to reshape the business around our retail customers".

Standard stake sold off by Lloyds

Following failure to resolve a dispute about competition, Lloyds Banking Group is to sell its remaining 3.3% stake in Standard Life Aberdeen.

Buyback plan at RBS

Royal Bank of Scotland wants to buy back a proportion of the government's shares, with Ross McEwan, chief executive, telling a Frankfurt conference the lender has "plenty of capital". This follows the government selling 7.7% of its holding to investors this week.


Banking system under threat by Swiss voters

Voters will go to the polls in Switzerland on Sunday in a national referendum on whether or not to switch to a so-called sovereign money initiative, a move which could have repercussions for the global banking system. Sergio Ermotti, head of Swiss bank UBS, said a vote in favour would be “suicidal”. Should the sovereign money system be chosen, only the central bank would be able to make money through loans. Standard and Poor's noted that a yes vote "could affect the creditworthiness of Swiss banks".

Deutsche deal mooted

Deutsche Bank supervisory board chairman Paul Achleitner has suggested a merger with Commerzbank, according to Bloomberg, and is talking with stakeholders about a possible deal in the future.

Libor case names SocGen bosses

Previously unreported US court documents show that senior executives at Société Générale ordered the bank's manipulation of the US-dollar Libor interest rate.

Asia investment banking fees fall

Investment banking fees in Asia, along with the volume of deals in the region, have fallen under pressure from rising interest rates and trade tension.


Local skills shortage for private equity funds

Hillhouse Capital is seeking to raise up to $10bn as large private equity deals in Asia increase in number, putting pressure on the region’s law firms.


Kier partners with Homes England

Construction firm Kier is partnering with Homes England and Cross Key Homes to deliver up to 5,400 new homes in England over the next ten years. The West Midlands was identified as having a lack of housing supply and Kier said a minimum of 50% of workers will be employed from local project areas. Homes England is taking a 26% equity stake in the project and will provide up to £27m in funding from its £3bn Home Building Fund.


Amigo founder plans listing

Amigo Loans is planning a stock market listing that could see the firm valued at close to £1bn on the London market. Glen Crawford, chief executive of Amigo, said: "We believe that our product, which can help people repair their credit history, is suitable for a much wider customer base within the midcost market, which is where our focus will continue to be".

Plus500 riding crypto wave

Plus500 has lifted expectations for the year on the back of strong trading thanks in part to its cryptocurrency contracts for difference offering. The online trading platform's board highlighted high levels of new customer sign ups amid record trading for the first quarter of the year.

Odey leads bears in comeback

Hedge fund Odey European has gained 19.9% in the year so far, benefiting from large bets on equities and government debt.

UK regulators should be duty bound to ensure post-Brexit competitiveness

Stephen Hammond, a member of the Treasury Select Committee, has told a City & Financial conference that it was time the UK’s financial regulators struck a balance between prudential supervision and a duty to international competitiveness.


Cannes Lions asleep in the sun

The Cannes Lions festival for the advertising industry failed to take in as much money as expected this year, digital information firm Ascential has acknowledged. "Cannes Lions is experiencing a more challenging trading environment with a lower than expected level of spend by the advertising agency holding companies," said chairman Scott Forbes.


Halifax says house market cooling despite rebound in prices

Halifax said house prices rose 1.5% month on month in May, recovering from April's 3.1% decline. Russell Galley, managing director, commented: "These latest price changes reflect a relatively subdued housing market."


House of Fraser set to close 31 branches

House of Fraser is preparing to close 31 shops, with 2,000 direct jobs to be lost at the chain alongside around 4,000 brand and concession positions. The firm will also relocate its Granite House office in Glasgow and its London head office as it seeks to reduce costs. House of Fraser chairman Frank Slevin commented: "The retail industry is undergoing fundamental change and House of Fraser urgently needs to adapt to this fast-changing landscape in order to give it a future and allow it to thrive. Our legacy store estate has created an unsustainable cost base which, without restructuring, presents an existential threat to the business."

Poundworld prepares to bring in administrators

Poundworld is to announce its intention to appoint administrators, with some 5,300 jobs under threat. The retailer, owned by TPG Capital, has so far failed to sell as a solvent business.

Strong recruitment market let down by retail

The latest Report on Jobs from IHS Markit and the Recruitment and Employment Federation shows that retail was a weak point in a generally healthy labour market last month.

Bonus cut for M&S chief executive

Marks and Spencer chief executive Steve Rowe has had his pay reduced by 30% and lost his bonus after profits fell at the retailer.


Amazon challenges broadcasters with Premier League rights purchase

Amazon has issued a fresh challenge to traditional broadcasters, with the acquisition of broadcast rights for UK Premier League matches. Retiring Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore remarked: "We are extremely pleased that Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon have invested in these rights".


Rate rise hinted at for August

Sir Dave Ramsden, one of the Bank of England’s deputy governors, has signalled support for higher borrowing costs, saying that the economy appears to be improving: “Consumer confidence and consumer credit both picked up in the latest data, as did retail sales and several business surveys.”


LSE trading hit by technical fault

A computer fault delayed trading at the London Stock Exchange on Thursday morning, meaning trading was delayed by over an hour. No explanation was provided beyond a statement that a “glitch” had occurred. Lev Lesokhin at Cast said: "The financial services sector as a whole is underpinned by decades-old, legacy IT systems which have been pulled together through various mergers."

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