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Daily News Roundup: Monday, 21st May 2018

Posted: 21st May 2018


TSB customers see accounts raided
As TSB’s online troubles continue, customers have reported seeing sums of money vanish from their accounts through payments they deny having made. Although the lender insisted that no data breach had occurred, IT experts said it was possible that fraudsters were targeting customers in the wake of the weeks-long chaos. Justin Modray of consumer advice website Candid Money commented: “This seems like an absolute mess. TSB needs to try to rectify things for customers who have been treated so badly during this fiasco.” Meanwhile, chief executive Paul Pester’s position is said to be at risk.

Castlight Financial and HSBC in open banking loan
Following a pilot programme, Castlight Financial and HSBC have unveiled an "open" banking loan. Martin Leonard, Castlight Financial's chief operating officer, commented: "The open banking team at HSBC UK have been quick to recognise the ways in which the new world of open banking can deliver added value to their customer base.”

CEO pay criticised at Lloyds Banking Group
Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has recommended a vote against Lloyds Banking Group’s remuneration report, after the lender paid chief executive António Horta-Osório nearly 100 times more than the average worker at the firm. With an 11% rise in pay, Mr Horta-Osório was awarded £6.2m.

Lloyds Irish mortgage portfolio sold for €4.9bn
After selling a €4.9bn portfolio of Irish mortgages to a consortium led by rival Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group has been left with a pre-tax loss of about £110m.

RBS criticised over rural branch closures
Unite's regional industrial officer, Lyn Turner, has said the union was only informed about the closure of the RBS branch at Carnwath after it had already shut earlier this month, as the row over rural branch disappearances continues.

Hunter REIM secures RBS finance
Hunter REIM has secured £30m in funding from Royal Bank of Scotland as it seeks to expand its UK Retail Unit Trust portfolio.

RBS to rival Lloyds on dividends
A decade after RBS was banned from paying dividends as part of its £45.5bn bailout, the lender is considering restarting dividends on a scale to rival Lloyds.

Gain for property investments
Lloyds Bank Private Banking says UK property was the second-best performer among the major investment types between April and May, adding value of 5.8%. This falls just short of the 5.9% gain by UK equities.

Monzo approved by ethics body
Ethical Consumer has recommended Monzo’s current account, noting that the company is leading the growth in app-based banks.

Changes at Hampden & Co
Hampden & Co has appointed Andrew Jackson head of banking management at its London offices in Mayfair, while adding a second office in Edinburgh.

Big banks boost Brexit budgets
Big banks are increasing their budgets for dealing with Brexit, ignoring political agreement on a Brexit transition and sticking to a March 2019 deadline to transfer parts of their businesses from London.

Blockchain used by Santander for investors vote
Santander has become the first firm in the world to use blockchain to assist investors in voting at an annual meeting, working with Broadridge Financial Solutions.

Digital push at Clydesdale
Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group chief executive David Duffy has said the lender's digital brand B could eventually overtake its high street brands.


UK firms will continue to be targeted by overseas predators - 3i boss
Simon Borrows, chief executive of private equity firm 3i, has cautioned that the trend of foreign firms making takeover bids for British firms looks set to carry on, pinning the blame on the low value of the pound and the relative underperformance of London's stock market.

Bonhams may be bought by private equity house
Auctioneer Bonhams is to be put up for sale, with several private equity firms, including Bain Capital, CVC Capital and Bridgepoint, believed to be interested in the company.

Blackstone checks out of Hilton 
Private equity firm Blackstone is to sell its 5.8% stake in the Hilton Worldwide hotel chain. The sale, at current share prices, will generate around $1.32bn.


Wells Fargo may increase Dublin staff numbers
A Brexit contingency plan at Wells Fargo could see the bank employ hundreds of new staff at its Dublin base.


Fundraising of $10bn required for Tesla
Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino has said he expects electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla to have to raise $10bn (£7.4bn) in the next two years, with a continuation of well-documented production issues anticipated.


Insurers racing to prepare for change 
Insurance leaders have spoken about the challenges new technology is bringing to the industry, with the fast pace of change introducing fresh urgency for the sector to answer questions on liability and pricing. Senior industry executives are designing products for technology that has not fully arrived, such as flying taxis and automated cars, but they are also responding to the movement away from owning assets to sharing them and shifting to structuring personalised services on a mass scale.

‘Girl’ fund for investors to support gender diversity
Legal & General (L&G) Group has launched the L&G Future World Gender in Leadership UK Index Fund1, aimed at investors seeking to support gender diversity at UK-listed firms. L&G chief executive Nigel Wilson commented: “I've really, really understood, growing up with daughters, how difficult it is to actually achieve equality in the workforce… This is just helping to kick-start what I hope will be a hugely successful fund, right across the UK, that people see that actually this is a fund which can make a difference, and make a positive difference."

Rebound in revenues for investment banks
Tyler Dickson, head of capital markets origination at Citigroup, says global investment banking revenue will recover from a fall of around 15% so far this year.

PayPal acquires iZettle for $2.2bn (£1.6bn)
PayPal is to buy financial services firm iZettle for $2.2bn (£1.6bn) as it expands its digital payment service throughout Europe and Latin America. The deal is the largest in PayPal's history.

Nordic Capital offloads stake in ConvaTec
Nordic Capital has sold its final stake in medical equipment manufacturer ConvaTec, selling via an accelerated book-build to institutional investors.

Permira sells Just stake
Permira has sold its remaining stake in pensions provider Just Group for £237m.

LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY                                                                                                                                              
First waiter strike over TGI tips
Waiting staff at TGI Fridays have joined Britain's first strike over tipping at branches in Covent Garden and Milton Keynes. The Unite union claims the staff were not properly consulted about changes which have seen the redistribution of 40% of service charge payments paid on credit and debit cards to back-of-house employees in lieu of a wage increase.


Modular buildings maker prepares £3bn float
Modular buildings maker Algeco Scotsman, which makes mobile classrooms and temporary worker villages and is owned by private equity firm TDR Capital, has hired defence executive Andrew Tyler to head its float in London next year. TDR sold Algeco's American business for $1.1bn (£820m).


BT broadband upgrades may be funded by £1.5bn mast sale 
A £1.5bn sale of BT’s thousands of mobile masts could raise funds to help pay for broadband upgrades or reduce the pressure on the firm’s cash flow.


Interest-only loans down 46% since 2012
UK Finance figures show that the number of homeowners on interest-only mortgages has dipped 46% in the past six years, with 1.7m outstanding interest-only mortgages now compared to 3.2m in 2012. The report shows that four in five of such borrowers who had talked to their lender about repaying their debts had a repayment strategy in mind, while 20% had no clear idea on how they could clear their loan. Analysis shows that there were 1,293,000 pure interest-only homeowner mortgages outstanding at the end of 2017, down 14.9% on the year before, while the number of outstanding partial interest-only loans was up 2.1% to 429,000.

Developers struggle to keep up with moving property market
Landsec figures have revealed full-year losses, while British Land has seen property values climb, offering contrasting views of the office and retail markets.

Housing market to see buy-to-let exodus
Some 20% of buy-to-let landlords plan to sell up in the next 12 months, with a survey by the National Landlords Association showing that 380,000 owners of rental properties were planning to reduce the size of their portfolios.


Record £110m bonuses for Ocado chief
Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner will collect £110m in bonuses in 2019, a record for a UK company head. This follows a deal with American retail firm Kroger which increased Ocado's value 40% to £5.3bn.


Little sign of economic revival
The Bank of England agents' report into business conditions has shown that Britain's economy showed little sign of revival at the start of the second quarter.


Record number of savers abandon final salary pension schemes
The amount of cash flowing out of traditional “final salary” pension schemes into riskier “defined contribution” plans jumped from £7.9bn in 2016 to £20.8bn in 2017, amid fears over the quality of advice given to savers. 

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