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Daily News Roundup: Monday, 29th July 2019

Posted: 29th July 2019


Trio set to unveil £8.8bn profits

Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland are expected to book profits totalling almost £9bn this week, despite revenues being hit by a mortgage price war. Analysts expect the three banks to reveal that combined profits soared 34% to £8.8bn for the first half of the year. But Lloyds is also braced for a bigger-than-expected hit from PPI claims. A bill of about £160m for the first half of the year had been predicted, but a jump in claims means the cost is now likely to be higher. Meanwhile, RBS is set to reward its shareholders by more than quadrupling dividend payouts to £1.1bn, according to analysts.

Thousands could be frozen out from online payments

Thousands of UK consumers who can't get a mobile signal at home could be frozen out of internet shopping, with banks increasingly insisting that online payments are verified by text. New European requirements for authenticating online payments laid out in the second payment services directive (PSD2) come into force on 14 September and will change the Verified by Visa and Mastercard SecureCode processes used by banks to reduce fraud. It means customers verifying online purchases will most likely have to input a code sent to them by the payment provider - in most cases by text. The Sunday Telegraph reports that while most British banks have made provisions for those who do not have a mobile phone, Santander customers will be unable to bank online if they cannot receive texts.

TSB back in the black

TSB swung to a £21.1m pre-tax profit for the six months to the end of June, although the fallout from last year’s IT meltdown has cost the bank a further £36.2m. The sum comes on top of the £330m it spent to rectify the fiasco in 2018. However, it has recovered £153m from Sabis, the IT division of Sabadell, its Spanish owner. Customer deposits edged up 0.9% to £29.8bn but lending slid 2.1% to £30.4bn.

Iwoca means business

Fintech start-up Iwoca has nearly doubled its revenues and returned its first full year in the black. The small business lender reported revenues of £48m last year, according to its business accounts, up from £25m the previous year.

Revolut turns to influencers to bring in customers

Revolut has launched a "Revolut Pioneer" scheme, which rewards ambassadors including social media influencers with referral fees for convincing their friends and followers to sign up to the digital bank.

Santander set to buy Tesco home loans

The Sunday Times says Santander is favourite to acquire a £3.7bn bundle of mortgages being sold by Tesco Bank. Lloyds and RBS also made it through to the penultimate round last week.

Tandem invites customers to design mortgage

Tandem is launching a customer-designed mortgage aimed at first-time buyers. The challenger bank will ask its 500,000 customers to contribute ideas for a mortgage product it will test at the end of the year.

CYBG promises transparency on top pay

CYBG has promised to be more transparent about its executive pay packages after more than 34% of votes cast at its annual meeting this year were against the banking group’s remuneration report.


City expects deal spree

The City is braced for a spree of deals after a strong start to the year culminated in £55bn-worth of merger activity last week. According to figures from Dealogic, the value of private equity takeovers in the UK has already hit £13.6bn for the year to date, the highest since 2007. It emerged last week that the London Stock Exchange is in talks to merge with Refinitiv, the financial terminals and data business, in a £42bn union in which Blackstone would become the biggest shareholder in the bourse.

SoftBank unveils vision for $108bn Fund

Softbank is to set up a Vision Fund 2 after the success of its $100bin Vision Fund. The Japanese conglomerate said its new Vision Fund 2 had attracted even more capital than its predecessor, at $108bn.


Santander accuses Orcel of recording phone calls

Santander has fired back at Andrea Orcel in a row about the bank’s aborted attempt to recruit him as chief executive, accusing him of “dubious” behaviour for recording private phone calls. The Spanish bank said Mr Orcel, who is suing Santander for €100m, started secretly recording private conversations with Santander executives in January after his offer to become chief executive had been withdrawn in a dispute over pay and profile.

EU decision on equivalence set to heighten UK post-Brexit fears

Brussels has withdrawn equivalence provisions for rating agencies in five countries in a move that will heighten fears any equivalence granted to the City post-Brexit can be too easily withdrawn.

Swiss court rules against UBS over client information

In a landmark judgement, the Federal Court in Lausanne has approved the transfer of sensitive information on tens of thousands of UBS clients to tax authorities in Paris.

Deutsche Bank probes access of fired workers to lender’s systems

Deutsche Bank is investigating whether confidential client data was compromised after it failed to deactivate the accounts of dozens of fired staff earlier this month.

Brussels must make European banking a reality

Writing in the FT, Société Générale chief executive Frédéric Oudéa says further integration in the EU banking sector would spur consolidation, creating more competitive and stronger champions.

ICBC becomes troubled Chinese bank’s top shareholder

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has become the largest shareholder in Bank of Jinzhou, in the latest sign the Chinese state is increasing its support for struggling lenders.


Car industry chief warns PM over no-deal Brexit

The chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has warned the Prime Minister that a no-deal Brexit "presents an existential threat" to vehicle manufacturing in the UK. In a letter to Boris Johnson, Mike Hawes said leaving the EU without a deal would result in "huge tariff costs" and hit production.

Vauxhall owner could move Astra production out of UK

The chief executive of Vauxhall-owner PSA says it could move all production from its Ellesmere Port factory if Brexit makes it unprofitable. Carlos Tavares said the firm has alternatives to the plant which it could use. The move would probably lead to the closure of the site, the FT said, threatening 1,000 jobs.


Regulation crisis risks airline passengers’ safety

Airline industry groups have warned that the safety of airline passengers is at risk because regulators are ceding too much power to Boeing and Airbus.


Apax closes in on Amey

Apax Partners is poised to buy infrastructure support group Amey as part of a wider €2.5bn (£2.3bn) deal to acquire the services division of its Spanish parent, Ferrovial.


Asset managers’ gender balance remains largely unchanged

Asset management firms have been urged to take “real action” after analysis found the proportion of women working in the industry has barely changed since 2016. According to data compiled by Citywire, only 1,725 of the 16,040 active fund managers around the world are women, accounting for 10.8%. The proportion has barely changed from 10.3% last year and was the same percentage as 2016. “Despite all the noise and all the right words, the fact remains that not enough has changed,” said Nisha Long, Citywire’s head of cross-border investment research.

Watchdog blocks Ipagoo operations over account segregation

Customers of Ipagoo, which offers online multicurrency accounts, have had their accounts frozen after the Financial Conduct Authority ordered the firm to stop all regulated activity.

Spencer attacks regulator as Icap beats fine

Icap founder Michael Spencer has attacked "politically motivated" regulators after his firm successfully challenged a €15m (£13.5m) fine for Libor-rigging. The tycoon said banks should not roll over when faced with a penalty after his company won the final round of a challenge with the European Commission this month.

Zurich seeks buyer for IFA platform

Zurich is working with HSBC to find a buyer for Zurich Intermediary, its financial adviser platform. The Swiss firm wants to offload the site for more than £50m.

Schroders takeover bid values BlueOrchard at £100m-plus

Schroders has acquired a majority stake in impact investor BlueOrchard Finance in a deal valuing the specialist boutique at more than £100m.


Rightmove profits rise despite estate agency closures

Rightmove has revealed that the 4.6% fall in housing transactions in the first half of the year had led to a 3% decline in the number of agency branches paying to advertise homes on its site. But the pressure on the agency business was offset by a 10% annual increase in the number of new home developments advertised on the site by housebuilders, helping Rightmove record a 10% rise in first-half group revenue to £143.9m.


Household incomes hit record high

Rising wages, more jobs and lower taxes combined to boost take-home pay by £400 per household last year, leaving families better off than ever before. Average disposable household income rose to £29,400 in the financial year ending in March, according to the ONS, an increase of 1.4% above inflation. Over the past decade real household incomes are up just over 8%. Wages growth accelerated to 3.4% on the year in May, whereas prices rose by just 2%.

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