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Daily News Roundup: Monday, 4th June 2018

Posted: 4th June 2018


TSB letter error 'may have broken law'

Some TSB customers receiving letters acknowledging a complaint over the recent IT meltdown have also been sent other customers' details. Letters from the bank showed the name, address and reference number of somebody else. The bank has apologised for the errors, but one MP has suggested that the error could breach new data protection rules. Treasury Committee member John Mann said: “This information could be used by fraudsters." On claims that the IT problems may see an exodus of workers frustrated with how the issue was handled, the lender commented: "Our partners have done a great job over the past few weeks supporting our customers and we really appreciate their hard work. We haven't seen any evidence of an increase in partners leaving TSB as a result of our recent IT migration."

Citi to use Open Banking system

Citi will become the first corporate bank to use the new Open Banking system, allowing businesses to receive small payments directly from UK customers' accounts.

Banks increase lending to large firms

Britain's banks are extending more loans to big businesses while reducing lending to smaller firms, a trend that has accelerated in the last 12 months, according to specialist debt adviser Hadrian's Wall Capital.

Banks downplay branch closures

A Daily Mail investigation has found that Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland are using restrictive criteria in defining ‘regular’ customers, as they seek to downplay the number of customers using branches earmarked for closure.

Daily Mail, Page: 6

CYBG may not lift offer for Virgin - analyst

CYBG may walk away from a potential £1.6bn merger with Virgin Money rather than lift its 359p-per-share offer, according to analyst John Cronin.

Credit cost crackdown disappoints

After the Financial Conduct Authority’s review into high-cost credit, Which? Money spokesman Gareth Shaw commented that the regulator was "wrong" not to take action against unarranged overdraft fees.


Carlyle buys software firm

Carlyle has acquired software company Livingstone Holdings for around £50m.


Sewing responds to downgrade

Deutsche Bank’s chief executive, Christian Sewing, and top shareholder, HNA Group Co Ltd of China, have sought to reassure shareholders and staff after a ratings downgrade of Deutsche Bank's credit rating by Standard & Poor's to BBB+ from A-.

Wells Fargo seeks post-Brexit bases

Wells Fargo is considering using Paris and Dublin as post-Brexit European bases. Regulation and cost are among the factors being examined.

SocGen tie-up sought by UniCredit

UniCredit of Italy is planning a merger with France’s Société Générale, with UniCredit's French chief executive Jean-Pierre Mustier proposing the idea for several months.

Threat of cartel charges faces ANZ, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank

ANZ Bank, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank are facing the possibility of criminal charges connected to alleged "cartel" conduct by the lead managers of a A$2.5bn ($1.9bn) Australian share placement.


Grayling: ‘It’s Heathrow or bust’

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is to ask MPs to back a £15bn expansion of Heathrow, including a third runway, and is expected to warn that “It’s Heathrow or bust,” with no plan B currently in place.


Europe-wide Visa crash

Millions of people were unable to complete transactions for several hours after the Visa payment system crashed on Friday. A statement from the company said: "The issue was the result of a hardware failure. We have no reason to believe this was associated with any unauthorised access or malicious event. We apologise to all of our partners, and most especially, to Visa cardholders."

Fees row highlights fund charges

Analysts have said a row between Invesco Perpetual Enhanced Income and Invesco has "drawn a line in the sand" over high fund charges.

Redundancies among senior finance executives fall

The number of senior executives made redundant by financial services companies in the UK decreased by almost 50% in 2017. A total of 1,133 senior executives lost their jobs last year, down from 2,014 in the previous year.

City’s ideal post-Brexit model uncertain

A post-Brexit trading model for the City favoured by the government is looking uncertain as concerns grow that the European Union will not compromise. Open Europe director Henry Newman commented: "The City is hoping for a deep and special relationship but at this point we've got to accept that the EU is saying we won't get anything other than equivalence."

Record month for LendingCrowd deals

Edinburgh-based peer-to-peer platform LendingCrowd completed loan deals totalling more than £3m last month. Adrian Innes, head of origination at LendingCrowd, commented: "It was a great team effort to get to this milestone, helped by our improved processes and a fantastic working relationship with our community of introducers.”

Blackstone remains top property fund

The value of Blackstone’s property assets under management increased almost 29% to €184bn last year, cementing the firm’s position at the head of global property funds.

Dollar Shave Club investor declares £134.7m tech fund

Technology startups will have access to $180m (£134.7m) from seed to series B stage, from venture capital fund White Star Capital.


Gala founder returns in new role

Bingo chain Gala Leisure’s founder John Kelly has returned as non-executive chairman. Chris Matthews, chief executive, commented: "As we begin our new strategy and look towards online in the future, we are delighted to bring John back to where he started, having founded the Gala operations.”

Thai café chain for sale

Restaurant chain Rosa's Thai Cafe is poised to sell a majority stake in the business to US private equity firm TriSpan. Last year the firm reported sales of £8.2m and core earnings of £1.4m.

Center Parcs increases prices

Center Parcs is increasing prices on its UK holidays, with guests paying more to stay at British locations than at mainland European ones.

Noodle chain expansion defies sector woes

Wagamama has appointed Goldman Sachs to review what have been described as "strategic growth options", in a move that defies the current struggles afflicting the casual dining sector.


Manufacturing output edges up

Activity in Britain’s manufacturing sector edged up in May, raising hopes that the economy is overcoming the slow start to the year. The purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing rose to 54.4 in May, up from a 17-month low of 53.9 in April. Any figure above 50 indicates expansion. However, domestic demand remains sluggish and much of the extra output has gone into rebuilding stockpiles of goods, rather than being sold to customers.


Industry experts criticise Google cryptocurrency ad ban

Google's ban on all bitcoin and cryptocurrency advertising could be seen as unethical, industry experts have suggested. Phillip Nunn, CEO of Manchester-based investment firm Blackmore Group, commented: "I understand that Facebook and Google are under a lot of pressure to regulate what their users are reading, but they are still advertising gambling websites and other unethical practices… I suspect the ban has been implemented to fit in with potential plans to introduce their own cryptocurrency to the market in the near future and therefore removing other crypto adverts allows them to do it on their own terms."

New appointments at SoftBank

SoftBank’s new chief strategy officer will be Katsunori Sago, with Marcelo Claure as chief operating officer, and Rajeev Misra as chief executive of the group's $100bn SoftBank Vision investment fund.


House price fall could put small businesses at risk

Research by the Bank of England shows that nearly half of borrowing by Britain's small and medium-sized enterprises is supported by the boss's home.


Mothercare to close 50 stores

Mothercare is to close about 50 of its 137 stores by June next year after landlords approved the retailer’s CVA plan. More than three-quarters of Mothercare’s independent creditors – including landlords and suppliers – backed the rescue package in which the chain asked for 65% rent reductions on 49 stores that are expected to close.

House of Fraser fights for survival

Bankers are demanding a cash injection to keep House of Fraser going, with a company voluntary arrangement one of the options being considered.

Poundworld deal fight

A battle to rescue Poundworld from insolvency is underway, with US private equity house Flacks Group and Alteri Investors competing to take control of the discount chain.

Maplin brand bid from Buy It Direct

Retailer Buy It Direct has made a cash offer for the brand and website of failed electronics firm Maplin. The company intends to relaunch Maplin’s website if successful.

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