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Daily News Roundup: Thursday, 12th May 2022

Posted: 12th May 2022


Banks to tighten checks after scam victim refund change

Banks are likely to beef up their checks and processes after the Government announced its Financial Services and Markets Bill on Tuesday, giving power to the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) to set the rules for banks on when to refund customers hit by banking scams. A voluntary system was deemed to be inconsistent with too low a proportion of losses returned to customers. Laura Suter, head of personal finance at AJ Bell, said how strict the PSR decides to be going forward will determine the exact proportion of victims refunded. She adds that if banks have to stump up more of the bill a tightening of online banking controls seems likely. Banks have said that at least some of the responsibility for soaring fraud has to be met by technology giants, such as Meta or Google, who they say have allowed scammers to pay to advertise on their platforms with impunity.


Blackrock performs volte face on fossil fuels

The world’s largest asset manager has made a spectacular U-turn on climate risk by stating that it will vote against most shareholder green activism this year for being too extreme. Blackrock said it was concerned about proposals to stop financing fossil fuel companies. It explained that the war in Ukraine had impacted the transition to net-zero, and therefore short-term investment in traditional energy sources is now required to boost security. BlackRock also said in its report that it will not support proposals that could lead to companies being “micromanaged”.

CD&R hires CVC's top Mideast dealmaker

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has appointed Amr Nosseir as senior advisor to the firm. Nosseir previously served as managing director, chairman and head of Middle East Business Development at CVC Capital Partners.

KKR approaches Blackstone for joint Toshiba bid

KKR and Blackstone could team up to launch an offer for Toshiba, according to reports, paving the way for showdown with Bain Capital.


Deutsche Bank sticks to 2022 profit target

In remarks posted ahead of next week's annual general meeting, Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing said Germany's largest lender was confident of meeting its target of 8% return on tangible equity this year. "The environment for our 70% cost-income ratio target for 2022 is more challenging," he said, reiterating the bank's recent guidance.

Bank of Spain sees moderate risk to banks from climate policies

The Bank of Spain has said the country’s transition to cleaner energy could bring more notable risks to sectors with higher CO2 emissions, such as transport, manufacturing and agriculture. Increasing prices of CO2 emission rights would have a moderate impact on the credit quality of corporate loans, however, any impact on banks would be moderate in the short run.


Toyota warns of ‘unprecedented’ rise in raw material prices

Toyota has warned that its profits could fall by a fifth this year due to cost increases. The news sent the Japanese company’s shares down 4.4% on Wednesday.


Blanc: Sexist comments in a public AGM a new development

Amanda Blanc has revealed that sexism and "unacceptable behaviour" has got worse and more "overt" as her career has progressed. The CEO of Aviva made the comments after she suffered sexist abuse at the company's AGM earlier this week. She wrote in a LinkedIn post: "I would like to tell you that things have got better in recent years but it’s fair to say that it has actually increased - the more senior the role I have taken, the more overt the unacceptable behaviour.” Sexist comments are now becoming more public, she continued, expressing fears that gender equality remains a "long way off".

Lloyd’s of London attempts to shift AGM online to avoid climate protesters

Lloyd’s of London is urging members to watch its annual general meeting from home next week, amid fears it will be the latest City event disrupted by climate protests. Bruce Carnegie-Brown, the chairman of Lloyd’s, warned about the potential for disruption at the 19 May AGM back in April, but said in an updated memo that the risk of disruption had significantly increased.

Lloyd's licensed broker launches crypto insurance product

Superscript, a Lloyds of London licenced insurance broker, has launched a dedicated crypto product to shore up legal protections for digital asset firms. Its Daylight product will insure crypto businesses against ransomware attacks, unintentional copyright infringement and business interruption.


Moderna's finance chief earns $700,000 in one day after abruptly quitting

Jorge Gomez quit as Moderna CFO after just one day after his former employer launched an investigation into financial reporting. Dentsply Sirona disclosed that it had been made aware of “allegations regarding certain financial reporting matters” by current and former employees but Mr Gomez was not referred to in the filing.


Tui hopes for profits after demand recovers

Anglo-German holiday giant Tui reported a sixfold rise in revenues to £3.8bn for the six months to the end of March. The firm still lost £605m but this was less than half the £1.3bn lost in the same period 12 months earlier. CEO Fritz Joussen was optimistic the company would become profitable again in the current financial year with demand for travel returning.


Vodafone mulls merger of UK arm with Three

Vodafone is in talks to merge its UK operations with CK Hutchison-owned Three UK, according to the FT.


Soaring cost of living fails to cool demand for homes

Estate agents are still reporting plenty of activity despite concerns that the cost-of-living crisis would dampen demand. A net 10% of estate agents around the country reported a rise in new buyer inquiries in April, according to the latest residential market survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. There remains a shortage of houses being put up for sale, however, with most agents seeing a small drop in the number of new listings during the month. On average each estate agency branch has 38 homes for sale on its books, which the RICS said was "extremely low".


Discount supermarket launching in June

Online-only grocer Motatos is to launch in June and promises to rival discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl  by offering surplus food from wholesalers. The firm has promised "well-known products that would otherwise risk ending up in landfill”, including items that are no longer being sold on shelves due to changes in packaging, seasonal changes or short best before dates.


Former Bank of England officials warn of increasing risk of UK recession

Three former members of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee have told MPs the only way the Bank can rein in inflation without triggering a recession is by moving more aggressively with interest rate rises now. Their comments follow a warning from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research that rates will need to rise to 2.5% and stay there until the middle of the decade in order to bring inflation under control.

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