Brexit plans at ‘advanced’ stage for StanChart
Standard Chartered has announced that plans for its new EU base in Frankfurt are at an advanced stage. Tracy Clarke, the bank’s regional chief executive for Europe and the Americas, commented: "Unlike many of our peer banks, we have no legal entity in the EU outside of the UK, so we took a decision quite early on, about a year ago, that we would hope for the best, prepare for worst, so we're planning to set up an EU sub in Frankfurt and we've made that very public and we're very well advanced in that process." Ms Clarke noted, however, that London would remain a resilient financial centre in "whatever scenario".
Link move to cut fees worries ATM operators
Plans by banks to reduce the fees they pay to ATM operators have wiped hundreds of millions of pounds off the latter’s value, with NoteMachine delaying a sale proposal that its private equity owners hoped would value it at up to £500m. The Cardtronics ATM operator has called for an independent inquiry into the potential impact of the fee reduction, commenting: “We need an ATM network that is able to respond to the changes in today's banking landscape, where we're already seeing record numbers of bank branch closures up and down the country… But the arbitrary cuts that Link has announced are not a viable solution.”
Santander UK takes Carillion hit
Impairments at Santander UK have tripled year-on-year to £203m, as the bank took a hit from the Carillion collapse. Nathan Bostock, Santander UK chief executive, said the results were otherwise solid, with the bank continuing to demonstrate resilience amid uncertainty. UK profits came in at £1.8bn, while profits at the overall group rose 6.7% in 2017, and its net interest income rose 10% in 2017 compared to 2016.
HSBC names new retail banking head
Charlie Nunn has been appointed head of retail banking and wealth management at HSBC. He will replace John Flint, who will become chief executive of the bank on February 21. In his new role, the Telegraph states that Mr Nunn will have to address the challenge of digital disruption threatening the industry's profit margins, and also deal with underperforming US and French retail branch networks.
TSB to invest £100m in SMEs
TSB owner Sabadell is planning to boost its business banking operation in Britain with a £100m investment in small companies. TSB, which was bought by Sabadell in 2015, said that “real competition is needed in this market to break the shackles the big banks have had on Britain’s small businesses for far too long”.
Morgan Stanley to take multi-centred approach
Seeking to relocate London-based positions after Brexit, Morgan Stanley President Colm Kelleher has said the bank would expand its offices in Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin. He added that decisions on staff moves would be made “very early this year”.
Ex-JPMorgan trader loses FCA fight linked to ‘London whale’ case
Julien Grout, a junior trader at JP Morgan during the $6bn "London whale trading scandal", has lost his legal tussle with the Financial Conduct Authority with "no right to contest findings".
LGBT employers’ rankings released
Equality charity Stonewall has revealed its top 100 most inclusive UK employers for LGBT people, featuring businesses including banks Citi, JP Morgan and Lloyds Banking Group.
Blackstone aims to revive Reuters
The FT notes that after Blackstone’s $17bn takeover of a majority stake in Thomson Reuters, there are plans to use the firm’s Wall Street contacts to drive usage and accelerate cost-cutting.
EU banking authority to test banks for 8.3% post-Brexit slump
The European Banking Authority has unveiled plans for banks across the EU to be tested to make sure they can withstand potential doomsday Brexit consequences.
Ireland enjoys tax boom but fears a reckoning
Concern is growing that Ireland’s increasing reliance on volatile corporation tax revenues is leaving it vulnerable to a financial shock.
UK car industry warns that US trade deal could be unusable
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, has warned that British car manufacturers could be unable to use a post-Brexit trade deal with the US because the industry is completely integrated with EU suppliers.
Ryanair creates own compensation team
Ryanair is to create a 50-strong in-house team to deal with passenger compensation claims in the wake of the wave of cancellations it announced last year.
Housebuilders reject delay claims
Housebuilders have hit back after Housing Secretary Sajid Javid said firms are sitting on plots unnecessarily and that the Government will take a harder line with companies deemed to be land banking. Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, Barratt Developments and Bovis Homes all saw shares see slight dips following Mr Javid’s comments.
EU rebuffs City’s trade proposal
City bosses have warned the EU not to “play politics with people’s jobs”, after the bloc rebuffed a proposal from financial firms that would see frictionless trade in financial services across borders continue after Brexit. The so-called ‘mutual regulatory recognition’ plan would enable firms on both sides of the Channel to retain market access, providing there were no major differences in regulation. But an internal EU27 meeting has concluded that future arrangements should be based on “equivalence” rather than a wide-ranging new pact. Meanwhile, UK Finance has highlighted ONS data that reveals a £5.3bn jump in the value of trade in services between the UK and Europe to £36bn in 2016. Stephen Jones, chief executive of UK Finance, said the statistics showed the "vital importance" of the sector to "consumers and businesses on both sides of the Channel".
Doorstep lenders face FCA crackdown
The FCA is preparing the ground to bring in new rules to protect customers of high-cost credit providers, including doorstep lenders and store card providers. The regulator said that there was an "emerging picture of the case for intervention" as it outlined potential reforms to areas such as bank overdrafts, rent-to-own, home-collected credit and catalogue credit.
Isa bonus worth £1,100
Prospective first-time buyers who are currently saving into a Help to Buy Isa could boost their savings by £1,100 if they transfer into a Lifetime Isa before the start of the new tax year.
LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY
Byron set to close outlets
Burger chain Byron is set to close 20 restaurants as part of a rescue plan, which has been approved by lenders and landlords. Byron’s CEO Simon Cope said the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) meant “a number” of restaurants would close. “We will do everything possible to redeploy staff to other sites and initiatives,” he said. The CVA proposed that 51 Byron sites keep the same rental costs, and five will have their rents reduced by a third. A further 20 will have their rents reduced by 45% for six months while the group negotiates with landlords over the future of those sites.
MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT
Facebook profits rise despite tax hit
Facebook will pay $2.3bn (£1.6bn) in unexpected taxes as a result of the US tax overhaul. Despite the hit, the firm's quarterly profits increased 20% year-on-year to nearly $4.3bn.
Outsourcer Capita warns on profits
Capita shares fell by over 40% yesterday after the outsourcing firm warned on profits and revealed plans to raise £700m by issuing new shares. CEO Jonathan Lewis said the company had become "too complex" and "driven by a short-term focus" and needed to change its approach.
Stamp duty receipts hit record high
Stamp duty receipts from residential property reached a record high of more than £9.5bn last year, a 16% rise on 2016. Figures from HMRC showed that 245,000 house purchases were subject to the 3% stamp duty surcharge on second homes and buy-to-let properties in 2017.
M and S plans store closures
Marks and Spencer is planning to close 14 stores and cut hundreds of jobs. The six stores to close in April are Birkenhead, Bournemouth, Durham, Fforestfach in Swansea, Putney and Redditch. A further eight stores have been earmarked for closure.
Ministers to release Brexit impact assessment
Ministers have agreed to release an official economic analysis claiming that any Brexit outcome will damage the UK economy. The government abandoned its efforts to withhold the document from MPs just hours after Theresa May said it would be “wrong” to publish the report. Meanwhile, Dr Phillip Lee, a justice minister, has said Brexit could be reversed if poor economic forecasts post-Brexit fall “anywhere near right”. Dr Lee urged such scenarios to be taken seriously as he raised the prospect of halting the UK’s divorce from the European Union.