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Daily News Roundup: Thursday, 21st June 2018

Posted: 21st June 2018


Lloyds announces job cuts

Lloyds Banking Group is to cut 450 mainly back office roles, but will also create 255 new positions, meaning a net reduction of 195, as part of a £3bn technology investment programme. A change in customer behaviour was cited as the main reason behind the cuts, with the company looking to tailor the needs of branches to the growth of online banking. A Lloyds spokeswoman said the announcement “involves making difficult decisions”, adding that Lloyds is “committed to working through these changes in a careful and sensitive way."

Bank of England will hold rates, economists expect

City economists appear certain that the Bank of England (BoE) will not raise interest rates today. No economists polled by Reuters expect the BoE to raise rates when it announces its June policy decision. There is also no consensus over whether the BoE's next rate rise will come at its next meeting in August or later in the year. With the BoE saying interest rates are likely to climb over the next two to three years, Alan Clarke, a financial markets strategist at Scotiabank, said: "I'm expecting a baby step in a more hawkish direction." City AM’s "shadow monetary policy committee", which includes representatives from Lloyds, Centre for Economics and Business Research and the Institute of Directors, has voted unanimously to hold interest rates.

Hammond to promise to protect bankers’ interests after Brexit

Philip Hammond will tell bankers today that he will seek a liberalisation of cross-border financial services as Britain leaves the EU and for London to be the world’s “undisputed gateway to financial markets”. The Chancellor will set out a strategy at the City of London’s annual Mansion House dinner for securing new “global financial partnerships” with other countries after Britain leaves the EU.

Tribunal knocks FCA over pursuit of senior managers in Libor probe

An Upper Tribunal Judge has said the Financial Conduct Authority’s failure to pursue senior managers over Libor rigging at UBS is “troubling”.


Goldman Sachs exploring more bitcoin services

Goldman Sachs is looking into expanding its involvement in bitcoin beyond clearing derivatives for clients. COO David Solomon told Bloomberg TV the firm was "cautious but exploring those activities".


Deutsche Bank fined over forex conduct

Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay a fine of $205m for violations of New York's banking laws through its foreign exchange trading business between 2007 and 2013. These violations include efforts to improperly coordinate trading activity, sharing confidential customer information and misleading customers. The settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services requires the bank to improve oversight of its forex trading business.

Former Anglo-Irish bank boss jailed for fraud

David Drumm, the former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank, has received a six-year prison sentence following his conviction for a €7.2bn fraud and false accounting at the failed lender. Judge Karen O'Connor said Mr Drumm’s offences did not cause Anglo Irish Bank to collapse, adding: “This court is not sentencing Mr Drumm for causing the financial crisis. Nor is this court sentencing Mr Drumm for the recession which occurred.”


Volkswagen and Ford to partner

Automakers Volkswagen and Ford have announced a "strategic alliance" to jointly develop a new generation of commercial vehicles. The German and US companies said they are exploring several projects such as developing vans together, but noted that negotiations had ruled out taking a stake in each other's companies. Thomas Sedran, head of Volkswagen group strategy, said: "The potential industrial co-operation with Ford is seen as an opportunity to improve competitiveness of both companies globally.”


Brexit aviation chief required

The Government is advertising for a new 'Head of Aviation EU Exit Negotiations' to lead the UK government's entire negotiation position on aviation in Brexit talks.


Major projects boost Severfield

Severfield has announced that underlying pre-tax profit climbed 19% to £23.5m in the year to March 31, while revenue was up 5% to £274.2m. The group's current UK order book stands at £237m, including its contract for the Google Headquarters at Kings Cross.


Jefferies moves up as European banking rivals fade

With Jefferies breaking into the top 10 for advising US companies on deals and raising capital, Rich Handler, chairman and chief executive, says the firm’s competitive position “has never been better.”


Gambling firm fined over money laundering checks

The Gambling Commission has fined 32Red, which was taken over by Swedish online betting company Kindred in 2017, £2m for failing to protect one problem gambler who was allowed to deposit £758,000 with the firm with no money laundering or social responsibility checks.


Recovery in manufacturing clouded by uncertainty

Despite optimism in the UK’s manufacturing sector improving in the quarter to June, the CBI has said longer-term growth is expected to be “subdued” due to uncertainty and weaker consumer spending power. Factory output is growing at its fastest pace since December, the CBI said. Anna Leach, CBI head of economic intelligence, said: “The recovery in orders and a return to bumper growth in production suggests the lull in manufacturing activity may be over.”

BAE systems wins $200m tanks contract

BAE Systems has won a contract worth up to $1.2bn (£910m) to build "ocean-capable" amphibious tanks for the US Marines, beating rival Science Applications International Corp in the bid to become lead contractor. An initial $198m contract to deliver 30 vehicles by next year has been signed, with another 208 potentially being built in a deal which would be worth $1.2bn.


Disney raises offer for 21st Century Fox

Disney has increased its offer for 21st Century Fox to $71.3bn in cash and shares, up from a previous offer of $52bn. The improved offer values Fox at $38 a share and exceeds Comcast’s $65bn all-cash offer tabled last week.


Berkeley ups guidance

Berkeley has upped its pre-tax profit guidance by £75m to £1.575bn for the two years ending April 30 2019. Revenue in the year to April 30 2018 fell 0.7% to £2.7bn, though pre-tax profits rose 15.1% to £934.9m, while Berkeley built 3,536 homes.


Sports Direct sells Finish Line stake

Sports Direct has offloaded its 19.3% stake in US retailer Finish Line for around £34m, but has announced it now holds an 8.6% stake in Iconix Brand Group, a US business which licenses brands to retailers. Sports Direct’s move away from Finish Line follows a £424m deal that sees JD Sports take over the American company.


Many adults have no savings

Some 13% of adults in the UK have no savings at all, according to a new report from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), based on a survey of 13,000 adults in England, which that revealed those in the North had less to fall back on than those in the South. Andrew Bailey, FCA chief executive, noted the importance of the data for firms, as they decide how best to serve their customers, and added: "This survey shows just how different the experience of financial services is for consumers across the country".

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