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Daily News Roundup: Thursday 25th January 2018

Posted: 25th January 2018


Dimon in new warning on Brexit job cuts

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon has said that the US bank could cut its 16,000 UK workforce by more than a quarter if financial rules diverge after Brexit. Mr Dimon said the bank had not needed to make drastic cuts on day one after the EU referendum. But he revised his long-term estimate of job losses upwards if Brexit talks failed to produce an outcome close to the current arrangements. Mr Dimon added that such a scenario would harm London as a financial hub. Meanwhile, Frankfurt and Paris will welcome significantly less London bankers in 2018, as the prospect of a softer Brexit grows. Frankfurt's chief promoter, Hubertus Vaeth, had expected up to 6,000 new arrivals this year but now expects less than 1,000. Deutsche Bank, which had originally examined moving up to 4,000 staff from London, will now initially shift less than 200 jobs.

Fintechs put plans on hold

A number of UK fintech firms have put their plans to break into mainstream banking on hold, with six of Britain’s nine big banks yet to implement new open banking rules. RBS, HSBC, Barclays, Santander UK, Bank of Ireland and Nationwide Building Society have all asked the Financial Conduct Authority for an extension to the deadline for the rules, which require the banks to open up their data so other companies can target their customers with tailored products and deals. Steve Tigar, CEO of personal finance app Money Dashboard, which allows users to see all their bank accounts in one place. “We have decided to postpone our open banking implementation until all the banks can prove they have... all the required data available.”

Cable: Government could be tied to its RBS stake for 10 years

Sir Vince Cable has claimed that the government might have to wait 10 years until it can viably sell its shares in RBS. The Liberal Democrat leader said that legacy issues were still weighing on the bank’s share price and that such issues had to be resolved before the government could break even. The former business secretary said: “At this rate, we could be looking at another decade until selling the shareholding makes any economic sense.”

New rules to tackle financial crime

Geraldine Lawlor, head of financial crime at Barclays, has revealed that a new set of rules to combat financial crime have been formulated in recent weeks with a view to implementing them in the next 12 to 24 months. Ms Lawlor explained that the changes will involve banks trying to spot patterns in their data and placing greater priority on threats such as terrorism. Banks still will go through all transactions and report suspicious ones, but there will be less emphasis on individual transaction reporting because it throws up so many “false positives”, Ms Lawlor said.

Tesco appoints Ulster Bank boss

Tesco has appointed Gerry Mallon, who has resigned as chief executive of RBS’s Irish lender Ulster Bank, to take the helm at Tesco Bank towards the end of July. Since the late 90s, Tesco Bank has built up customer deposits of more than £8.5bn.

Atom chairman steps down

Anthony Thomson, founder and chairman of Atom Bank, is to step down as the app-based lender finalises a £150m fundraising. Mr Thomson, who also launched Metro Bank, will be replaced by Bridget Rosewell, one of Atom's non-executive directors.


DN Capital raises €200m to back tech start-ups despite Brexit

A €200m fund to back early-stage European and US technology start-ups has been raised by London-based venture capital firm, DN Capital.


Powell approved as Federal Reserve head

President Donald Trump’s choice for the next head of the Federal Reserve has been approved by US senators. Jerome Powell was backed in a 84-13 vote as chair of the central bank, with support from Republicans and many Democrats. Mr Powell, who was named as Mr Trump's nominee in November, is a Republican who is seen to back low interest rates.

Commonwealth Bank to pay compensation over advice

Commonwealth Bank of Australia is expected to pay about A$1.9m (£1.1m) in compensation to customers who received “inappropriate” advice from five financial planners. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said the compensation follows a compliance review of issues at the bank. More than 3,500 customers of the five advisers have been contacted by the bank following the review, the regulator said.


Crest Nicholson boss stands aside

Stephen Stone, chief executive of Crest Nicholson, has stepped down as the company reported strong results. Crest's pre-tax profits increased 6% to £207m in the year to October 31, while its average selling price rose by 5% to £388,000. Revenues were up 6% to £1.07bn, though the number of homes it built was up just 2.3% on the previous year, a lower growth rate than many of its peers.

Insurers pay out £30m to Carillion suppliers

Insurers have said they will pay more than £30m to businesses owed money by Carillion. Sums ranging from £5,000 to several million pounds are being paid to firms which had insurance policies against bad debts. However, the majority of the collapsed construction firm’s suppliers risk getting little or nothing back, as only a minority had cover.


Inga Beale warns of ‘distrust'

Lloyd’s of London chief executive Inga Beale has warned that “distrust of big business” was fuelling discontent. Speaking at the Davos summit on Wednesday, she said that there had been too much emphasis on GDP: “People don’t know who to trust any more. So, we’ve got to find another mechanism to include much bigger parts of the population, and use different metrics to measure the success of a country”.

Hong Kong exchange blames Brexit for stalled HK-London Connect

The CEO of the Hong Kong stock exchange has claimed that Brexit has stalled plans for an exchange tie-up between Hong Kong and London as the European regulator has dragged its feet on approving the deal.


Martin: Food prices won’t increase due to Brexit

Tim Martin, founder and chairman of Wetherspoons, has insisted that food prices will not increase as a result of Brexit, as the the pub chain revealed strong sales for the Christmas period. Total revenues grew 4.3% in the 12 weeks to January 21 and sales at pubs open more than one year climbed 6%, matching the chain’s performance in the first quarter of the year. Mr Martin said: “Provided that parliament takes sensible steps, such as the elimination of food taxes, the public will benefit from lower food prices, from regained fishing rights and from savings of about £200m per week of EU contributions.”


WH Smith: High Street sales continue to fall

WH Smith has reported that total sales in the 20 weeks to January 20 were flat, with like-for-likes down 1%. Although total sales at its travel outlets increased 7%, and comparable sales rose 3%, they were down 5% and 4% respectively at its high street stores.

KKR sells remaining stake in Pets at Home

KKR has offloaded its remaining 12.3% stake in Pets at Home after the retailer reported that revenues increased on the back of its vet-services expansion.


Arsenal to promote cryptocurrency

Arsenal has agreed a deal with the gaming company CashBet, which is planning to launch its own currency CashBet Coin. It will see CashBet Coin advertised at Arsenal's Premier League home games.


Unemployment down and wages up

UK unemployment fell by 3,000 to 1.44m in the three months to November, according to the ONS, leaving the UK's unemployment rate at a four-decade low of 4.3%. The number of those in work increased sharply and wages rose at their fastest rate in almost a year.

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