Tide criticised for snubbing deferral scheme
The British Business Bank has criticised the business finance provider Tide for refusing to take part in the Chancellor's payment deferral scheme for small companies that took out emergency COVID-19 loans. The UK's state development bank accused Tide of having failed to meet government "expectations" that it would offer the deferrals after it provided £58m to 1,812 borrowers via the bounce-back scheme
Hampden & Co hails double-digit growth
Edinburgh private bank Hampden & Co has reported a 24% rise in income in the six months to the end of June to £6m, compared with the first half of 2020. Deposits rose by £180m or 42% to £603m, while lending grew by £133m or 53% to £381m. Chief executive Graeme Hartop said: “We have continued to experience strong demand for our accessible and flexible approach to banking, particularly during lockdown when clients valued having a banker they can call on.”
Tesco Bank stops account departures
Tesco Bank has confirmed it is temporarily stopping customers from switching to rivals after being overwhelmed by demand. The company announced last month that it was closing the current accounts of about 213,000 customers. According to The Telegraph, it has now informed customers over the weekend it was temporarily halting applications for current account switches as a result of high demand.
Reform UK to ask Bank of England to provide banking services
Richard Tice, who leads Reform UK, has said he will write to the governor of the Bank of England to ask it to provide banking services to parties that cannot secure them elsewhere, after Metro Bank said it will close his party's account. Tice said Metro’s decision was “unprecedented” and the result of “political pressure”.
Schroders takes stake in Revolut
Schroder UK Public Private Trust, formerly known Woodford Patient Capital Trust, has announced a $13.7m investment in Revolut. The fintech company’s recent funding round valued the company at $33bn.
BoE weighs issuing digital currency to reduce financial stability risks
The Bank of England and the Treasury are investigating issuing a central bank digital currency amid a race by central banks to control the evolution of cryptocurrencies.
Blackstone to buy Canada's WPT Industrial REIT
Blackstone has agreed to buy WPT Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust for about $1.86bn. Canada-based WPT Industrial owns more than 100 logistics properties across 19 US states.
Jefferies and JPMorgan raise pay for analysts
US investment bank Jefferies has raised pay for first-year analysts in the US from $85,000 to $110,000 annually. Second-year analysts will also get a pay hike from $90,000 to $125,000 per year. Elsewhere, JPMorgan had increased first-year analysts’ pay to $100,000, up from £85,000, whilst second-year analysts will collect $105,000. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley also recently upped their pay for junior staff as Wall Street firms bid to attract and retain top talent. Separately, investment bankers are expected to take home the biggest bonus checks in around a decade, thanks to an unprecedented surge in deal making this year, according to compensation consulting firm Johnson Associates. Bankers who do underwriting work could enjoy a 30-35% increase in their 2021 bonus, while bankers who handle advisory work and equity sales and trading professionals could get 20-25% increases, the firm’s Alan Johnson estimates.
Citigroup sells Australian consumer business to NAB for $882m
As its exit from underperforming Asian and eastern European retail units gets underway, Citigroup has sold its Australian consumer business to National Australia Bank for about A$1.2bn.
Kier boss admits HS2 rail contracts saved company from collapse
The boss of construction firm Kier has admitted that a government decision to award the company with contracts for the HS2 railway line saved it from a Carillion style-collapse three years ago.
Hargreaves Lansdown warns pandemic-induced trading boom will not last
Investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown has posted a 3% decline in pre-tax profits to £366m on the back of higher costs, despite revenues rising 15% to £631m. The firm said that while trading volumes were exceptional in the year to June, it did not expect volumes to remain at similarly high levels. Shares closed 9% down on the news.
BioNTech profits soar as Covid vaccine demand surges
German biotech group BioNTech has announced first half profits of €3.9bn with full-year revenues expected to hit €15.9bn on the back of soaring demand for its coronavirus vaccine, well above a previous forecast of €12.4bn.
LEISURE & HOSPITALITY
David Lloyd enjoys strong post-pandemic recovery
Leisure club operator David Lloyd has seen membership return to pre-pandemic levels, seven months earlier than its forecasts. The group said the locations and the use of club rooms as business lounges were supporting the shift towards hybrid working, creating a “boom in people looking to join health clubs closer to their homes”.
Delivery Hero buys stake in Deliveroo
Delivery Hero has acquired a 5% stake worth £284m in its food delivery rival Deliveroo. The news sent shares in Deliveroo up 11% to 360p, its highest since the firm went public in March at 390p a share.
MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT
Vodafone to reintroduce roaming fees for UK customers in Europe
Vodafone has become the latest mobile network to reintroduce roaming charges for Britons who travel in Europe following Brexit. From 11th August, new and upgrading customers will have to pay up to £2 per day to use their monthly allowance of data, calls and texts, although the charges will not apply until January next year. The change comes after EE, which is owned by BT, announced that it would be reintroducing roaming charges in June.
City firms launch first global crypto fraud network
A group of law firms has launched a network for crypto-related fraud in a bid to make the UK a global centre for crypto dispute resolution. The ‘Crypto Fraud and Asset Recovery’ (CFAAR) network has been created with the aim of becoming a “known body and ‘go-to’ point” for advice on crypto fraud investigations and asset recovery, as well as an industry voice, according to an announcement made on Monday.
Retail sales growth slows
New figures reveal that retail sales increased by 6.4% in the year to July, up from 3.2% last year. Although the sector has rebounded sharply in recent months as non-essential shops have reopened, growth is starting to slow now that restrictions on the hospitality sector have been removed, and was lower than the three-month average of 14.7%. Separate analysis of debit and credit card data by Barclaycard found that consumer card spending grew by 11.6% in July, compared with the same period in 2019, with that growth driven by spending in pubs, bars and clubs, which jumped by 30.5%.
Morrisons takeover battle extended as CD&R given more time to bid
The Takeover Panel has extended the deadline for Clayton, Dubilier & Rice to make an offer for Morrisons to August 20th following the grocer’s decision to delay a shareholder meeting to vote on the offer from rival Fortress.
Delta wave threatens eurozone recovery
Economists have warned that the eurozone’s recovery may have peaked following a stronger-than-expected second quarter. Chris Hare, an HSBC economist, said: “The mobility data suggest that monthly growth has now slowed following the past easing of restrictions.” The impact of the delta variant is now considered the key downside risk to the region’s recovery, Bert Colijn, economist at ING suggested.
Kwasi Kwarteng vows to put free market approach at heart of UK’s post-Covid recovery
The UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has vowed to put a free market approach at the heart of the post-Covid recovery, as the economy is weaned off the massive state support it received during the pandemic.