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Daily News Roundup: Tuesday, 13th August 2019

Posted: 13th August 2019


One in 14 people affected by card fraud

Data from the Office for National Statistics show 7% of all adults in the UK were victims of fraudulent debit or credit card transactions over the past 12 months. Much of the fraud stemmed from internet use and online shopping with the ONS noting that the majority (54%) of over-65s were now using the internet, up from 48% the previous year and a sharp rise from 2008 when the figure was just 16%. Nearly three in four use internet banking, up from four in ten in 2008, with the ONS linking the rise to the closure of high street bank branches.

Mortgage lender gets £200m boost from NAB

National Australia Bank (NAB) has ploughed £200m into LendInvest, boosting its buy-to-let lending capacity. The move makes the company one of the UK's largest non-bank mortgage lenders. LendInvest has now raised more than £1.8bn of debt and equity. Co-founder Christian Faes said: "We have dominated in the short-term mortgage market for years."

For today’s investment bankers, job cuts are a one-way street

The FT’s Lombard considers the fate of the 30,000 investment bankers let go in the latest round of job cuts, predicting that the structural changes underway will mean they are unlikely to come back.


BC Partners buys Advanced stake

BC Partners has bought a 50% stake in Slough-based software firm Advanced in a deal worth around £2bn. Advanced products include ticket systems for events at stadiums and tech used to process Gift Aid donations. Vista Equity Partners is selling the stake to BC Partners, which plans to grow Advanced by acquiring new customers and buying up smaller competitors.

Osram shares jump 10% after €4.3bn bid from AMS

Austrian sensor maker AMS has trumped by 10% a bid from Bain Capital and Carlyle Group for German lighting maker Osram, proposing an offer of €38.50 per share. Osram shares climbed 9.9% to €34.78 in early Monday trading following the bid.

Tui moves further away from tour operator market

Tui has announced the €100m sale of its German specialist tour operator Berge & Meer and Boomerang Reisen to Hamburg-based private equity investor Genui Partners.


German financial sector wants EU to take hardline with UK

Findings released on Monday by Frankfurt University’s Centre for Financial Studies (CFS) indicate a hardening of sentiment among German bankers and financial service providers, who now expect a no-deal Brexit is unavoidable with 70% saying the EU should not offer the UK any more concessions to avoid no-deal. Some 61% of those surveyed believe the financial markets have not yet effectively factored in the risk of no-deal, however, almost two-thirds said they believed the German financial sector was sufficiently prepared to cope with no-deal. Hubertus Väth, managing director of Frankfurt Main Finance, which funded the study, said it would be important for financial centres in continental Europe “to demonstrate their efficiency” and successful cooperation could see Europe “emerge from the crisis even stronger.”

Deutsche Bank admits it faces struggle to revive IPO business

An executive at Deutsche has admitted the bank faces an uphill battle to revive its struggling equity capital markets business as its share of IPO business falls to 1.5%.

China prepares to launch digital coin

A top official at the People's Bank of China (PBOC) has said the country is close to unveiling its own cryptocurrency, a move that would make it the first major economy to launch a state-backed digital coin.

New Zealand legalises salaries paid in cryptocurrencies

New Zealand will become the first country to allow salaries and wages to be paid in cryptocurrencies from September 1, as long as the payments are in regular, fixed amounts.

US banks hope to avoid the fate of those in Europe

The FT suggests the biggest threat to US banks isn’t a recession next year but that medium and long-term interest rates continue to fall and stay low.


Passenger numbers buoy Heathrow

Nearly 8m passengers used Heathrow this July and 46m passengers so far this year - a near 1.5% increase on the same time the previous year - putting the airport on course to carry 81 passengers this year.

Menzies buys Canadian firm

Edinburgh-based Menzies Aviation has bought Canadian logistics services provider GTO Global Logistics.


Financial services trade deal may not be fast-tracked

John Bolton, the national security advisor to US president Donald Trump, has met with Boris Johnson to discuss plans for a fast-track trade deal with the UK. Mr Bolton suggested a sector-by-sector approach could see agreements made quickly in areas like manufacturing and automotive, but other agreements like financial services may take longer.

Lloyd’s of London ramps up modernisation drive

Lloyd’s of London has hit a modernisation milestone after completing over 50% of its under-writing deals electronically in Q2. London Market Group, a trade body for London’s specialist commercial (re)insurance brokers and underwriters, said Lloyd’s accepted just over 60% of in-scope risks electronically, surpassing its 50% target set for the second quarter of 2019.

Julius Baer has 'no concerns' over no-deal Brexit

Julius Baer, the first Swiss firm to set up in Belfast, says it has no concerns about Brexit and is looking forward to further expansion in Northern Ireland. The wealth management company said it is confident about the local economy and the level of interest from global firms.

Royal London sales hit by DB transfer drop

Royal London has reported a 4% year-on-year fall in new business sales to £5.8bn for the first six months of 2019. The pensions provider blamed an industry-wide reduction in defined benefit transfers.

Aegon raids main rival NN Group for next chief

Dutch insurance group Aegon has hired Lard Friese, who has led its biggest domestic rival NN Group since 2014, as its new CEO.


More pain for Thomas Cook shareholders

Shares in Thomas Cook fell further on Monday morning after the tour operator revealed that it is in advanced discussions with bond holders for a £150m cash injection - on top of the £750m rescue deal it is already working on with lead investor Fosun. It is hoped the cash will help the struggling tour giant stay afloat over the cash-low winter period but will "significantly dilute" shareholders' stakes.


Rolls-Royce shares slide on engine fears

Shares in Rolls-Royce fell more than 3% in early trading on Monday following reports that parts from one of its troubled Trent 1000 engines appeared to drop from a jet taking off in Rome.

ABB investors cheer hiring of Bjorn Rosengren as chief

Investors in ABB welcomed the news that Bjorn Rosengren, the CEO of Swedish engineer Sandvik, would succeed Peter Voser in March, hailing his record in “driving a decentralised culture”.


S4 Capital snaps up IMA

Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital is to merge IMA - Europe’s largest influencer marketing company, into existing content arm Mediamonks, which he bought last summer, after agreeing a €10m (£9.3m) purchase. Amsterdam-based IMA selects influencers to create online content for brands including Microsoft, Heineken, and Samsonite.


Irwin Mitchell posts significant growth

Irwin Mitchell has announced significant growth in its turnover and profit for the 2018-19 financial year. Turnover for the group was up by 9% to £263m with profit rising by 76% to £21m.


Dozens of retailers call for business rates overhaul

More than 50 leading retailers have written to the Chancellor urging him to change tax rules to boost the UK High Street. The group is calling on Sajid Javid to fix the "broken business rates system", which it called outdated. It said the tax had jumped by 50% since the 1990s and had contributed to some retailers going out of business.

Dr Martins making strides

Dr Martins has revealed a 70% lift in annual profit as the Permira-owned shoe brand continued its international expansion. The firm opened 20 new stores, half of them in the US and Japan, to take its total to 109. Permira is reportedly looking at a possible sale or stock market flotation to realise its profits.


Income and wellbeing up, but consumers fear for the economy

Despite household income rising and scores for wellbeing increasing, British consumers fear for the economy in general, with worries over rising unemployment at a six-year high and expectations of the economy’s performance over the next year their most gloomy since 2011. The Office for National Statistics said that “all main measures of economic wellbeing increased” in the first three months of 2019, with household income up by 1.8% while spending per head rose by 1.2%, compared to the same period last year - an all-time high. Per-capita net wealth rose by 3%, driven by an increase in the value of equity and investment fund shares and pension schemes. Separately, a YouGov survey for Citigroup showed that the British public expected inflation to reach 2.8% over the next 12 months, up from a previous forecast of 2.6% in June.


UK faces long-term risks on all fronts

Kallum Pickering, the senior economist at Berenberg, examines the economic risks facing the UK as it leaves the EU, suggesting Boris Johnson’s spending plans could backfire. But a snap election resulting in a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government would bring higher risks, says Pickering, pointing out that an “economy facing excessive regulation and poor fiscal discipline could not prosper even within the most frictionless trading regime.” With the risks of a no-deal Brexit and a far-Left government, it is no wonder investors are spooked; but for the UK to be taken seriously outside the EU “it has to pursue policies that adhere to sound economic principles,” Pickering concludes.

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