City's Brexit plans 'inadequate', warns EBA
The European Banking Authority has warned the financial industry its preparations for Brexit are “inadequate” and urgently need pushing forward. The EBA told City banks they needed to “rapidly advance” their planning for a hard Brexit - potentially putting the Bank of England at odds with the EU’s top regulator. "This should be a wake-up call. Time is running out, in some cases it has run out, and don't assume there will be a transition period," said Piers Haben, EBA director of banking markets, innovation and consumers.
Businesses need more Brexit clarity
Sir Gerry Grimstone, chairman at Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) and chairman of Barclays Bank, has issued a warning that businesses require greater clarity over Brexit and are no more certain about the outcome of negotiations than they were last year. Speaking in Edinburgh about the preparations SLA is making to move over half a million insurance and pensions customers in Europe to its Irish subsidiary, he commented: “Regrettably all over the City people are having to do this. It is a lot of economic and legal activity which in other situations you wouldn't do.”
RBS CFO moving to HSBC
Royal Bank of Scotland finance chief Ewen Stevenson is to become finance director of HSBC, replacing Iain Mackay who is retiring.
M&S axes staff from bank branches
Marks & Spencer's banking arm is reducing the number of its branch staff, alongside a cut in the number of hours when assistants will be available.
Starling launches phone account
Starling Bank has launched Britain’s first joint account which can be opened using a mobile phone.
GE engine division sold to Advent International
General Electric is selling its industrial engines division for $3.3bn to private equity firm Advent International. Advent will acquire GE's distributed power business, including factories in the United States, Canada and Austria.
US court rejects Nomura and RBS appeal
The US Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Royal Bank of Scotland and Nomura which sought to overturn an order fining them $839m (£633m) for making false statements while selling mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Sequoia raises $6bn to compete with SoftBank
Sequoia Capital has raised $6bn as it aims for $8bn to challenge SoftBank's $100bn Vision Fund, as technology investors build bigger funds in response to Softbank’s growth.
UniCredit investors urged to convert securities
Caius Capital has sent a letter to investors in UniCredit's equity and debt recommending the exchange of convertible and subordinated hybrid equity-linked securities.
BMW could shut UK plants
BMW has warned that it would have to close its Mini and Rolls-Royce plants in Britain if Brexit seriously disrupts its supply chain. BMW customs manager Stephan Freismuth told the Financial Times that the company wanted to keep its British plants open and was working on contingency plans, but that any disruption to imports of components would increase costs and damage its ‘just in time’ manufacturing model.
MPs approve Heathrow third runway
MPs have backed plans to build a third runway at London's Heathrow airport, with a vote in the Commons passing by 415 votes to 119. The vote was welcomed by the CBI business group as “a truly historic decision that will open the doors to a new era in the UK's global trading relationships”. However, Greenpeace UK said it was ready to join a cross-party group of London councils and Mayor Sadiq Khan in a legal challenge against the third runway.
Ex-Carillion directors face pensions clawback probe
The Pensions Regulator is considering issuing a 'contribution notice' against the senior management team behind Carillion, a move which would allow it to demand a contribution to the collapsed contractor’s pension scheme from particular individuals.
IMF chief expects London finance exodus
The head of the IMF has predicted an exodus of finance firms from London after Brexit, irrespective of the final deal between Britain and the EU. Speaking in Dublin, Christine Lagarde said that EU member states, and Ireland in particular, would need to brace themselves for an “influx” of finance companies that will move from London to alternative finance hubs once the UK quits the EU. Taking on these companies would require upping regulatory and “supervisory capacities”, Ms Lagarde said.
Transferwise API boosts Monzo's international offering
Digital bank Monzo has teamed up with fintech outfit Transferwise to offer customers international payments. Transferwise's API enables users to send money in 16 currencies from their Monzo app. Transferwise, which already has partnerships with German challenger bank N26 and Estonia's LHV, says over 3m people use it to transfer over £2bn each month.
Standard Life Aberdeen and Lloyds locked in dispute
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) and Lloyds Banking Group may not resolve a dispute over a plan to axe partnership deals for Lloyds-owned Scottish Widows and LBG Wealth until the end of the year, SLA chairman Sir Gerry Grimstone has said.
Old Mutual break-up almost complete
Quilter, Old Mutual's wealth management division, has listed in London with a market capitalisation of around £2.8bn. Quilter offers financial advice, planning and investment platform services.
Royal London unveils sustainable pension funds
Royal London has launched a range of sustainable pension funds representing around £1.7bn in assets under management. Over the last five years, Royal London claims the assets have delivered a 4%-12% annualised return.
Dementia Discovery Fund hits financing target
The Dementia Discovery Fund has raised an additional $150m to invest in treatments for Alzheimer's and related diseases after completing its financing phase.
Melrose approval for £8bn GKN deal
Melrose’s £8bn takeover of GKN has been approved by the US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. No national security grounds to block the deal were discovered.
MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT
CMA to examine media intelligence merger
The Competition and Markets Authority is to probe Ebiquity's planned sale of its advertising intelligence division to rival Nielsen. The investigation could take up to 24 weeks as both firms are the only suppliers of detailed advertising intelligence across a range of UK media.
Inmarsat bidding war looming
After French firm Eutelsat said yesterday it was considering a bid for Inmarsat, a bidding war has become more likely. Analysts had thought Eutelsat an unlikely bidder for Inmarsat, as the firm had said earlier this year that it would launch its own Kaband satellite, Konnect VHTS, to become operational in 2021.
Countrywide lowers expectations
Countrywide has forecast lower profits for the first half of this year - with adjusted core earnings expected to be around £20m lower than in the first half of 2017. As part of its "Back to basics" plan introduced in March, the agent behind Hamptons, Bairstow Eves, Taylors and Gascoigne-Pees is working to slash its levels of debt (£192bn) by at least 50% through raising additional funds, with the backing of private equity house Oaktree, its largest shareholder. The Standard's Jim Armitage suggests that the agent's "£100m fundraiser" could be a sign that its "heading for a breakup".
Pound raises cost of living in London
London has become a more expensive place for expatriate workers following the pound’s recovery, with the capital jumping ten places to 19th in Mercer’s annual cost of living survey. Hong Kong was named the most expensive expat destination in the world.