Starling hopes for 2022 IPO
Starling Bank CEO Anne Boden has told the Mail she hopes to float the digital bank in 2022. Starling has raised £263m since it was founded in 2014 and Boden says she has no plans to sell out to a big bank. “We're demonstrating a path to profitability that other digital banks have not, and we plan to break even at the end of next year,” Boden adds.
Number of zero-interest credit cards slumps
Research by Moneyfacts shows there are only 76 interest-free balance transfer cards on the market today - the smallest number since records began in 2007. The change follows regulatory pressure on banks to move away from models that persuade consumers to accumulate debt.
Bank targeting farmers to be launched
A new lender backed by agricultural investors is set for launch. Chester-based Oxbury is reported to be aiming to focus on providing farmers with loans.
Talis Capital enjoys profit boost
London-based venture capital firm Talis Capital has reported a £414,040 profit before tax for the year ending 31 March 2019 - a 91% jump on the previous year.
Government failed to ask the right questions over Cobham sale
Writing in the Telegraph, David Green, the director of Civitas, says the Government’s decision to approve the sale of Cobham to Advent International was naïve and betrays the concept of “one-nation conservatism”.
Wall Street banks ramp up research into quantum finance
Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup are among the Wall Street banks accelerating their research into quantum computing following advances in the hardware required to run quantum systems.
HSBC’s fortunes are more tied to Hong Kong than ever
The FT’s Patrick Jenkins says HSBC remains under threat in its home market: slowing Chinese growth, the pending impact on banks of the Hong Kong tensions and the prospect of relations with Beijing worsening.
Prudential seals deal with Vietnamese bank
The Vietnam-arm of FTSE 100 insurer Prudential has revealed that it has entered an exclusive "bancassurance" partnership with Southeast Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank.
Boeing considers borrowing $5bn
With Boeing’s 737 Max crisis ongoing the company is bleeding cash, insiders say, and is mulling raising up to $5bn to bolster its balance sheet. Meanwhile, the Times reports that a safety flaw has been uncovered on the 737 Max jet, raising the prospect of it being grounded for even longer.
City says strength must be maintained post-Brexit
The financial services and banking industries paid a record £75.5bn in taxes last year, according to a report for the City Of London Corporation. The total was up on the previous year's £75bn and comprised of £33.4bn in direct taxes, including corporation tax and business rates, and £42.1bn collected from employees and customers. Taxes from the sector made up 10.5% of the Treasury’s entire tax take. The report added that financial services firms employ 1.1m people across the country - around 3% of all UK employment. Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, said the figures demonstrate the importance of ensuring any post-Brexit trade deals reflect the interests of financial services. The sector “will play a critical role in fuelling our economic success after we leave the European Union,” Ms McGuinness added.
LSE tech woes not related to cyber attack
British security services have dismissed fears that the London Stock Exchange suffered a cyber-attack during last summer. The institution was forced to open 90 minutes late in August because of a technical fault – its worst in eight years which halted all trading until the issue was resolved. Officials said the affair was likely due to a computer hiccup and not related to hackers, as suggested by the Wall Street Journal. The LSE also reiterated an earlier statement, blaming the problems on a software update.
Yorkshire Payments launches new sports division
Payment technology company Yorkshire Payments has launched Yorkshire Sports Pay as part of its expansion plans. Yorkshire Sports Pay will focus on supplying merchant services, contactless payment technology and ecommerce payment gateways to sports venues across the UK.
NMC Health seeks to confirm cash levels after Muddy Waters attack
NMC Health is to review its cash balance following a critical report from Muddy Waters. NMC will look at other issues raised by the short-seller at a later date.
LEISURE & HOSPITALITY
Creditors of Jamie’s Italian set to lose most of £80m owed
A progress report from the administrators of Jamie Oliver’s failed Italian restaurant chain states that creditors will lose most of the £80m they are owed after the company’s collapse last May.
MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT
News Corp wins VAT dispute with HMRC
Rupert Murdoch's newspaper group News Corp has won a landmark legal case against HMRC over whether the Times' digital edition should be subject to VAT. The Upper Tribunal yesterday agreed that online editions of the Times and the Sunday Times should not be subject to a 20% VAT charge because their websites are only updated four times a day – meaning they met the legal definition of a newspaper.
Xerox secures financing HP takeover
Xerox has secured $24bn (£18.3bn) financing for its $33.5bn takeover offer for HP after engaging in “constructive dialogue” with many of HP’s largest shareholders. HP rejected an approach in November but activist investor Carl Icahn has urged shareholders to pressure directors to act if they support the move.
Wiley buys Mthree for £98m
US multinational John Wiley and Sons has bought London-based tech education firm Mthree from private equity firm ECI in a deal worth $129m (£98m).
Sales up at Mountain Warehouse
Mountain Warehouse reported record trading over Christmas with total sales rising by 16.2% to £95.8m for the 13 weeks to December 29th. The outdoor clothing and equipment chain, backed by Inflexion, said it plans to open five more stores this year.
'Boris bounce' boosts economy
Business confidence picked up following the general election, according to the IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) survey, which also suggested that the increased clarity over Brexit brought by Boris Johnson helped to boost the UK economy. The services industry recorded a PMI of 50 in December, up from 49.3 in November, a reading which although does not return the sector to growth did stop it from contracting. Employment too picked up, new orders increased and firms' optimism for the future climbed in the month.
Sajid Javid sets March 11 date for Budget to ‘level up’ UK regions
The Chancellor will today confirm the 11th March as the date for a tax-and-spend Budget designed to begin a promised “levelling up” of economic performance across the UK. It is understood that Sajid Javid will announce a shake-up of the way the Treasury allocates investment in an attempt to even up spending between the regions.
Spencer named chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies
ICAP founder Michael Spencer is to replace Lord Maurice Saatchi as chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies think-tank.