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Daily News Roundup: Wednesday, 11th April 2018

Posted: 11th April 2018


London’s top paid bankers outnumber those in the rest of EU

European Banking Authority figures reveal that with 3,529 bankers, asset managers and other financial services executives being paid more than €1m (£870,000) a year, London has three times as many as the rest of the European Union. Economist Gerard Lyons commented: “These figures are consistent with other indicators that confirm London leads the way in terms of highly skilled, high-paying jobs across Western Europe. This reinforces the need for the UK, and London in particular, to remain competitive.”

“I want to be the dominant player,” says Revolut boss

The Telegraph carries an interview with Revolut boss Nikolay Storonsky, a former Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse trader, who has already led the profitable British fintech firm to a £300m valuation with 1.7m users. As well as launching in the US, Australia, India and Singapore, Storonsky is planning to add a robo adviser, commission-free stock trading and a “round-up” function for saving as you spend to the Revolut app, adding to his 350 employees at the rate of about 30 per month. “I want to be the dominant player in the world,” he says.

Banks warned not to flout sanctions

Sigal Mandelker, US under-secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, has advised that British lenders will face "consequences" if they do not observe new sanctions against Russian businessmen and firms. In the past, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered have all been forced to pay fines for violating such sanctions.

Mobile banking service criticised

Proposals to implement a mobile banking service to towns in the north-east of Scotland affected by RBS branch closures have been criticised by Ellon and district councillor Richard Thomson, who commented: “It's bad enough that RBS is looking to close the Ellon branch. However, if RBS managers think sending a mobile bank once a week to the outskirts of town for just three quarters of an hour is sufficient to serve their customers in Ellon and the surrounding area they are sorely mistaken. Having a physical branch is vitally important for cash-handling customers as well as for people to be able to meet bank staff to get advice.”

Cryan in line for hefty payout

Deutsche Bank’s ousted chief executive John Cryan is entitled to a payment upon early termination of “two annual compensation amounts” - almost €7m (£6.1m).

Lenders face £800m interest costs

After the Bank of England ended six years of cheap funding schemes, British lenders must pay £800m in additional interest costs, according to a new report from Moody’s.

Small business lender Liberis secures funding

Small business lender Liberis has agreed funding of £57.5m from investors, commenting that the move would assist in supporting some 100,000 British jobs over the next two years.


MotoGP pursued by CVC

CVC Capital Partners is part of a group of financial institutions seeking to take control of international motorcycle racing series MotoGP.

Buyout deals shunned by Norway fund

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund will not be allowed to invest in private equity, but approval to go into renewable infrastructure could be a possibility.


Critical phase for eurozone banking system

Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission vice-president responsible for the euro, has cautioned that a project to strengthen the eurozone's banking system must be strengthened.


Volkswagen’s Müller set for replacement after diesel scandal

Volkswagen chief executive Matthias Müller looks set to be replaced as the firm seeks to move forward from the so-called ‘dieselgate’ scandal. Herbert Diess, head of the VW passenger car brand, is believed to be his likely successor. Mr Müller has led the company to overtake Toyota as the world's biggest car manufacturer by sales, and authorised the spending of €34bn on electrification and self-drive technology.

Ford will stand by Britain

Jim Farley, executive vice president of global markets for Ford, has said he feels positive about the direction being taken in Brexit negotiations, commenting: “We’re very encouraged by the provisional transitional agreement between the EU and the UK government… It is a very positive sign. I think the agreement is a significant step forward.” He continued: “Brexit has had a big impact on the business, but we're number one in Britain so it's a very important market”.


HNA abandons Swissport float

Chinese conglomerate HNA has cancelled plans to float air-services group Swissport "due to current market conditions", providing no further details.


Underwriters settle Provident's £331m rights issue

Underwriters Barclays and JP Morgan have helped doorstep lender Provident Financial to a £331m cash call. Some 96.3% of shareholders backed the capital raise, resulting in a placement of £12.3m of unwanted Provident rights stock on the market.

Ultimatum for Fidessa bidders

The UK Takeover Panel has told two potential Fidessa counterbidders they must make a firm offer within 10 days, with Temenos, SS and C and Ion Trading in the running.

Asia-focused macro fund to be launched by Brevan Howard

The MB Macro fund, which will make bets on Asian markets, will be launched by Brevan Howard by the end of the second quarter, according to reports.

Dunbar campaigners call for Zurich probe

Campaigners bankrupted by Dunbar Bank have called for UK and Swiss regulators to investigate owner Zurich. The Dunbar Action Group has written to the Financial Conduct Authority, Swiss regulator Finma, and Zurich chief executive Mario Greco, calling for a governance probe. Chairman Ben Warren, said: “DAG considers it likely that Zurich would be considered negligent in relation to its ownership of Dunbar Bank.”

Brexit brushed off by fund managers

A report from the trade body for the financial services and professional services sector shows that British fund managers' assets under management increased to £8.1tn in 2016, a record figure and up 17.4% on 2015.


IMF warns of global property slump

The International Monetary Fund has warned that years of easy money have pushed the world’s interlinked property markets to the same extremes seen before 2008's financial crisis. The IMF said governments should step up ‘macro-prudential’ curbs where possible to reduce inflows of foreign cash and protect their own economies.


Ultimo ceases trading in the UK

The Ultimo lingerie brand formed by Michelle Mone is to cease trading in the UK. The firm announced that, following an extensive review of the business, the operation in the UK will cease trading. Staff at the Ultimo headquarters in East Kilbride have been informed, with a formal redundancy consultation now under way with the 11 employees at the site. Retail partners and suppliers have also been told of the decision.

Internet decimates high street

With online shopping and a reduction in spending having an impact on the high street, figures show that an average of 16 stores closed every day in 2017, bringing the annual total to 5,855. An average of 11 opened every day.


Households should receive BoE policy rationale

Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane has said that every household should receive a personalised "monetary policy scorecard" from the Bank, detailing the financial impact of interest rate decisions. He noted that a clearer understanding of how the institution's decisions affect people was required to restore trust in it. Mr Haldane also defended the institution’s actions during the financial crisis, claiming that UK household income has increased by almost £9,000 as a result of its efforts to boost the economy. He commented: "The material loosening of UK monetary policy after 2007 has had a significantly positive effect on employment, income and wealth, without which average living standards in the UK would be materially lower."

Interest rate rise sought by BoE’s McCafferty

Ian McCafferty of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee has said that the institution should not hesitate to raise interest rates again, commenting: "We shouldn't dally when it comes to tightening policy modestly".


Japan defies cryptocurrency crackdown

The Independent reports on Japan's emergence as a cryptocurrency global centre, maintaining a supportive regulatory environment as other nations implement increasingly strict regulations.

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