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Daily News Roundup: Wednesday 13th February 2019

Posted: 13th February 2019


CYBG partners with fintech to boost lending

CYBG has partnered with fintech financial wellbeing platform Salary Finance, which already works with employers including BT and the NHS, to boost its unsecured loans offering. Both firms will pump £500,000 into the joint venture, which will allow customers to access Salary Finance’s including salary-deducted savings, loans and financial education. David Duffy, chief executive of CYBG, said: “The joint venture adds to CYBG's growing range of partnerships - with over 40% of UK consumers regularly using FinTech services, there is clear value in partnering with innovative new providers like Salary Finance.”

Macquarie warns on Brexit licences

The Australian investment bank Macquarie has said it will continue with its Brexit contingency plans after warning that it might not secure the licences it needs from European regulators until after the UK is due to leave the EU. The bank is applying to regulators for licences so that it can continue to trade in the single market even if Britain were to leave the EU without a deal. It said that progress was “well advanced”, but added that some licences may not arrive in time for Britain's departure, meaning that a small number of clients could be affected. Macquarie added that the licence delays would not affect Britain’s status as the base for its European, Middle Eastern and African businesses.

Britain’s cash system is “broken” – Morgan

Nicky Morgan, chairwoman of the Treasury Select Committee, has said that Britain’s cash system is “broken” and needs addressing to ensure that people are not cut off. Speaking after Charles Randell, the chairman of the Payment Systems Regulator, told MPs that the “whole system needs to be looked at afresh”, Ms Morgan said that cash “continues to play an important role in the lives of millions” but access seemed to be “on the precipice of collapsing”.

Treasury accused of ignoring plight of small business under no-deal Brexit

Senior industry figures have warned that the Treasury has ignored banks’ efforts to co-ordinate an emergency funding programme for SMEs in the event of a no-deal Brexit.


UK’s fintech hit record levels last year

Venture capital and private equity investment in British fintech hit an all-time high of $3.3bn (£2.6bn) in 2018, according to data from Innovate Finance, 18% higher than in 2017. Growth capital from private equity players rose 57% to $1.6bn, suggesting that the UK’s startup scene is quickly becoming a scale-up industry. London performed well ahead of its European counterparts - taking in almost five times Germany’s $716m for fintech investment last year. Global venture capital investment in fintech in 2018 reached a record $36.6bn, a jump of 148% from 2017 and up 329% over five years.

Thoma Bravo to buy mortgage software group Ellie Mae

Private equity firm Thoma Bravo is acquiring mortgage software firm Ellie Mae for $3.7bn.


Orcel move dropped after clash over payments

The Times reports that Banco Santander had hoped to cut the bill it was paying to recruit Andrea Orcel from UBS to about €20m. The Spanish bank pulled the plug on Mr Orcel’s recruitment after a series of failed attempts to reduce the cost of his joining package. His total compensation and benefits accrued at UBS were thought to be more than €60m.

Santander shocks market with bond decision

Banco Santander has decided against early repayment of a €1.5bn capital bond, sending shockwaves through Europe’s bank debt market.


Contracts lift AA’s expectations

The AA has raised its full-year profit guidance after retaining or extending a raft of key contracts, including with Lloyds Banking Group, Volkswagen Group, Suzuki and Jaguar Land Rover. The breakdown cover group also won a three-year contract with van and car leasing company Arval.

Ghosn scandal hitting Nissan

Nissan has cut its full-year profit forecast from ‎¥‎540bn down to ¥‎450bn (£3.2bn) amid falling sales, as it also took a hit related to compensation for its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, who is awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges.


Ryanair boss under fire over potential €99m bonus

Unions have criticised Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary after it emerged that he could receive a bonus of up to €99m.


BASF to offload construction arm

BASF has hired Goldman Sachs to organise an auction or merger for its construction unit as the chemicals group seeks to focus on more profitable businesses. The division is expected to fetch €3bn (£2.6bn).


Plus500’s shares plummet

Shares in Plus500, the UK’s biggest provider of trading in contracts for difference and one of the most-shorted stocks on the FTSE, tanked as much as 40% on a shock profit warning on Tuesday. The firm, which could now opt to buy struggling rivals, is expecting the recent European regulatory crackdown to dent revenues going forward.


Hot summer takes TUI to higher losses

Tui's losses more than doubled in the final quarter of last year, leaving the travel operator blaming the weak pound and the hot summer for slower bookings. Despite a 4.4% rise in revenues to €3.7bn, Tui said underlying losses before interest, tax and other charges was €83.6m (£73.3m), up from €36.7m in the same period of 2017.


Viventi backing build-to-rent market

US investor Viventi Capital Management is to inject £100m into the UK’s growing build-to-rent market. Around £75bn of investment is set be committed to the professionally-managed private rented sector in the UK by 2025.


Debenhams secures cash injection

Debenhams has secured a cash injection of £40m to buy it extra time as it battles to secure a longer-term deal with lenders. The department store chain called it a "first step" towards a sustainable future. The extra money will extend the retailer's current £520m borrowing facilities with banks for 12 months and enable it to continue talks over a longer-term refinancing.

Liberty sale mooted

Bluegem Capital Partners has reportedly hired UBS to explore potential buyers of London’s Liberty department store. According to Sky News, Liberty could sell for between £300m to £350m. Bluegem acquired the business for £40m.


Formula One deals expire this year

Neither Britain’s Silverstone or Italy’s Monza appear willing to budge on their demands that Formula One race fees are reduced, arguing that costs are up and revenue is down, with Hockenheim, Barcelona and Mexico City also in doubt. Just four weeks remain until the new racing season begins, but doubts remain over the future of some of the sport’s most iconic tracks.


Carney: Brexit could be a catalyst for global change

The Bank of England Governor has said the challenge of Brexit is fundamentally about bridging the need for sovereignty and economic co-operation and that it provided the opportunity to make changes to the global order to make it more cooperative, accountable and prosperous. In a speech, Mr Carney said: “In many respects, Brexit is the first test of a new global order and could prove the acid test of whether a way can be found to broaden the benefits of openness while enhancing democratic accountability.” He continued: “Brexit can lead to a new form of international cooperation and cross-border commerce built on a better balance of local and supranational authorities.” Mr Carney advocated freer trade in services, which would massively reduce the deficits seen in the US and UK, while increased use of digital technologies would give more SMEs access to trade, spreading prosperity further.


Brexit uncertainty leaves firms “hung out to dry”

British businesses have said the government has left them “hung out to dry” in the event of a no-deal Brexit. With less than 50 days until March 29th, the British Chambers of Commerce said 20 key questions remain unsolved. These included how to move skilled staff between the UK and EU, which rules to follow and what trade deals will be in place. The BCC also warned that the lack of clarity over what will happen had already “stifled investment and growth”. Adam Marshall, director-general of the BCC, commented: “There is a very real risk that a lack of clear, actionable information from government will leave firms, their people and their communities hung out to dry.”

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