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Daily News Roundup: Wednesday 16th May 2018

Posted: 16th May 2018


PPI provisions take CYBG into the red
The Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group (CYBG) has revealed a £76m loss after tax for the six months ended March 31 2018, after increasing provisions for PPI claims by £350m over a revised estimate of 110,000 walk-in complaints. CYBG also increased provisions for other remediation costs by £18m. Chief executive David Duffy said: "In a competitive market, we have significantly increased underlying profit, up 28% to £158m, while achieving 5% annualised lending growth across both mortgages and SMEs". Mr Duffy added that payment protection insurance (PPI) woes were "in the rear view mirror".

TSB turned down help from Lloyds during IT outage
TSB turned down an offer of assistance from former owner Lloyds at the beginning of the IT meltdown that left hundreds of thousands of customers locked out of their bank accounts. Almost 100,000 TSB customers are still unable to access their accounts online — more than three weeks after the bank’s systems went into meltdown.

Last post for Aldermore Bank
Aldermore Bank is ceasing its postal service on its easy-access accounts, fixed-rate bonds and cash Isas – “We have taken the decision to move the management of accounts to online only,” said a spokesperson for the lender.


US House to vote on bill easing post-crisis bank rules
The US House of Representatives will vote next week on a bill that seeks to relax regulations introduced following the financial crisis of 2007-2009, two congressional sources said. The bill is expected to be approved by the Republican-majority House, clearing the way for President Donald Trump to sign the measure into law.

Japan Post Bank to unveil $1.5bn hedge fund
Japan Post Bank is to launch a $1.5bn inhouse hedge fund in a "clear signal of intent" of more aggressive moves into new business lines and investment portfolio diversification.

Bitmain leads $110m funding in US mobile payments group Circle
China's biggest bitcoin mining company, Bitmain, has led a $110m investment in Circle Internet Financial that values the US mobile payments and cryptocurrency trading company at almost $3bn.


Geely sets $30bn valuation bar for Volvo IPO
Volvo's owner Geely will only proceed with an IPO if it achieves a valuation of more than $30bn, according to reports.


Easyjet soars on record revenue
Easyjet's total revenue rose by almost a fifth to £2.2bn in the first half of the year, up from £1.8bn this time last year, while total revenue per seat increased by almost 11% to £54.10. Passenger numbers rose by 3m to 36.8m, with the airline citing a boost from failed rivals and soaring ancillary sales. After ruling itself out as a potential buyer of Norwegian, Easyjet expects headline profit before tax for the year to September 30 to be in the range of £530m to £580m.


Taylor Wimpey to boost dividends by £100m
Taylor Wimpey boss Pete Redfern has announced that the firm will pay an extra £100m in dividends every year amid ambitions to become the UK’s biggest housebuilder, as well as a special payout of £350m next year. Taylor Wimpey built around 15,000 homes last year, but is aiming to up the firm’s capacity to 20,000, potentially putting it ahead of Barratt Developments and Persimmon.


BoE will not 'spoon feed' City on interest rate hikes
The deputy governor of the Bank of England, Ben Broadbent, has dismissed City workers’ complaints about the level of forward guidance the UK’s central bank gives out. “We’re not going to spoon feed them meeting by meeting,” he said.

Thomson to move forex derivatives out of London after Brexit
Thomson Reuters has announced it is planning to transfer its forex derivatives trading from London to Dublin ahead of Brexit over concerns about passporting rights into the EU.

Hargreaves Lansdown bringing in the money
Hargreaves Lansdown brought in £3.3bn in new business for the year to April 30, from 60,000 new clients. Assets under administration stood at £88.8bn as of April 30, while year-to-year net revenue was up 16%, to £366.6m. Chief executive Chris Hill said: "We believe continuing to make investments in client service and technology is crucial to the ongoing success of Hargreaves Lansdown".


MPs propose Big Four break-up after Carillion failure
The Big Four accountancy firms should be broken up following failings exposed by the collapse of Carillion, a damning parliamentary report has said. MPs concluded that the outsourcing giant’s board presided over a "rotten corporate culture" and was culpable for its "costly collapse". But they also said Carillion’s auditors were partly to blame for failing to insist the company paint a true picture of its crippling financial problems.


Vodafone swings back to profit with gusto
Vodafone has returned from 2017's loss-making performance with profits of €2.8bn (£2.5bn) for the year to March 31 2018. Operating profit was up 15.4% to €4.3bn, while in the UK the firm enjoyed success in the 4G and 5G spectrum auction, winning 50 MHz of the 3.4 GHz spectrum for £378.2m. Vodafone also announced chief executive Vittorio Colao will leave the company in October and be succeeded by chief financial officer Nick Read.


Landsec warns over Brexit hit to property markets
Landsec has warned it expects "subdued" markets ahead of Brexit as it reported its first annual loss since the financial crisis, with net asset value per share down by 2.7%.


Sainsbury’s-Asda deal could see Aldi and Lidl divulge details
Lidl and Aldi could reportedly be forced to reveal details of sales at individual stores, company structures and the amount of tax paid in the UK as part of the investigation into Sainsbury's merger with Asda. The paper says the Competition and Markets Authority probe into the proposed tie-up will see it consider whether Lidl and Aldi are competitors to Sainsbury's and Asda; if they are deemed so, they may have to divulge financial details to the competition watchdog.


BoE: UK economy risks once-in-a-century slump 
Britain’s economy is entering a “menopausal” phase after passing peak productivity, a deputy governor of the Bank of England has suggested. Ben Broadbent compared the current slowdown in growth and wages to a lull at the end of the 19th century, when the height of the steam era was over but the age of electricity was yet to begin.

Wages rise faster than inflation
Wages rose at an annual rate of 2.9% in the three months to March, according to the ONS, faster than inflation (2.7%) for the first time in more than a year. The ONS said unemployment fell by 46,000 to 1.42m, with the jobless rate falling to 4.2%, the lowest since 1975, while the number of people in work increased by 197,000 in the period to 32.3m. However, separate ONS data noted its initial estimates of productivity had fallen 0.5% in the three months to March, the largest fall since the last three months of 2015. 


Scots firms on top form
Scottish companies are growing revenues ahead of their counterparts elsewhere in the UK, according to a report from the London Stock Exchange. The Exchange's latest 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain study, published yesterday, names 46 Scottish businesses, up by about 10% on the year before.

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