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Daily News Roundup: Wednesday, 21st November 2018

Posted: 21st November 2018


CYBG swings to £145m loss

CYBG has posted a £145m loss in its full-year results, after taking a £352m hit for PPI costs and £44m for other legacy conduct issues. Underlying pre-tax profit rose to £331m, up from £292m in 2017, while its mortgages business increased 4.5% to £24.5bn and its SME division rose 5.6% to £7.2bn. CYBG received 483,000 complaints this year, compared to 361,000 in 2017, and has set aside £150m to tackle an expected 83,000 "walk in" complaints to come, following the caps imposed on claims management firms over the summer. Chief executive David Duffy said: "While the additional PPI provision charge required in 2018 is disappointing, the group's strong capital position means we have been able to absorb this without any impact on our strategy and future ambitions."

1 in 5 savers offered loans bigger than their wage

A poll by research firm Consumer Intelligence shows that half of Britons have been offered a personal loan by their bank in the past year, while a third have received an offer from a rival lender. Of those offered a loan, a quarter were offered more than £10,000 while a fifth had been offered more than their annual salary.

BSA in 100% mortgage call

The Building Societies Association has called for lenders to offer 100% mortgages to first-time buyers in “selective circumstances,” saying there are situations “in which the risk can be mitigated - borrowers in certain professions or those with high probabilities of substantial inheritance”.

Charter launches 1.4% Isa

Charter Savings Bank has launched a market-leading online easy-access Isa at 1.4%, with savers able to spread their annual allowance over fixed-rate and easy-access accounts. This mix-and-match policy is similar to that seen at Ford Money, Newcastle Building Society and Nationwide. Elsewhere, Virgin Money is offering the same 1.4% rate for those opening a Double Take E-Isa, but restricts savers to two withdrawals a year.

SMEs lead in job creation

Analysis from Santander Business Banking shows that SMEs have created three times as many jobs as larger firms in the past five years. Companies employing more than 250 staff added around 650,000 workers between 2013 and 2017, a 4% increase, while those with fewer than 250 employees added 1.7m, a rise of 14%.


KKR and Bain to pay $20m to former Toys R Us employees

KKR and Bain Capital have agreed to pay $20m to workers who lost their jobs in the Toys R Us bankruptcy. The firms say that none of the hardship money would come from their investors.

Swiss manager GAM to trim investment staff

Swiss fund manager GAM plans to trim around 10% of its investment professionals as part of interim chief executive David Jacob’s restructuring of the firm’s equities and fixed income teams.

AllianceBernstein swoops on Autonomous

Asset manager AllianceBernstein is buying financial services boutique Autonomous in deal reported to be worth $110m. The firms say each organisation “will retain its own unique business model, and, initially, its distinct brand identity.”

Goldman Sachs forecasts ‘modest’ emerging market rebound

Goldman Sachs expects emerging market shares, currencies and bonds to see a “modest” rebound next year, “albeit with low risk-adjusted returns”. In a 2019 outlook report, analysts forecast a 12% rise in emerging market equities in dollar terms, while emerging market currencies should climb by around 2%.

Blackstone sues RCS Media over Milan headquarters

Blackstone is suing Italy’s RCS Media, saying RCS chairman and chief executive Urbano Cairo tried to extort money from it by falsely claiming his company still owns the media group’s Milan headquarters.

Moneyfarm enters German market with acquisition

Wealth manager Moneyfarm has expanded into Germany with the acquisition of Vaamo. Vaamo co-founders and chief executives Thomas Bloch and Oliver Vins will join Moneyfarm's executive committee.

Firm eyes rugby deal

The Times reports that CVC Capital Partners is set to move a step closer to buying a large shareholding in Premier Rugby Ltd, having agreed an exclusivity period.


Deutsche Bank shares hit record lows

Deutsche Bank shares hit record lows yesterday after the bank confirmed it was involved in the Danske Bank money-laundering scandal, with stock dipping 4.8%. A Deutsche Bank spokesperson said: “Our role was to process payments for Danske Bank. We terminated the relationship in 2015 after identifying suspicious activity.” BaFin, Germany's financial watchdog, has asked Deutsche Bank to provide information on its dealings with Danske Bank.

Tandem Bank reveals Hong Kong expansion

Hong Kong-based financial services group Convoy Global Holdings is investing an initial £15m into Tandem Bank as part of the fintech's expansion into the territory. The Hong Kong group already holds the largest stake in digital wealth management service Nutmeg, along with a separate investment in Ireland's Currencyfair.

Danske faces money laundering lawsuit

Danske Bank is facing a lawsuit from a number of class-action law firms on the back of a €200bn money laundering scandal at its Estonian branch.

Germany lures Brexit bankers by easing labour laws

Germany’s finance ministry has drawn up proposed legal changes that would make it easier for banks to fire highly paid senior staff, with the legislation to apply to banks with at least €15bn in assets.


Renault appoints temporary deputy chief executive

Renault has appointed chief operating officer Thierry Bolloré as temporary deputy chief executive after Carlos Ghosn was arrested in Japan over claims of misconduct. Elsewhere, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire has said Mr Ghosn should be removed from his position at the carmaker in which the French state has a 15% stake. Meanwhile, the FT reports that Mr Ghosn had been planning a merger between Renault and Nissan before his arrest, a deal that the Japanese carmaker’s board opposed.


Airline boss grounds Brexit fears

Johan Lundgren, chief executive of easyJet, which has already taken a £7m hit for Brexit-linked costs, has said that there “won’t be any disruption” to the budget airline once Britain leaves the EU. Pre-tax profits soared 41% to £578m in the year to September 30, while easyjet carried a record 88.5m passengers - up 10.2% on the previous year.


More City of London figures call for new Brexit poll

A letter to the FT, signed by 28 City figures, backs a repeat Brexit referendum, saying the Prime Minister’s proposed deal could create “a bare-bones customs union that does nothing for financial services”. Elsewhere, the Telegraph reports that a draft joint letter from the People's Vote campaign which calls for a second referendum is circulating among major financial services firms. The head of the campaign Roland Rudd has urged the chiefs of banks, insurers and asset managers to back a second referendum.

Minister: Sector needs more women

John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury, has called on men in financial services to do more to boost the number of women in the sector. He told the Tax Incentivised Savings Association conference: “I am calling on men to help confront this gender equality problem," adding that firms must find ways to "smooth the career path of women". This came as the Treasury announced that 300 companies have signed up to the Women in Finance Charter, with firms accounting for almost half of the country's financial services staff having signed up.

Finance sector needs to build trust

Tracy Blackwell, chief executive of Pension Insurance Corporation, believes that the finance industry “still has much work to do to rebuild society's trust” a decade on from the collapse of Lehman Brothers. She highlights the Purpose of Finance initiative, which she says aims to help determine “how best to repair the disconnect between society and financial services.”


Ei’s pubs portfolio attracting interest

Simon Townsend, boss of pubs giant Ei, has indicated healthy interest in the purchase of its £350m commercial property arm. Pre-tax profits at Ei, formerly Enterprise Inns, rose to £87m from £58m in the year to September 30, while revenues rose 7% to £695m.

Columbia Threadneedle puts brakes on Wagamama deal

Shareholder Columbia Threadneedle has warned that it will oppose The Restaurant Group’s proposed £559m Wagamama takeover as it “throws up too many red flags”.


UK manufacturing rebounds in November - CBI

The CBI's latest Industrial Trends Survey has revealed that the UK's manufacturing sector rebounded in November, with 10% of firms reporting rising orders, after dipping slightly in October.


Pensions concerns hit Johnston Press sale

Frank Field, chair of the Commons' Work and Pensions Select Committee, has written to the Pensions Regulator to express concerns over Johnston Press’ pensions scheme - which is being assessed by the Pension Protection Fund following the JPI Media buyout. The sale is understood to have taken place just 48 hours before the firm's monthly pension contribution of around £800,000 was due - raising concerns over whether alternative measures were adequately explored.

Hull's Kcom issues profit warning

London-listed telecoms company Kcom lost a third of its value on Tuesday morning after issuing a profit warning. Its net debt as of September 30 was £105.8m, up from £62.6m on March 31.


AO World reports H1 loss amid ‘challenging’ conditions

AO World has reported a first half operating loss of £11.7m, compared to £12m a year earlier, though total sales in the six months to September 30 rose 10% to £404m.


BoE warns over no-deal Brexit

Giving evidence to the Commons' Treasury Select Committee, Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said the draft Brexit deal and proposed extended transition period would help to support investment. The BoE will next week hand the committee analysis of the economic impact of the withdrawal agreement. Elsewhere, Michael Saunders, a member of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee, has said most businesses “are not prepared for a no-deal Brexit and don't know really how to prepare.” Separately, Sir Jon Cunliffe, deputy governor of the BoE, says British-based clearing houses need clarity over whether cross-border derivative contracts will be recognised in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

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