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Daily News Roundup: Wednesday, 27th June 2018

Posted: 27th June 2018


UK Asset Resolution to sell crisis assets by 2021

'Bad bank' UK Asset Resolution, which borrowed £48.7bn to take on the loans of Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley (B&B), is working with advisors to sell its remaining assets by 2021. Some 79% of the bank's government loans have now been repaid.

British banks ready for Brexit, says Bailey

Financial Conduct Authority chief executive Andrew Bailey has hit back at claims by the European Banking Authority that banks based in London are unprepared for a hard Brexit. “The idea that institutions in London have done no preparation, no thinking about Brexit, I’m afraid, and with all due respect to the EBA, is considerably wide of the mark,” he said at the Times CEO Summit.

FCA proposals champion fraud victims' rights

The Financial Conduct Authority has published proposals forcing banks to accept complaints from fraud victims if they have allowed criminals to open accounts. Christopher Woolard, the watchdog’s executive director of strategy, said: “We are proposing to require payment service providers to handle complaints about this in line with our complaint handling rules, and to provide the victims with access to the Financial Ombudsman Service.” Bank transfer fraud, officially known as “authorised push payment” fraud, has hit record levels with £236m stolen last year.

Access to full Reading fraud report demanded

Ministers have demanded access to the entire Lloyds Banking Group internal inquiry regarding the £1bn HBOS Reading fraud.

Savers call for simpler accounts

Savers are calling for fairer deals from lenders, urging a simplification of deposit accounts.


UK private equity exits halve

The value of UK private equity exits fell 55% in the first half of the year, according to the Centre for Management Buy-out Research (CMBOR) at Imperial College Business School, which reveal that the value of private equity-backed sales fell from £13.6bn in the second half of 2017 to £6bn in 2018. The largest exits so far this year include the £1bn sale of Leeds-based consumer credit bureau Callcredit Information Group to New York-listed TransUnion.

Start-up fund at Highland

Highland Capital Partners has raised €463m in the largest European venture capital fund so far this year, to make investments in start-ups of between €10m and €50m.

Blackstone nears first $5bn of $40bn fund

Blackstone is near signing up $5bn to invest in infrastructure, as it moves towards a $40bn target.


BofA’s City-based executives moved to Paris ahead of Brexit

Bank of America is relocating three senior UK-based executives to Paris ahead of Brexit, according to an internal memo.

Johannesburg listing for Old Mutual’s African unit

The African financial services business of Old Mutual has listed in Johannesburg as it moves towards a "managed separation" of the two.

Santander in running for Eurobank

Santander is a contender in the race to buy Société Générale's Polish business Eurobank, according to industry analysts.


SMMT boss blasts government over Brexit uncertainty

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), has complained that investment in Britain's car industry has halved compared to the same time last year amid growing boardroom frustration over the slow pace of Brexit negotiations - placing 860,000 jobs at risk. "There is no credible ‘plan B’ for frictionless customs arrangements, nor is it realistic to expect that new trade deals can be agreed with the rest of the world that will replicate the immense value of trade with the EU," he said. For the first six months of 2017, investment in new models and factory improvements came in at £647.4m, but for this year, the figure was £347.3m.

Uber wins 15-month London licence

Uber has been granted a short-term licence to operate in London following a court hearing. Transport for London (TfL) refused to renew the licence when it expired last September, saying the US taxi app was not a "fit and proper" operator. Uber has now been awarded a licence but it has been put on probation for 15 months.


Prices may rise to fund third runway

Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye has indicated that fares may increase to help pay for the airport's third runway. Speaking on the BBC's Today Programme, when pressed on cost and timescales for the mammoth aviation project, expected to cost around £14bn of privately funded money, and set to open in 2026, Holland-Kaye said he was confident it would be completed in budget and on-time.


Former LSE executive to lead institutional crypto platform

David Lester, the former chief strategy officer at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and a key player in the expansion of the business under Xavier Rolet, has been named as a non-executive director at Archax - a new trading platform for cryptocurrencies targeted at institutional investors which launched on Tuesday. Lester said: “Tokenisation and blockchains are innovations that have significant potential to disrupt and open up new business opportunities. How this evolves is of real interest to capital providers, business leaders and founders.”

Private polling by hedge funds not an issue for FCA

The Financial Conduct Authority will not crack down on hedge funds that use private polling to gain a trading edge unless the information is used in a way that contravenes the rules, its chief executive has said. Andrew Bailey’s comments come after allegations emerged that some hedge funds made huge profits in the critical hours around the Brexit referendum result after hiring pollsters to provide private exit poll data, which was illegal to give to the public while voting was under way.

Pension advice warning

The Financial Conduct Authority has warned that rogue financial advisers are targeting savers with some of Britain's biggest pension firms.


ITV boss hits out at Facebook’s low tax bill

ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall has suggested American technology giants have escaped having to pay their fair share of tax. She told the Times CEO Summit that the low amount of tax Facebook paid in the UK was “quite odd” considering the large revenues it generated. Another panellist at the event, RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor, agreed that the tax system needed to be looked at. David Tyler, the chairman of J Sainsbury, also said that taxes paid by tech companies needed to be “looked at very carefully” by government.

US news sites still blocked in Europe

Major American news sites, including the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News, remain unavailable to readers in the EU, a month after the GDPR rules were implemented. A statement on the blocked websites says the publishers are "committed to looking at options" to allow EU access. News sites within the Tronc and Lee Enterprises media publishing groups are affected.

Celonis valued at $1bn

Celonis, a German data analytics start-up, has achieved a $1bn valuation as some of the world's biggest companies come on board as clients.


Knights aiming for largest-ever legal float

Regional law firm Knights is seeking £50m in its London float later this month, resulting in a market capitalisation of around £103.5m. Chief executive officer David Beech, who has grown revenue at the company from £8m in 2012 to £34.9m last year, will retain a holding of around 45.5%.


Mortgage approvals down on high prices

Last month saw a fall of 4.3% in mortgage approvals compared with the same time in 2017, with stubbornly high house prices thought to be to blame.


Loss for Carpetright as shares fall

Carpetright has posted a £71m annual loss, warning that trading conditions remain difficult, as its shares closed almost 6% lower at 28p.


Inaccurate forward guidance ‘risks BoE’s credibility’

The Bank of England has undermined its credibility by offering unreliable forward guidance, according to one of its top policymakers. In his final speech before he steps down, Ian McCafferty told an audience in the City that the detailed economic forecasts and statements the BoE produces present serious issues for trust in the institution.

Bank of England ratesetter warns on rate rise risk

Jonathan Haskel, the new Bank of England ratesetter, has told the Treasury select committee that the biggest risk in raising rates would be if it were "done too quickly".


BoE travel bills to be investigated

Donald Kohn and Anil Kashyap, two members of the Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee, ran up a travel expenses bill of nearly £400,000 in two-and-a-half-years, with Bradley Fried, new chair of the court at the Bank, BoE, claiming that while their spending had been "staggering", so "has been their contribution". Conservative MP Simon Clarke asked "Is that public money and if it isn't, whose money is it?".

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