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Daily News Roundup: Wednesday, 29th May 2019

Posted: 29th May 2019


Banks under pressure to join fraud compensation scheme

Some of Britain’s biggest banks are coming under pressure to sign up to a new voluntary scheme that offers protection to customers who fall victim to “authorised push payment” frauds. Eight lenders, including Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland, have signed up to the industry code, which came into force yesterday. But other banks including Co-op Bank, Tesco Bank and CYBG are yet to implement the scheme. Nicky Morgan, the Conservative MP and chairwoman of the Treasury committee, said: “It’s encouraging that some banks have signed up to the voluntary code… I would now encourage those who haven’t signed up to do so.” Gareth Shaw, of Which?, the consumer group, warned that "some banks are leaving their customers unprotected" by not signing up to the code. Elsewhere, the Mail reports that some banks are now forcing their online customers to tick a box that could later deny them a refund if they are defrauded. Lenders are demanding that customers confirm they are aware of the risks before they approve the payment - prompting fears that banks could use these agreements to avoid refunding victims.

NatWest is most complained about bank for fraud claims

NatWest is the most complained about bank when it comes to handling fraud claims, a BBC probe has revealed. The Financial Ombudsman has seen a rise in complaints about NatWest, with it becoming the most complained about bank for fraud this year. In addition, in the last six months BBC Watchdog Live has had nearly twice as many complaints about how NatWest handles fraud cases compared to rivals. NatWest said it was "working harder than ever" to keep customers safe.

CYBG appoints SME banker

Yorkshire Bank owner CYBG has announced that Sue Douthwaite will join the bank in September as its small and medium business director.


Dimon calls Wells Fargo ‘irresponsible’ for lack of CEO plan

JPMorgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon has criticised Wells Fargo as “irresponsible” for announcing the departure of chief executive Tim Sloan without a replacement in place.

ECB could delay appointment of new chief

The European Central Bank is reportedly preparing for a delay in securing a new president, amid political uncertainty in Europe. Analysts, including those at UBS, believe the next ECB appointment will "depend on the appointment of the European Commission president".


Renault-Fiat merger dependent on job guarantees

Paris is expected to approve Renault’s proposed €33bn (£29bn) merger with Fiat Chrysler only if executives can guarantee no French factories will shut under the deal.


Flybe boss to depart after Virgin-led takeover

Flybe chief executive Christine Ourmières-Widener will stand down on July 15, following the sale of the airline to a consortium which includes Virgin Atlantic.


Bovis must sweeten deal for Galliford's housebuilding arm

Galliford Try rejected Bovis' £1bn all-share takeover bid for its housebuilding arm over cash concerns, suggesting that the latter will most likely need to offer greater financial incentive - as well as shares - for any future offer to succeed. Bovis had offered Galliford £950m in shares for its Linden Homes and regeneration divisions - as well as proposing to take on £100m of its debts. The two companies confirmed that talks had fallen through on Tuesday morning.


Amigo tackles guarantor loan 'myths' amid rising demand

Amigo Loans has vowed to confront “myths” around the use of guarantor loans as it announced its first set of annual results as a listed company. Amigo reported a 67.9% jump in annual pre-tax profits to £111m on revenues of £270.7m in the year to the end of March. Customer numbers rose by 23.1% to 224,000 and its net loan book rose by 17.4% to £707.6m. The Financial Conduct Authority said in March that it was worried that the proportion of guarantors making at least one repayment in the sector was rising. But Amigo said yesterday that the proportion of payments made by a guarantor during the year had “remained broadly constant” at just below 10%.

Aviva eyes split of UK business as part of shake-up

Aviva is considering splitting its UK business into two parts, reports the FT, with one side responsible for the life insurance division, while the other would hold non-life insurance.

Cryptocurrency Visa card could open a back door for dirty money

The FT’s Izabella Kaminska says Visa’s co-operation with Coinbase for a UK crypto card raises concerns about security and anti-money laundering requirements.

Global Payments scoops up rival TSYS for $21.5bn

Global Payments has announced its acquisition of credit card processor TSYS in a $21.5bn all-stock deal.


Travelodge books in 17 more hotels

Travelodge has revealed a new £115m investment drive to open a further swathe of hotels this year. The budget hotel chain is aiming to open another 17 extra sites and create 350 new jobs by the end of 2019.


British Steel attracting significant interest

The Official Receiver, who took control of British Steel last week after government bailout talks failed, has revealed that more than 80 potential buyers had been in contact in the last seven days. A spokesperson said: “Good progress is being made in identifying potential buyers for British Steel. Multiple parties have signed non-disclosure agreements giving them access to a detailed information memorandum and virtual data-room that my team has developed to inform their bids.


Internet ads to make up half of global media spend by 2020

Internet advertising formats are expected to account for more than half of all media spend worldwide in 2020, according to industry body Warc. Online advertising is set to account for 48% of all media spend - roughly $298.1bn (£228.2bn) – this year.

Africa's second-largest mobile network planning London float

Africa's second-largest mobile operator, Airtel Africa, will list in London next month to raise $1bn (£790m) to cut its debt pile.


Buyers return to housing market

More money entered the UK housing market in April than at any point since 2007, according to UK Finance, with almost £9bn of home purchase mortgages approved for 42,989 such loans. The number of mortgages was up 6% on the month and more than 11% on April 2018, while remortgaging also picked up - rising 5% to 31,152 between March and April. But the figures also show that growth in overall net lending - gross lending less redemptions - slowed to £1.8bn in April from £2.4bn in March.


Hundreds of Boots stores set to close

More than 200 Boots stores across the UK could be closed by its American owners Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) in a bid to cut costs. The shops - which are in areas where Boots has more than one store - are under review for possible closure. It is understood the review will take place over the next 12 to 18 months. Boots said it did not have "a major programme envisaged" but was always reviewing "underperforming stores and opportunities for consolidation".


Brexit uncertainty deepens services sector gloom

A survey by the CBI reveals conditions for businesses in the UK’s services sector worsened in the three months to May, amid ongoing Brexit uncertainty. A net balance of -8% of professional services firms said that they were feeling positive about their general business situation. The figure for consumer services firms was even weaker, at -12%. Meanwhile, UK economic sentiment fell significantly in May, according to figures from the European Commission, as confidence in the industrial sector sank. Britain registered a sentiment score of 94.5 for the month, below the long term average and 4.8 points lower than April’s figure.

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