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Daily News Roundup: Wednesday 5th September 2018

Posted: 5th September 2018



TSB boss steps down over IT chaos

TSB chief executive Paul Pester is stepping down in the wake of the major IT failures at the bank. His departure comes just a day after the bank announced it is investigating how planned maintenance of its online banking systems over the weekend left thousands of customers locked out of their accounts on Monday. TSB non-executive chairman Richard Meddings will take on the role of executive chairman as the search for a new CEO begins. Mr Meddings said: "Although there is more to do to achieve full stability for customers, the bank's IT systems and services are much improved since the IT migration."

PPI complaints highest at RBS

New research from consumer group Which? reveals that Royal Bank of Scotland is the worst lender at handling PPI complaints, with nearly a quarter of customers reporting that they found the process difficult. Gareth Shaw, Which? money expert, commented: “It's frustrating that some banks appear to be making it harder than it needs to be and claims management companies have also taken advantage of this.”

Cash loses appeal for investors

With banks reluctant to pass on the recent base rate hike, savers are continuing to abandon cash following years of low returns. Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, remarked: “The demise of the cash Isa has continued, as rock bottom rates fail to entice savers.”

Mortgage rates increased by 48 lenders

Over 50% of lenders have already passed on the recent interest rate hike to mortgage customers, with a further 29 yet to confirm if they will do so and four saying they will not.


D&G considers return to stock market

CVC Capital Partners, the private equity fund that owns insurance provider Domestic & General, has appointed Rothschild to advise on plans for an initial public offering that would value the company at £1.5bn.

London-based Emso seeks to capitalise on Indian restructuring boom

Emerging markets specialist Emso Asset Management is partnering with Mumbai's Eight Capital to enter India's corporate restructuring market. The country has a bad debt problem to the tune of $140bn.


Euro Stoxx 50 index to relegate Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank will be demoted from the Euro Stoxx 50 index on September 24, with asset manager BlackRock saying 12.5m shares in Deutsche would be affected.

Citi’s CFO retires alongside other executives

Citigroup chief financial officer John Gerspach and its Europe, Middle East and Africa (Emea) head Jim Cowles are to retire, alongside Bill Mills, the bank’s North America chief executive.

Accounts misuse leads to ING fine

ING bank has agreed to pay a €775m (£698m) after criminal investigations by the Dutch Public Prosecution Service into the misuse of bank accounts by customers.

EU money laundering controls criticised

Regulators have criticised serious weaknesses in the EU’s controls on money laundering, following investigations at Danske Bank and other lenders.


Goldman Sachs predicts Tesla shares will be down 30% in six months

Goldman Sachs has said that shares in Tesla will fall by 30% over the next half year. Shares in the electric carmaker fell by almost 4% yesterday.


Ryanair chairman faces growing threat of investor protest

Ryanair chairman David Bonderman is facing a shareholder protest over his re-election. Corporate governance concerns and the company’s “virulently anti-union” culture have irked unions and investors.


Brexit hammering construction projects

The UK construction industry has registered its lowest reading since May, according to IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index for August, which fell to 52.9 from a 14-month high of 55.8 in July. Respondents said Brexit-related uncertainty was holding back investment.

Redrow building on 'robust' market

Redrow's pretax profit jumped 21% to £380m in the year ended June, comfortably beating analysts' estimates of £361m. The construction firm said demand for new homes remains robust despite Brexit but urged the government to keep its Help to Buy subsidy scheme for first-time buyers in place.


Munich Re to acquire tech start up in $300m deal

Munich Re hopes to acquire IoT startup Relayr as part of the German reinsurer's wider tech ambitions. Relayr uses big data analysis to predict when machine components need replacing.

Lloyd’s of London lights up its lab

Startups including insurtechs Layr, Qnity and iCede, AI tech platform ZASTI and blockchain-based claims support platform BelMead Tech, are among those applying to Lloyd's of London's Lloyd's Lab innovation hub.

Terry Smith targeting global smaller firms

Goldman Sachs alumni Simon Barnard and Will Morgan are to run fund manager Terry Smith's new fund targeting global smaller firms. Smithson Investment Trust will float in London to raise £250m from investors.


Pfizer reveals $100m Brexit bill

US pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer, which generated around 2% of its 2017 $53 billion revenues from the UK, has pegged its Brexit costs at around $100m (£78m).


Amazon’s market value tops $1trn

Amazon has become the second company to be valued by Wall Street at $1trn, following Apple which reached the milestone back in August.

WPP unveils rise in key sales metric as Mark Read takes the helm

Revenues at WPP slipped in the second quarter of 2018, to £3.94bn, down 0.2% on the same period last year. Like for like sales rose 2.4% on the first quarter.


Tesco board hires former Bain dealmaker

Melissa Bethell has been hired as a non-executive director and a member of Tesco’s audit committee. Ms Bethell formerly worked at Bain Capital.

Double charge for shoppers

Thousands of credit and debit card users were charged twice last week for transactions, after Cardnet, which processes card payments in shops and restaurants, admitted some terminals took duplicate payments as a result of a computer glitch.


Rugby deal in the pipeline

Premier Rugby Ltd could sell its controlling ownership of England’s Premiership rugby league to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for about £275m. The company is believed to regard the Premiership to have been under-commercialised in recent years.


Carney ready to remain in post

Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney has told MPs he is "willing to do whatever I can to promote a smooth Brexit", confirming that he is ready to remain at the helm while Britain leaves the EU. A spokesman for the Prime Minister said Mr Carney was doing a "very good job", with an announcement to be made "shortly".


Britain remains Europe’s most important financial centre

A new ranking to be published today by the New Financial think tank shows that Britain is the most important financial centre in Europe, and second only to the US elsewhere. William Wright, New Financial's founder and managing director, noted: "London both in terms of domestic financial activity and international financial activity is in a league of its own in Europe."

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