Distrust of mainstream banking is widespread
A survey by Opinium reveals a high level of mistrust towards banks. The young in particular feel banks are untrustworthy, with 38% of 25 to 34-year-olds saying they do not trust lenders. Almost a third of this age group keep their cash at home rather than trusting a bank. The survey was commissioned by Tally, a banking platform which uses physical gold as digital currency. Cameron Parry, founder and CEO of Tally, said: “There's a disturbing lack of transparency when it comes to the incumbent banking system and it's understandable why most people have little idea of how they are being used by banks to make money. Whilst the data tells us that people are not only misled or misunderstanding the fiat currency fractional-reserve banking system, it is encouraging that they are looking for mainstream alternatives, and Tally is proud to be a leader in that changing landscape.”
Market-leading mortgage rate launched
As competition to offer mortgage rates below 1% intensifies, Yorkshire Building Society has launched a new two-year tracker mortgage with a rate of 0.78% for borrowers with a 35% deposit. Ben Merritt, senior mortgage manager at Yorkshire Building Society, said: “In a really competitive mortgage market, we're pleased to be able to offer our lowest ever mortgage rate to give borrowers more choice. The recent increased availability of tracker mortgages, including the introduction of our first tracker mortgage for some years, expands the number of options available to borrowers who, in a low rate environment, may wish to take advantage of lower monthly payments.”
How banks exploit us by making services too complex
Banks make their services too complex for people to understand with the express purpose of making more money, Paul Lewis says as he calls for lenders to be forced to make things simple.
VC firm launches European tech fund
Eight Roads has launched a $450m fund for European and Israeli start-ups, aiming to make initial investments of $5m to $50m in consumer tech, software-as-a-service, fintech and healthtech. The fund, the venture capital firm's fourth and largest to date, will invest in 15 to 20 companies.
Investcorp eyes India private equity growth
Bahrain-based Investcorp aims to more than double its private equity investments in India over the next few years as it seeks to capitalise on India's digitalisation drive, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
BofA begins digital asset research
A digital asset research team has been launched by the Bank of America, which said that the potential of the crypto space was “difficult to overstate” in a new report. The new research team will be led by Alkesh Shah, head of Global Cryptocurrency and Digital Asset Strategy. It comes after the bank estimated that the sector represents a $2trn (£1.46trn) market value with more than 200m worldwide users. The report concluded that crypto has the potential to transform every industry by improving efficiency and reducing friction across transactions. The bank, which has around 66m customers, said that the hundreds of companies forming within this new digital ecosystem constitute a new asset class.
CBIRC: Banks must meet coal, power financing needs
The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) has said that lenders including policy banks must ensure that the financing needs of the coal and power sectors are met so that consumer heating during winter is not affected. "We should guide banking and insurance institutions to actively cooperate with local governments and support the main coal-producing areas and key coal enterprises in Shanxi, Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang to increase the supply of power and coal," the CBIRC said in a statement.
Citi hires Goldman banker for infrastructure role
Citigroup has hired Goldman Sachs banker Luisa Leyenaar-Huntingford to co-head its global infrastructure franchise with Todd Guenther. A memo from the bank on Tuesday said there was "significant private investment demand across the globe to deal with environmental, energy, transportation, waste, communication, digital and other social needs."
Czech banks well supported
Stress tests carried out by the Czech National Bank show the country’s banks and insurers will be able to withstand any possible deterioration in economic conditions. The central bank said the results of testing 15 banks, accounting for around 90% of assets in the sector, showed they were resilient.
New car sales in September fall to lowest level in two decades
Data released on Tuesday by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show new car sales in the UK have fallen to their lowest level in more than two decades. Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, described it as a “desperately disappointing September”. Tesla's Model 3 was Britain's best-selling new model in September. While EV sales were up 49.4%, diesel and petrol registrations slid by a massive 77.3% and 46.6% respectively last month.
Airline bosses predict swift recovery
Emirates boss Sir Tim Clark reckons air travel will be completely back to normal in little more than 12 months. "I would say that probably by the end of next year and certainly into 2023, this will be history unless there's another variant," he said. Speaking on the sidelines of the IATA annual meeting in Boston, Sir Tim also predicted that business travel would recover faster than many believed. Willie Walsh, IATA director-general and the former British Airways boss was also optimistic, commenting: "We are well past the deepest point of the crisis,” he said. “While serious issues remain, the path to recovery is coming into view.”
Bonfire of financial services regulations imminent, claims Sunak
The Chancellor has moved to assure the City that changes to financial services regulation post-Brexit are around the corner as he set out his ambition to “make sure [London] remains the most competitive place in the world for financial services”. Speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference, Rishi Sunak was challenged on why there hasn’t been a bonfire of EU regulations post-Brexit. In reply, he said it was “systematically happening across Government” and that “you’ll see the fruits of that in the coming months and years”. Two government reviews released this year have outlined a number of proposed changes to financial services regulations now that the UK is no longer tied to the EU’s rulebook.
UK manufacturers expect price rises before Christmas
The British Chambers of Commerce has said nearly two-thirds of UK manufacturers expect to raise their prices in the run-up to Christmas after being hit by mounting cost pressures. The BCC said the "spiralling" cost of raw materials rather than higher wages was to blame for the price rises.
Old Street property acquired by JP Morgan
The Great Ropemaker Partnership has sold 160 Old Street, EC1, to a fund advised by JP Morgan Global Alternatives for £181.5m. JP Morgan Global Alternatives is the alternative investment arm of the Asset Management division and has $191bn in AUM. The Old Street property was comprehensively refurbished while under the management of the Great Ropemaker Partnership and provides 166,300 square foot of accommodation arranged over ten floors.
Amazon launches first UK non-food store
Amazon is to open its first non-food store in the UK, which will sell around 2,000 products that have been ranked four stars or more by Amazon's online customers. The shop, in the Bluewater shopping mall near Dartford, will be Amazon's first 4-star store outside the US, where there are already more than 30 outlets. Digital price tags are used to ensure the prices are the same in-store and online, while customers will also be able to collect items ordered online as well as return items without the need for packaging and labels.
Football clubs call for £1bn Premier League fund to ease finance woes
The Premier League is being urged by top English clubs to create a central fund in excess of £1bn to tackle their cash flow problems and shut out lenders that charge steep fees.
Investors lose faith in Tory economic competence
Although sterling has recovered slightly from a protracted slump analysts expect further falls as goods and worker shortages continue to undermine investor faith in the Government’s ability to sufficiently manage the economy. With concerns also swirling that the Bank of England may fail to contain inflationary pressures, traders warn that overseas investors could turn their back on the pound. Berenberg economist Kallum Pickering adds that a growing lack of public confidence in the Government’s ability to manage the economy and fix problems is illustrated by the ongoing panic buying. Derek Halpenny, head of global markets research at MUFG, believes sterling could sink to lows last hit in November 2020. “For many investors, it's the first time probably in their careers that they're actually looking at a scenario like we're in or entering: a real credible prospect of a period of stagflation,” he says.
Rising costs hamper business growth
The IHS Markit/CIPS composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose slightly from 54.8 to 54.9 in September, the first expansion since May. Around 34% of firms reported an increase in output during the month, while only 13% signalled a reduction. However, mounting costs forced businesses in both the service and manufacturing sectors to raise prices at the fastest pace since records began in 1999. Tim Moore, economics director at IHS Markit, said: “Another spike in operating expenses was reported in September, even though this data is yet to fully reflect the inflationary impact of the UK fuel crisis and surging energy prices at the end of the month. Higher wages were also a key reason for increased cost burdens in September.”