Newswire

Britain’s banks face a financial black hole of up to £60bn from regulatory demands, hidden losses, and potential mis-selling costs that threaten to jeopardise future growth, the Bank of England has warned in its Financial Stability Report. Financial Times The Times The Guardian The Independent

Published: November 30, 2012

In the first clear demonstration of how the new regulatory framework will work, the FPC sent its attack dogs at the Financial Services Authority (FSA) into Britain’s banks. For the next few weeks, dozens of regulators will be crawling all over the industry’s books – telling directors where they have been too optimistic and instructing them to provision for bigger losses. The Daily Telegraph Financial Times

Published: November 30, 2012

People over the age of 50 are “sleepwalking” into a pension crisis by over-estimating how well-off they will be in retirement, research has found. A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) found that a third of people aged between 52 and 64 have no idea what their workplace pension income will be in retirement. The Daily Telegraph Financial Times The Times

Published: November 30, 2012

Senior executives at Barclays were accused of passing the buck and were likened to criminals yesterday by MPs and peers investigating failings of culture in Britain’s biggest banks. In a sometimes testy three-hour grilling by the Commission on Banking Standards, five Barclays executives came under fire for failing to take responsibility for the Libor scandal and for an “atrocious” record on responding to customer complaints. The Times Daily Mail

Published: November 29, 2012

Banks’ new lending to households slowed in October after several months of growth, according to new data from the Bank of England. The number of mortgage approvals increased steadily month-on-month but total lending to individuals fell by £300m. The figures are further evidence that the government’s Funding For Lending scheme is having only a slow effect on the availability of household credit. Financial Times The Daily Telegraph

Published: November 29, 2012

Interest rates charged by payday lenders will be capped for the first time in order to protect low income borrowers from taking on unaffordable levels of debts. On Wednesday, the government announced that it would amend the Financial Services Bill next week in order to allow the new financial regulator power to limit loan charges. Financial Times The Guardian

Published: November 29, 2012

Sir Mervyn King was forced to defend the Bank of England’s independence and his own reputation on Tuesday in testy exchanges with MPs. Giving evidence to the Commons Treasury committee, Sir Mervyn came under fire for misleading the public over the BoE’s monetary policy stance at its last meeting and for allowing excessive deference and hierarchy in the BoE. Financial Times The Times The Guardian The Independent

Published: November 28, 2012

Vince Cable, the business secretary, has officially marked the launch of the new green investment bank (GIB) by announcing funding of a new waste-to-energy plant and an energy saving scheme. The small projects to build a new anaerobic digestion plant in Teeside and retrofit a panel-making factory in north Wales, involving investments by the GIB of £8m and £5m respectively, will soak up only a tiny fraction of the bank’s total £3bn in funding. The Guardian

Published: November 28, 2012

Most people will stay in a pension scheme and start saving for their old age under automatic enrolment, according to a new Government survey. The Department for Work and Pension’s latest research indicates that 70 per cent of Britons are likely to stay in a pension scheme if they are eligible to be automatically enrolled. The research also indicates that many people still find pensions too complex. The Times

Published: November 28, 2012

George Osborne brushed convention aside on Monday installing a foreigner, Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of Canada, as governor of the Bank of England with a mission to shake it up as it assumes sweeping new powers. The City hailed the appointment as a breath of fresh air and an invigorating sign of the government’s desire to show that Britain was “open for business” from abroad. The Daily Telegraph The Times The Guardian The Independent

Published: November 27, 2012

Patrick Jenkins, Daniel Schäfer and Jennifer Thompson report on the possible future of Barclays, saying that Antony Jenkins is now halfway through the six months he gave himself to decide what to do with the bank when he was appointed chief executive in August, and he is still formulating his opinion, especially on what shape the group’s investment bank should have. Financial Times

Published: November 27, 2012

British banks are being hit hard by incoming regulations, hurting their ability to lend and so damaging the economy, TheCityUK has warned. The lobby group particularly singled out the impact on small firms, who are more reliant on bank funding than bigger businesses, and called on the government to slow down the implementation of the new rules to limit the damage being caused. City A.M.

Published: November 27, 2012

UBS has been fined £30m by the UK’s Financial Services Authority – and could see its investment banking activities hampered by the Swiss regulator – after its former trader Kweku Adoboli was jailed for fraud. Both regulators criticised the Swiss bank for serious weakness in its systems which allowed Adoboli to rack up eventual losses of over £1.5bn during three years of secretive, off-the-books trades. The Guardian The Independent The Daily Telegraph

Published: November 26, 2012

Several high-profile scandals for banks, ranging from JPMorgan’s hefty trading loss to UBS’s rogue trader, have sparked a new regulatory drive to force lenders to spend more time and probably hold more capital guarding against such operational risks. The Financial Stability Board, the global banking regulator, and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, which sets global capital rules, have recently announced plans to tackle the issue next year as part of efforts to make the world’s biggest banks safer. Financial Times

Published: November 26, 2012

The government should consider a complete overhaul of the tax reliefs it offers for pension savings because the current structure is expensive, too heavily directed towards the wealthy and does too little to encourage a culture of saving among younger workers, according to the Centre for Policy Studies. The CPS review concluded that during the past decade, pension relief on income tax and National Insurance contributions – but not counting relief on the withdrawal of a 25 per cent lump sum at retirement – has cost the Treasury £358.6bn. Financial Times The Times

Published: November 26, 2012