• 'George Osborne's housing controls… have been tried in New Zealand and Canada… and were inadequate.'
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    George Osborne at Mansion House: Muddled, Boastful and Upstaged

George Osborne at Mansion House: Muddled, Boastful and Upstaged

The chancellor offered only contradictions as he followed the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney.
When the chancellor of the exchequer made his annual speech at the lord mayor’s Mansion House dinner on Thursday evening, George Osborne was more than a little upstaged. The Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, had just given a dense and well-delivered speech, which included a surprise announcement about interest rates. Osborne’s address was the economics equivalent of Joe Pasquale taking the stage after Bill […]

  • 'George Osborne's housing controls… have been tried in New Zealand and Canada… and were inadequate.'
  • SME Banking
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    Government to slash SME red tape – and this time they mean it

Government to slash SME red tape – and this time they mean it

On learning of another government initiative to ‘slash red tape’ for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), it’s hard not to be a little sceptical.
After all, this worthy objective has been doing the rounds for several decades, along with ‘putting bobbies back on the beat’ and ‘cutting waste in Whitehall’.
But the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill – heralded in the Queen’s Speech on 4 June – really could make a significant difference to Britain’s entrepreneurs.
For the first time, ministers […]

By |June 18th, 2014|All Banks, SME|0 Comments

Chancellor announces Fair and Effective Markets Review

A joint review by the Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) into the way wholesale financial markets operate.

The government is announcing further steps to raise standards of conduct in the financial system with a joint review by the Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) into the way wholesale financial markets operate. Strong and successful financial services that set the highest standards are an essential part of building a resilient […]

By |June 18th, 2014|All Banks, BoE, FCA|0 Comments
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    Royal Bank of Scotland chief receives shares worth almost £1.5m

Royal Bank of Scotland chief receives shares worth almost £1.5m

Ross McEwan handed shares as part of signing-on deal, as three of his executives take shares under bonus schemes.
The New Zealander was handed the shares as part of a signing-on deal when he was first hired from Commonwealth Bank of Australia to run the retail operations of the 81% taxpayer-owned institution in September 2012. He was promoted to chief executive last October after Stephen Hester quit and sold just under half of the 432,000 shares which were released to […]

UK challenger banks in current accounts push

By Sharlene Goff, Financial Times Retail Banking Correspondent 
The three biggest challengers in the current account market are on track to open at least 2m accounts this year as they step up their assault on the top four high-street banks.
Current accounts have become a key battleground for banks that are trying to take a bigger share of the overall retail financial products market. They believe it is easier to sell mortgages, savings accounts and credit cards to customers if they already have a current […]

  • Bank bonuses

Mark Carney – Jailing bankers will not fix bad behaviour

Jailing bankers for market manipulation or clawing back pay and bonuses will not be enough to curb future misbehaviour or restore public trust in the financial system, the Governor of the Bank of England has said.

Despite a new crackdown on reckless bankers, Mark Carney said fundamental flaws in the industry could only be resolved by changing how markets operate.

“Merely prosecuting the guilty to the full extent of the law will not be sufficient to address the issues raised,” Mr […]

Big Four accountants under fire over bank audits

The Big Four accountants that so dominate the bean-counting industry have come under fire from regulators for poor quality audits of big banks and building societies.
KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and EY all found themselves heavily criticised for failing to spot the oncoming of the 2007 credit crunch and subsequent economic crisis, when they ran the rule over the numbers of the country’s most crucial financial institutions.
In its 10th annual assessment of audit quality published today, the Financial Reporting Council found […]

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  • FRC
  • FRC

Gates remain open for scandals

THE UK faces the risk of further banking scandals, unless action is taken to increase competition in the lending market for small and medium-sized businesses, according to a Government adviser.
Lawrence Tomlinson, the Yorkshire entrepreneur and Government adviser who compiled a dossier of complaints against RBS’s turnaround division, made the comments in response to reports that the Government is going to urge the big banks to increase the supply of SME (small-and-medium-sized business) loans.
The report in the Sunday Telegraph said […]

  • SME Banking

Metro Bank launches new SME Finance service

Recently-launched high street bank Metro Bank today announced the launch of Metro Bank SME Finance, a new invoice and asset financing platform for small businesses.
Created following the bank’s acquisition of SME Invoice Finance and Asset Finance in August 2013, the Metro Bank SME Finance brand will offer a range of lending services to small firms, allowing them to borrow against unpaid invoices and assets.
Founded in 2010, Metro Bank is the UK’s first high street bank to be granted a licence by […]

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Sir Richard Lambert launches UK banking standards council

By Sharlene Goff, FT Retail Banking Correspondent
A new organisation charged with raising standards in the banking industry will rely on public naming and shaming of lenders that fall short as it attempts to clean up the sector after a series of misconduct scandals.
The UK’s seven largest lenders have agreed to report each year to the new Banking Standards Review Council.  The body will set standards for “culture, competence and customer outcomes” and publish an annual report detailing where banks […]

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  • Lawrence Tomlinson
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    Tomlinson – Government influenced by lobbyists came as a real shock to me.

Tomlinson – Government influenced by lobbyists came as a real shock to me.

There is a “revolving door” between the civil service and the lobbying industry, Lawrence Tomlinson said.
Lobbyists for the banking industry have become “indispensable” to ministers because they fund programmes and the control information on which civil servants depend.
David Cameron once described lobbying as the “next big scandal waiting to happen”.
Mr Tomlinson made an estimated £550 million fortune investing in care homes, construction, IT and sports cars.

He spent a year as the Business Department’s “entrepreneur in residence”, advising Vince Cable, […]

  • SME Banking
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    SMEs still reluctant to switch banks despite continued finance concerns

SMEs still reluctant to switch banks despite continued finance concerns

16% feel that difficulties in obtaining access to finance from their bank is an ongoing worry, research shows.
Despite the ongoing concerns over access to finance, charges and calling in loans, small business owners remain reluctant to switch banks according to the latest research from national business group the Forum of Private Business.
The Forum’s banking and finance survey indicates that just over half of small businesses surveyed were content with their current banking arrangements and thought they offered good or […]

  • SME Banking
  • lord myners
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    Lord Myners calls for radical overhaul of Co-operative Group

Lord Myners calls for radical overhaul of Co-operative Group

The Co-operative Group needs a radical boardroom overhaul if it is to survive the traumatic shocks of the past year, the City veteran charged with reforming the troubled chain of supermarkets, funeral homes and pharmacies has warned.
Lord Myners, Labour’s City minister during the banking crisis, described a “dysfunctional” board in which some directors did not know the difference between debits and credits and “clearly out of their depth when financial concepts and terminology are used”.
He said he realised within 30 minutes […]

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Can banking clean up its act? A speech by Lionel Barber

A speech by Lionel Barber, Financial Times editor, at Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge, May 1, 2014. An accompanying video can be viewed here.
Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, I am delighted to be here tonight at Hughes Hall in the University of Cambridge. This is the prestigious City lecture, but sadly I will not be providing slides. As Lord Acton might have said, power tends to corrupt, PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.
Tonight I want to talk about bankers and banking. These days, bankers are […]

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  • financial times

RBS complain about ban on massive bonuses to fat cat staff

Ross McEwan’s gripe follows the bank showing higher profits – at the cost of 6300 jobs.  The bleating boss of bailed-out bank RBS has complained he’s not allowed to pay big enough bonuses.
Chief executive Ross McEwan sparked fury by warning that key staff might walk out over the Government’s refusal to back his plan for whopping bonuses for 2014.
He was speaking as 81 per cent taxpayer-owned RBS revealed pre-tax profits of £1.6billion for the three months to the end […]

  • Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Ross McEwan

65% of SME’s rejected for a loan want to try alternatives

A government consultation ended last week into whether legislation should force banks to refer rejected loans to alternative sources of finance.
At present the largest four banks account for over 80% of UK SMEs’ main banking relationships. Many SMEs only approach the largest banks when seeking finance. Although a large number of these applications are rejected – in the case of first time SME borrowers the rejection rate is around 50% – a proportion of these are viable and are rejected simply because they don’t meet […]

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Vince Cable – Bankers’ Pay Still Extraordinarily Large

Vince Cable has issued a stark warning to Britain’s leading boardrooms that they need to crack down on bonuses to restore public trust and avert the threat of fresh legislation to limit executive pay.

The business secretary fired off a warning to the 100 biggest UK-listed companies about the damage big pay deals can have on their image, before Barclays’ annual meeting on Thursday, where protests about the bank’s £2.4bn bonus pot are expected to be registered by disgruntled shareholders.

Cable told […]

RBS Mulling Over Legal Action Against Lawrence Tomlinson

Jon Pain, the head of regulatory affairs at RBS, said the claims by the adviser to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills had done serious damage to the bank’s reputation since his 20-page report was published in November and legal action could not be ruled out.

Royal Bank of Scotland is considering legal action against the millionaire businessman behind a damning report that accused the taxpayer-backed lender of deliberately putting customers out of business for profit.  The bank may […]

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New crowdfunding rules: implications for small businesses

SMEs are increasingly looking at crowdfunding as a way of raising finance without dealing with bureaucratic banks and fickle investors. However, new rules by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which came into force recently, regulate certain types of crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding involves raising finance by taking small investments, loans or donations from a large number of people. Depending on who you believe, the new FCA rules have either “taken the crowd out of crowdfunding” or “represent the right balance between the freedom […]

Number of fines imposed by City regulator drops by 40%

Number of fines imposed by City regulator drops by 40%
The number of fines given out by the main City regulator to senior executives in the financial services sector for misconduct or breach of rules has dropped by 40% in the past four years.
The figures will raise concerns that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is failing to crack down hard enough on bad practice despite all the concerns raised over Libor and other scandals.
Eighteen fines were handed down in 2013 to individuals in senior […]

By |April 22nd, 2014|All Banks, FCA|0 Comments