Loans and Finance

Loans and Finance

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News and information about loans, money, debt, finance and business issues.

Friday, December 15, 2017

The City Takes a Break

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

October Unemployment 4.3% - Lowest Since 1975

Monday, December 11, 2017

Labour's Tokenistic Gesture To Move The Bank of England To Birmingham


Seemingly Labour is considering relocating most of the Bank of England (The Old lady of Threadneedle Street) to Birmingham if it wins power at the next general election.

The FT reports that consultants commissioned by John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, have concluded that the central bank’s base in Threadneedle Street is “unsatisfactory and leads to the regions being underweighted in policy decisions.”

They have recommended moving “some functions” to Birmingham, to be located “next door or close to” the National Investment Bank and Strategic Investment Board, organisations that Labour plans to create on entering government. Labour’s policy review will include whether the governor should also be based in Birmingham.

“All three, side-by-side, would constitute a new ‘economic policy’ hub,” said an interim report by consultants GFC Economics and Clearpoint Corporation Management. The report suggested moving the BoE’s premises “close to” Birmingham’s main train station, saying a relocation would “provide a clear, visible example of a new government’s determination to promote growth and a rebalancing of the economy”.

Well this is all very well and tokenistic. However, given that McDonnell's first act (if Labour gain power) would be to take over the Bank and remove its independence, moving it away from its main stakeholders (ie the Labour government) seems a tad stupid.

Whilst we are on the subject, given that Unite's head office is in Holborn, whilst Unison, TSSA and the RMT are all headquartered in Euston; will Labour ask them to relocate as well?

Friday, December 01, 2017

RBS/NatWest Closing 259 Branches

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Xavier Rolet Falls On His Sword

The Telegraph reports that outgoing London Stock Exchange chief executive Xavier Rolet is to step down “with immediate effect” after a furious row between the company’s board and one of its shareholders over his departure.

Mr Rolet had been due to remain in his job until December 2018 but today said he had agreed to leave straight away, just one day after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney indicated that he did not back calls by one of the LSE’s biggest investors for him to stay on until 2021.

"We can’t envisage a situation where a CEO stays beyond the agreed period," Mr Carney said at a conference on yesterday, adding that he was “mystified” by the row.

The news follows weeks of acrimony between the board and Sir Christopher Hohn, founder of the Children’s Investment Fund (TCI), who accused the LSE’s chairman Donald Brydon of forcing Mr Rolet out against his will.

Mr Rolet said he was leaving amid “a great deal of unwelcome publicity” and would not be returning to the board or the job “under any circumstances”.

I will leave the final word to Francis Urquhart:

"Even the longest, the most glittering reign must come to an end someday."

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

London Property Market Booming - Or Is It?

The Telegraph reports that London house prices are now 14.5 times the earnings of an average Londoner, according to Hometrack, hitting the highest level on record.

This is up from last year's high of 14 times average income, despite house price growth having slumped in London over the last 12 months. This year's level is 42% higher than the long-term average over the last 15 years.

The question is, how are people paying for these?

-Sharing
-Excess mortgages
-Non resident investors

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

NatWest Online Banking Problems - Update

NatWest Online Banking Down

Natwest online banking appears to be experiencing technical problems this morning, with customers reporting that the login page is slow to load or doesn't load at all.

Thus far mobile banking appears to be working.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Unemployment Falls By 59,000

The ONS reports that the rate of unemployment for July to September 2017 fell. There were 59,000 fewer unemployed than for April to June 2017 and 182,000 fewer than for a year earlier.

The unemployment rate (the proportion of those in work plus those unemployed, that were unemployed) was 4.3%, down from 4.8% for a year earlier and the joint lowest since 1975.

Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in nominal terms (that is, not adjusted for price inflation) increased by 2.2% both including and excluding bonuses, compared with a year earlier.

Friday, November 10, 2017

National Savings Rates Increased By 0.25%

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Curate's Egg That Is RBS

The Telegraph reports that the Royal Bank of Scotland could be on course for its first full-year profit since its £45bn state bailout at the height of the financial crisis, after posting a third successive quarter of profits.

RBS posted £392m in profits for the three months to September and £1.33bn for the year to date.

However, there is a down side. RBS is still waiting to see if it will be fined by the DoJ for selling subprime mortgages. The fine is expected to be around £6BN.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Chickens Come Home To Roost At Barclays

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Manufacturing Growth Rises To 1%

The ONS state that UK gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated to have increased by 0.4% in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2017, a similar rate of growth to the previous two quarters.

Additionally manufacturing returned to growth after a weak Quarter 2 2017, increasing by 1.0% in Quarter 3 2017.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Happy T Day!


As from today, owners of older, dirtier cars will be charged an extra £10 if they want to drive into London.

Saddiq Khan, Mayor of London, announced the "Toxicity charge" in February as part of a package of measures to clean up the capital’s "filthy air".

The "T-charge" will be in operation Mondays to Fridays from 7am to 6pm.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

UK Unemployment Falls - Lowest Level Since 1975

UK unemployment fell by 52,000 in the three months to August to 1.4 million, leaving the jobless rate unchanged at 4.3% from the previous quarter - still at the lowest level since 1975.

As per the ONS:
  • There were 32.10 million people in work, 94,000 more than for March to May 2017 and 317,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 75.1%, up from 74.5% for a year earlier.
  • There were 1.44 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 52,000 fewer than for March to May 2017 and 215,000 fewer than for a year earlier.