Britons face double blow of tax and falling house prices


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Britons face double blow of tax and falling house prices

Britons face double blow of tax and falling house prices
British expats caught up in Cyprus’s financial crisis are facing a ‘double whammy’ of taxes on their savings while the values of their homes plunge in a depressed property market.
The Daily Telegraph, p. 17

Expats’ Pensions are safe, says Treasury
Thousands of British expats living in Cyprus are set to have their pensions temporarily halted and can nominate non-Cypriot bank accounts to ensure payments are not affected by the country’s controversial levy on savings, the Government has announced.
The Independent, p. 3

Over-60s face mortgage debt crunch
As many as 52,000 borrowers over 60 may have to raid their savings or sell their homes within four years to pay back nearly £6bn of mortgage debt. An analysis by the ratings agency Moody’s has found that there are about that number of borrowers over the age of 60 on interest-only mortgages that mature before 2016 and who have less than 20 per cent equity in their homes.
The Daily Telegraph, p. 2
Also appeared in : Financial Times, p.4

Survey shows mortgage finance easier to come by
Getting a mortgage is now at its easiest since the credit crisis five years ago, according to the latest data from the Building Societies Association. The body’s Property Tracker March survey found that access to mortgage finance as a barrier to buying a house is now rated as an issue by 42 per cent of buyers, the lowest since 2008, and down from its peak of 59 per cent in September 2011.
The Daily Telegraph Business, p. 4

RBS plans root and branch reforms after IT woes
Ross McEwan, head of UK retail banking at RBS, has revealed the bank has earmarked £700mn to refurbish branches and invest in improvements to its service as its seeks to draw a line under a difficult year for its 15mn retail customers.
The Times, p. 37
Also appeared in : City AM London, p.11, Financial Times Companies and Markets, p.16, The Daily Telegraph Business, p.4, The Guardian, p.26, The Times, p.37

Cyprus closes banks to stop run amid fury over bailout
The Cypriot government yesterday closed down all banks until Thursday in order to allow itself space to renegotiate the terms of its bailout deal, which as it stands, looks likely to cost its saving account customers to take “a €5.8bn (£5bn) hit”.
The Guardian, p. 1-2
Also appeared in : City AM London, p.3

Britons facing bank losses in Cyprus despite Osborne pledge
Army personnel with savings or property in Cyprus could still face losses despite George Osborne’s promise to shield them from a levy on banks there.
The Daily Telegraph, p. 1

Cyprus to protect savers with less than €100,000 from levy
Cyprus looks ready to raid big savers’ bank accounts far more heavily than originally planned, sparing those with deposits of less than €100,000 (£85,822) by levying a 15 per cent tax on those with higher savings.
City AM London, p. 1
Also appeared in : Financial Times, p.1

Savers take to the streets as fears grow they could lay siege to banks
Rising anger among Cypriots over a tax on their bank deposits spilled over on to the streets of the capital Nicosia yesterday as several hundred protesters gathered outside its parliament.
The Times, p. 4

Argentina accuses HSBC of acting like swindlers
Britain’s biggest bank, HSBC, has been accused of tax evasion, money laundering and acting like a “gang of swindlers” by the Argentine Government. The AFIP tax agency in Buenos Aires filed a complaint against HSBC yesterday alleging that the bank had helped companies to evade 224mn pesos (£29mn) in taxes and conspired to launder a further 392mn pesos.
The Times, p. 37
Also appeared in : The Daily Telegraph Business, p.3, City AM London, p.8, The Independent, p.30, The Independent, p.47

Goldman loses US Supreme Court appeal
Goldman Sachs Group suffered a defeat yesterday as the US Supreme Court let stand a decision forcing it to defend against claims it misled investors about mortgage securities that lost value during the 2008 financial crisis.
City AM London, p. 8
Also appeared in : The Times, p.37, The Daily Telegraph Business, p.4

Citigroup, the US investment […]
Citigroup, the US investment banking giant, last night agreed to settle a class action brought on behalf of investors for a total of $730mn. The legal action, which still has to be reviewed by a District Court judge in New York, has been pursued by investors who bought Citigroup debt and preferred stock between May 2006 and November 2008.
The Times, p. 37
Also appeared in : Financial Times Companies and Markets, p.18

Qatari bank to take 70% stake in Turkish lender
Commercial Bank of Qatar has agreed on terms to buy a majority stake in Alternatifbank, a small Turkish lender. The sovereign wealth fund has snapped up stakes including London’s Heathrow airport.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times Companies and Markets, p. 16

Call for banks to flag trading risk
MPs and peers on the Commission on Banking Standards are urging the Government to hand regulators the power to force banks to disclose for the first time the size of the unhedged trading positions taken by their investment banking arms in a move designed to prevent lenders engaging in risky bets on the market.
The Daily Telegraph Business, p. 4

Banks could face Libor cartel claims
City lawyers are warning that banks could face another huge wave of claims amounting to hundreds of millions or even billions of pounds if the European Commission rules Libor fixing amounted to anticompetitive behaviour.
City AM London, p. 9

EU households still too indebted […]
Bank customers across Europe have too much debt even five years into the crisis, the European Banking Authority claimed yesterday.
City AM London, p. 17

The above articles appeared on 19/03/13 reproduced with the kind permission of Kantar Media UK. All rights reserved.

Charterbridge Private Financial Planning, Independent Financial Advice, Thornbury, Bristol.