Accenture exposed to tax avoidance claim. Hidden cuts 30% of income from poorest. Split the banks, argues Liam Halligan. Aussie approach to pension and health care.


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Accenture exposed to tax avoidance claim. Hidden cuts 30% of income from poorest. Split the banks, argues Liam Halligan. Aussie approach to pension and health care.

There is only one real answer – split the banks
Liam Halligan argues that banks need to be split between their investment and retail arms.
The Sunday Telegraph Business,  p. 4


Hidden cuts will take away 30% of income for poorest
Britain’s least wealthy families are facing hidden cuts worth more than 30% of their annual income by 2017 as public services are rationed or withdrawn to meet the coalition’s harsh spending targets, new research commissioned by the TUC reveals today.
The Observer,  p. 4


HMRC consultants pay only 3.5% tax
It has been revealed that Accenture the consultancy firm which has HM Revenue & Customs among its customers has avoided paying tens of millions of pounds in corporation tax.
The Sunday Times,  p. 2


Yes, it can be grim up north – but it doesn’t have to be
The north of England needs new powers, such as control over welfare, housing and transport spending, to reverse its economic slide, a report from an independent commission established by the IPPR thinktank will say this week.
The Observer,  p. 12


PPI watchdog hires extra 500
An extra 500 employees are to be hired by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) before Christmas to cope with the surge in complaints over the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI).
The Sunday Times Business,  p. 3


Police probe at Brown think tank
City of London police are investigating the alleged serious embezzlement of funds at the International Centre for Financial Regulation, a Gordon Brown-backed think tank set up to improve bankers’ behaviour. The centre is chaired by Lord Currie of Marylebone, one of the six advisers to the Leveson inquiry into press standards, which will report its findings on Thursday.
The Sunday Times Business,  p. 1
Also appeared in : The Sunday Times,  p.1


‘Bombshell’ move on British tax havens
Plans to force the UK’s tax havens to reveal the names behind hidden companies, account holders and trusts have been drawn up by the Treasury.
The Observer,  p. 1-11


Tucker poised to land Bank job
Paul Tucker is likely be appointed as the new governor of the Bank of England as early as this week. The two other contenders are Lord (Terry) Burns, the former Treasury mandarin who is chairman of Santander UK, and Sir John Vickers, the former Bank of England economist who led the government’s review into breaking up Britain’s big lenders.
The Sunday Times Business,  p. 1


‘Double strike’ fear for RBS over Libor fines
The Royal Bank of Scotland is concerned it could receive a “double hit” of separate fines for its alleged involvement in the Libor-fixing controversy, one from the Financial Services Authority and one from the US regulators on separate days.
The Sunday Telegraph Business,  p. 3


Bankers urged to swear an oath
HSBC chairman Douglas Flint is pushing for bankers to take an oath similar to that sworn by doctors as part of radical plans to overhaul the way the profession is viewed in the wake of the financial crisis and successive banking scandals.
The Sunday Telegraph Business,  p. 3


New homebuyers are being targeted with a range of offset mortgages normally reserved for cash-rich borrowers. Last week Chelsea building society, owned by Yorkshire building society, introduced a series of offset deals for those taking their first steps on the ladder with at least a 10% deposit.
The Sunday Times Money,  p. 9


Home loans hit £12.9bn
Mortgage lending reached an 11-month high in October to £12.9bn, the Council of Mortgage Lenders reported.
The Sunday Times Money,  p. 2


New lifeline for ‘loan prisoners’
The clampdown on interest-only mortgages eased last week for the first time since the start of the credit crunch, offering hope to millions of borrowers. Santander, Britain’s second-biggest mortgage lender, halved the deposit required to access an interest-only deal to just 25%. Those with less than a 50% deposit will be able to take half their loan on interest-only. The rest must be on a more expensive capital repayment basis.
The Sunday Times Money,  p. 1


G’day, old possums, get your wallets out
The Australian approach to pensions encourages people to save and make private contributions to services such as healthcare. Nearly all workers pay close to 10% of their salaries into private pensions and the state pension is means-tested on both income and assets. The result is that pensioners in Australia are less likely to rely on the government for their incomes than pensioners in Britain. The use of private health insurance is significantly higher in Australia, too.
The Sunday Times,  p. 23


The above articles appeared on 25\11\12 reproduced with the kind permission of Kantar Media UK . All rights reserved.
Charterbridge Private Financial Planning, Independent Financial Advice, Thornbury, Bristol.