Weekend economic news headlines.

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Weekend economic news headlines.

Inflation outstrips savings rates
According to analysis by Moneyfacts, there is not a savings account in Britain now paying enough interest to beat inflation and tax.
The Guardian Money, p. 5

Is it time to pool our pension resources?
The government claimed this week that retirement savers could boost their pension pots by up to 40 per cent by saving funds in a new pooled pension fund.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times Money, p. 6

Pension income under threat from moves to wind down QE
The winding down of global quantitative easing (QE) programmes could hit the retirement income of people on the brink of retiring. The value of “lifestyle” pension funds has fallen by more than five per cent since the start of May on signs the US and UK will stop QE. Coupled with a drop in the annuity market, the combined effect of the fall on a £100,000 pension pot would be £265 off the annual income. Over a 20-year retirement, the fall translates to a £5,300 loss.
The Daily Telegraph, p. 8

Currency deals for retirees moving abroad
Around 8,000 British people retire abroad each year according to official figures, but tens of thousands more retirees spend at least part of their year overseas, to enjoy warmer climes during the British winter.
The Daily Telegraph Your Money, p. 8

Mortgages & Residential Property
Borrowers confused by loans small print
Mortgage rates have hit new lows as the cost of the average five-year fixed rate fell to less than 4 per cent for the first time.
The Times, p. 57

Rents outpace inflation in England and Wales
The cost of renting a home in England and Wales is rising faster than the rate of inflation, with the average monthly cost up 3.5% in the 12 months to May.
The Guardian, p. 34

In London, the £1m flats that are standing empty
The boom in “prime central London” property is leading to streets where no one actually lives any more, with apartments owned by overseas investors but often never occupied. The price rises seen in areas such as Mayfair, Knightsbridge, the West End, Kensington and Chelsea and Holland Park are extraordinary. The average price of a prime central London home is now £1.53m, and politicians, retailers and even estate agents are warning that expensive homes are resulting in soaring rents, an exodus of small shops and a ghost town atmosphere.
The Guardian Money, p. 3

We’d rather cut the gas bill than the mortgage
More British families are considering moving home to reduce their living costs than to reduce the burden of their mortgage, according to research.
The Daily Telegraph Your Money, p. 3

Mortgages 2
The Post Office plans to lend £2.5bn in mortgages by the end of the year. It will also expand its mortgage specialists service, launched in five branches in August 2012. Fifty mortgage specialists will be in place by the end of June, with plans to increase this number by the end of the year in branches across the country.
The Guardian Money, p. 6

Buyers lose out over valuation delays
It is claimed that new homebuyers are missing out on their dream properties because of delays in arranging valuations in the most sought-after postcodes.
The Times, p. 57
Also appeared in : The Times, p.55

Co-op bondholders. join forces to fight ‘bail-in’
Hundreds of Co-op bank bondholders have joined an action group to contest restructuring plans which could see them lose up to 60 per cent of their investment.
The Daily Telegraph, p. 31

HSBC website crashes
HSBC customers are the latest to be left stranded, after the bank suffered computer problems that meant its website crashed.
The Daily Telegraph, p. 33

MONEY ALERT… LLOYDS BRANCHES BECOMING TSB
It has been revealed that some 5 million customers of Lloyds will soon be part of the relaunched TSB bank.
The Independent, p. 58

Nationwide chief slams ‘crude’ test
Graham Beale, chief executive of Nationwide, has hit out at the “crude” measure used by regulators to assess the sector’s financial strength as it emerged that the mutual is facing a £2bn capital hole.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times, p. 1
Also appeared in : Financial Times Money, p.2

Tchenguiz fights Lloyds with Libor-rigging claim
Vincent Tchenguiz is trying to block a move by Lloyds to put part of his empire into administration by claiming the bank could have been involved in Libor rigging.
The Daily Telegraph, p. 33

Inquiry to put squeeze on payday loan firms
The Office of Fair Trading is understood to be ready to refer the payday lending industry to the Competition Commission after a damning report in March found “widespread irresponsible lending” across the country.
The Daily Telegraph, p. 31
Also appeared in : The Guardian, p.33

Rising fury at lack of help from banks
The Office of Fair Trading has announced it is launching a study into banking services to small and medium-sized businesses, following a rise in complaints about banks refusing to lend money.
The Times, p. 60

Windfall from Swiss banks boosts public finances
Britain’s public finances have been boosted by a one-off £3.2bn windfall tax payment from Swiss banks, but data show the government still faces a long and painful task to eliminate the deficit.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times, p. 4
Also appeared in : The Daily Telegraph, p.31, The Times, p.46, The Times, p.45

M Stanley cleared to buy Citigroup brokerage share
Morgan Stanley can finish buying out Citigroup from their retail brokerage joint venture after receiving permission from regulators to acquire the remaining 35 per cent.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times, p. 17
Also appeared in : The Daily Telegraph, p.33

China pulls banking system back from brink after squeeze
Panic over China facing an imminent financial crisis subsided yesterday, amid local reports that the central bank had provided targeted cash injections to the country’s biggest banks.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times, p. 6
Also appeared in : International Herald Tribune, p.9

Do we still need NS&I?
The Financial Times looks at the future of NS&I, known to many as National Savings. Its customer satisfaction levels are high but it is still being criticised from several quarters.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times Money, p. 1

BEYOND GRUB STREET: THE OTHER HACKING SCANDAL
According to a secret leaked report law firms, telecoms giants and insurance companies routinely employ criminals to hack, blag and steal personal information on business rivals and members of the public. The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), dubbed “Britain’s FBI”, knew six years ago that blue-chip institutions were hiring private investigators to obtain sensitive data – yet did next to nothing to disrupt the unlawful trade. The report was privately supplied to the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics in 2012 yet the corruption in other identified industries, including the law, insurance and debt collectors, and among high-net worth individuals, was not mentioned during the public sessions or included in the final report.
The Independent, p. 4

Green schemes
Ecology building society has linked up with green businesses to launch a package of benefits for its 9,000 members. Partners include renewable electricity supplier Good Energy, energy ef-ficiency experts Parity Projects, organic textiles retailer Greenfibres, ethical telecoms firm Co-operative Phone and Broadband, and organic wine suppliers Vintage Roots.
The Guardian Money, p. 6
US stops buying bond – but insurers carry on
It has been revealed that tens of thousands of ordinary investors could see the value of their retirement savings plunge as new figures show that pension fund investments in government bonds or gilts have hit a record high just as prices begin to dip.
The Sunday Telegraph Money, p. 2

The commodities super-cycle is finally to a halt
Report on Morgan Stanley this week joining a growing list of big investment banks beating a partial retreat from commodities trading.
The Sunday Telegraph Business, p. 4

Buyers hit by shortage of surveyors
Homebuyers face delays of up to five weeks to get a property valuation because of a shortage of qualified surveyors, as the housing market starts to recover. The Council of Mortgage Lenders has already reported a 21 per cent jump in lending in May.
The Sunday Times Money, p. 1

Co-op unlikely to claw back cash over £1.5bn black hole
Focus on how the Co-operative Group is unlikely to be able to claw back any money from the former chief executive, Peter Marks, or the former bank head, Neville Richardson, despite the revelation that the bank had a £1.5bn capital shortfall and bondholders would have to take a loss.
The Sunday Telegraph Business, p. 1
Also appeared in : The Sunday Times Money, p.3, The Sunday Telegraph Money, p.1

Nationwide seeks £1bn to plug hole
Britain’s biggest building society Nationwide is drawing up proposals to raise at least £1bn to fill a hole in its balance sheet created by tough new rules imposed by the Bank of England. A rule change introduced by the Bank last week left Nationwide facing the prospect of a multi-billion-pound capital hole. It was given until the end of June to explain to the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), the new City watchdog, how it would deal with the problem.
The Sunday Times Business, p. 1
Also appeared in : The Sunday Times Money, p.3

Lloyds asks EU for branch sale extension
Lloyds Banking Group has began talks with the European Commission (EC) over a two-year extension to its deadline to complete the sale of 631 branches that was demanded as a condition of the lender’s taxpayer bail-out.
The Sunday Telegraph Business, p. 2

Investors turn on Osborne over RBS interference
Royal Bank of Scotland investors have criticised the amount of government interference in the state-backed institution following the ousting of Stephen Hester and the Chancellor’s plans to carve out a “bad bank”.
The Sunday Telegraph Business, p. 1

Get those without bank accounts through the doors
Mystery shops by charities and groups like Which? revealed that bank staff routinely put unnecessary barriers in the way of basic bank account applicants in the name of the ubiquitous money-laundering rules.
The Independent on Sunday, p. 79

Want advice from Barclays? You’ll need £100,000
It has emerged that Barclays has stopped giving investment advice to customers with less than £100,000 to invest. Barclays had previously announced it would no longer offer financial advice to its high street bank customers, but last week it announced that its wealth and investment management division would also be shutting its investment services.
The Sunday Telegraph Money, p. 2

Warning for ethical investors
British investors are being warned against a share offer by Triodos, an ethical bank based in the Netherlands not rated by agencies such as Moody’s and Fitch.
The Sunday Times Money, p. 1

Europe split over who should pay for bank failures
Michel Barnier, the European commissioner in charge of banking regulation, has failed to agree rules on who should pay in the event of a global banking collapse after eurozone countries clashed with those outside the single currency over how flexible the system should be.
The Sunday Telegraph Business, p. 1

The bank that keeps a healthy balance
Company profile of Nomura and its involvement in the Telegraph’s Britain’s Healthiest Company awards. Moving to a new office helped the Japanese bank invest in its wellness services, finds Abigail Townsend.
The Sunday Telegraph Healthiest Company, p. 14

The week in review
Review of the events of the week. The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards has demanded a new criminal offence of reckless banking, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke warned that America may cut back its economic stimulus programme, Astra Zeneca will build its new global headquarters on the fringes of Cambridge and EasyJet placed an order with Airbus for up to 235 new aircraft.
The Sunday Times Business, p. 15
Also appeared in : The Sunday Telegraph Business, p.4, The Sunday Telegraph Business, p.10, The Sunday Times Business, p.4

The above articles appeared on 22/06/13 & 23/06/13 reproduced with the kind permission of Kantar Media UK. All rights reserved.

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