What made the nationals: sponsored by PressChoice
Cable pledges £1bn to free up credit
By Kiran Stacey and Sam Jones
Ministers will pump an extra £1bn of public money into the lending markets in an effort to free up credit for small and medium companies, Vince Cable will announce on Monday.
The business secretary will announce, in a speech to the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton, the creation of a British business bank, which will lend indirectly to companies struggling to secure funding, such as manufacturers and exporters.
Pension-for-property scheme to let first-time buyers tap Bank of Mum and Dad’s retirement funds for deposits
By Simon Lambert
Struggling first-time buyers will be able to tap up their parents’ and grandparents’ pension pots to help raise hefty mortgage deposits, under a new plan revealed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
Describing his idea as a ‘pensions-for-property scheme’, Mr Clegg outlined it as a way of enabling those without spare cash to help the younger generation onto the property ladder.
Clegg plan on pensions draw fire
By Tim Wallace
The investment industry slammed Liberal Democrat plans to allow parents to use a quarter of their pension pots to guarantee their children’s mortgages yesterday, arguing it could undermine pensions and hit retirement incomes.
The Association of British Insurers said the scheme could backfire, harming the guarantors if they have to sacrifice savings later and the National Association of Pension Funds added it fails to address major problems in either the housing or pensions market.
Nick Clegg pledges fresh battle with chancellor over budget cuts
By Patrick Wintour, Political Editor
Nick Clegg signalled a fresh battle over budget cuts with George Osborne on Sunday after warning that it would be “wholly unrealistic” for the coalition to pursue further reductions in welfare spending without increasing taxes on Britain’s richest 10%.
Under pressure from appalling polling figures which showed his Lib Dem party fourth nationwide behind UKIP, Clegg’s commitment to protect the poorest in society from “wild Tory demands” could not prevent a surprisingly pointed attack from his own side on the first full day of his party’s conference in Brighton.
Call for fuel duty rise to be scrapped to boost flagging consumer confidence
By Martin Flanagan
The coalition government has been urged by Britain’s biggest retail lobby group to give a shot in the arm to consumer confidence by scrapping the postponed fuel duty rise.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) also today calls on the UK government to freeze business rates south of the Border in 2013 after two previous years of “substantial rises” as it claims high street sales growth is half what it was before the financial system nearly collapsed in 2008.
Paul Volcker: ring-fencing banks is not enough
By Helia Ebrahimi, Senior City Correspondent
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Volcker said that plans to force banks in the UK to ring-fence their traditional retail arms from “casino” investment divisions would not work in the event of a bail out. Ringfencing, he said, would only work in “fair-weather” conditions but not when banks were under pressure.
“In my experience ring-fencing is not terribly effective,” said Mr Volcker. “It only works in fair-weather. But doesn’t work in foul weather. They have already run into problems and they are bound to run into more.”
Santander snubs the Government’s cheap loan scheme
By James Salmon
Santander has come under fire for failing to offer cheaper loans to cash-strapped businesses and households under the Government’s new flagship ‘funding for lending’ scheme.
The Spanish-owned bank, which also failed to lend a penny under the previous lending initiative, was yesterday accused of ‘foot dragging’ and snubbing the Government’s latest attempt to breathe life into the economy.
Direct Line float slashed in value
By Geoff Ho
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is prepared to cut its valuation of motor insurer Direct Line by 10 per cent to £2.7 billion to entice investors.
The 12 investment banks advising RBS on the flotation of Direct Line have spent the past week meeting with City investment houses to gauge demand for the deal.
Revealed: Britain’s biggest taxpayers
By James Cusick
The star taxpayers’ list is based on visible earnings at Companies House, in the annual reports and accounts of publicly quoted and privately held companies. There is no evidence to suggest these individuals, who live and work in Britain, have done anything to reduce their huge tax bills.
The Independent’s tax list is headed by David Harding, the Cambridge-educated physicist who founded Winton Capital, the world’s largest hedge fund, whose recent dividend payment of almost £53m added to his salary of £12m. Mark Coombs is worth £1.5bn and, as head of the Ashmore investment house, is an expert in emerging markets.
Energy customers get switch rights under Ofgem plans
Households with pre-payment meters who owe up to £500 to their energy supplier will be able to switch to cheaper deals with another firm under new measures.
Customers of the biggest six companies are currently able to move only if they have debts of less than £200.
Apple is named as Britain’s coolest brand
Apple has knocked Aston Martin from its title as the UK’s coolest brand, according to a survey.
The California-based technology firm beat the car manufacturer to first place in the 11th annual CoolBrands poll.
The survey placed YouTube second, Twitter fourth and Google fifth.
Marriage of AA and Saga set for breakdown
By Russell Lynch
A break-up of Acromas, the £9bn owner of the AA and Saga, is on the cards after the company brought in accountants to weigh up the future of the business.
The move would end a five-year marriage between the motoring organisation and over-50s travel and insurance firm, formed by a £6.1bn merger at the height of the credit boom in 2007. The deal was funded by £4.8bn of debt.