What made the nationals: sponsored by PressChoice
Reforms aim to close Libor loopholes
By Brooke Masters and Philip Stafford
Martin Wheatley’s 10-point plan to “press the reset button” on the London Interbank Offered Rate is a measured attempt to save Libor by closing loopholes that made the rate-setting process vulnerable to manipulation.
Although Mr Wheatley, managing director of the Financial Services Authority, was asked by the coalition government either to replace or reform Libor, he quickly found that only the latter option was realistic.
Cleaned-up Libor may be secured by criminal penalties
By James Moore
Attempting to manipulate Libor interest rates should be made a criminal offence, Britain’s chief financial regulator will say today as part of a devastating indictment of the rate-fixing scandal.
The scandal, which led to Barclays paying £290m in fines, involved traders trying to manipulate the rates on which the price of $300 trillion of financial contracts depend, to boost their bonuses.
Britain in the red by record £20.8bn
By Heather Stewart
George Osborne’s goal of building an economy that can pay its way in the world looks more distant than ever as official statistics showed Britain ran up the largest current account deficit on record in the second quarter of 2012.
The Office for National Statistics said the £20.8bn deficit – which includes the UK’s trade balance, as well as the shortfall on overseas investments by UK plc – was the biggest ever for a quarter.
UK economy shrank less than thought
The UK economy contracted by less than thought in the second quarter, official figures have shown.
The economy shrank by 0.4% in the April-to-June period, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in its third estimate of gross domestic product (GDP).
Pension Bill to quadruple in next 50 years
By Sarah O’Grady
Britain faces a “pension apocalypse” as the cost of paying for senior citizen benefits is set to quadruple over the next 50 years.
The sum will rise from £90billion today to £419billion by 2061, data from the Department for Work and Pensions reveals.
Most of this is the basic state pension, which will rise from £60billion to £302billion by 2061.
Misery for households as food prices soar at twice the EU average
By James Hall, Consumer Affairs Editor
The squeeze on household finances will continue for at least the next decade as experts warned prices would continue to increase at double the current rate of inflation.
Economists expect the cost of the weekly shop to continue to rise by around 4 per cent a year until 2022 at least. The increase is almost twice the current rate of inflation of 2.5 per cent.
Banks face a rising complaints due to PPI mis-selling scandal
Britain’s banks are facing a rising tide of complaints due to the PPI mis-selling scandal.
Moans to banks rose by nearly two thirds in the first half of the year, according to figures from the -Financial Services Authority.
Payment protection insurance complaints were up 129% and were the key driver in a 59% increase in gripes overall to nearly 3.6 million.
Is that how you kickstart the housing market? Just 250 homes bought in first four months of flagship NewBuy scheme
It was designed help get 100,000 struggling first-time buyers on to the property ladder and breathe new life into the housing market.
But already three months after the government’s flagship NewBuy Guarantee scheme was launched, just 250 home purchases have been completed.
Direct Line float set to be priced despite insurer probe
By David Hellier and Michael Bow
The price range for the flotation of Direct Line is expected to be announced today despite news of a probe by competition regulators into the motor insurance market.
The details of the pricing, which comes a couple of days later than expected, will likely show a range that values the insurer at between £2.2-2.8bn, against earlier hopes of a £3bn flotation.
The price details coincide with confirmation that the Office of Fair Trading, the competition watchdog, is set to decide to refer the private motor insurance market to the Competition Commission, in a move that could lower driver premiums.
Out of tune: H&M hit by an unwelcome combination
By Peter Ranscombe
Profits at Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), the world’s second-largest clothing retailer behind Zara-owner Inditex, have been dented by poor weather, grim economic conditions and foreign currency exchange rates.
The Swedish retailer, which has teamed up with American singer Lana Del Rey to promote its autumn ranges, yesterday delayed the launch of its online operations in the United States from this autumn until the middle of next year.
Spain: More Cuts And Tax Hikes In New Budget
By Robert Nisbet, Europe Correspondent
The Spanish government has unveiled another round of tax increases and budget cuts as it tries to avoid a full-blown bailout.
Spanish 10-year bond yields fell as the 2013 budget was announced by deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, who insisted the axe would be accompanied by 43 new laws to restructure the economy to help boost growth and competiveness.
Ashley rides to rescue for JJB
Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley was last night poised to become a black and white knight — and save 60 JJB Sports stores.
Sources told Sun City that a deal has finally been struck which will see Ashley’s Sports Direct buy an initial 20 stores from would-be administrators KPMG.