EU Eggs Contamination Concerns

 

New questions are being raised over the contamination of eggs with insecticide in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, with Belgium admitting it knew about the problem in June, a month before it became public.

Officials say details were not released because a fraud case had been launched.

Katrien Stragier, a spokeswoman for the Belgian Federal Food Agency, told local television: “We’ve known since the beginning of June there’s a problem in the poultry industry with Fipronil.

The Drama School Creating a New Generation of Black British Actors

 

They’re young, British, and taking on Hollywood. A new generation of black actors, including John Boyega in the blockbuster Star Wars, have been trained at the Identity School of Acting, in London. Established in 2003, it now boasts a roster of talent, that’s doing well in America. The British Film Institute has identified a lack of diversity in film making, and Colleen Harris has been to meet some of the school’s stars, who’re breaking the industry’s glass ceiling.

RBS made £939m in profits in the six months to June, beating analyst expectations

morebyless/flickr.com

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Fri, 4 Aug 2017) London, Uk – –

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has posted its first half-year profit in three years, as the taxpayer-controlled bank said it may move some operations to Amsterdam after Brexit.

The bank made £939m in profits in the six months to June, beating analyst expectations, compared to a £2bn loss last year.

The Treasury declined to provide an update on when it plans to sell its 72pc stake.

Ross McEwan, RBS chief executive, said that the potential Amsterdam move would affect around 150 staff in its NatWest Markets business.

He said the bank was “advancing discussions” with Dutch authorities about repurposing an EU banking licence it picked up through its disastrous acquisition of ABN Amro prior to the financial crisis.

But he cautioned that it was not a done deal and depended on the outcome of Brexit talks, saying: “It’s in case we do need it. We’ll be operationally ready if required. If we do have to make some changes, we will set up an operation in Amsterdam.”

RBS shares jumped more than 4pc to around £2.67 in early trading.

Despite the profitable start to the year RBS restated that it does not expect to make its first full-year profit in a decade, instead predicting a return to the black in 2018.

This is due to an expected multi-billion-pound fine in the second half from the US Department of Justice for its role in selling subprime mortgages before the crash.

Analysts expect the DoJ fine to be around £5bn-£6bn, although estimates range from £4bn-£15bn. RBS made no update on provisioning for the fine this morning, despite only having around £3bn left in its compensation pot.

Mr McEwan conceded the fine may not land this year amid disarray at the DoJ under the Trump presidency. He said: “We don’t have an update on that. It may not be done this year but I’m still optimistic it will be done.”

Unlike Barclays and Lloyds, RBS did not set aside any more money for PPI claims in addition to its existing £4.9bn pot. It has already paid out £3.8bn.

The bank’s core high street and small business lending arm enjoyed a good period, doubling half-year profits to £1.1bn, up from £533m.

But the group was once again weighed down by exceptional restructuring and misconduct costs, running to a combined £1.2bn.

This figure included the first payment of £151m towards a separate £4.2bn settlement with US housing authorities over misselling toxic mortgages.

Mr McEwan also fired a warning about Britain’s consumer credit glut, after Bank of England governor Mark Carney ordered banks to explain their consumer lending policies.

He said: “Consumer credit has increased by 10pc over the last year and is outstripping wage growth. The Bank of England is rightly asking questions.”

Mr McEwan pointed out RBS was focussing on expanding secured credit including mortgage lending, with unsecured making up only 4pc of its total. In business lending he said it was being “cautious in areas like real estate”.

When asked if there was an update on selling the taxpayers’ stake in RBS, the Treasury referred the Telegraph to chancellor Philip Hammond’s statement in the Spring Budget that: “The government will continue to seek opportunities for disposals, but the need to resolve legacy issues makes it uncertain as to when these will occur.”

There had been speculation Mr Hammond could take advantage of the expected profits announcement to offload shares.

In April Mr Hammond said he was willing to sell the stake at a loss in order to draw a line under the post-crisis years. At current prices RBS shares are worth around half of the £5.02 a share level the Government bought them for in 2008.

A Treasury spokesperson added: “There is still work to do but RBS is continuing to implement its strategy and is making good progress in dealing with the problems of the past.”

RBS was boosted last month by European regulators’ blessing that it can keep the 316-branch business Williams & Glyn in exchange for stumping up £775m in small banks support.

Costs are down more than 4pc as restructuring continues, with £490m of cost stripped out in the first half, towards a target of £750m for the year. It has so far closed 81 subsidiaries, cut 3,000 desks and ditched 7,000 systems or applications.

Mr McEwan said a rise in mobile banking was reducing costs, with 58 people every second using its apps and a 13pc increase in users.

The bank is on track to meet financial targets for this year and 2020.

By Iain Withers

Green & Black to launch its first UK product without a Fairtrade label.

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 4 Aug 2017) London, Uk – –

Green & Black’s, which pioneered organic Fairtrade chocolate, is launching its first UK product without a Fairtrade or organic label.

The new Velvet Edition dark chocolate bars go on sale in the UK this month.

Instead of the Fairtrade mark, it carries the Cocoa Life certification, set up by Mondelez International, the owner of Green & Black’s.

Mondelez calls Cocoa Life “a holistic, cocoa sustainability programme in partnership with Fairtrade”.

And unlike all other Green & Black’s bars, there is no organic label.

Glenn Caton, Northern Europe president of Mondelez, said: “These beans are not available in organic at the scale required for Green and Black’s, but I am proud that they are sustainably sourced, independently verified beans from the Cocoa Life programme, of which Fairtrade will ensure we remain an accountable partner for farmers.”

Green & Black’s was founded on the Portobello Road in London by Craig Sams and Jo Fairley in 1991. Three years later, its Maya Gold bar was the first chocolate in the UK to be awarded the Fairtrade mark.

It sources its organic cocoa from the Dominican Republic.

All its ranges, apart from the Velvet Edition, will continue to be organic and carry the Fairtrade logo, which is considered to be one of the most widely recognised and trusted ethical brands in the world.
Cocoa Life branding
Mondelez, formerly Kraft Foods, owns Green & Black’s through Cadbury’s, which bought Green & Black’s in 2005, before being bought itself by Kraft in 2010.

Its Cocoa Life branding is now rapidly replacing the Fairtrade logo across all its chocolate products. By 2019, Cadbury’s entire chocolate range in the UK and Ireland – including Flake, Twirl and Wispa – will display the Cocoa Life logo.

Green & Blacks said in a statement: “Cocoa Life, which is independently verified, means Green and Black’s will build more and stronger relationships with farming communities and become an accountable partner, not just a buyer. ”

Fairtrade

The UK Fairtrade label is administered by the Fairtrade Foundation, an independent non-profit organisation, and appears on some 5,000 products.

It claims there are more than 1.65 million farmers and workers in 1,226 producer organisations across the Fairtrade system, which guarantees decent working conditions and a minimum price for produce.

Last year, it went into partnership with Cocoa Life to create “greater scale and impact for cocoa farmers and their communities”.

It says the partnership means that five times as much Cadbury chocolate will now be made with sustainably sourced cocoa.

Fairtrade admitted: “The cocoa for Cadbury products in the UK and Ireland under Cocoa Life will not be traded according to the Fairtrade Standards of certification.”

But it insists farmers will not lose out: “They will instead receive a competitive price for the cocoa, additional loyalty cash payments plus further investments in projects and support to improve their farming practices and implement community action plans.

“The value of all this will be at least equivalent to that previously delivered under Fairtrade.”

 

Accenture Consultancy firm to creates 1,700 new jobs

UK in Spain/Flickr.com

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.finance.yahoo.com via cityam.com – – Thur, 3 Aug, 2017) London, Uk – –

Consultancy firm Accenture aims to have hired 1,700 people in the UK during its 2017 financial year, the company announced on Thursday.

Chancellor Philip Hammond described the investment as a “vote of confidence” in Britain’s economy.

The roles are based throughout the country, primarily in London and Newcastle, and are focused on technology – including around 500 positions across robotics, cyber defence, artificial intelligence (AI), data science and virtual reality.

The company said it had hired recruited approximately 600 entry level employees, including school leavers, as it further broadens its intake beyond university graduates.

“This investment is a vote of confidence in our plan to build a stronger economy,” Mr Hammond said.

“These jobs will be filled around the country in cutting-edge sectors where Britain leads the world, such as cyber security, robotics and virtual reality.”

Olly Benzecry, chairman and senior managing director for Accenture in the UK and Ireland, said: “Accenture’s growing workforce marks our ongoing commitment to the UK as we continue to help our clients navigate through a period of unprecedented change and digital disruption.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be at Accenture as we work with organisations to unlock value through innovation.

“As new technologies rapidly impact every aspect of our lives, from progress in AI to the increasing threat of cyber crime, we are taking on people who possess the skills required to help our clients to succeed in the digital economy.”

The company is also bolstering its technology advisory and consulting workforce in industries including financial services, communications & media, retail, consumer goods & services, utilities and government.

Accenture said it is also training 40 technology apprentices this year, and offering technology and digital-oriented work experience, and vocational education.

By Oliver Gill

Co-operative cash machines to spray invisible gel to catch criminals

Howard Lake/Flickr

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.finance.yahoo.com — via The Independent -– Thu, 3 August 2017) —

Criminals who attempt to break into Co-operative cash machines will be sprayed with an invisible gel said to be detectable on the skin and clothes for as long as five years.

Forensic technology company SmartWater teamed up with the Co-op Group in making the gel traceable enough to link criminals back to the scene of the crime. Only a tiny amount of gel – the size of a speck of dust – is enough for criminal forensic investigators to find and identify a person.

Approximately 2,500 Co-op cash machines will have the technology installed across the UK, following a 90 per cent reduction in crime at ATM’s during a pilot scheme rolled out over 30 locations last year.

According to the Co-op, ATM crime is most frequent in the North West of England. London is reportedly ranked second in ATM crimes across the UK. The capital is also home to high rates of “Black box” crimes, whereby criminals gain access to ATMs by physically connecting them to devices, such as a laptop, to usher commands which dispenses cash.

The Metropolitan Police said it had taken up the initiative, alongside SmartWater, to visit one in seven homes across London to give away free crime-detecting kits aimed at “reducing household burglary”.

“All custody areas have suitable detectors fitted, with all prisoners routinely scanned and hundreds of patrol staff have been both equipped and trained to detect it”, said Iain Raphael, Detective Chief Superintendent and Enfield Borough Commander. “We welcome any crime prevention initiative such as this that can benefit from our on-going work with SmartWater and criminals contemplating attacks on Co-op ATM’s should take note”.

Chris Whitfield, Co-op’s Director of Retail and Logistics, said ATM crime disproportionately impacts rural police forces where “cash dispensers are more of a lifeline for residents and the local economy”. He added: “At the forefront of combating ATM crime this proven technology utilises the latest ATM security capabilities and innovations to cut crime, providing a safer and secure way to deliver a key and convenient service in local communities.”

By Shafi Musaddique

Asda Supermarket Suffers Sharp Fall in Sales and Profits in 2016

 

grassrootsgroundswell/Flickr

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 2 Aug 2017) London, Uk – –

Sales fall and lower profits at supermarket Asda in 2016 have been revealed in detail in newly-filed accounts.

The figures for the Walmart-owned supermarket, filed at Companies House, confirm a torrid spell for Asda as it faced stiff competition in the grocery sector.

Like-for-like sales were down 5.7% compared with the previous year.

Pre-tax profits dropped almost 19% to £791.7m at the Leeds-based company.

“The grocery market has continued to experience low growth throughout the year and competition in the sector has remained intense. Our sales performance, relative to the market, was behind our expectations,” the company said.

Changes

Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – the so-called big four UK supermarkets – also face competition from German discounters Aldi and Lidl.

Asda suffered more than most and, unlike others, has struggled to fight back. In May, it reported decreasing sales in the first quarter of 2017 – the 11th consecutive quarter of falls – as it continued to lose ground to its rivals.

However, Asda added that despite the disappointing results, there had been an improvement following “strategic changes” under new boss Sean Clarke.

Mr Clarke, who replaced previous chief executive Andy Clarke a year ago, has slashed the prices of everyday items as he attempts to arrest falling sales.

The chain reported a 2.8% fall in like-for-like sales in its first quarter of this year, a moderate improvement on the previous period, which saw sales fall 2.9%.

‘Focus on price’

Analysts have said that a major turnaround is required at Asda.

“Sainsbury’s and Tesco have always had more opportunity for differentiation from the discounters, but Asda has chosen to focus on price rather than range and in-store experience, which has clearly been the wrong strategy,” said Tom Berry, retail analyst at GlobalData.

“Asda has been flailing without direction for too long, and a comprehensive plan is needed if it is to survive in the highly competitive UK grocery market.”

Phil Dorrell, of consultancy Retail Remedy, is a previous marketing chief at Asda. He said that it was a difficult market for Asda and it “had a lot of catching up to do”.

“It is not changing significantly or fast enough to pull around the results. It did not get its proposition right,” he said.

 

Car Makers Hold ‘Diesel Summit’ in Germany

 

 

German carmakers are meeting the government on Wednesday seeking solutions for the diesel sector damaged by scandals over emissions test cheating.

The aim is to find ways to cut emissions and head off moves by some large cities to ban diesel vehicles.

The government has been accused of not doing enough to crack down on pollution, and of being too close to the car industry.

British Gas announce customers energy bill price hike of 12.5 per cent

Ton Zijp/Flickr

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Tue, 1 Aug 2017) London, Uk – –

Experts fear rise will prompt another round of increases after Centrica sanctions average annual dual fuel bill rise of 7.3% to £1,120

British Gas has raised electricity prices by 12.5% in a move consumer experts warned could kick off a new round of price rises from rival suppliers this winter.

The company, owned by Centrica, left its gas prices unchanged, which means the average annual dual fuel bill will rise by 7.3%, or £76, to £1,120. The increase, which takes effect on 15 September, will affect 3.1 million customers. The company said it would give a £76 credit to more than 200,000 vulnerable customers to protect them from the increase.

Ministers expressed concern about the rise, which they said should not be blamed on government policy, and said they were not ruling out future steps to “increase fairness for customers”.

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said: “Energy firms should treat all their customers fairly and we’re concerned this price rise will hit many people already on poor-value tariffs. Government policy costs make up a relatively small proportion of household energy bills. Wholesale prices are the bigger portion of household bills and are coming down.
“We are not ruling anything out – whether it is action by the regulator or legislation – to increase fairness for customers.”

Shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead called it a “whopping rise” and said the government should take further action.

“There was an agreement coming into the election that there should be a price cap operating across the market and action should be taken on the standard variable tariffs that so many customers are on. Unfortunately the government has changed their minds about that now and we want to press them to change their minds,” the Labour MP told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday.

The chief executive of Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy, said: “British Gas has in recent years been offering one of the less expensive standard variable tariffs from a larger firm, but today’s price rise will close this gap and hit longstanding customers hardest. This price rise has been issued despite costs for energy firms dropping in recent months.”

Iain Conn, Centrica’s chief executive, defended the move, saying the electricity price rise was the first since November 2013 and reflected a 16% rise in the cost of energy and delivery to customers’ homes since 2014.

“We haven’t taken the decision lightly,” he said on Sky News. “We realise that 3.1 miilon people are affected. I should stress that just over 5 million customers are unaffected by today’s news. In the end we’ve had to respond, like many of our competitors, to the underlying increases we’ve seen in electricity.”

Martin Lewis, the founder of the MoneySavingExpert website, said the move was a catch-up price rise from British Gas and might prompt another batch of rises this winter.

Previous price freezes by British Gas had lulled customers into a “false sense of security that it wouldn’t move prices”, Lewis said, which meant consumers did nothing, “when they could have cut their rate and locked that in for longer by actively picking a far cheaper one-year fixed energy tariff.” He added that the cheapest tariffs on the market cost £844.

News of the price rise came as Centrica reported an adjusted profit before tax of £639m for the six months to June, down from £688m a year earlier.

Conn, who was handed a pay rise of nearly 40% last year, taking his remuneration package to £4.15m, said: “Centrica delivered a solid first-half financial performance despite reduced energy demand due to warm weather and strong competitive pressures, and we remain on track to achieve the 2017 targets we set out in February.”

Households are missing out on the cheapest tariffs by not switching suppliers. Although the number of people switching rose by 30% last year, around two-thirds of bill payers are still on the worst-value standard tariffs. Trials are under way on how to encourage people to switch.

Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief of money.co.uk, said: “I’m worried the Conservatives’ promise to ‘end unfair practices in the energy market’ will make people think they don’t need to switch. They do. There is no guarantee when and if anything will be done, so it’s not worth wasting money while you wait.

“Switching energy deals could help you to save now and protect you against hikes in the near future. There’s no point sticking with the same supplier when you could pay hundreds less for exactly the same service elsewhere.”

By Julia Kollewe and Jessica Elgot

Rolls-Royce interim results delivered a forecast-beating performance

Warren East Rolls-Royce chief executive

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Tue, 1 August 2017) London, Uk – –

Rolls-Royce chief executive Warren East has delivered a forecast-beating performance with the company’s interim results as he continues to deliver a turnaround of the blue-chip engineering group.

Half-year results for the six months to the end of June showed reported revenue of £7.57bn, up from £6.46bn a year ago. Pre-tax profit soared to £1.94bn, reversing last year’s loss of £2.15bn.

However, the company conceded that the improvement in profit was heavily influenced by currency movements. Rolls has a huge “hedge book” of foreign exchange deals aimed at protecting it from currency fluctuations and the strengthening of the pound since the start of the year meant these assets got a £1.4bn boost, compared with a £2.2bn charge last time round. Rolls noted that this was the “principal reason” for the strong results at a headline level.

On an underlying basis, Rolls’s preferred measure and which strips out currency movements, revenue was £6.87bn, up 6pc. Pre-tax profit was £287m, a gain of 148pc. The weaker pound has inflated Rolls’s figures, as the bulk of the aviation industry’s deals are done in US dollars.

The news was welcomed by traders, with shares in the company up more than 6pc in early dealing, rising 54p to 947.5p.

City forecasts were much more downbeat. Analysts had been expecting the FTSE 100 business would report underlying revenue of £6.58bn and underlying pre-tax profit of £193m.

Free cash flow – the measure of how much money the company generates after expenses and a key figure for Mr East – was negative £339m, meaning the company is spending more than it is making. However, this was still an improvement on the figure a year ago, which was negative £414m.

Mr East has repeatedly said that he wants Rolls to be generating £1bn of positive free cash flow by 2020.

Rolls has tried to rein back expectations, describing the £1bn figure as an “ambition ” rather than a clear target.

“Rolls-Royce delivered encouraging year-on-year operational progress in the first six months,” said Mr East, who was appointed two years ago to turn around the business after it issued a series of profit warnings that saw its share price halve.

The chief executive said Rolls’s plans to increase the number of jet engines it makes for airliners and at a lower cost were working, with deliveries up 27pc and “good further progress” improving the economics of making the engines.

Mr East added that cost savings from his “simplification” restructuring “were ahead of plan” and a better than expected boost from accounting measures meant the company had delivered “a good set of results, with financial performance ahead of our expectations for the first half”.

However, Mr East cautioned analysts and investors not to get ahead of themselves, holding guidance at previous levels and warning that “execution and delivery of a number of important milestones across our businesses will be key to achieving our full-year expectations”.

Analysts have said that as Mr East has deliberately been downbeat about the company’s performance to mange expectations.

“Warren is being smart by under-promising and over delivering,” said one.

The order book at the end of the six months stood at £82.7bn, up from £79.5bn at the same point a year ago.

The dividend was held at 4.6p.

By Alan Tovey

HSBC Profits up 5% in the first half of 2017

Chris Beckett/Flickr

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com- – Mon, 31 July 2017 2017) London, Uk – –

HSBC’s profits rose 5% in the first half of the year after a turbulent 2016.

The results were better than expected with Europe’s largest bank reporting that its pre-tax profit for the first six months to June came in at $10.2bn (£7.8bn), compared with $9.7bn (£7.4bn) for the same period last year.

The bank’s operating profits dropped 12% to $16.4bn (£12.5bn), partly down to a sell-off of its Brazil operations.

HSBC also announced a share buyback of up to $2bn, which it said it expected complete by the end of 2017, raising the amount of total stock it has pledged to buy since the second half of 2016 to $5.5bn.

The figures come after the bank warned in February of the challenges posed by Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidency in the US as it reported a 62% fall in earnings for 2016.

The London-based global lender has been on a recovery drive during the last two years to streamline the business and reduce costs.

In the midst of a revamp it has laid off tens of thousands of staff and shifted more of its focus towards Asia.

HSBC chairman Douglas Flint struck a positive tone in his response to the half year results, describing them as “extremely pleasing”.

He also attributed the bank’s performance to several factors: “Markets-based revenues benefited from market share advances, commercial banking customer activity was robust, wealth management and insurance revenues were notably stronger in Hong Kong, and credit experience globally remained remarkably sound.”

Mr Flint said there were still “uncertainties arising from increasing geopolitical tensions and ambiguous predictions around the shape of transition to, and final form of, the UK’s future relationship with its major trading partners in the EU” post-Brexit, but described HSBC’s performance as “resilient”.

HSBC confirmed earlier this year that it may have to move 1,000 roles from London to Paris due to Brexit over the next couple of years.

By By Sunita Patel-Carstairs

Watchdog to crack down on bank overdraft fees and car loans

thinkpanama/Flickr

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Mon, 31 July, 2017) London, Uk – –

The Financial Conduct Authority is to crack down on the high cost of overdrafts and review the booming car loan market in the latest attempt by regulators to tackle mounting consumer debt.

Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the FCA, said charges imposed on customers falling into unauthorised overdrafts would be overhauled. Research by consumer group Which? has found the cost of borrowing £100 through an unauthorised overdraft for 28 days from some high street banks is as high as £90. This is up to four times higher than the maximum charges allowed on a payday loan.

The FCA found that one in six people with debt on credit cards, personal lending and used to buy cars were in financial distress and that they are more likely to be younger, have children, be unemployed and have lower education than a comparable group of consumers not in financial distress.

In a paper discussing creditworthiness of customers published on Monday, it said: “In the absence of adequate affordability rules, consumers can suffer potentially avoidable financial distress”.

The FCA has already imposed a cap on the rates that payday lenders can charge. After reviewing the impact of this restriction, it has decided to keep it in place. The cap has “delivered substantial benefits to consumers,” the FCA said, finding that 760,000 borrowers are saving a total of £150m per year.

“High-cost credit products remain a key focus for us because of the risks they pose to potentially vulnerable customers. We are pleased to see clear evidence of improvement in the payday lending market after a period when firms’ treatment of customers and their business models were often unacceptable,” said Bailey.

But, he said, there was more to be done. “In particular, the nature and extent of the problems that we have found with unarranged overdrafts mean that maintaining the status quo is not an option. We are now working to resolve these issues while preserving the parts of the market that consumers find useful,” Bailey said.

The FCA’s action comes after the Bank of England told banks it would conduct health checks on their exposure to car loans, credit cards and personal loans after finding that lending in the consumer credit sector was growing at 10.3% a year, far outpacing the 2.3% rise in household income.

The FCA will now review alternatives for unauthorised overdraft charges – a key plank of the way banks structure their current accounts – which was rejected by the Competition and Markets Authority in its review of the sector last year. Lloyds Banking Group, the biggest current account provider in the UK, earlier this month overhauled its charging structure, abandoning all existing charges for overdrafts and replacing them with a single fee of 1p every day for every £7 of overdraft used.

Gareth Shaw, Which? money expert, said the FCA “must act swiftly to crack down on these exorbitant fees and to restrict unarranged overdraft charges to the same level as for arranged overdrafts, as further delay will only cost consumers”.

The FCA took steps to cap payday lending charges in 2015 so that interest and fees on all high-cost short-term credit loans are now capped at 0.8% per day of the amount borrowed. If borrowers do not repay their loans on time, default charges must not exceed £15.

It said on Monday that its regulation of the sector meant that payday lenders are much less likely to lend to customers who cannot afford to repay, and debt charities are seeing far fewer clients with debt problems linked to high-cost short-term credit.

The FCA will now review financing for cars where lending is growing at 15% a year. “The majority of new car finance is now in the form of personal contract purchase, a form of hire purchase. The key feature of a PCP is that the value of the car at the end of the contract is assessed at the start of the agreement and deferred, resulting in lower monthly repayments,” the FCA said.

The regulator is looking at whether firms take the right steps to ensure that they lend responsibly and if the firms are managing the risk that car prices could fall and whether they are taking account for that in their loan terms.

In April the FCA announced measures to help people in persistent credit card debt, including waiving or cancelling interest and charges if customers cannot afford to curb their liabilities through a repayment plan.

By Jill Treanor

New Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square

 

Originally built in 1922 as the former headquarters of the Port of London Authority, Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square is a luxurious landmark of sophistication reborn in the City’s historic heart. The Grade-II* listed building has been carefully restored to create a 100-room hotel along with 41 private residences and a private members club. Within steps of the Tower of London (home to the Crown Jewels), Tower Bridge and the River Thames, this is one of the capitals most remarkable central locations.

2018 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM

 

The New Phantom will be the first of a new generation of Rolls-Royces to benefit from the creation of the Architecture of Luxury. This new architecture serves as the foundation on which this eighth generation of Phantom reaffirms its position as ‘The Best Car in the World’ by taking the best fundamentals and making them better.

Inspirational Last Words Spoken by Steve Jobs

 

-Wise and Inspirational Words Of Steve Jobs Before He Died.
-Please listen all the way through and take what wisdom you can from these words.
-Take them in deeply and let them inspire you to live your life to the fullest!

-This video was put together to share with more people these inspirational and wise words of Steve Jobs just before he died so they may benefit from them in any way they can.

Floyd Mayweather could pocket up to $400 million in his upcoming fight, here how he spends his millions

 

Floyd Mayweather’s upcoming fight against Conor McGregor could pocket him up to $400 million, according to Forbes. His current net worth is upwards of $340 million. Here’s how he makes and spends that cash.

BT profits dive over Italian scandal by 40% after £225m payout

 

Jocelyn Janshen/Flickr

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Fri,28 July 2017) London, Uk – –

Telecoms giant forced to pay Deutsche Telekom and Orange to settle claim relating to the sale of EE

BT’s profits fell more than 40% in the first quarter of its new financial year after it was forced to pay out £225m to two shareholders following the accounting scandal at its Italian operation.

Deutsche Telekom and Orange became shareholders in BT after the company struck a £12.5bn cash and shares deal to buy mobile company EE in 2015.

As part of that deal the two companies were issued a warranty as a protection against a slump in BT’s performance.

BT’s stock market value dropped by almost £8bn in January after the company revealed the full extent of a £530m accounting scandal at its Italian operation. BT’s share price remains more than 20% lower than it was a year ago.

BT said the £225m payout represented a “full and final settlement in respect of these issues”.

The company’s share price fell by more than 4% in early trading on Friday as investors digested the latest bad news to hit the company.

Gavin Patterson, the BT chief executive, said DT and Orange “only very recently” raised the issue of a payment ahead of a deadline to make a claim at the end of the day on Friday.

He said the settlement was better than facing a longer legal process that would have been triggered if an official claim was lodged.

He added that there were still a “small number” of class action suits related to the accounting scandal lodged by investors in the US.

“We think we have a strong case to defend but I can’t comment on those,” he said.

The ongoing fallout of the Italian accounting scandal has resulted in Patterson’s pay for last year being slashed by £4m, and prompted a restructure with the axing of 4,000 jobs, about half in the UK.

The charge hurt BT’s financial performance badly, with pre-tax profits slumping 42% from £717m to £418m in the three months to the end of June.

Stripping out the impact of the one-off £225m payment, BT’s adjusted profits still fell by 2% to £1.78bn in its first quarter.

The company attributed this to increased pension costs, programme rights and investing in bringing all of its call centre operations back to the UK.

In March, BT paid £1.18bn for Champions League football rights, 32% more than the previous deal, to fend off Sky. The rising cost of sports rights has also affected Sky, which on Thursday said a one-off £629m step-up in Premier League rights costs drove a 14% drop in profits at its UK and Ireland operation.

“The days of rampant [rights cost] inflation I think are behind us,” said Patterson. “I think we are getting to a point where rights fees will increasingly be challenged in terms of inflation. We are prepared to walk away if the price is too high.”

Upcoming sports rights auctions include the Football League, which is expected to be a high-stakes bidding war with Sky, and ATP World Tour Tennis.

BT added just 8,000 new TV customers, following an equally anaemic 11,000 in the first quarter of the year – close to a record low.

Patterson said overall BT delivered an “encouraging performance” in its first quarter, with total revenues up 1% to £5.8bn. BT pointed to a healthy 9% increase in broadband and TV revenue, fuelled by price rises, and a 4% rise at EE to £1.3bn.

The company also announced a further restructure that will see its BT Consumer division, home to its TV service and broadband operation, merged with mobile business EE.

As a result the BT Consumer chief executive John Petter, a 13-year BT veteran, is to leave the company. Marc Allera, the chief executive of EE, will take control of the enlarged division.

Patterson indicated that the merger was likely to lead to job cuts beyond what the company announced in May.

By Mark Sweney