ROBERT KIYOSAKI – Rich Dad, Poor Dad – How To Invest In Yourself

Source: LR

Robert Kiyosaki is an entrepreneur, educator, and investor, best known as the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad—the #1 personal finance book of all time. He has challenged and changed the way tens of millions of people around the world think about money. And he has become a passionate and outspoken advocate for financial education.

How India Became The Fastest Growing Economy in The World

Source: CNBC

Indian voters are deciding on their next prime minister and one key issue that could sway voters is how much Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done with the country's economy.

However, the country is facing a few obstacles. A few years ago, Prime Minister Modi, promised to add 10 million jobs to help boost the economy. That hasn't really happened.

The unemployment rate now sits at a 45-year high. And GDP per capita, which is a measure of wealth across a country, lags behind rivals like China by a wide margin.

G20 heads voiced concern over trade tensions and the risk to global growth

( via — Fri, 28th June 2019) London, UK —

OSAKA (Reuters) – Many leaders of the world’s top 20 economies on Friday voiced concern over trade tensions and the risk they pose to global growth, but were at loggerheads on key issues such as World Trade Organization (WTO) reform, Japanese and Russian delegates said.

The bitter U.S.-China trade war and signs of slowdown in the global economy have overshadowed a two-day Group of 20 summit that kicked off in Osaka, western Japan, on Friday with a session on the world economy and trade.

Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan’s deputy chief cabinet secretary, who was present at the meeting, said the G20 heads discussed ways to address common challenges such as promoting free trade and jump-starting stalled talks on reforming the WTO.

“There are downside risks to the global economy as trade tensions escalate. Against this background, the G20 leaders agreed on the need for the group to drive global growth,” Nishimura told reporters after the session on Friday.

But that was as far as they could agree, as U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America first” policies and aversion to multilateralism test the solidarity of the G20.

Russia’s economy minister Maxim Oreshkin told reporters on Friday there was no common agreement among the G20 members on how to reform the WTO.

The G20 leaders were also struggling to find common ground on issues such as information security, climate change and migration, said Svetlana Lukash, Russia’s sherpa to the group.

“Currently work on the final (G20) documents is ongoing and this is not going easy,” Lukash told reporters.

But she added a final G20 communique will likely be signed, as well as other documents related to the group’s agenda that may be in a “more political format.”

Japan, as chair of this year’s G20 meetings, has sought to downplay the rift emerging among the group’s members on various topics, notably trade – with little success.

French President Emmanuel Macron had also said his country will not sign off on a G20 communique that does not mention the Paris agreement on climate change.

Japanese media has reported that Tokyo, as a compromise on phrasing the thorny issue of trade, is working with its G20 counterparts on a communique that would call for the “promotion of free trade” to achieve strong global growth.

Reporting by Leika Kihara

Lego family agree to pay £4.8bn for Merlin Entertainments

( via – – Fri, 28th June 2019) London, Uk – –

In the words of the film, everything appears to be “awesome” in the world of Lego as it expands its empire by snapping up Legoland and Madame Tussauds owner Merlin Entertainments

The Danish billionaire family that controls the Lego toy firm, with other investors, is paying £4.8bn for Merlin.

Kirkbi Invest says it has the money and experience to “realise the company's potential to grow”.

Merlin also owns the London Eye, Alton Towers and Chessington Adventures.

Kirkbi already owns almost a third of the shares in Merlin Entertainments, and says it does not expect the deal to lead to any significant changes.

All existing Merlin attractions in the UK will remain open and it has no plans to sell any part of the business, it said.

Kirkbi chief executive Søren Thorup Sørensen said the group wanted to help the firm reach its “full potential, which we believe is best pursued under private ownership”.

“With a shared understanding of the business and its culture, we believe that this group of investors has the unique collective resources necessary to equip Merlin, for their next phase of growth,” he added.

Private equity firm Blackstone – part of the investment group – said it had the “substantial resources” required to support Merlin's long-term plans “which will require significant investment to ensure its long-term success”.

Merlin is the second-largest operator of visitor attractions globally with more than 130 attractions in 25 countries. It said it had already rejected several approaches.

The move comes just weeks after activist shareholder ValueAct Capital, which holds a 9.3% stake in Merlin, called on the company to find a private buyer.

The sale means that Merlin's shares will be delisted from the London Stock Exchange, which it floated on six years ago.

The offer price of 455p a share values Merlin's share capital at £4.77bn, but the deal also includes £1.2bn of debt giving the group an enterprise value of just under £6bn.

Merlin chairman Sir John Sunderland said its board unanimously recommended the deal to the company's shareholders.

“The company has generated meaningful value since its IPO (Initial Public Offering), with significant growth in revenue, earnings and cash flow.

“The Merlin independent directors believe this offer represents an opportunity for Merlin shareholders to realise value for their investment in cash at an attractive valuation.”

Profit warning

Merlin has faced some high-profile struggles, including a crash in 2015 at one of its Alton Towers rollercoaster which injured 16 people. Visitor numbers to its attractions were also hit by the terror attacks in London and poor weather which led to a profits warning in 2017.

Hargreaves Lansdown analyst George Salmon said the firm's recent troubles meant the price agreed for the deal was lower than it would have been two years ago.

“For the new owners, the move is motivated by a desire to remove the company from the daily scrutiny of the public markets, and focus on longer-term investments,” he said.

Starbucks pays £18.3m UK tax but £348m in dividends to parent company

( via – – Thur, 27th June 2019) London, Uk – –

Starbucks pays £18.3m tax but £348m in dividends

Company has faced years of criticism for the amount of tax it pays in UK

Starbucks’ UK-based European business paid just £18.3m in tax last year, while paying the coffee giant’s parent company in Seattle £348m in dividends collected from licensing its brand.

The company, which has faced years of heated criticism for paying very little tax in the UK, reported on Thursday that its European, Middle Eastern and Asian business (EMEA) paid $23.6m (£18.3m) in tax on $230m of royalty payment earnings in the year to the end of September 2018.

Starbucks EMEA, which collects royalty income from 38 countries from Norway to Morocco, said it paid “an effective tax rate of 23.7%” – above the UK’s corporate tax rate of 19%.

The big dividend payment is part of Starbucks’ plan to “refocus on maximising total shareholder return” and will result in a windfall for shareholders, including Howard Schultz, the company’s billionaire founder and former chief executive, who owns 3% of the shares.

In the UK, where there are about 1,000 Starbucks stores, the company paid just £4m of tax to the exchequer despite raking in £387m in sales.

Starbucks said it paid such a small amount of tax because it made a £17m pre-tax loss in the UK. The loss comes after paying out £75m in “administrative expenses”, which includes royalty payments of £27.4m. That means that Starbucks UK is paying about seven times more in royalty payments than it is paying in tax.

Martin Brok, president of Starbucks EMEA, said: “Doing business in EMEA continues to be challenging for Starbucks. From the changing consumer landscape to high rents and political uncertainty, there are ongoing pressures across the region.

“While our 2018 figures show that we have made progress – boosted primarily by a large one-off gain from the deal signed with Nestle last May – our UK business recorded a loss in spite of a similar top line performance.

“Starbucks announced its refreshed global strategic priorities in 2018 to refocus on maximising total shareholder return. To that end, the EMEA business received dividends from its regional subsidiaries of $148m and paid dividends after tax to its ultimate parent company, Starbucks Corporation, of $448m.”

Starbucks said it had paid $74m in tax in the UK since relocating its EMEA headquarters to London in 2014, following public and political outrage over how little tax Starbucks paid in Britain.

In 2012, it was revealed that Starbucks had paid just £8.6m in taxes on £3bn in UK sales since 1998, when it launched its first UK coffee shop.

George Turner, director of Tax Watch UK, said: “The relocation of Starbucks regional HQ to London has clearly resulted in some additional tax payments to the UK, but there are still big questions over the company’s tax affairs in Europe.

“The UK has in recent years moved to a territorial tax system where we only seek to tax profits generated from operations in this country. The exemption on dividend income is part of this and makes the UK a very attractive location as a regional HQ for US companies.

“Starbucks claimed that the large profits being recognised in their UK-based European HQ arise from dividends on which tax has already been paid overseas – but where that tax was paid, and how much, is as clear as the coffee on which those profits were made.”

By Rupert Neate 

UK sales of houses worth £1m have risen – but London suffers a decline

( via– Thur, 27th June 2019) London, Uk – –

The rise in numbers of £1m homes was seen in Scotland, Wales, the Midlands and in the north of England – but London saw a fall

The number of homes worth a million pounds or more that have been sold nationally has reached a record high – despite a fall in London.

In total, the number of sales of houses valued at £1m or more increased by 1% in 2018 to a new high of 14,638 – which is the highest number recorded, according to Lloyds Bank.

The number of homes sold for more than £2m was down though, from 2,530 in 2017 to 2,501 in 2018.

The rise in numbers of £1m homes was seen in Scotland, Wales, the Midlands and in the north of England, according to Lloyds, which analysed Land Registry and Registers of Scotland figures.

However, sales in London and the South East remained relatively flat, despite making up around 80% of the sales for homes worth over £1m.

8,267 million pound homes were sold in London in 2018 – down from 8,308 in 2017.

The capital also saw a 3% fall in the sales of homes worth more than £2m, from 1,946 to 1,886 over the course of a year.

The South East showed no major growth in the sale of million pound homes, with 3,390 being sold, which is only 13 more than than the year before.

In Yorkshire and the Humber, the number of million pound homes sold dramatically fell by 23% year-on-year in 2018, with only 103 sales made.

The south-west of England saw a 1% fall from 676 homes in 2017 to 668 in 2018.

Louise Santaana from Lloyds Bank said: “The high-value property boom the country has experienced over the last decade has decelerated in the past 12 months, which is in line with expectations.

“However, while growth across London and the South East has slowed, there are still a number of property hotspots across the country that would create some value for investors, particularly in the East Midlands.”Sponsored Links

Britain firms more confident about hiring and investing after Brexit extension- survey

( via — Wed, 26th June 2019) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – Employers in Britain have turned more confident about hiring and investing after the extension to the Brexit deadline which has also reduced their worries about the outlook for the economy, a recruiters’ group said on Wednesday.

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) said its Jobs Outlook survey showed an increase of four percentage points in confidence about hiring and investment decisions which returned to positive territory at +1.

“Today’s survey shows that businesses believe in their own prospects and are ready to grow if the pall of economic uncertainty is removed,” Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of REC, said in a statement.

Confidence in Britain’s economy improved but remained negative at -26. Hiring intentions for temporary agency workers continued to rise.

Carberry said the contrast between employers’ views of their own prospects and those for the wider economy underscored the stakes of Britain’s Brexit impasse.

Both the candidates to replace Prime Minister Theresa May – former foreign minister Boris Johnson and the current incumbent Jeremy Hunt – have said they are prepared to take Britain out of the European Union without a transition deal if necessary.

The latest deadline for Brexit is Oct. 31.

“Resolving this will require cool heads through the summer and autumn, so that companies can rely on a smooth and stable new relationship with the EU – not the chaos of a no-deal exit,” Carberry said.

The REC survey was based on responses from 610 employers and was conducted between March 1 and May 28.

Reporting by Katya Sanigar

£2bn Midlands rail upgrade proposal submitted to UK government

( via – – Wed, 26th June 2019) London, Uk – –

A proposal for £2bn of improvements to the rail network between the East and West Midlands has been submitted to the government.

Midlands Connect said it would mean direct services between Coventry, Leicester and Nottingham for the first time since 2004.

It said it would also reduce the time it took to travel across the Midlands.

A campaign group said it had long called for the return of the Coventry to Leicester connection.

The plans, which if they went ahead would be completed in phases between 2024 and 2033, have been submitted to the government by Midlands Connect, the body behind long-term transport plans for the region, in partnership with Network Rail and with the backing of 47 partner organisations.

Midlands Connect said, although rail use in the East Midlands had risen by 37% over the past decade, rail capacity had been unable to keep pace, meaning slow, infrequent and unreliable services between the East and West Midlands.

It said the upgrades would create space for an extra 24 passenger trains an hour, 85,000 further seats a day in and out of Birmingham and an estimated six million more journeys each year and generate an estimated economic benefit of £649m a year by 2037.

As well as the direct services, there are plans for two extra trains per hour to and from Derby and Leicester to Birmingham and one extra train per hour to and from Nottingham and Birmingham.

The plans include £15m to £25m to be spent on freight loops and track improvements in Leicester, £150m to £200m on improving the Leicester Corridor to Birmingham and £15m to £25m on enhancements around Nottingham.

There would also be the reinstatement of a line under the West Coast Main Line at Nuneaton, or construction of a flyover, to allow for the direct services, the cost of which is estimated at £110m to £250m.

‘Environmentally friendly'

Sir John Peace, Chair of Midlands Connect, said: “The Midlands Rail Hub is a cost-effective, evidence-led plan to upgrade our Victorian infrastructure to meet the demands of the future.

“These proposals capture the enormous economic potential of the Midlands, with 320,000 new jobs estimated by 2030, mainly in professional services firms who depend on good rail connectivity to attract skilled workers.”

After submitting the initial plan to the Department of Transport, Midlands Connect is now asking for £25m to create an outline business case, which would detail the specifics of developing the scheme.

Colin Major, secretary of Rail Future, a volunteer-led organisation which campaigns for better rail services, said: “In concept, I think it is good news, of course we want more people to use rail – it is greener, more environmentally friendly.

“We have been pressing for the Coventry-Leicester connection to be reinstated because, we believe, it would be a good opportunity and there is demand for the service.”

Southern Water under criminal investigation after £126m fines

( via– Tue, 25th June 2019) London, Uk – –

The Environment Agency is investigating what regulator Ofwat said was a ‘shocking case' of disregard to customers and environment

Southern Water is under criminal investigation by the Environment Agency after “serious failures” in its sewage treatment sites and for deliberately misreporting its performance.

The Environment Agency is investigating the impact of wastewater spillages as a result of Southern Water's negligence.

The investigation into Southern Water's conduct comes after the utility incurred a record £126m package of fines and customer rebates from Ofwat, in what the industry regulator said was a “shocking case” of disregard to its customers and the environment.

Ofwat's large-scale investigation found Southern Water failed to operate a number of wastewater treatments works properly, including by not making the necessary investment, leading to equipment failures and spills of wastewater into the environment.

It added that Southern Water also manipulated its wastewater sampling process, which led to it misreporting information to the watchdog and avoiding penalties.

Southern Water will pay a rebate of £123m to customers through their bills and a fine of £3m.

The rebate includes £91m in penalties that Southern Water had avoided and a further £32m of payments in recognition of their serious failures, Ofwat said.

Southern Water wastewater customers can now expect a rebate on their bills of £61, with £17 in 2020/21 and £11 in each of the following four years.

In proportion to Southern Water's size, the penalties and payments package is the biggest ever imposed by the watchdog, equivalent to 6.7% of Southern Water's wholesale wastewater turnover.

Ofwat's previous highest penalty was set at 3.5% of turnover.

The watchdog also said that the penalties “would have been larger” had Southern Water not co-operated with its investigation, addressed failings and agreed to the existing payment package.

Ofwat chief executive, Rachel Fletcher, said: “What we found in this case is shocking.

“In all, it shows the company was being run with scant regard for its responsibilities to society and the environment.

“It was not just the poor operational performance, but the co-ordinated efforts to hide and deceive customers of the fact that are so troubling.

“The previous management failed to stamp out this behaviour and failed to manage its plants properly.

“In doing so, Southern Water let-down its customers and operated in a way completely counter to the public service ethos we expect.

“That is why the company deserves such a significant sanction.

“We also think it is important Southern Water has a formal fine on their record for this serious breach.”

Ian McAulay, chief executive of Southern Water, said: “We are deeply sorry for what has happened.

“There are no excuses for the failings that occurred between 2010 and 2017 outlined in Ofwat's report.

“We have clearly fallen far short of the expectations and trust placed in us by our wastewater customers and the wider communities we serve.

“We are fully committed to continuing the fast pace of change delivered since 2017.

“There is a lot more work to do but we're pleased that this proposal agreed with Ofwat enables us to fully make amends to our customers and regain their trust as quickly as possible.”

The regulator did acknowledge that there had been substantial changes to Southern Water's management team following the appointment of a new chief executive in January 2017.

It said: “Southern Water has introduced and committed to new governance arrangements to support accurate monitoring and reporting, and a programme to change the company's culture, which enabled these failings and behaviours.

“Investment has also been made into the failing treatment sites and work will continue to improve them.”

By Wale Azeez

BMW seeks to double electric and hybrid vehicles sales in the next two years

( via – – Tue, 25th June 2019) London, Uk – –

Carmaker to have 25 electrified models on sale by 2023 as strict new EU rules loom

BMW is accelerating its push away from the internal combustion engine towards battery technology, as the German carmaker seeks to double the number of electric and hybrid vehicles it sells in the next two years.

The company will have 25 electrified models on sale in 2023, two years earlier than previously planned, it announced on Tuesday. More than half of the vehicles will be fully electric.

The step up in BMW’s electrification efforts comes as European carmakers face an unprecedented challenge to their profitable business model as major markets, from the UK to the rest of the EU to China, plan to decarbonise road transport.

For German carmakers including BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler, the race to move away from fossil fuels is particularly urgent. Under strict EU rules due in 2021, manufacturers must ensure average emissions from new cars are below 95g of carbon dioxide per kilometre driven or face huge fines. BMW’s models averaged carbon emissions of 128.9g per kilometre in 2018, according to the data company Jato Dynamics.

In response the BMW group plans to increase sales of electric or hybrid vehicles by more than 30% a year up to 2025, slashing average emissions across its three brands: BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce.

The carmaker is launching a slew of models in Munich on Tuesday, including an all-electric concept sports car and the BMW Vision M Next. Before the event, Harald Krüger, the chairman of the BMW management board, said: “We are moving up a gear in the transformation towards sustainable mobility, thereby making our company fit for the future.

“We will offer 25 electrified vehicles already in 2023 – two years earlier than originally planned.”

BMW currently only sells one fully electric model, the i3, but this will expand to five within two years. The fully electric Mini, which will be made at BMW’s Oxford plant, will launch next month.

By Jasper Jolly

Boots stores begin use of brown paper bags after plastics row

( via – – Mon, 24th June 2019) London, Uk – –

Health and beauty chain Boots has started to replace plastic bags with brown paper bags in an attempt to cut down on the use of single-use plastic.

The retailer is also introducing bleached paper dispensing bags for prescriptions.

However, prescriptions assembled at its central pharmacy will still be sent out in plastic packaging, a practice that has been criticised by customers.

Boots says these bags need to be durable and the plastic is recyclable.

The new paper bags will initially be available in 53 of its 2,485 stores, with all of Boots' outlets using paper by early 2020.

The bags will cost 5p, 7p and 10p – the current plastic ones come in two 5p and 10p sizes – and, as is the case now, profits from the bags will go to BBC Children in Need.

The paper bags in England are not subject to the carrier bag levy, but they will be in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Boots UK signed up to the UK Plastics Pact last year and said at the time it was “committed to reducing single-use plastic”.

It said it had been looking for ways to change its use of plastic before last month's stories about the use of plastic by its centralised pharmacy – which can handle services such as repeat prescriptions.

‘Better for the environment'

For these central facilities, it is looking at alternative packaging, such as using potato starch or a paper alternative, but in the meantime the centralised pharmacy will move to a minimum of 60% recyclable content plastic from July.

There is a debate about the impact of replacing plastic with paper. While paper bags require marginally fewer reuses than bags for life to make them more environmentally friendly than single-use plastic bags, they are less durable than other type of bags.

Greenpeace's senior oceans campaigner Louise Edge said: “If our oceans had a doctor, what they would order is a drastic cut in the amount of single-use plastic in circulation. So it's great to see a major High Street brand like Boots listening to public concerns and ditching plastic bags.

“But retailers need to be careful that by swapping plastic for paper they don't end up shifting the problem from our oceans to our forests. This is why as well as looking for new materials for their carrier bags, High Street chains should also encourage their customers to bring their own reusable bags and truly tackle the throwaway culture that's damaging our living world.”

Helen Normoyle, director of marketing at Boots UK, said the paper bags “have been carefully tested to make sure that over their entire life cycle they are better for the environment, whilst still being a sturdy, practical option for customers who haven't bought their own bags with them when shopping”.

“We have seen a significant shift in our customers' attitudes towards plastics and recycling in recent years – there's never been a more important time to show our customers that we're taking action to reduce our impact,” she added.

The change to paper bags – which are made from recycled brown paper and printed with water-based inks – is intended to remove 900 tonnes of plastic from Boots' store operations each year.

Its website shows that in the 1870s – when it started it out – products were sold in paper and wrapped in string.

Other retailers, such as Morrisons, have introduced paper bags, while Waitrose is piloting a scheme where customers use their own containers.

Boots is owned by US company Walgreens Boots Alliance, which warned in April it was considering store closures to save costs.

The move comes after the chain said it had suffered its “most difficult quarter” since the firm's formation, with UK like-for-like sales down 2.3%.

Five people arrested in Patisserie Valerie chain fraud investigation

( via– Mon, 24th June 2019) London, Uk – –

The names of those detained in an operation involving three police forces have not been revealed by investigators.

Five people have been arrested as part of a fraud investigation into the Patisserie Valerie chain.

The unnamed individuals were detained as part of a joint operation with the Hertfordshire, Leicestershire and Metropolitan forces last Tuesday, it has been disclosed by the Serious Fraud Office.

Luke Johnson, Patisserie Valerie's former chairman and a columnist for The Sunday Times, was not among those arrested, according to the newspaper.

Mr Johnson had previously described the revelation of alleged accounting fraud at the high street cake chain as a “nightmare parallel universe”.

The company had been put up for sale earlier this year after collapsingfollowing the discovery of irregularities in its accounts.

A total of 70 stores were immediately closed by the administrator KPMG, leaving more than 900 staff out of work.

It was subsequently bought out of administration by an Irish private equity firm, safeguarding nearly 2,000 jobs.

The cake firm's parent company, Patisserie Holdings, has been wrestling with the fallout of the alleged fraud since October when its shares were suspended from trading.

A SFO spokesman said: “On Tuesday 18 June, as part of a joint operation with Hertfordshire, Leicestershire and the Metropolitan police services, five individuals were arrested and interviewed in connection with the Serious Fraud Office investigation into individuals associated with Patisserie Holdings PLC.”

The fraud investigation is continuing as regulators examine oversight of the company's accounts by audit firm Grant Thornton.

The first Patisserie Valerie opened in Soho, London in 1926.

Why EV Start-Up Rivian Has Received $1B Investment From Amazon and Ford

Source: BI

Rivian is an up and coming startup company building high-performance electric adventure vehicles. So far the company has received investments from Ford and Amazon totaling over $1 billion. The company has progressed so much by making business decisions no other EV startup is making.

Why British Sister Brands Jaguar And Land Rover Face Uncertain Futures

Source: CNBC

Jaguar and Land Rover are two iconic automotive brands with rich heritages. They also have rocky histories of being passed between owners, with BMW owning Land Rover and Ford owning Jaguar in the 1980s.

On the verge of bankruptcy, Tata Motors bought the two British sister brands in 2008 and turned them into money makers. Unfortunately, things are getting gloomy for Jaguar and Land Rover once again.

This was a risky move for Tata, which bought two luxury brands with reputations for unreliability on the cusp of the financial crisis. In the following years, Tata was able to turn the brands into moneymakers with models like the Land Rover Discovery, Land Rover Defender, and Jaguar XF.

Just as Jaguar and Land Rover found their footing they're again in trouble due to a drastically shrinking market in China and trouble in Europe. In turn, Tata Motor's credit rating has also taken a hit. Will Tata be able to turn around Jaguar and Land Rover or will it cut its losses?

BoE governor Mark Carney: ‘150,000 firms not fully ready for no-deal Brexit’

( via – – Fri, 21st June 2019) London, Uk – –

About 150,000 businesses still do not have the paperwork they need to keep exporting to the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Mark Carney has said.

The Bank of England governor added that many had built up contingency stocks, but these would only last “weeks”.

“Business will be reliant on what the governments are able to do in order to keep the ports open, the trade flowing,” he told the Today programme.

But he said the financial system was prepared for a no-deal scenario.

The UK is due to leave the EU by 31 October after seeking an extension to leave the bloc back in March.

Boris Johnson, considered the favourite in the race to become the next prime minister, has said the UK must leave in October, even if it has not struck a deal.

His rival, Jeremy Hunt, has said the UK may need more time, although he would accept no-deal as a last resort.

Ahead of his Mansion House speech to the City on Thursday, Mr Carney said about three quarters of UK businesses have done as much as they could do to prepare for a no-deal.

“But it doesn't mean they are fully ready, in fact far from it,” he told the BBC.

He also stressed that in the event of a no-deal exit, the return of trade tariffs on goods shipped to the EU would be “automatic”.

This contradicts a claim from Mr Johnson that the UK could secure a 10-year standstill in current arrangements using an article of the EU's General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade known as “Gatt 24”.

“The Gatt rules are clear… Gatt 24 applies if you have a [withdrawal] agreement, not if you've decided not to have an agreement, or you have been unable to come to an agreement,” Mr Carney said.

“So… we should be clear that not having an agreement with the European Union would mean that there are tariffs, automatically, because the Europeans have to apply the same rules to us as they apply to everyone else.”

‘Facebook currency must be safe'

Mr Carney also said he was cautiously open to Facebook's new digital currency, Libra, which is due to launch in the first half of next year.

But he said the Bank would be setting “ground rules upfront” to protect consumers and their data, and that Libra “had to be safe or it is not going to happen”.

“Welcome to the world of finance: there is oversight, there is consumer protection, there is market integrity, people have certain rights to privacy that have to be respected.

“And we're not going to allow a network that comes into place that is a network for criminals and terrorists.”

Facebook unveiled details about Libra this week, claiming the virtual currency would be as easy to use as texting.

It said Libra would be independently managed, backed by real assets and pegged to a basket of well-known currencies.

But there have been concerns about how people's data and cash will be protected, as well as the currency's potential volatility.

Mr Carney said: “All the major global central banks and supervisors would have direct regulatory control of this if it is going to work, which is an open question, and we have an open mind about it.”

Lloyds fined £45.5 million over HBOS fraud disclosure failings by financial watchdog

( via — Fri, 21st June 2019) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s financial watchdog has fined Lloyds Banking Group 45.5 million pounds ($58 million) for failures at one of its businesses to disclose suspicions of fraud.

The fine for the failings at an HBOS branch in Reading, southern England, closes one of the remaining regulatory chapters after the financial crisis a decade ago when Britain had to bail out several lenders.

Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) was involved in one of Britain’s biggest ever banking frauds in the early 2000s, which saw some of its bankers enrich themselves at the expense of struggling business clients, some of whom succumbed to insolvency after being advised to borrow unsustainable amounts.

HBOS was rescued in a state-engineered takeover by Lloyds in 2009. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says HBOS identified suspicious conduct in Reading in early 2007 but did not tell the regulator until 2009, the year Lloyds acquired the bank.

Six people including two former HBOS bankers were jailed in 2017 for a combined 47 years for their role in the fraud.

The FCA said HBOS failed to be open and cooperative and failed to disclose information appropriately to the then regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The bank’s failures caused delays to investigations by both the FCA and police, said Mark Steward, the FCA’s executive director of enforcement and market oversight.

“There is no evidence anyone properly addressed their mind to this matter or its consequences,” Steward said.

The watchdog also banned Lynden Scourfield, Mark Dobson, and husband and wife David Mills and Alison Mills, who were all convicted in 2017 in a fraud trial related to the Reading case, from working in financial services.

“The director of the impaired asset team at the Reading branch, Lynden Scourfield, had been sanctioning limits and additional lending facilities beyond the scope of his authority undetected for at least three years,” the FCA said.

Lloyds Banking Group said it welcomed the FCA’s “comprehensive investigation” and accepted the findings of past disclosure failure associated with fraud at HBOS in Reading.

“The Group accepts the findings, has agreed to pay a fine of 45.5 million pounds and apologises once again to customers affected by the fraud itself,” the bank said in a statement.

The fine would have been 65 million pounds but was discounted by 30% after the bank agreed to resolve the matter.

The then FSA appointed investigators to examine the misconduct, but the probe was put on hold from 2013 to 2017 to allow for the criminal prosecution to be completed.

The events at Reading continue to dog Lloyds.

At the bank’s annual meeting last month, investors questioned the lender’s handling of fraud at the Reading branch.

British television personality Noel Edmonds has alleged his former entertainment business collapsed as a result of the HBOS Reading fraud.

Lloyds has said 71 business customers at HBOS Reading have been offered compensation and 98% have accepted those offers.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Huw Jones