Andrew

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Accountants warn new red tape cuts bring risk of fraud

Accountancy body ICAEW says raising 11,000 smaller firms out of audit rules could mean crimes going undetected<p>The UK’s accountant-in-chief has issued a stark warning that new rules designed to cut red tape for small businesses could increase the risk of crimes going undetected and reduce public …

Crushing investment banks does not make us safer

British and European investment banks are shrinking, but we will not be safer if we have to rely on the US giants<p>This should be a golden era for British and European investment banks. The economy is recovering at last, swings in markets such as currencies and commodities mean clients need hedging …

The bank bashing era may finally be coming to an end

But which rules will handicap British banks compared to their international rivals?<p>It has been a good week for the UK’s banks. In the past few days there have been three clear indications that George Osborne’s Mansion House speech in June, at which he signalled the end of the persecutory phase in …

Brexit may benefit City of London in the long run, says top consultancy

Analysts say long-term benefits for UK finance sector from bilateral deals with emerging markets could outweigh short-term costs of leaving EU<p>Britain’s financial services sector could retain its pre-eminent global position even if voters opt to leave the European Union, according to a leading …

FCA chief’s departure means it’s back to business as usual for the banks

Martin Wheatley’s resignation is another victory for the increasingly bullish banks – George Osborne has capitulated again<p>It’s job done as far as Britain’s banks are concerned. The departure of Martin Wheatley as the head of the City’s watchdog marks a triumph for the forex fiddlers and the Libor …

Banks face 'uphill battle' to ringfence high street operations, expert warns

Ringfencing is to be implemented by 2019 but Bill Michael of KPMG says the complexities involved mean banks could struggle to meet deadline<p>Major banks could struggle to ringfence their high street operations from their riskier investment banking arms by the deadline of January 2019 because of the …

The world's biggest accounting scandals

Toshiba has joined the long list of corporate financial scandals, which include BCCI, Enron and Olympus<p>The scandal at Toshiba has got Japan’s government worried that investors will lose confidence in the country. Japan has its own problems with antiquated oversight of top managers but companies …

Why is China's stock market in crisis?

What is happening in China?<p>Stock markets in China are tumbling. A three-week plunge has knocked about 30% off Chinese shares since mid-June. China’s securities regulator has warned of “panic sentiment” gripping investors, many of whom are individuals that have borrowed heavily to play the stock …

Lloyds chief will urge banks to stop complaining about ringfencing

Banking group’s CEO António Horta-Osório expected to give speech urging industry to move on, following recent criticism by head of BBA<p>António Horta-Osório, the boss of Lloyds Banking Group, will on Thursday tell his fellow bankers to stop complaining about the wave of regulatory changes being …

Mark Carney to warn rogue City traders they should face 10 years in jail

Bank of England governor to unveil four-pronged attack against ‘ethical drift’ in global markets including a new standards board and stiffer prison sentences<p>Mark Carney is to warn City traders that they should face up to 10 years in jail for rigging and abusing markets as he pledged to end “the age …

Markets slide as fears grow that Greece is close to defaulting on debt

Collapse in talks with creditors heightens default fears as Greek PM Alexis Tsipras attacks ‘five years of looting’ under bailouts<p>Fears that Greece is close to defaulting on its debt swept European trading floors on Monday morning after talks between Athens and its creditors collapsed on Sunday.<p>The …

Why this week is vital for Greece and the eurozone

Athens and EU finance ministers remain at loggerheads but if an agreement is not reached by this weekend there are many long-term consequences<p>The Athens government has been in debt talks with its international creditors for months in a bid to get them to release a last chunk of held-up bailout …

Europe

Sovereign debt needs international supervision

Crisis in Europe is just the latest example of the high costs – for creditors and debtors alike – entailed by the absence of an international rule of law for resolving debt crises<p>Governments sometimes need to restructure their debts. Otherwise, a country’s economic and political stability may be …

Financial crisis fixes leave policymakers short of ammo for next recession

Central banks would have liked by now to have returned monetary policy to a more normal setting so they have wriggle room when things turn nasty<p>For 75 months it has been the same story. The nine members of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee gather, consider all the latest evidence and …

Why putting bank bosses behind bars is still nigh on impossible

Bankers are known to have been ‘brazen’ in their illegal behaviour, but apart from in Iceland, few top directors have been jailed – for reasons that may start with fear of an Arthur Andersen outrage<p>US attorney general Loretta Lynch declared last week that five major banks had engaged in “brazenly …

Would leaving euro be more of a catastrophe for Greece than staying?

Leaving the single currency will have all sorts of economic and political costs for Athens, but Iceland’s experience after the banking crisis could prove illuminating<p>Yanis Varoufakis rues the day when Greece joined the euro. The Greek finance minister says his country would be better off if it was …

Is another house price bubble just around the street corner for London?

More than 30cp growth forecast for London homeowners, fuelling fears of more boom and bust unless enough homes are built<p>House prices in London are set to rise more than 30pc over the next five years as a strong economic backdrop and unrelenting desire to live and invest in the UK capital will boost …

HSBC leaving the UK could force sale of high street bank

Ring-fenced retail bank could be floated or sold if parent company ups sticks to Hong Kong<p>HSBC’s review of whether to move its headquarters out of the UK could lead the bank to sell or float its UK retail arm, 23 years after its takeover of Midland Bank paved the way for its move to London from …

Deutsche Bank to slash investment banking assets and float Postbank

Deutsche Bank will cut €200bn (£143bn) in investment bank assets and exit a tenth of the countries in which it operates as part of a restructuring programme designed to boost earnings and reduce risk.<p>After sticking with its costly universal banking model in the aftermath of the financial crisis, …

The British government just made £586 million from another Lloyds stake sale

In a regulatory statement, Lloyds revealed that the the Treasury now owns just 20.95% of the bank, after selling around 742 million shares.<p>Lloyds received £20.5 billion in state handouts between 2008 and 2009 following the credit crisis. In return, the government held a 43% stake in the lender and …

HSBC warns it could leave UK over EU referendum uncertainty

Britain’s biggest bank is also considering moving its headquarters out of London<p>HSBC Britain’s biggest bank, has issued a stark warning about the economic risks of the UK pulling out of the European Union as it revealed it was considering moving its headquarters out of London.<p>The unexpected …

HSBC is 'cast-iron certain' to breach banking rules again, executive admits

<b>Exclusive</b> Bank’s global head of sanctions told monitors in private meeting that HSBC’s size made large-scale regulatory breaches a virtual inevitability<p>A senior HSBC executive has privately admitted that the bank is “cast-iron certain” to have another major regulatory breach in the future, and is …

Administrative Law

Taxing times: banks are the golden goose that won't hiss too much

Business,Financial sector,Tobin tax,Banking,Economics,Tax and spending,Politics,Executive pay and bonuses<p>With a rise in VAT, national insurance and income tax off limits, the Treasury has picked up on the idea that the financial sector is under-taxed<p>Solemn commitments have been made. David Cameron …

Bank of England's new stress test to include China slowdown and eurozone crash

UK's biggest banks to face tough new stress test<p>The Bank of England’s latest stress tests of the country’s biggest lenders will consider how the banks would cope under a global downturn centred on Asia that led to a fresh eurozone crisis, the worst spell of deflation since the 1930s and nearly two …

Challenger bank Shawbrook fetches £725m valuation on IPO

Shawbrook Bank is the latest start-up bank to float on the London Stock Exchange and is widely thought to be the last listing until after the election<p>Shares in Shawbrook, the challenger bank, have lifted in its first day of trading and what is widely believed to be the last stock market flotation …

HSBC to base ringfenced retail banking operation in Birmingham

António Simões tells staff of move to new offices in 2017, including relocation of 1,000 London staff, as bank insulates retail arm from riskier investment activities<p>HSBC has chosen Birmingham as the headquarters for the ringfenced UK retail and commercial banking business it is setting up, in a …

Paul Krugman's Misunderstanding Of The British Deficit Hysteria

Paul Krugman deigns to tell us all, in his latest column, just what is wrong with both the British polity and the British media discussion of economic policy. Sadly, he misses rather an important point. And he misses it by actually paying attention to what is being said in the British media about …

Government fixation with budget deficit is ‘bogus’, says Nobel-prize-winning economist Paul Krugman

“Unfortunately, economic discourse in Britain is dominated by a misleading fixation on budget deficits,” the 2008 Nobel Prize winner said.<p>“Worse, …

Economics

Inflation falls to zero in February as Britain heads to deflation

Inflation hits zero in February, as Britain heads for its first spell of falling prices in 50 years<p>Inflation dropped to zero for the first time on record last month, as falling oil prices, a supermarket price war and cheaper books, toys and games pushed Britain closer to deflation.<p>The pound fell by …

Is this levy the most financially illiterate tax ever designed?

The Chancellor's increase in the banking levy threatens to spark a City exodus<p>Everyone knows the story, resonant as it is with moral indignation and famously portrayed by El Greco in his painting, <i>Cleansing of the Temple</i>.<p>Here’s the account from John 2:13-16 “In the temple he found those who were …