Tougher rules close payday lenders
Britain’s crackdown on payday lending is forcing a mass exodus from the quick credit market, with up to half the lenders pulling out in the past 18 months. A Financial Times analysis of data from the Financial Conduct Authority found that at least a third of the UK’s 210 payday lenders had failed to apply for permission to operate under the new regulatory regime introduced last month. That was on top of about 30 lenders that had surrendered licences or had them revoked by the Office of Fair Trading since the end of 2012. The OFT said in 2012 that about 240 lenders were operating in the market.
Shell’s new pay structure criticised
A sharp fall in the pay of outgoing chief executive Peter Voser last year failed to quell discontent among some investors at Shell over rewards offered to top staff. Seven per cent of votes made by proxy ahead of its AGM were cast against the company’s remuneration policy.
Goldman offloads metals warehouses
Goldman Sachs has begun a formal sales process for its controversial network of metals warehouses, calling them “not strategic” to its client business. The decision to unload Metro International Trade Services comes as Goldman’s main regulator reviews banks’ ownership of physical commodities and the infrastructure used to store them.
China summons US ambassador
Beijing summoned the US ambassador yesterday and warned of “further action” against Washington if it pushes ahead with the indictment of five People’s Liberation Army officers it has accused of cyber-espionage.
Universities invest £9bn to match rivals
Britain’s elite universities are preparing to spend £9bn improving their campuses, laboratories and teaching facilities to meet the threat from bigspending Asian rivals. Vice-chancellors hope investments will enable them to hold their own against universities in Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, China and South Korea.
The Daily Telegraph
BP Gulf of Mexico payouts to hit $9.2bn
The fifth circuit appeals court in New Orleans has said that BP must stick to the compensation deal it signed in 2012 – a ruling which will send the cost of payouts soaring far above the $9.2bn BP has already set aside.
Best investment of 20th century: wine
The Warren Buffetts of the fine wine world could have earned annualised real returns of 4.1 per cent from 1900 to 2012, beating government bonds, fine art and stamps, though British equities would have given annualised returns of 5.2 per cent.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
France wants GE to change Alstom bid
French economics minister Arnaud Montebourg said yesterday that General Electric should change its $17bn offer for the power-equipment division of French engineering group Alstom SA, describing the current bid as “unacceptable.”
Twitter considered buying SoundCloud
Twitter considered buying German musicstreaming service SoundCloud, but it has backed out of the talks, according to a person familiar with the matter. The short-messaging service chose to let the deadline for exclusivity on talks pass without coming to an agreement.