FSA CHIEF SEEKS NEW SAFEGUARDS
The head of the Financial Services Authority has called for a “radical rethink” of consumer protection in the UK, including the possible imposition of fee caps and bans on some retail financial products. The regulator has historically adopted a “light touch” approach for the regulation of financial products, emphasising full disclosure, but the financial crisis and a series of mis-selling scandals have forced politicians and regulators to reconsider.
DEFENCE FIRMS TARGET US SPENDING
A market facing severe cuts in government spending is not usually an attractive prospect for new entrants. But, over the past month, UK companies have been rushing to grab a slice of the US defence market despite news earlier this month that US defence spending will fall by $78bn (£49bn) over five years.
BARCLAY BROTHERS TO BUY HOTELS
Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, owners of the Telegraph Media Group, are poised to take a controlling stake in three of London’s most prestigious hotels including Claridge’s. The publishing and property entrepreneurs are set to raise their stake in the parent company of Maybourne Hotel Group to 60 per cent with the acquisition of the interest of Derek Quinlan, the Irish property tycoon.
WALL STREET’S BULLISH MOOD BACK
Wall Street continues to chug forward, dragging other markets with it, in spite of signs of a weakening risk rally evident in last week’s wobbly trading. The FTSE All-World index is up 0.6 per cent, and many commodities are again in demand, with tin hitting a record, as the dollar weakens. The S&P 500 in New York is up 0.6 per cent.
BANKS TO CUT SWITCHING TIMES
Banks are planning to offer to make it much easier for customers to switch accounts in an attempt to head off more draconian measures from the Government to boost competition. The big lenders are considering investing hundreds of millions of pounds each to bring in measures that would cut the time it takes customers to switch banks to between one and two weeks.
ADVISER BACKS THE ASSAULT ON F&C
The activist shareholder fighting for boardroom control at F&C Asset Management has won influential external backing. Institutional Shareholder Services, previously RiskMetrics, urged F&C’s owners to vote for Ed Bramson as chairman at a special meeting next month. It has also supported the call by Sherborne, for a further change at the top.
The Daily Telegraph
OPEC TO BOOST OIL OUTPUT
Saudi Arabia has promised that oil cartel OPEC would boost oil supplies to meet demand and maintain healthy spare capacity as rising prices continued to send alarm around the world. Ali al-Naimi, the kingdom’s oil and energy minister, quoted studies showing world oil demand would grow by 1.5m to 1.8m barrels of oil per day this year, or around 2pc.
BG GROUP TO INVEST IN DEEPWATER
BG Group is to invest $10bn (£6.26bn) in Brazil over the next decade as it seeks to accelerate the development of the country’s deepwater oil fields. The company is aiming for an output of 400,000 barrels of oil a day by 2020, which would make it Brazil’s second biggest oil producer after the state-run energy giant Petrobras. The plans were revealed by Nelson Silva, president of BG Brazil.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
FRANCE PROPOSES WAYS TO UP YUAN
France said China's yuan should be included in the International Monetary Fund's basket of currencies that fund members use as a reserve asset, a proposal it says is aimed at edging the Chinese currency closer to its true market value.
FACEBOOK ALTERS TOOL IN GERMANY
Facebook Inc. ended a long running privacy dispute with German regulators by agreeing to change the way it handles the personal data of non-users of the social network via its "Friend Finder" feature.
The compromise, which Facebook agreed to implement in Germany, resolves legal proceedings that data-protection officials in the German city-state of Hamburg launched against the social networking giant in July.