FINANCIAL AUTHORITY URGED TO DROP OPAQUE CHARGES
The new Financial Conduct Authority should use its powers to remove opaque banking charges and make it cheaper for new lenders to enter the market, a panel that represents the interests of retail customers has urged. In a paper to be published today, the Financial Services Authority’s consumer panel warns of “stagnant and ineffective” competition in the current account market that needs addressing urgently.
DROUGHT AND OIL PRICE RISE SET TO DRIVE INFLATION
Food prices are set to surge as droughts across England and the rising oil price drive inflation, analysts are warning. Signs of growing inflationary pressure, already evident at the petrol pumps, come at a time when British shoppers were expecting a breather.
COALITION NOT SEEN AS BUSINESS FRIENDLY
One in three of the UK’s biggest companies think that the coalition government is not business friendly, according to the first FT/ICSA Business Bellwether survey. By contrast, just 13 per cent believe the government is favourably disposed towards business. The results, based on answers from FTSE-350 company secretaries, come as new proposals from Vince Cable, business secretary, to curb excessive executive pay have already been attacked.
AIRPORT IN DISPUTE OVER GROWTH PLAN
The operator of Luton airport has stepped up its dispute with the local council by announcing a rival expansion plan to counter the council’s blueprint for growth.
AFTER LONE PRICE RISE, WILL BIG SIX FOLLOW SUIT?
An independent energy supplier has broken ranks to lift its prices.
Ovo Energy blamed higher wholesale costs for its decision to increase its duel electricity and gas tariff by 7.7 per cent to £1,140 per year, equivalent to £81 per household. Analysts warned that the Big Six energy companies were likely to follow suit.
The Daily Telegraph
FSA CALLED TO ACCOUNT ON INTEREST RATE SWAP CONCERNS
The chairman of the powerful Treasury Select Committee has intervened in the growing controversy over the sale of complex derivatives by investment banks to small businesses. Andrew Tyrie said firms had attempted to raise the issue with the FSA and he wanted to clarify what it had found.
BHP BILLITON PICKS LONDON FOR TRADING UNITS
BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest miner, is bringing key trading operations to the UK, a move seen as a vote of confidence in London’s position as a global centre for the natural resources industry.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
QATAR WEALTH FUND BUYS TWO PER CENT OF FRANCE’S TOTAL
Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund has accumulated a two per cent stake in French oil company Total SA over several months, according to a person familiar with the matter, the latest sign of the tiny emirate’s buying power in France.
EU SEEKS FACTS ON TELECOM MEETINGS
The European Union’s antitrust watchdog has requested information from five of the region’s biggest telecommunications companies concerning meetings they held to discuss standards in mobile communications, an EU competition spokesman said yesterday.