Category Archives: Misc

News Roundup Monday 14th October 2019


News Roundup Monday 14th October 2019

NEWS ROUNDUP

TAX NEWS ROUNDUP

Outrage over Facebook’s tax bill

News that Facebook saw UK sales surge to £1.7bn but paid just £28.5m of tax in Britain last year has led to a chorus of indignation from politicians and tax experts. The social media company recorded profits of £96.6m in the UK last year, up more than 50% on 2017. However, this was after administrative costs of £666.8m were stripped from a gross profit of £763.5m. Experts say Facebook’s UK accounts fail to detail these charges thoroughly. Prem Sikka, emeritus professor of accounting at the University of Essex, said the accounts were “legally compliant but opaque”, adding: “It is clear that without regulatory intervention we will not see transparent accounts.” MP Margaret Hodge, who chairs an all-parliamentary group on responsible tax, called the amount “outrageous”. Steve Hatch, vice-president for Northern Europe at Facebook, said: “Businesses across the country use our pla tforms to grow, and revenue from customers supported by our UK teams is now recorded here so that any taxable profit is subject to UK corporation tax.” The Mirror says EY audits the “tax avoiding tech firms” Facebook, Amazon and Google.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 33 The Times, Page: 53 The Times, Page: 51 The Independent The Guardian, Page: 43 Daily Mirror, Page: 7 Daily Mail, Page: 31 Daily Express, Page: 2

HMRC boosts IHT income with increased checks on property values

The taxman increased its IHT take last year by £22m to £271m after conducting checks on the value of homes that people had inherited. Rupert Wilkinson, a partner at Wilsons, says those who misreport the value of their residential property do so “in some cases by mistake and in others on purpose to reduce inheritance tax bills”. He suggested that the figures did not mean that more people were lying about property values, but that HMRC was investigating more IHT cases because it was easier to check house prices.

The Times, Page: 63

Scotland sees rise in R&D tax credit claims

New figures from HMRC show a rise in research and development (R&D) tax credit claims in Scotland, with firms making a total of 2,210 claims over the year so far, up from 1,900 in the previous year. Overall, Scotland-based companies secured 4% of the value of 48,635 R&D tax credit claims made across the UK in the latest period. A total of £4.3bn of tax relief support was claimed corresponding to £31.3bn of R&D expenditure by British businesses.

The Scotsman, Page: 31

Parliamentary support to axe loan charge grows

Over 130 MPs have now called on the Government to suspend all activity related to the loan charge. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Loan Charge (APPG) said that Parliamentary support is growing for an immediate suspension of the “draconian” loan charge and associated accelerated payment notices (APNs).

Yorkshire Post, Page: 25

Will Congress vote for a fairer US tax system?

Ira Sohn suggests a move to a consumption tax on all goods and services, which he says would also remove the need for “tax accountants, tax lawyers, tax lobbyists and tax forms.”

Financial Times, Page: 10

“Let’s get beyond the bluster and listen to the experts”

The Sunday Times’ James Coney laments the predictability with which the government seems to reject advice on reforming the finance sector or taxes. Proposals to extend the power of the Financial Conduct Authority were dismissed last week while a series of “rather brilliant” proposals from the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) “seem to have gone nowhere.” The OTS is backing a campaign by the paper to close a loophole affecting people who earn £10,000-£12,500 with net pay pension schemes, who are denied the benefit of tax relief on their retirement savings. A report from the tax watchdog also suggested topping up the national insurance of mothers who stop claiming child benefit because of a tax charge that affects higher earners, including unmarried partners. The Sun also runs with this story pointing out that children of mothers who do not claim are not automatically issued with a National Insurance number when they turn 16.

The Sunday Times, Business, Page: 16 The Sunday Times, Business, Page: 16 The Sun on Sunday

McDonald’s sends cash to US and pays higher UK tax bill

The European arm of McDonald’s wired a $2.7bn (£2.1bn) dividend to its American parent last year, the first since Donald Trump’s tax reforms which were intended to persuade US multinationals to repatriate foreign earnings. McDonald’s UK has also increased its corporation tax payments from £64.9m in 2017 to £75m last year after ending an arrangement where it paid millions in “franchise rights fees” to an entity in Luxembourg, reducing taxable profits in the UK.

The Sunday Times, Business, Page: 3

HMRC called on to probe XR payments to activists

Tory MP David Davies has called for HMRC to investigate Extinction Rebellion (XR) over hundreds of pounds it pays its activists weekly to campaign. Documents seen by the Mail on Sunday reveal protesters have received payments totalling more than £70,000 in four months alone. The paper says XR’s documents raise concerns about the fact that it has paid no tax or National Insurance on these sums and questions the employment status of activists.

The Mail on Sunday, Page: 16

INDUSTRY NEWS

Failed airlines to fly passengers home

Insolvency legislation is set to be reformed to enable bankrupt carriers to be put in “special administration”, meaning their aircraft and crew can continue flying. The collapse of Thomas Cook last month triggered a £100m operation by the Civil Aviation Authority to repatriate almost 150,000 stranded tourists on a fleet of 62 chartered jets. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “I’ve personally spoken with Peter Bucks, the chair of the Airline Insolvency Review, and plan to draw on his expertise and bring in airline insolvency reforms as quickly as possible.” The legislation is expected to be outlined in the Queen’s Speech when MPs return to Parliament on Monday.

The Times, Page: 2 Daily Mirror, Page: 18 The Guardian, Page: 2 Daily Mail, Page: 37 Daily Express, Page: 5 The Sun, Page: 4

WILLS NEWS

Probate fee changes scrapped

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has said changes to probate fees planned by Theresa May will not go ahead. The current probate fees are £215 for individuals and £155 if applying through a solicitor. But changes to the law announced last November would have meant administrative fees ranging from £250 to £6,000. A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “Fees are necessary to properly fund our world-leading courts system, but we have listened carefully to concerns around changes to those charged for probate and will look at them again as part of a wider review to make sure all fees are fair and proportionate.”

Daily Mail, Page: 14

CORPORATE NEWS ROUNDUP

Wrightbus rescue back on the cards

A deal between Jo Banford and the owners of Wrightbus is back on after Jeff Wright, son of founder Sir William Wright, rowed back on his opposition to terms related to the sale of the company’s premises. Deloitte is overseeing the administration of Wrightbus.

The Times, Page: 52 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 35 The Guardian, Page: 43 Yorkshire Post, Page: 4

Pizza Express could jettison 150 restaurants

As many as two in five Pizza Express restaurants are loss making, the company’s lenders fear, with sources telling the Sunday Telegraph that bondholders are considering a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to close those stores. The move could put more than 150 restaurants and an estimated 3,300 jobs under threat. Pizza Express is struggling under a £1.2bn debt pile.

The Sunday Telegraph, Business, Page: 1 The Sunday Times, Business, Page: 12

Customers distressed by unexplained bills from old supplier

The Observer reports on the high level of complaints made by customers of failed energy company Extra Energy. An investigation by the paper reveals that Extra Energy’s administrator, PwC, has been issuing bills to former customers without accurate billing histories or meter readings, leaving many with unexplained three-and four-figure bills months after the company ceased trading.

The Observer, Page: 70

Investor agitates for removal of Babcock CFO

Defence contractor Babcock is under pressure from at least one major shareholder to replace its finance director Franco Martinelli, the Sunday Times reports. Babcock said it had no intention of replacing Martinelli, who has held the role for five years and spent 12 years before that as financial controller.

The Sunday Times, Business, Page: 1

WEALTH MANAGEMENT NEWS

Wealth managers who are worth their fees

Jonathan Jones in the Telegraph reflects on a report from Citywire which last week unveiled the best performing wealth managers. The list was topped by Wise Funds, with its Multi-Asset Growth fund returning 47.5% over the past three years. Vincent Ropers, co-manager of the fund, said, despite being the winner of the “aggressive” category, it was its defensive assets that had propelled the performance this year. In the “steady growth” category, for those with a slightly lower appetite for risk, P1 Investment Management ranked best. At the other end of the risk scale, Sanlam was ranked best for those investors that are more cautious.

The Sunday Telegraph

SMEs NEWS ROUNDUP

Small business commissioner sacked over conflict of interest

Paul Uppal, the Government’s small business commissioner, has been sacked after suggestions that his involvement in a scheme to provide redress to small companies represented a conflict of interest. Mr Uppal has been helping the banking industry and small business groups to set up the business banking resolution service. The Federation of Small Businesses said it was a “disappointing development that will put the brakes on our efforts to date”. The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed called the news “troubling”.

The Times, Page: 55

Funding Circle seeks to ease fears over withdrawal delays

Funding Circle has written to investors assuring them that it was “a robust, well-capitalised business” amid concerns over liquidity issues in the peer-to-peer lender’s secondary market.

Financial Times, Page: 17

Two fifths of SMEs forced to take legal action over late payments

A survey by Hitachi Capital Business Finance found the proportion of SMEs that were taking legal action chasing late payments from clients had grown from 31% to 40% over the past year. A fifth of SME owners did not pay themselves when they were left with unpaid invoices. Over 60% of SMEs are affected by late payments according to Hitachi, with 35% having to seek short term loans to stay afloat, it said.

Sunday Express, Page: 43

EMPLOYMENT NEWS

Top earners get 7.6% rise

Pay for the top 1% of earners increased by 7.6% in real terms over the past two years – faster than for any other income group, according to a report from the TUC. By comparison, typical workers saw their earnings increase by just 0.1%. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Boris Johnson’s promised tax giveaway to high earners would only make things worse. The prime minister is focused on helping his wealthy mates and donors, not working people.”

The Guardian, Page: 45 The I, Page: 19 Daily Mirror, Page: 7 Yorkshire Post, Page: 4 The Press and Journal, Page: 16

PENSIONS NEWS ROUNDUP

OTS urges review of pensions allowances

The Office for Tax Simplification has said the government should consider applying different pension allowances to taxpayers depending on whether they are saving into a defined contribution scheme or a final salary plan. A report by the OTS highlights the issues many defined benefit members have been facing with the annual allowance and the tapered AA. It states: “As the legislation produces distortions in behaviour that have negative effects such as those in the NHS, it seems sensible this legislation should be reviewed with a clear focus on its wider impact.”

FT Adviser Financial Times, Money, Page: 4

Majority of self-employed not saving into pension

Calls are growing for a change to pension rules for the self-employed after a poll revealed just 24% are saving into a pension. A survey of 2000 self-employed people by Nest, found 55% want more guidance on how to best save for their retirement. In addition, 56% said they favoured the idea of automatically diverting a proportion of their income to saving for retirement, which is already available via auto-enrolment for those who are employed by a business.

FT Adviser

Pensions rules bring windfall for locums

Hospitals are paying locum doctors nearly £4,000 a shift to plug a growing staffing crisis made worse by pension tax rules which encourage medics to cut their hours to avoid onerous penalties.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 1, 2

PROPERTY NEWS

Shops fear worst winter in a decade

Retailers fear this will be the worst Christmas since 2008 as high street stores struggle with consumer concerns over the economy and crippling business rates. One executive told the Mail on Sunday: “The rates system is broken. The high street is in continual decline. But this tax is based on 2015 property values, when the world was very different. When is the Government going to wake up?”

The Mail on Sunday, Page: 96

ECONOMY NEWS ROUNDUP

Sterling rallies on hopes of a late deal

The pound surged on Friday to a three-month high amid investor optimism about a last-minute Brexit deal between Britain and the European Union. Against the dollar the pound rose 1.9% to $1.2682, and against the euro was up 1.67% at €1.1489. The currency has rallied more than 3% since Thursday, its biggest two-day gain since before the June 2016 referendum on leaving the EU. Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “After months lost in the Brexit uncertainty that has hit many of our small businesses, there finally appears to be a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel.”

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 33 Financial Times BBC News Daily Mail, Page: 8 Daily Express, Page: 65

Autumn sales see record price cuts

High street stores are slashing prices by up to 90% in a desperate bid to win customers. Jason Gordon, of Deloitte, said this autumn’s sales are “the deepest we have seen historically”.

Daily Mail, Page: 5

Investors could reap £240bn Brexit deal dividend

Data giant MSCI predicts that the pound would claw back 8% against the dollar if Boris Johnson secures a deal with the EU while London stocks would rise 10% bringing investors a £240bn “deal dividend”. Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank, commented: “Tactically UK stocks could become one of the best equity markets next year if we avoid an ugly global recession and the UK can kick-start growth again.” However, MSCI also forecast that a no-deal Brexit would trigger a 15% plunge in London-listed stocks.

The Sunday Telegraph

OTHER NEWS

Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency abandoned by payments firms

Mastercard, Visa, eBay and payments firm Stripe have pulled out of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Libra, amid intense regulatory scrutiny. Last week, PayPal also announced it was also pulling out of the project. Politicians and regulators have voiced concern that Libra could be used for money laundering and may harm wider financial stability.

BBC News Financial Times The Daily Telegraph

Contact Paul Southward.

Paul Southward's News Roundup


News Roundup Friday 27th September 2019


News Roundup Friday 27th September 2019

NEWS ROUNDUP

TAX NEWS

Government urged to suspend loan charge now

The Yorkshire Post’s business section leads on the review into the loan charge announced by the Chancellor. The move is welcomed, but the Government should recognise the damage the policy is doing and cease the pursuit of affected taxpayers now, says the paper’s Greg Wright. MPs have called on Sajid Javid to widen the scope and time frame of the review and suspend all enforcement activity related to the loan charge immediately while the review is carried out.

Yorkshire Post, Business, Page: 1-2

CORPORATE NEWS

Thomas Cook executives could be stripped of their bonuses

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said Thomas Cook executives could be stripped of their bonuses as the backlash over the company’s collapse worsens. Speaking in the Commons, Mr Shapps also noted that Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom had written to the Financial Reporting Council “to ensure they prioritise as a matter of urgency an investigation into both the causes of [Thomas Cook’s] failure and the conduct of its directors and of its auditors.” The firm’s accountants EY and PwC are set to be investigated by the industry watchdog.

The Daily Telegraph The Times, Page: 21 Daily Express, Page: 15 Daily Mail, Page: 23 The Scotsman, Page: 29

Wrightbus goes into administration

Northern Ireland’s Wrightbus, famous for building the so-called Boris bus Routemaster model, has entered administration – leaving nearly 5,000 jobs at risk. The company had been looking for a new owner and Deloitte, the administrator, said the failure of a buyer materialising was the reason that job cuts were to be made. Unions are demanding that Prime Minister Boris Johnson steps in to “do something decent” by helping rescue the company, rather than leave staff to face “devastating consequences”.

Financial Times, Page: 2 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1 The Times, Page: 49 City AM The Guardian, Page: 33

Aberdeen paper mill saved

The future of a paper mill has been secured and hundreds of jobs saved after a management buyout of Arjowiggins’s Stoneywood plant in Aberdeen. Administrators at FRP Advisory had been called in early in 2019 but have now confirmed a management buyout for an “undisclosed sum” meant the jobs had been saved.

The Independent, Page: 54 The Scotsman, Page: 23

REPORTING NEWS

Tim Martin: “Corporate governance system is f***ed”

The Times’ Dominic Walsh says he talked with JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin about Thomas Cook’s failure. Mr Martin reportedly slammed the company’s accounting practices and hit out at “the world of corporate governance”: “Audit committees have substantially loosened financial control, remuneration committees have overseen a boom in pay when their purpose was restraint, and management is underrepresented on boards packed with non-execs.” Mr Martin went on to complain that instead of running their businesses he and others like him were forced to spend thousands of hours explaining why they “don’t adhere to arbitrary rules”. He concluded: “The whole system is f***ed.”

The Times, Page: 48

Rosenblatt wades into litigation funding debate

Law firm Rosenblatt has said it will change the way it accounts for legal cases it funds following criticism of Burford Capital for writing up the value of cases on its books before they had ended.

Financial Times, Page: 20

PENSIONS NEWS

FCA finds pension pots accessed without advice

The Financial Conduct Authority has found that 48% of pension pots that have had funds withdrawn were accessed by people who had not taken any advice. According to the FCA, more than 645,000 pensions were accessed during the 2018-19 period. More than 350,000 pots were fully withdrawn at the first time of access, of which 90% had a value of less than £30,000. Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, called the findings “deeply concerning” adding that the Government and the FCA should “do more to make sure providers are signposting guidance services and advice and explaining the potential ramifications if you don’t seek assistance”.

The Times

Pension schemes urged to boost exposure to venture capital

The British Business Bank has recommended that workplace pension schemes should be able to invest in venture capital funds and that management fees should be adjusted to better facilitate this.

Financial Times

SMEs NEWS

HSBC launches £14bn fund to help SMEs navigate Brexit

HSBC has launched a £14bn package for SMEs across the UK to help them navigate Brexit. The fund includes ring-fenced pots for international businesses and the agriculture sector. Meanwhile, Barclays is to hold dozens of so-called 100 Brexit clinics to give support to its customers north of the border. It also launched its own £14bn lending fund earlier this year.

The Sun, Page: 47 The Scotsman, Page: 39 The Press and Journal, Page: 34

PROPERTY NEWS

Labour backs plan to seize ’empty private homes’

The Mail reports that Labour could seize private family homes and introduce price controls into the market if the party wins the next general election. Delegates at the party conference in Brighton also committed the party to a 20-year council house-building blitz creating 2m council homes in a bid to tackle the UK’s housing crisis.

Daily Mail

WEALTH MANAGEMENT NEWS

Chasing wealth managers is a risky business

The FT notes the profitability of the private banking business compared with traditional retail banking but warns the assets of the emerging ultra-wealthy have yet to be tested in a global recession.

Financial Times, Page: 13

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Macron set to unveil new household tax cuts

French taxpayers are to be offered more than €10bn (£8.9bn) of new tax cuts in Emmanuel Macron’s 2020 budget on Friday. Budget minister Gerald Darmanin said tax cuts had been stepped up in response to the gilet jaunes protests.

City AM, Page: 21

ECONOMY NEWS

Deutsche boss warns of ‘darkened skies’

Christian Sewing, chief executive of Deutsche Bank, struck a gloomy tone over the future of the world economy with banking delegates in London on Wednesday, warning that central banks have already “turned on the money tap to the limit.” He also cautioned that, despite the low interest rates, Europe’s financial sector faces troubling structural issues: “What is really worrying is that the central banks have used their tools to a large extent already, so there are no conventional measures left to effectively cushion a real economic crisis,” he said, adding: “Very few economists believe that cheaper money at this level will have any effect, something our clients absolutely reinforce”.

Financial Times City AM

Car-making up for first time in a year

Car production increased by 3.3% last month, the first rise in more than a year. Some 92,158 vehicles were built in August, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. However, Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “Today’s figures mask the underlying downward trend.”

The Times, Page: 49 The I, Page: 43 Yorkshire Post, Page: 5

Retail sales continue to slide

Retail sales fell for the fifth consecutive month in September, down 16% according to the latest CBI Distributive Trades Survey, which also indicates that even internet sales growth eased in the year to September.

The Times, Page: 51 City AM Daily Express, Page: 51

Surging demand boosts boat building industry

Britain’s superyacht industry enjoyed its seventh year of growth with revenues rising to £660m in 2018/19, up 7.1% on the previous financial year, British Marine said.

Daily Mail, Page: 83

OTHER NEWS

Accountant scammed £4k with cancer tale

Chartered accountant Badal Arun Hindocha, 34, lied to his internet girlfriend that he was dying from cancer to swindle her out of £4,300. He has lost his job and has also been stripped of his professional accreditation.

Evening Standard

Contact Paul Southward [Tax Consultant].

Paul Southward


News Roundup Tuesday 24th September 2019


News Roundup Tuesday 24th September 2019

NEWS ROUNDUP

TAX NEWS

TPA: Tax cut would boost businesses

The Taxpayers’ Alliance has called for measures that would “back British businesses”, suggesting widespread tax and regulation cuts could drive UK firms up the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings. Recommendations include cutting corporation tax to 10% and the business rates multiplier to 30%. The Alliance’s John O’Connell said UK businesses are being “burdened with excessive taxes and endless red tape”.

City AM, Page: 11

Labour: Taxes will boost welfare spend

Labour has pledged to boost spending on welfare and could double the number of people receiving state-funded support. Revealing the proposals at its party conference, the party said that it will use tax hikes to fund the spending commitments but refused to set out the details of the increases needed to cover the costs until its next manifesto is released. The conference also saw shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth announce a £745m plan to scrap the prescription charge in England, saying it would be paid for by a “fairer tax system”. Conservative chairman James Cleverly spoke out over Labour’s plans, saying: “Labour’s latest splurge would clobber hardworking people with higher taxes.”

Daily Express, Page: 1 The Guardian, Page: 8

Labour to scrap private schools’ ‘tax privileges’

Labour says it will abolish private schools, with delegates at the party conference approving a motion that said a commitment on abolishing private education should be included in its next general election manifesto. This would include withdrawal “public subsidies and tax privileges”, including business rate exemption. Backing of the motion came after education spokesman Angela Rayner said a future Labour government would scrap “tax loopholes” that benefit private schools in its first budget.

The Times, Page: 1 The Independent, Page: 6 The Guardian, Page: 8 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 6 Daily Mail, Page: 8

PROPERTY NEWS

Bailiff figures prompt business rates call

The Chancellor is being urged to ease the burden of business rates after research by real estate adviser Altus Group has found that local councils sent bailiffs to more than 78,000 companies that have struggled to pay business rates across England in the year to the end of March. This equates to 310 incidents a day. Altus said around one in 16 of all business premises faced having goods seized by bailiffs last year, when stripping out those which receive small business rates relief. Altus calculates that business rates could increase by £536m for 2020/21 if the headline rate of inflation of 1.7% remains unchanged in September. Robert Hayton, head of UK business rates at Altus, said: “It’s not the mechanics of the rating system that is of primary concern of business but the level of the actual bills.” He noted that commercial property is “already making a significant contribution to tax revenues”, adding : “With the highest property taxes across the EU, the Chancellor should recognise this in his upcoming autumn Budget by removing the automatic inflationary increase.”

The Guardian, Page: 28 Daily Express, Page: 49 Yorkshire Post, Page: 15

Retailers hit by rate refund delays

The Times’ Ashley Armstrong says retailers face a £115m hit to their cash flows because the business rates process is delaying overdue refunds. The government introduced a system for companies to “check and challenge” their rates bill two years ago, but this has delivered a huge backlog of appeals, with statistics showing that the number of outstanding appeals has risen six-fold. Analysis by property group Colliers International shows that the valuation tribunal cleared just 13 appeals between April and June this year, with 123 claims outstanding. Experts forecast up to 40,000 appeals against the 2017 valuation. John Webber, head of business rates at Colliers, claims that the Valuation Office Agency is now focusing on values for the forthcoming 2021 revaluation, with case workers being reassigned from appeal work to deal with this.

The Times, Page: 39

CORPORATE NEWS

Thomas Cook collapses

Last-minute talks between Thomas Cook, its banks and shareholders have failed, with the travel firm collapsing. The UK Civil Aviation Authority said the tour operator has “ceased trading with immediate effect”. The firm’s failure puts 22,000 jobs at risk, including 9,000 in the UK. It is reported that the Government’s Official Receiver will manage Thomas Cook’s insolvency alongside KPMG, with AlixPartners expected to oversee the insolvency of the group’s airlines.

BBC News The Daily Telegraph, Page: 1 The Times, Page: 1 The Independent, Page: 9 Daily Express, Page: 6 Daily Mirror, Page: 10 City AM, Page: 1

No comment from Wrightbus over rescue talks

Bus maker Wrightbus has refused to deny or confirm reports that two major bidders have withdrawn from talks aimed at saving the firm, with it reported over the weekend that Chinese engineering firm Weichai and Jo Bamford, the son of JCB chairman Lord Bamford, had pulled out. The firm also declined to comment on whether administration was now likely. The Guardian notes that while Deloitte is running the sales auction, it is unclear whether it is being lined up as administrator.

The Guardian, Page: 25

EMPLOYMENT NEWS

£22k for accounting and finance graduates

The Times offers a table breaking down the average salaries per university course, looking at the median salary of those in employment six months after graduation. The Higher Education Statistics Agency figures for people leaving higher education in 2016/17 show accounting and finance graduates in professional employment saw a salary of £22,000 while the figure for those in non-professional employment was £18,000.

The Times, Good University Guide 2020, Page: 5

Insurance sector lags on diversity

City AM looks at diversity and inclusion in the insurance industry, with a survey on the matter seeing 54% of respondents say gender equality is an issue that the industry had to focus on, with 47% mentioning mental health and 38% culture and ethnicity. Jim Bichard, head of insurance at PwC, comments: “Frankly, insurance is not where it needs to be from a diversity perspective, if you just look at gender it’s easy to see that.” Figures show that the sector had a gender pay gap of 27.7% last year compared to a national average of 17.9%.

City AM, Page: 14

FINANCIAL SERVICES NEWS

Are asset managers ready to take responsibility?

The FT considers the potential impact of the senior managers and certification regime, saying it will make it easier for the Financial Conduct Authority to hold people to account for misdemeanours.

Financial Times, FT Fm, Page: 6

ECONOMY NEWS

Manufacturing to be hit by no-deal

Analysis of the manufacturing industry by BDO and Make UK suggests that some of Britain’s worst-off regions will be hit hardest in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The report says regions heavily dependent on exporting to the European Union, such as Wales and the North East of England, will be hit in a no-deal scenario. Leaving the EU with no agreement in place would be particularly harmful to Britain’s automotive industry, the analysis shows, with delays in the supply chain expected. “The survey makes it clear that regions heavily reliant on the automotive industry will be more significantly impacted by a no-deal Brexit,” Tom Lawton, head of manufacturing at BDO, commented. The analysis looked at Office for National Statistics and HMRC data and reveals that London and the South East are set to become the country’s biggest manufacturing regions.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1 The Times, Page: 36 The I, Page: 9 The Guardian, Page: 25 Yorkshire Post, Page: 15

OTHER NEWS

Embracing automation

In a letter to City AM, Alastair Bathgate, chief executive of robotic automation firm Blue Prism, calls on people to embrace the potential for automation to “unleash human potential” and boost productivity. He cites a PwC report suggesting that artificial intelligence and robotics could contribute up to $15trn to global GDP by 2030.

City AM, Page: 22

Contact Paul Southward.

Paul Southward