NEWS – TUESDAY 27TH OCTOBER 2020

NEWS ROUNDUP

TAX NEWS – TUESDAY 27TH OCTOBER 2020

Death of the chairman of Samsung leaves heirs with £6.8bn tax bill

The death of the chairman of Samsung has left his family with an inheritance tax bill of £6.8bn, the Times reports, leading investors to bet on a major restructuring of the South Korean electronics group. Shares in several of Samsung’s businesses rose yesterday amid speculation his heirs could be forced to sell assets to cover the tax bill on the late chairman’s £16bn fortune.

The Times, Page: 38

FINANCE NEWS – TUESDAY 27TH OCTOBER 2020

Government accused of being opaque over Covid loans

Labour MP Darren Jones, the chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee, has criticised the Government’s decision not to publish the names of companies receiving money through schemes such as the Coronavirus Businesses Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and the Future Fund. “I am still not satisfied by the Government’s explanation as to why it isn’t publishing the data of which companies have received what funding, including through the Future Fund, given taxpayers could end up as shareholders of a whole portfolio of start-up businesses”, he wrote. Jones also accused the Government of letting private equity groups “cash in” on state-backed coronavirus loans, by allowing the companies they own to use the funding to cover the costs of the large debts used to buy them.

Financial Times, Page: 2 The Times, Page: 42 City AM

Peer-to-peer investors told loans are gone

Over 3,500 people who invested through the peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Secure have been told the prospect of recovering many of the loans is zero and that administrators may lack the resources to pursue errant borrowers for shortfalls. Securing a return on these loans was “highly unlikely, if not impossible”, insolvency practitioners at Manchester-based CG & Co said. Funding Secure was founded in 2012 and arranged more than £175m of loans. At the point of its collapse about £80m was outstanding.

The Times, Page: 37

CORPORATE NEWS – TUESDAY 27TH OCTOBER 2020

Hut forecasts rapid rise in sales forecasts

The Hut Group has issued its first update since going public last month increasing its full-year revenue guidance to between about £1.48bn and about £1.52bn. The company also sought to address governance concerns by announcing the appointment of independent special advisers to its board committees, including Damian Sanders, a former senior audit partner at Deloitte, Adam Waller, a tax partner for PwC, and Alan McGill, another partner at PwC. An additional independent non-executive director would be hired within a year of its listing. The Telegraph’s Ben Marlow says the appointment of three accountants as advisers “hardly feels like a watershed moment” in the Hut Group’s governance journey.

The Times, Page: 40 Daily Mail, Page: 70 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 2 The i, Page: 45

INDUSTRY NEWS – TUESDAY 27TH OCTOBER 2020

Campaign launched to recruit 10,000 black interns in British companies

Credit Suisse, PwC, Zurich Insurance and Linklaters are among the first groups to sign up to a campaign offering paid work experience to 10,000 black graduate interns.

Financial Times, Page: 3

PROPERTY NEWS – TUESDAY 27TH OCTOBER 2020

Half of house purchases at risk of collapse

Property market analysts Twentyci predict that as many as 325,000 homebuyers who agree to purchase a property before the end of the year are expected to miss out on the stamp duty holiday, which comes to an end on March 31. Conveyancing, surveying, mortgage and search services have been overwhelmed after the stamp duty cut and an end to lockdown led to a boom in house sales. Twentyci calculates that if one in five buyers decides to pull out of their purchase it could lead to 53% of sales collapsing by March. Zena Hanks, a partner with Saffery Champness, suggested that the government could consider introducing “a transition period” to avoid the March 31 cliff edge.

The Times, Page: 6 Daily Mail, Page: 2

PENSIONS NEWS – TUESDAY 27TH OCTOBER 2020

Millennials misguided over retirement age

Research by Hargreaves Lansdown has found the average age at which millennials expect to retire is 63. Around one in eight 18- to 34-year-olds expect to retire by the age of 55. This is despite the state pension age being at least 66 and possibly as high as 68 for this age group. Hargreaves Lansdown’s Sarah Coles said some savers may be “in for a nasty surprise”. She commented: “The vast majority of people paying into pensions today will have far less generous defined contribution pensions, which means we’ll retire on smaller, non-guaranteed incomes. If we retire too early, there’s a risk we could run low on funds as we go through retirement.” The survey found older people were more likely to be realistic about their retirement prospects with those over the age of 55 expecting to retire at 67 and 11 months on average.

The Daily Telegraph Metro

WEALTH MANAGEMENT NEWS – TUESDAY 27TH OCTOBER 2020

Coutts partners with Blackrock for exclusive fund launches

Coutts has teamed up with BlackRock to launch six funds for clients of the wider NatWest Group. The range will consist of three actively managed portfolios — US equities, UK equities and global investment grade credit — and three index funds, investing in US, UK and European equities.

FT Adviser

ECONOMY NEWS – TUESDAY 27TH OCTOBER 2020

Footfall falls again across the UK

The number of people shopping at UK retail destinations – including high streets, shopping centres and retail parks – dropped by 1.2% last week, according to the latest data from Springboard. The annual decline in footfall across the UK reached a 32.9% last week, with the biggest annual fall in Wales at 40.3%.

Daily Mail

Hotels unlikely to recover for four years

Forecasts published today by PwC indicate the UK hotel industry could take four years to return to 2019 levels of business. Occupancy rates are expected to average 45% next year, up from between a third and two-fifths in 2020 but still an unprecedentedly bleak outlook.

The Guardian, Page: 28 The Times, Page: 44 The Scotsman, Page: 41 The Press and Journal, Page: 35

OTHER NEWS – TUESDAY 27TH OCTOBER 2020

Chappell says he was lied to ahead of BHS deal

Dominic Chappell told Southwark crown court yesterday that he was “lied to” by financial advisers and by Sir Philip Green, the retail tycoon who sold him BHS for £1 in 2015. Chappell told the court: “We were given forged and misleading documents by PwC. I was lied to by Sir Philip Green, as were my board. This catastrophe has cost me my marriage, my money and my reputation.” He also denied evading tax on £2.2m of income he received from the deal.

The Times, Page: 14 Daily Express, Page: 29 The i, Page: 15

Contact Paul Southward