Business News 15th June 2017

We hope you enjoy reading the business news compiled by the Credit Protection Association on Thursday 15th June 2017 for its members and visitors.

Firstly our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire which is just a short distance from our Head office in West London. We were horrified to see the images on the news yesterday and hear the personal accounts of what transpired.  With the death toll surely to rise, our thoughts are with all those affected and their friends and families.

US interest rates

The Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark interest rate for the third time since December to a range from 1% to 1.25%, as the chairwoman of the US central bank assessed that the world’s biggest economy was “doing well”. A summary of Fed members’ projections for the economy and monetary policy suggests plans for another quarter-point rate hike this year, and three in 2018. The Fed’s monetary policy committee said that it would begin gradually reducing its holdings of $4.5 trillion in government bonds and mortgage-backed securities this year. The balance sheet will initially shrink by $10 billion a month. Chairwoman Janet Yellen said that pruning the Fed’s holdings, built up by some $3.7 trillion during so-called quantitative easing efforts to spur private investment from 2008-14, is part of a “normalization process” for monetary policy.

Theresa May

UK Prime Minister Theresa May plans to meet leaders of Northern Ireland’s five main political parties on Thursday, officials said, amid concerns that her planned deal to form a working government in Westminster could undermine efforts to revive power sharing in the territory. May and Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire will meet the party leaders in London “to build on the political discussions that restarted on Monday in Belfast,” Brokenshire said. “There is very little time left. An agreement to restore devolved power-sharing government in Stormont must be reached by the 29 June deadline,” he said, referring to the seat of Northern Ireland’s devolved government.

Wage growth hit by higher inflation

The amount of money workers are taking home continues to fall as inflation takes its toll, according to official figures. Average earnings fell in real terms by 0.6% in three months to April, compared with the same period last year. Before inflation, earnings rose by 1.7% excluding bonuses and were up 2.1% including bonuses. Meanwhile, unemployment fell by 50,000 to 1.53m in the three months to April – the lowest since records began in 1975. Employment rose to 31.95m in the three months from February to April, a rise of 7,000 on March’s figure and an increase of 108,000 on the previous three-month period.

BBC News   Financial Times, Page: 3   The Times, Page: 47   The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1   The Guardian, Page: 17   Daily Mail, Page: 37   The Sun, Page: 57

Hammond seeks Brexit that protects the economy

Chancellor Philip Hammond will use his Mansion House speech today to make the case for a new rebranded Brexit that focuses on protecting jobs and economic growth. Mr Hammond reportedly wants the PM to push for a significant transition period to allow British firms to adapt to leaving the customs and single market.

Financial Times    Financial Times    The Daily Telegraph

Fraudsters ‘conned HMRC out of £10m’

A group of alleged fraudsters stole the identities of MPs, judges, soldiers and police officers and conned HMRC out of £10m, a court has heard. Personal details were stolen to order from the files of the Civil Service Sports Council, which has a 10,300-strong membership list, with the gang making subsequent fraudulent claims for tax credits.

Daily Express, Page: 25

Shearer sues financial advisers

Alan Shearer, the former England and Newcastle striker, is suing for £9m in damages over what he claims was negligent financial advice on pension investments. He says financial advisor Kevin Neal was “careless” and “dishonest”, while pension specialist Suffolk Life had breached its regulatory duties.

BBC News   Daily Star, Page: 7   The Times, Page: 26   The Sun, Page: 40

Critics losing patience with AIM

A spokesman for the London Stock Exchange has rejected claims that the Alternative Investment Market is barely regulated and prone to scandals, claiming it was a “successful growth market” and a “jewel in the UK economic crown”. The LSE and the Financial Conduct Authority have come in for criticism from investors for allowing Fusionex, an IT group, to delist from Aim after a backdoor attempt to seize control by its Malaysian founder. In a letter to Marcus Stuttard, the head of Aim, Roger Lawson, deputy chairman of ShareSoc, called for a new governance code, enhanced disclosure and stricter policing of existing rules. He argued that the changes should curb “false accounting, market abuse, making false statements that induce people to invest, insider trading and many other complaints”.

The Times, Page: 48-49

FSB warns against NI hike

The number of self-employed people has risen by 103,000 to 4.8m, accounting for 15% of all people in work, according to the ONS. In response to the figures, the FSB is calling on the Government not to revisit failed plans for a NI hike. Mike Cherry, national chairman at the FSB, said: “The self-employed community is an increasingly critical driver of economic growth in the UK. As the self-employed battle spiralling inflation and a new wave of political uncertainty, the last thing they need is for the Government to revisit failed plans for a national insurance hike.”

Yorkshire Post, Business, Page: 6

Wealth gap ‘wider than previously thought’

In an article for the Guardian’s ongoing series on inequality, the authors of a research paper examining leaked tax data claim the gap between the rich and the rest is even wider than previously thought. They say previous studies of wealth based on official tax data, by their very nature, entirely miss tax evasion. But the researchers’ study of data from the HSBC and Panama Papers leaks suggests that the higher one moves up the wealth distribution, the higher the probability of hiding assets is.

The Guardian

Brexit could mean lower taxes and wages

The chairman of the European Movement in Northern Ireland has suggested the UK could become a country of low taxes and low wages post Brexit. Ian Parsley also predicted that London could become a “casino type town” for Arab sheiks and Russian oligarchs if the country seeks to attract people of high net worth.

Belfast Telegraph


Shell handed £112m tax rebate

Royal Dutch Shell was refunded $142.5m (£112m) tax in the UK last year, despite making billions of pounds in profits. Around $116m of the refund appears to be due to the relief provided to Shell for the costs of decommissioning work completed on the giant Brent field north east of Shetland.

Independent i, Page: 45   The Independent, Page: 58   The Herald


Thames Water tax

Thames Water has been criticised for paying out millions of pounds to its foreign owners despite having paid no corporation tax since 2006.

Daily Mail, Page: 81

Asian Markets

Asian equities turned cautious after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the second time this year, as was widely expected by markets. Lower oil prices took a toll on energy-related shares across the region, while Japan’s benchmark slipped as the yen gained against the dollar

U.S. Markets

U.S. stocks mostly fell while the dollar cut its losses after the Federal Reserve delivered a widely expected U.S. interest rate hike. A slide in technology stocks weighed on the technology index as investors worried about the pace of economic growth after the rate increase and weaker-than-expected inflation data.

Europe, Commodites and the dollar

A broad decline in commodities dragged European equities lower, while U.S. stock futures also dropped on a report the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election may also examine President Donald Trump’s conduct. The dollar edged higher after the Fed’s hawkish tone on Wednesday. In the UK the BOE decision is awaited with no action anticipated. The Aussie Dollar strengthened after employment grow. The pound drops on news from the ONS that Uk retail sales slipped last month. Retail stocks fall on the news.


early reports of bagging failures at terminals 3 and 5 are coming in. details limited for now.

Roaming charges

Mobile phone users registered in the European Union will be able to use their devices while travelling or vacationing anywhere within the bloc without having to pay roaming charges starting Thursday. The milestone was reached after a 10-year process to abolish roaming charges within the EU, based on the principle that EU residents shouldn’t be charged more for using their phones when crossing national borders inside the European single market.


Oil prices Crude futures stabilized, near 7 month lows,  following sharp declines in the U.S., but investor sentiment continued to be battered by data showing that the market remains awash in surplus oil.


Gold was trading down in early trade after the Federal Reserve increased interest rates but was less dovish than expected following a two-day meeting.


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Previous News pages

Business News 14th June 2017

Business News 13th June 2017

Business News 12th June 2017

Business News 8th June 2017

Business News 7th June 2017

Business News 6th June 2017

Business News 5th June 2017

Business News 2nd June 2017

Business News 1st June 2017

Business News – 31st May 2017

Business News – 30th May 2017

Business News – 26th May 2017

Business News – 25th May 2017

Business News – 24th May 2017

Business News – 23rd May 2017