Thursday 7 February 2013

Thursday, February 07, 2013 Posted by Jake No comments Labels:
Posted by Jake on Thursday, February 07, 2013 with No comments | Labels:

£390m fine for RBS as traders fixed lending rates and joked it was in exchange for sex and sushi
The 81% state-owned bank RBS has agreed to pay the UK’s bank regulator, the Financial Services Authority, £87.5m, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission $325m (£208m) and the US Department of Justice $150m dollars (£95.8m) for Libor fixing. The Government wants RBS to pay the fine out of their bankers’ bonuses rather than pass the cost on to customers and taxpayers, and have the offenders prosecuted and jailed. DAILY MAIL

Police paid millions for leaking car crash info to claims management companies
Police forces sold on the details of road accident victims to insurers. Insurers can then sell these leads on to claims management companies and lawyers. It may have led to thousands of people being pursued by “cash for crash” companies looking to profit out of personal injury claims, vehicle repairs and providing a replacement car. Police forces denied making a profit, insisting the money merely covered the cost of vehicle recovery and other admin, which it rightly passes on to the insurer rather than the taxpayer. But critics say any such financial incentive can be corrupting. The fees will become illegal in April as part of Government attempts to reduce the cost of motor insurance. TELEGRAPH

British families’ cost of living is £2,000 higher than other countries thanks to energy, transport and property costs
The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) says British people face paying 31% more for transport, 18% more for housing and utilities, such as water and fuel, 14% more on recreation and cultural activities, while restaurants and hotels are 12% more expensive. However, they calculated that if prices of housing, commercial property, energy and transport were brought down to average levels over the next decade, it would save every UK household more than £2,000 pounds a year and boost the economy by 15%. DAILY MAIL
(£2,000 higher? Somebody tell those bloody immigrants. They come over here, taking our jobs, paying our rip-off prices…)

Osborne backs break-up of banks that fail to reform
The UK's big banks will be broken up if they fail to follow new rules to ring-fence risky “casino” investment banking from High Street retail banking. But the chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, Andrew Tyrie, warned once the spotlight had moved away from the banks, they may try to soften the rules: "At that time, banks could be particularly active in testing the ring-fence and lobbying politicians to alter its design for their benefit.” BBC NEWS
(“Contrary to what you all think, we don’t enjoy taking 'casino' risks. That’s why 50% of Tory party funding comes from us,” said our banking lobbyist insider.)

Household water bills up by 3.5%
The average household water and sewerage bill in England and Wales is to rise by 3.5% over the next year, regulator Ofwat has said. However, the Consumer Council for Water said the price rises had allowed companies to make excessive returns: "Water companies are making higher profits than expected and they need to give some of this back to their customers." BBC NEWS

Banks to pay for 'swap' mis-selling, FSA demands
Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland will now compensate tens of thousands of small businesses mis-sold complex insurance deals since 2001. In a pilot study, the bank regulator found that 90% of deals sold to "unsophisticated" customers broke at least one rule. To work out whether compensation is due and how much, the banks will sit down one-to-one with the small businesses. There will be no independent arbitrator. BBC NEWS
(“One-to-one is a great opportunity for us to listen to these businesses, learn our lessons... and sell them some more of this loan insurance,” say all the bankers.)

Bank regulator FSA ‘bows to the banks’ with £1.5bn ceiling for compensation on interest-rate swap mis-selling scandal
Mis-sold swaps worth £10m and above will be excluded from the compensation. Shockingly, there was no mention of the £10m figure in the FSA’s press releases or in a detailed larger document. It was accessible only through study of a complicated flow chart. Up to 40,000 small businesses were sold complex loan deals they had no chance of understanding, which virtually bankrupted them. INDEPENDENT
(“After our thorough analysis of the inability of small businesses to understand complex financial shenanigans, we thought our flow-chart idea was pretty neat,” said our FSA insider.)

Barclays under investigation over claims it lent Qatar £6bn to buy Barclays shares and avoid a Government bailout
The alleged £6bn deal helped the bank avoid the part-nationalisation suffered by Lloyds TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland at the height of the 2008 financial crisis. DAILY MAIL
(“Money out of thin air? We were only doing a little bit of Quantitative Easing of our own…” says our Barclays insider, quite reasonably.)

Rail fares outstrip cost of living rises
Walk on fares on some of the country's busiest rail routes have gone up three times faster than inflation since privatisation, according research by a transport union. TELEGRAPH


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