Thursday 30 January 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014 Posted by Jake No comments Labels:
Posted by Jake on Thursday, January 30, 2014 with No comments | Labels:

RBS payouts to UK staff expected to total £500m despite an £8bn loss
The bank is now expected to show an £8bn loss after announcing that mis-selling scandals and legal bills in the US were forcing it to take a £3bn hit. Analysts at Credit Suisse calculated the bank's total losses since the 2008 bailout would reach £43bn, almost as much as the £45bn pumped in by taxpayers to buy shares in RBS to stop it collapsing. The top management team have waived their bonuses for 2013 but other staff will expect to receive payouts, including Rory Cullinan, who is to run the new bad bank being set up by RBS. GUARDIAN

Fracking under homes could be allowed without permission
Ministers are considering changing trespass laws to make it easier for energy companies to carry out fracking beneath people's homes without permission. The move comes amid concern that fracking for shale gas could otherwise be held back by lengthy and costly court proceedings. Shale gas exploration typically involves drilling down vertically and out horizontally, often for more than a mile. Currently operators need to ask homeowners before they drill under their land, but they have a right to appeal by law if an agreement cannot be reached. BBC NEWS

The great migration south: 80% of new private sector jobs are in London
The brain drain meant that every major city outside the south-east is losing young people to London. The report by the think tank Centre for Cities highlights the need for better infrastructure, investment in skills and reforms to planning, and noted that Bradford, Sheffield, Bristol, Southampton, Blackpool and Glasgow saw employment shrink in both private and public sectors. Britain is one of the world's most centralised countries. In Germany the government is in Berlin, the financial centre is Frankfurt and there are cultural hubs in Hamburg and Munich. In the UK, London has it all. What's more, the UK Treasury keeps a much tighter hold of the purse strings than finance ministries in other rich nations. Local government raises 17% of its income from local taxation in the UK, compared to an average of 55% for other members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, a club of more than 30 rich countries. GUARDIAN

Vince Cable undermines chancellor with 'wrong sort of recovery' message
Cable warned that weak exports and a hoarding of cash by businesses meant "the shape of the recovery has not been all that we might have hoped for". Instead, the recovery was based on the same sort of consumer borrowing that caused the crash. His remarks also implied the Liberal Democrats will not necessarily vote for the deficit reduction plan Osborne intends to put to MPs this autumn in an updated charter for fiscal responsibility. Cable argued that the additional £30bn austerity proposed by the chancellor after 2015 went beyond the joint coalition commitment to eradicate the structural part of the UK's current budget deficit. GUARDIAN

Prosecutors finally drop case against men caught "stealing" waste food from Iceland bins
Three men caught taking discarded food from bins outside an Iceland store will not now be prosecuted after an explosion of criticism over the decision to bring charges against them, including from the company's chief executive. The Crown Prosecution Service said it would drop its case despite having previously said there was "significant public interest" in prosecuting the men. They were caught last year taking tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese and Mr Kipling cakes from the dustbins behind a branch of the high-street retailer. One of the accused said he had taken the food because he needed it to eat and did not consider that he had done anything illegal or dishonest in removing food destined for landfill from a skip. GUARDIAN

Rivals to follow Tesco in revealing amount of UK food wasted – an estimated 15m tonnes nationally
Tesco, which revealed it generated 28,500 tonnes of food waste, gave the following examples: two-thirds of bagged salad was thrown out, either in-store or by shoppers, and 40% of apples were wasted. The UK's biggest grocers have pledged to disclose the volume of food discarded by their stores in an effort to cut down on the millions of tonnes wasted each year. Retailers have been under pressure to act after Tesco admitted it generated 28,500 tonnes of food waste at its stores and distribution centres in the first six months of last year alone. Friends of the Earth said: "Food waste has been growing over the last few decades because of the way supermarkets have driven consumption. These figures will indicate how over-purchasing and other poor buying practices are occurring, but retailers need to really examine whether their marketing strategies are fit for purpose in today's resource-confined world." GUARDIAN

Bank customers mis-sold duff packaged accounts winning thousands of pounds in compensation
Many customers were automatically signed up for deals by pushy bank sales staff. Some were told the accounts were their only option, and the benefits were often exaggerated. As a result, many customers found they never knew the account additions existed - and didn’t even want them. New figures show there have been thousands of complaints from account holders who say they paid up to £300 a year for the perks. Independent body the Financial Ombudsman Service has seen a 155per cent rise in complaints over the past nine months. And in eight out of ten cases it is finding in favour of the consumer and forcing the bank to pay compensation. Many customers are receiving thousands of pounds. Someone who paid £25 a  month for five years for an account typically including breakdown cover, mobile phone and travel insurance would get at least £1,600. A packaged account is a current account where you pay a monthly fee for perks. Typically these include travel insurance, breakdown cover, mobile phone policies and preferential loan rates. DAILY MAIL

Savers' hopes of seeing rise in interest rates being dashed by banks with £130bn war chest of cheap cash
The £80bn taxpayer-backed Funding for Lending scheme in particular, which gave banks a cheap source of cash to lend as mortgages, meant banks no longer needed to fund these deals from savers. With no reason to attract savers, savings interest was cut on many deals. Just before Funding for Lending was launched, average rates on easy-access accounts were 1.55per cent. But as of last month, the average had fallen to 0.82per cent. Nevertheless, savers are still saving. The amount in ‘non-interest bearing accounts’, which includes current accounts, jumped by £21billion in the past 12 months to more than £130billion, Bank of England figures reveal. DAILY MAIL


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