HSBC's Gulliver steps back from London HQ decision

  • 22 July 2015
  • From the section Business
HSBC group chief executive Stuart Gulliver
HSBC chief executive, Stuart Gulliver, warned earlier this year the bank could move its headquarters from London

Banking sources agree Budget has "softened" HSBC's attitude to staying in the UK - and it will be for the board to decide, not the CEO

For the City, one of the biggest events of the year will be HSBC's decision on whether it wants to change the location of its headquarters and leave London.

One very senior banking executive I spoke to yesterday said that he thought a move was very unlikely.

The political risk in Hong Kong - likely to be the leading alternative candidate for HSBC's new home - is just too high, the executive went on to argue.

And others very close to the bank agree that George Osborne's Budget announcement that the banking levy - which disproportionately affects HSBC - will be phased out has certainly "softened attitudes" to staying in Britain.

Read full article HSBC's Gulliver steps back from London HQ decision

Treasury bundles FCA boss out of the door

  • 17 July 2015
  • From the section Business
Martin Wheatley

Make no bones about it, the Treasury was behind Martin Wheatley's surprise decision to stand down as the head of the Financial Conduct Authority.

I am told that discussions were held with the head of the FCA in recent weeks where it was made clear that the chancellor would not be asking Mr Wheatley to stay on when his contract came up for renewal in March 2016.

Read full article Treasury bundles FCA boss out of the door

Is it time to break up BT?

  • 16 July 2015
  • From the section Business
A BT Openreach engineer working on internet cables in the street

At first reading, the notion that the communications regulator Ofcom could set about BT with an axe would be assumed to be generally bad news for Britain's formerly state-run telecommunications business.

But this morning, BT's share price has hardly wavered despite Ofcom suggesting that its highly lucrative Openreach division could be sold off.

Read full article Is it time to break up BT?

Fresh exodus at Barclays as Sir Mike Rake moves on

  • 15 July 2015
  • From the section Business
Sir Mike Rake
Sir Mike Rake moves on from Barclays

To lose a chief executive might be considered a misfortune. To lose a deputy chairman just a week later might be considered careless.

I have been told that Sir Mike Rake, who has been on Barclays' board since 2008 and deputy chairman since 2012, is stepping down from the bank and is taking up the job as the chairman of Worldpay, the payments processing firm formerly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Read full article Fresh exodus at Barclays as Sir Mike Rake moves on

Banks face new legal action over forex manipulation

  • 14 July 2015
  • From the section Business
Man reflected in an electronic board
Foreign exchange trading involves huge sums of money

After fines totalling many billions of pounds from UK and US regulators, a new threat is about to hit the major banks found guilty of manipulating the foreign exchange market.

US lawyers are preparing multi-million-pound legal action - to be lodged in the autumn - against up to 12 banks.

Read full article Banks face new legal action over forex manipulation

Barclays chairman confirms he 'fired' Antony Jenkins - here's why

Antony Jenkins
Mr Jenkins was seen as a "safe pair of hands" when he was appointed

In terms of power, there is now one man in charge of Barclays.

His name is John McFarlane, the man who took over as chairman of Barclays earlier this year and, from 17 July, will also be the bank's chief executive.

Read full article Barclays chairman confirms he 'fired' Antony Jenkins - here's why

Heathrow backed - now it's up to the politicians

The final decision on expanding aviation capacity was always going to be far more to do with politics than economics.

And to understand why, it is worth remembering a pledge made by David Cameron in 2009, with "no ifs or buts".

Read full article Heathrow backed - now it's up to the politicians

Tesco: Every little is helping

  • 26 June 2015
  • From the section Business
Tesco store

As retail analyst Steve Dresser puts it, running a supermarket is not the most complicated business in the world.

"Putting staff back in stores, opening enough checkouts, food on the shelves and lowering prices. Not rocket science is it?" he said, following the announcement that Tesco is losing sales at a slightly slower rate than it was three months ago.

Read full article Tesco: Every little is helping

All bets off for £38bn rail plan

  • 25 June 2015
  • From the section Business

It was launched with much fanfare in April last year - a £38bn plan to bring Britain's railways kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

The "largest modernisation of the railways since Victorian times" was at the heart of the government's long term economic plan.

Read full article All bets off for £38bn rail plan

RBS: An IT problem it really doesn’t need

  • 17 June 2015
  • From the section Business
RBS

The word seems almost benign - a "glitch" affecting computer systems at the Royal Bank of Scotland.

But "glitch", when it involves payments to individuals and businesses likely to total many millions of pounds, does not do the issue justice.

Read full article RBS: An IT problem it really doesn’t need