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Tuesday newspaper round-up: Budget, post-Brexit rules, PPI complaints

Market Buzz

Tuesday newspaper round-up: Budget, post-Brexit rules, PPI complaints

Tue, 28 February 2017
Article viewed 361 times
Tuesday newspaper round-up: Budget, post-Brexit rules, PPI complaints

(ShareCast News) - Solid economic growth and strong tax receipts since the Brexit vote have put Philip Hammond on course to announce a drop in government borrowing when he presents his spring budget next week, a leading thinktank has predicted. The Resolution Foundation said it would be the first time since March 2014 that a chancellor could stand at the dispatch box and announce borrowing will be lower - not higher - than previously thought. - Guardian
Businesses are calling for European Union regulations to remain in place to minimise the cost and disruption of Brexit, according to a report by the British Chambers of Commerce. It also calls on the government to consider a transitional arrangement with the EU if concluding both the exit negotiations and the future trade relationship with the single market proves impossible within the two years under Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon. - The Times

The Bank of England has tweaked an obscure rule which could make it easier for borrowers to get a mortgage of more than four-and-a-half times their annual income. The rule change applies immediately and effectively loosens the cap placed on the amount of high loan-to-income mortgage lending banks and building societies are allowed to do. - Daily Mail

The United States would sidestep World Trade Organisation rules and level sanctions directly against China and other nations under proposals being considered by the White House. Officials at the office of the US Trade Representative, the government agency responsible for policy, are exploring legal mechanisms to circumvent the WTO's disputes process, sources said. - The Times

Complaints to the financial ombudsman about payday loans have risen to almost 200 a week - and not all of those experiencing problems necessarily fit the image of low-income borrowers relying on short-term loans to get by. Payment protection insurance continues to be the most complained-about product, with just over 78,000 complaints - making up more than half of the total. - Guardian

Consumers are increasingly worried about their personal finances as food and fuel prices rise, according to a survey. A bounce in households' optimism about their financial outlook in January evaporated in February, pulling the closely watched GFK consumer confidence barometer down by one point to -6.

A group of former top bank regulators has warned the US and European authorities that rolling back the reforms of the past eight years could sow the seeds for a worse financial crisis than 2008. The warning from the Systemic Risk Council, chaired by Sir Paul Tucker, former deputy governor of the Bank of England, follows President Trump's pledge to repeal parts of Dodd-Frank, the package of legislation the US introduced in 2010 to tighten the rules after the crisis. - The Times

Jones Bootmaker, one of the oldest brands on the British high street, has been put up for sale by its owners in a move that raises questions over the future of its 170 shops and thousands of employees. Retail sources said the company's owners, turnaround firm Alteri Investors, have recently engaged advisers at KPMG to explore all options for the 160-year-old company including a straight sale of the business or a potential administration. - Telegraph

Two private space tourists plan to boldly go where no thrill-seeker has gone before, travelling on the world's most powerful rocket for a 400,000-mile trip around the moon next year. The entrepreneur Elon Musk announced the plans last night, saying that the two customers who have signed up for the week-long ride are "very serious" about going and have put down a significant deposit with SpaceX. The total cost is in excess of $80 million each. - The Times

A supermarket chain is to be the first major UK retailer to sell "free range" milk - from cows that have been kept outside for at least six months of the year - after consumers said they wanted to be able to buy tasty milk that gives a better deal to farmers. Asda will from Wednesday exclusively sell the new milk, which will carry a Pasture Promise logo, indicating that it comes from animals grazed for at least 180 days and nights a year and also offers farmers a fair price. - Guardian

Netflix is in talks to introduce a 'pay as you go' option for smartphones in collaboration with mobile operators, in what would mark a departure from the TV and film streaming service's subscription charges. It is understood from senior sources at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona that Netflix is in ongoing and detailed discussions about ways to charge mobile customers for streaming or downloading individual episodes, series or films to watch on the move. - Telegraph

(Netflix has refuted the story, saying it is not, nor has ever, considered a "pay as you go" service. "We are a subscription service that, for a flat fee, provides members access to all of our content.")

British Land and Oxford Properties are close to selling their stakes in one of the City of London's most distinctive modern buildings to a Chinese bidder in what would be one of the UK's largest ever land deals. Leadenhall Building, better known as the Cheesegrater, is expected to be sold by the UK companies for about £1 billion to CC Land, Cheung Chung Kiu's investment vehicle. - The Times

Jeff Immelt, chairman and chief executive of GE, has used his annual letter to shareholders to warn of turbulent times ahead with past business practices turned on their head. "There is deep skepticism toward the ideas that powered economic expansion for a generation, with concepts like innovation, productivity and globalisation being challenged and protectionism on the rise," he said. - Telegraph

More firms are expected to announce bottle deposit return services after Coca-Cola unexpectedly came out in favour of the idea. Pepsi, Nestlé, Unilever and M&S have already committed to producing more eco-friendly bottles by using plant-based materials or less plastic, and an uptick in that trend could now be on the cards. - Guardian