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Summary

  1. Get in touch: [email protected]

Live Reporting

By Howard Mustoe

All times stated are UK

  1. Czech payout from VW scandal

    exhaust

    Copyright: Getty Images

    A court says Czech owners of Skoda and Volkswagen cars
    qualify for 533m Czech crowns (£18.5m) in payback after VW’s diesel emissions scandal,Czech website Seznam Zpravy reported.

    An appeal could be lodged against the suit, which was filed by 2,435 people, it reported.

  2. BoE demands Lloyds harassment improvement

    lloyds

    Copyright: Getty Images

    The Bank of England says it wants to see progress from Lloyds of London, the insurance market, when it comes to sexual harassment.

    A Bloomberg investiation earlier this year uncovered allegations of harassment and bullying among employees in the still male-dominated market.

    Anna Sweeney, director of
    insurance supervision at the bank, said in a speech: “No one should have to tolerate such actions or work in the kind of environment suggested by these allegations.”

    “We and the FCA will be monitoring progress closely and
    talking to Lloyd’s to see demonstrable progress,” she said.

    The firm has set up measures to tackle the behaviour, it has said.

  3. Hargreaves Lansdown: Woodford breached agreement

    The letter from broker Hargreaves Lansdown boss Chris Hill to Treasury Select Committee chair Nicky Morgan also sheds some light on how many smaller, unquoted companies Woodford was investing in.

    These smaller firms are harder to sell when clients want their money back. Hargreaves told Woodford to keep the percentage of these investments low as a proportion of the fund.

    Mr Hill writes: “We insisted that they abide by the UCITS guidelines not to breach the 10% level and to inform us immediately if they did, to which they also agreed. We have subsequently, on 18th June 2019 in FCA Chair Andrew Bailey’s response to the Treasury Select Committee, found out that Woodford twice breached this limit in February and March 2018. They did not inform us of this on either occasion.”

    UCITS stands for Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities and is used as shorthand for EU law.

  4. Hargreaves Lansdown: ‘determined to learn lessons’

    Hargreaves Lansdown will review its “actions in relation” to the closed Woodford Equity Income Fund, it said in a letter to parliament.

    It made £41.1m in fees from 2014 to present from the fund, it said. In 2016, that was 3% of the broker’s revenue, it said, although it fell to 1.6% for 2018.

  5. Pensions warning from the FCA

    two people looking at screens

    Copyright: Getty Images

    The Financial Conduct Authority is concerned that firms are recommending that large numbers of consumers transfer out of their defined benefit (DB) pension schemes, despite the regulator’s view that transfers are likely to be unsuitable for most clients.

    Defined benefit schemes promise people a certain level of income when they retire, such as final salary pensions, and are often described as “gold-plated”.

    Megan Butler, an FCA executive director, said: “We have said repeatedly that, when advising on DB transfers, advisers should start from the position that a transfer is not suitable. It is deeply concerning and disappointing to see that transfers are still being recommended at the levels we have seen.

    “Deciding whether to transfer out of a DB scheme is one of the most complex financial decision a consumer may have to make and it is vital customers get high quality advice”.

    The FCA surveyed 3,015 firms and found that between April 2015 and September 2018

    • 2,426 firms had provided advice on transferring their DB pension
    • 234,951 scheme members had received advice on transferring
    • and of those 162,047 members had been recommended to transfer out and 72,904 had been recommended not to transfer
    • 1,454 firms had recommended 75% of more of their clients to transfer.

    The FCA said it had already started visiting some firms and would be writing to firms where the potential for harm had been identified.

  6. Commercial drones – on the up

  7. Gravy train

    Joe Miller

    Business reporter

    train

    Copyright: getty

    Remember
    the Eurotunnel no-deal Brexit ferries challenge, which Chris Grayling’s
    Department for Transport settled for £33m? Well the cross-channel operator
    wasn’t the only beneficiary. The government paid Slaughter and May £710,933
    (exc VAT) in legal fees, an FOI response has revealed.

    The DfT also paid the Government Legal Department
    almost £144,000 and counsel (read: barristers and QCs) almost £84,000.

  8. Tesco Finest: No opening date

    Just in case you’re salivating at the prospect of visiting one of Tesco’s mooted upmarket convenience stores, chief executive Dave Lewis has now clarified that it’s very much a concept at present. There is no date yet for any Tesco Finest pilot store openings, he has said.

  9. Clydesdale bank notes to stay

  10. Weak inflation ‘will leave rates unchanged’

    Weak inflation has taken the
    pressure off the Bank of England to raise rates, but “don’t expect cuts any time
    soon,” says Yael Selfin, chief economist at KPMG UK:

    “Despite the moderating pace
    of inflation, thanks partly to a late Easter, the Bank of England is unlikely
    to follow the change of heart of other major central banks. The [Monetary Policy Committee] is expected
    to keep its sights on the next, albeit delayed, interest rates rise, rather
    than contemplate an easing at this stage.

    ”Assuming no major
    Brexit-related disruptions or other external shocks, we expect CPI inflation to
    remain slightly below the MPC target of 2% over the medium term, leaving scope
    for the MPC to keep rates unchanged until late next year.”

  11. Tesco Finest plan upsets supermarket shares

    Tesco Finest crisps

    Copyright: Tesco

    There’s turmoil in the supermarket sector on the FTSE, with traders pointing to the disruptive effect of plans by Tesco to go upmarket

    Not content with its no-frills Jack’s subsidiary, Tesco is now considering opening a chain of convenience stores based on its upmarket Finest food range.

    Marks & Spencer, considered the rival with most to lose if the venture gets off the ground, has seen its shares tumble 4%. However, Tesco’s own shares are failing to benefit, having slid 0.6% after showing an initial rise.

    At the same time, Sainsbury’s is down nearly 2%, while Ocado has fallen more than 3% and Morrisons is trading 0.5% lower.

  12. Apple considers supplier shift: report

    phone

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Apple has asked its suppliers to analyse the cost of moving some of their production away from China,Nikkei Asian Review reports.

    The move is mainly down to the US-China trade tensions, but also Apple’s reliance on the country, according to sources Nikkei did not name. Apple declined to comment, it said.

  13. CPI in pictures

    There it is. 2%. Consumer goods, as defined by the statistics authority, were 2% more expensive in May than May 2018.

    Tomorrow heralds the Bank of England’s latest rate decision, and low inflation probably means no changes, estimates suggest.

    inflation

    Copyright: bbc

  14. Inflation rate

    The rate of Consumer Price Index inflation was 2.0% in May, down from 2.1% in April, the Office for National Statistics said. CPIH also fell.

  15. Punishing loyalty

    Last year the CMA responded to concerns raised by Citizens Advice in a super-complaint about existing customers getting worse deals than new clients. It has published an update.

  16. Asia markets rally

    Stock markets rose in Asia on Wednesday across indices.

    In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 2.3% while the Shanghai Composite was 0.96% higher.

    Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rallied 1.7%.

  17. Berkeley Group profits dip

    Shares in builder Berkeley rose as its annual profit fell
    less than forecast. It said pretax profit
    fell 21% to £775m.

    Quote Message: The sense of malaise surrounding Brexit has been particularly troubling among the housing sector, as fluctuating house prices and the announcement to end the Help to Buy scheme has caused the industry’s progress to be derailed during the past year. Many consumers are waiting for greater clarity on the current political and economic situation before choosing to sell or buy a property, causing profits to dip among house builders with Berkeley being no exception. from Julie Palmer partner at Begbies Traynor

    The sense of malaise surrounding Brexit has been particularly troubling among the housing sector, as fluctuating house prices and the announcement to end the Help to Buy scheme has caused the industry’s progress to be derailed during the past year. Many consumers are waiting for greater clarity on the current political and economic situation before choosing to sell or buy a property, causing profits to dip among house builders with Berkeley being no exception.

  18. Extra cost savings says CYBG

    BBC Scotland business presenter tweets

  19. Saga says tour business hurt by political uncertainty

    share price chart

    Copyright: BBC

    Saga, the company which aims is products at the over 50s, has issued a trading update ahead of its annual general meeting.

    It says: “Trading for the period is broadly in line with expectations with good early progress in the launch of the new insurance products, although ‘tour operations’ is being impacted by current political uncertainties”.

    On that tour business, it says: “Conditions in the travel market are very competitive and affected by current political uncertainties”.

    Booked revenues for the full year are down 4% as of 15 June when compared to the same period last year. In addition, margins for this year will be impacted by competitive discounting.

    Saga has been having a torrid time on the stock market since its flotation in 2014, as the chart above shows. It is down 9.4% in early trading today.

  20. Google pressed to crack down on extremist content

    via newsapi.org

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Google logo

    Copyright: AFP

    Google shareholders will be pressing the company later on how it plans to manage the possible risks for society of its products and services.

    It’s their chance to put their views across at parent firm Alphabet’s annual general meeting in Sunnyvale, California.

    Among the 13 shareholder proposals on the table is a motion to create a committee that will look at the social impact of new technology.

    One of those supporting this proposal, Dr Christine Chow of fund manager Hermes Investment Management, told the Today programme that the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand in March, in which 51 people were killed, had highlighted the danger posed by extremist content online.

    Footage of the attacks had “spread around before Google could contain it”, she said. “We trust that machine learning can help us to identify what is inappropriate content, but the truth is, it’s not a simple as that.”

    The answer, she said, was to set up a new committee of experts to improve oversight.