The Treasury’s coffers improved last month as stronger economic growth and the housing market recovery helped boost tax revenues.
Stamp duty revenues surged by nearly half to more than £1bn in October to help knock nearly £200m off public sector borrowing compared to the same month last year.
The figure – excluding the distorting effect of bank bailouts – dropped from £8.24bn to £8.08bn, the Office for National Statistics said.
It meant that public sector net borrowing in the financial year to date – excluding the bailouts – stood at £64.8bn, down 8.2% on the same time last year.
Stamp duty revenues were up by £400 million to £1.2 billion amid a buoyant property market spurred by Government initiatives such as the Help to Buy scheme.
The take from income tax and capital gains tax rose 2.3% to £10.3bn but corporation tax fell 8.2% to £7.4bn.
Borrowing would have been lower but for the £331m cost of awarding 10% of Royal Mail shares to employees though the controversial privatisation knocked £2bn off net debt.
The Bank of England’s top economists believe there is a case for keeping interest rates low even when their own conditions for a rise have been met, the Monetary Policy Committee Minutes revealed.
Under forward guidance set out in August, the MPC may consider increasing the Bank Base Rate once the unemployment rate has fallen to 7%, and certain other conditions have been satisfied.
But despite an increasingly positive outlook for the economy, the Minutes argued uncertainties remain about the durability of the recovery.
They stated: “The projections for growth and inflation under constant Bank Rate underlined that there could be a case for not raising Bank Rate immediately when the 7% unemployment threshold was reached.”
The committee will reassess the nature of the recovery after unemployment reaches 7%, they added.
The Minutes also noted an increase in consumer confidence driven by the housing market: “Mortgage approvals had continued to increase, though this had yet to have a material impact on secured lending growth.”
Total pay for the directors of the UK’s top businesses rose 14% over the past year driven by a huge jump in share-based long term incentive payments, a pay research company has found.
Incomes Data Services ((IDS) said this took the average pay for a director of a FTSE 100 firm to £3.3m.
IDS said basic pay rises were “relatively restrained” at 4% higher, while annual bonuses fell 8.8%.
But total pay rose thanks to a 58% rise in share-based long-term incentives.
And over the past ten years, the median total earnings of a FTSE 100 chief executive has gone up by 243%, Steve Tatton, editor of IDS’s directors’ pay report, told the BBC.
Mr Tatton said the survey illustrated the “complex make-up of boardroom remuneration”.
“With nearly two-thirds of FTSE directors benefiting from an LTIP [long-term incentive plan] award in the latest year, the higher share-based payouts clearly made up for any ground lost in lower annual bonuses,” he added.
Aberdeen will pay with shares worth 560 million pounds, or 9.9 percent of the company, and 100 million in cash over five years depending on how well it manages various Lloyds assets.
Lloyds has agreed not to sell any of its stake for a year.
The deal raises Aberdeen’s assets under management by more than two thirds to 336 billion pounds, knocking Schroders (SDR.L) into second place and offering it diversification into fixed income and property, where Scottish Widows is stronger.
Aberdeen chief executive Martin Gilbert, who stressed in April that a bid for Scottish Widows was highly unlikely, said that adding its Solutions business, offering wealth management products to Lloyds’ customers, had clinched the deal.
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has agreed to sell its multi-billion-pound structured product portfolio to BNP Paribas, according to industry sources. The decision was made by the UK bank on November 13, and will be followed by the signing of a head of terms, after which the negotiation and documentation of final terms and conditions is expected to be agreed and ratified by the first week of 2014.
The deal is the latest in a series of structured product and equity derivatives portfolio purchases by BNP Paribas. The French bank acquired Crédit Agricole’s product book at the end of October, and was also successful in winning the mandate to take over 2,500 structured products with a €1 billion ($1.35 billion) notional that were sold by Macquarie in 2012.
The notional value of the RBS portfolio is roughly £175 billion ($282 billion). Of that figure, £30 billion belongs to the client franchise, with £65 billion in listed options and futures and £80 billion in over-the-counter products, the sources say. The portfolio, which consists of thousands of predominantly retail products, is highly concentrated in Europe but includes some products from the US and a smattering from Asia-Pacific. All asset classes are represented in the mix.
The annual City A.M. Awards dinner witnessed a triumph for innovative newcomer, Metro Bank. It beat off competition from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Goldman Sachs and Lloyds to win Bank of the Year award.
The evening launched with a powerful delivery from Education Secretary, Michael Gove, on the ceaseless entrepreneurial drive necessary to maintain the United Kingdom at the forefront of world business and industry. Rated by many present as the brightest star in the cabinet and supportive of his efforts to improve the lamentable position of the United Kingdom in world literacy and numeracy leagues, he received a warm reception.
Other award winners at the Lexus sponsored event at the Grange Hotel, St Pauls, in the City of London and which raised a large sum of money for the Mayor’s Fund for London were:
– See more at: http://www.business-money.com/announcements/metro-bank-wins-bank-of-the-year-award#sthash.oVCgDbdU.dpuf
Bank of England governor Mark Carney says the UK recovery has “taken hold” and unemployment will fall sooner than it had forecast.
The comments came in the Bank’s latest quarterly inflation report, which raised the forecast for UK economic growth this year and next.
Mr Carney has said the Bank will not consider raising interest rates until the jobless rate falls to 7% or below.
On Wednesday, the UK unemployment rate was reported at 7.6%, down from 7.8%.
There are still hurdles to overcome before growth gets back to a sustainable level, including boosting business investment and trade”
Growth for this year is forecast to be 1.6%, up from 1.4% previously thought, and for next year, annual growth is expected to be 2.8%, rather than the 2.5% it predicted in August.
The report said: “In the United Kingdom, recovery has finally taken hold. The economy is growing robustly as lifting uncertainty and thawing credit conditions start to unlock pent-up demand.”
The struggle that businesses go through in order to secure finance can often be one which is detrimentally disruptive to the day-to-day running of a company.
When new opportunities present themselves, business builders need to be able to quickly access extra capital to fulfil new orders, purchase new equipment or hire the right people.
Invoice finance is an increasingly utilised funding mechanism – one which can very quickly, and securely, open up a line of credit for growth.
While once considered to be the lending option of last resort, the reluctance of banks to fund small or risky ventures has meant that businesses have begun to spend more time investigating how invoice finance can provide assistance.
However, a recent poll conducted by sister site SmallBusiness.co.uk revealed that a hefty 63 per cent of small businesses still do not know what invoice finance discounting is, while 21 per cent use it and 15 per cent do not.
– See more at: http://www.growthbusiness.co.uk/growing-a-business/business-finance/2429327/five-businesses-using-invoice-finance-to-fuel-growth.thtml#sthash.7XIhonAI.paSGlD6S.dpuf
Flybe, the Exeter-based airline, has announced plans to cut 500 jobs across the business, despite reporting a return to profit.
Pre-tax profits were £13.8m for the six months to 30 September, compared with a loss of £1.6m a year earlier.
The company said its turnaround plan was on track to make £40m of savings this year and £45m in 2014-15.
But the pilot’s union, Balpa, said it was “shocked” by the decision to cut jobs. Flybe employs 2,700 staff.
Lombard, the UK’s largest asset finance provider has appointed a new senior relationship manager for the Oxfordshire region.
Nigel Tyson will work in the company’s business and commercial operation covering small- and medium-sized businesses.
He joins the team having developed his expertise over 25 years in the asset finance industry and as a long-term resident of Oxfordshire.
Commenting on the market for asset finance in Oxfordshire, Tyson said: “In a survey that Lombard conducted in April 2013, we learnt that since the economic downturn 57% of businesses in and around Oxford have turned away new business because they were hesitant about investing in new equipment.
“This is something that we want to help change so that local businesses can capitalise on opportunities.”
Tyson will report to Steve Weeks, director of asset finance for Oxfordshire and Wiltshire.