UK government details loans under RBS insurance scheme
The UK government has today issued details of the Royal Bank of Scotland's participation in the asset protection scheme and there is some concern about the make-up of the loans in question. More than half of the £280 billion of loans in the scheme have been agreed with foreign entities, something which is causing concern within the UK government. In reality, the UK taxpayer is paying to ensure loans which were agreed with foreign entities.
The massive document which details the RBS participation in the scheme also confirms that the UK government has the power to "parachute in" experts if it believes that the loans in question are not being managed correctly. Nobody quite expected the amount of detail which has been published and indeed there will be some embarrassment to those involved in the loans in question.
The Royal Bank of Scotland's entry to the scheme is funded by the UK taxpayer and will see the government's share stake in the business increase from 70% to 84%. It is also believed that the UK government has obtained the authority to block any staff bonus payments from Royal Bank of Scotland although whether this particular power will be used in the short to medium term is open to debate.
Who will cover the growing BT pension fund deficit?
It is believed that the BT pension deficit has now reached £9.4 billion and while there are plans afoot to fill the hole left in the pension scheme, it would seem that BT's competitors may well be asked to pay "their fair share". Ofcom is said to be considering a request to increase wholesale telephony charges, the fees which BT is allowed to charge competitors for using the BT network, by 4% a y...Read More
When a cash fund is not actually a cash fund!
The Association of British insurers, one of the more powerful investment associations in the UK, is to launch a thorough investigation into cash funds after standard life was forced to pay compensation when its cash fund fell in value. The investigation will centre on money market instruments such as bonds and short-term deposits, many of which have gone "bad" as a consequence of the economic down...Read More
Is Britain really the worst place to live?
A report out today suggests that Britain is the worst place to live in Europe, even though the report highlighted that it also has the highest income per person in the euro zone. With an average after-tax household income of over £35,000 it is some £10,000 higher than the European average but when taking into account the cost of living and other elements, it appears that Britain is the worst pla...Read More
US banking sector under pressure
A report into the US banking sector has cited concerns among regulators that Citigroup and Bank of America may need to raise more capital to ensure their long-term future. The so-called "stress tests" which banking regulators around the world have been carrying out over some time have apparently shown that these two banks need to raise more capital in the short term.
Shares in both...
Government announces emergency budget on 22 June
As the UK government readies itself for an emergency budget on 22 June what can we as UK taxpayers expect to hear? Even though the UK government is set to confirm £6 billion in public sector investment cuts on 24 May it is likely we can expect further public sector investment reductions to be announced in the budget. Many people also believe we will see an increase in basic VAT from 17.5% to 2...Read More