Is George Osborne about to hit the UK banking industry?
Many believe that George Osborne will use his Mansion House speech this evening to launch a number of new initiatives aimed at the UK banking arena. He will warn them that they need to pay for the damage which "they inflicted" on the UK economy and indeed there will be talk of new banking taxes and a banking levy discussed.
It is also believed that many Liberal Democrat politicians are pushing George Osborne to instigate an investigation into integrated banking arrangements such as Barclays Bank, which operate both commercial banking activities and investment banking operations. Some of the more radical moves discussed include splitting commercial banking and investment banking into two separate entities thereby reducing the risk to an overall company from any one of these operations. This is not something which will go down well in the City where the likes of Barclays Bank, one of the integrated banking giants, has operated relatively successfully for many years.
Even though it may seem like a knee-jerk reaction to a once-in-a-lifetime event, i.e. the credit crunch, the UK banking arena could be about to change forever with many people concerned that the financial industry has become too powerful and too influential.
Do we depend on computers far too much?
This weekend's revelation that a number of major stores in the UK saw their electronic payment systems down for anywhere up to 3/4 of an hour is a major blow for those who have been pushing the electronic payment model of the future. It also shows that many of us in the UK depend wholly upon credit cards and debit cards to cover our everyday costs and if the systems are in any way compromised we a...Read More
Bank tracking down 'dormant account' holders
Around 7,000 people have been identified by HSBC as holders of lost or forgotten-about accounts.The bank said that these customers had not touched their money in more than 15 years - and would now be contacted in order to reunite them with the funds.According to HSBC, 5,000 letters are to go out to dormant account holders immediately - with efforts being made to track down the further 2,000 curren...Read More
Is the OFT giving up on the overdraft charge challenge?
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is expected to make an announcement tomorrow regarding the recent setback in the legal battle with UK banks about overdraft charges. While rumours in this particular case have been incorrect before, there is intense speculation that the OFT is about to drop its legal challenge and will not commit itself to an appeal. If the announcement confirms this particular...Read More
Stanford International Bank assets frozen in UK
Alleged fraudster Allen Stanford, who is vigourously defending his good name against the US government, has today received news that over $100 million of assets held by his Stanford International Bank in UK have been frozen. The court order extends until 27 April although it can be further extended with the agreement of a court judge.
Stanford himself is under investigation regardin...
Nationwide to charge customers using debit cards overseas
In a surprise move it has been revealed that the Nationwide is set to scrap the current 1% currency conversion charge on overseas Nationwide debit card transactions in favour of a 2% charge on all overseas transactions and a £1 withdrawal fee. However, the situation is slightly different for those holding Nationwide credit cards as the current 1% overseas charge will be retained for transactions...Read More