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.
Government Figures Confirm Property Market Slump
House sale data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have revealed that the UK housing market has seen a sharp fall in transactions over the last 12 months. Figures for the first 5 months of 2008 show there were 504,000 sales above the £40,000 stamp duty threshold, a fall of over 30% from the 743,000 sales confirmed for the same period last year.
Alarmingly the figures also show s...
Mortgage defaulters urged to contact bank
Homeowners struggling to make their mortgage repayments should take immediate action and contact their provider, according to the head of a financial website. A recent study from MoneyExpert found that 463,000 people, equivalent to four per cent of the UK's homeowners, have missed a payment deadline during the last six months. Sean Gardiner, chief executive of MoneyExpert, said that that although...Read More
UK Working Week Is Over 48 Hours For Many
While it may be in direct contravention of the European Working Time Directive it seems that more and more workers in the UK are being asked to work longer than the regulation 48 hours a week. Unions have announced the rise in those working more than 48 hours a week and called for a halt to the practice, but what can they really do?
It is no coincidence that the rise in weekly wor...
Rescue plan B needed fast
Just a couple of days ago markets reacted with joy to the massive rescue package announced by the UK government, which together with the US deal was seen by many as the way forward, the great escape. But a few days in the world of finance is a long time and today we see stock markets around the world collapsing, investors selling whatever stocks they can get any money for and general panic.
Is the money market rescue starting to kick in?
News that the central libor rate (i.e. the rate charged when banks lend money between each other) has fallen and spreads have reduced is just the news that the stock market needs after a very rocky few days. Rates have actually fallen to the levels they were when Lehmans went under although there is a suggestion that until the economy picks up we may not see substantial further falls.