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.
U.K. mutuals on course for more mergers
Over the last few months we have seen problems with the West Bromwich building society, the Dunfermline building society and more recently the Chelsea building society. While a number of operations have been taken over or merged with larger partners, there is a feeling, at least in the offices of KPMG, that more mergers in the sector are inevitable. The financial sector in the UK is changing and t...Read More
Simple mistakes which are handing money to the banking industry
In these times of economic concerns it is vital that the UK public review their banking arrangements on a regular basis and ensure they are getting value for money and services which they actually require. While there are a number of common errors which increase the overall cost of UK banking services, we would like to highlight the following issues: -
Co-operative Bank launches talking ATMs
The Co-operative bank has followed in the footsteps of Barclays, by installing talking cash machines on the streets of the UK. The machines will be aimed at helping blind and partially sighted consumers operate the ATMs, by providing an automated service as well as clearer, high resolution screens. 400 of the units have initially been installed by The Co-operative, while a further 2000 are expe...Read More
Has the OFT bottled the banking overdraft debacle?
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) tonight stands accused of abandoning UK banking customers with the announcement that it will be left up to the banking industry to improve practices and bring in new regulations in the short to medium term. The OFT has given the banking industry two years to make changes such as giving customers the chance to opt out of unarranged overdraft facilities and more comp...Read More
UK banks reduce overdraft rates, but is this the end of the saga?
As we approach the end game with regards to overdraft charges and the ongoing court case, a number of banks in the UK have decided to cut their overdraft charges to levels more in line with those suggested by the regulator. While this particular move has been well received by consumer groups and consumers alike, there is an underlying feeling that what the banks give with one hand they will take a...Read More