City AM (386)

Another profit warning... boss walks. Provident Financial's woes worsen

Provident Financial Britain's biggest doorstep lender has been hit by another profit warning. And as business spirals downwards, the chief executive has quit with immediate effect. The firm has been struggling to collect debts. It admitted this morning current collections performance is running at ...

EY replaces KPMG in audit battle for mining giant

Big Four accountant EY has snared a lucrative victory, replacing KPMG as mining giant BHP Billiton's auditor. BHP conducted an audit tendering process during the year in the wake of regulations forcing firms to rotate their statutory accountants. As a result, incumbent KPMG did not bid to ...

Dalian Wanda ditches Nine Elms Square plans

Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda has ditched plans to buy London's Nine Elms Square, it was announced this morning. Property developer St Modwen Properties said it has sold the building for £470m to an unnamed buyer.  St Modwen and joint venture partner Vinci said the sale was "following an ...

Govt promises 'close co-operation' in cross-border legal disputes after Brexit

The government will today set out plans to make "close co-operation" with EU courts at the heart of talks surrounding cross-border legal disputes.  In yet another position paper published by the Department for Exiting the EU , David Davis and team will promise "certainty" after Brexit for ...

What you need to know before the open

Today's top story: The UK's current account deficit was even bigger than we thought Today's leader: Macron faces an uphill battle to reform France European markets are expected to open up this morning, after Asian stocks rose on news of robust metals prices. The FTSE 100 is seen 27 points higher ...

BHP Billiton commits to US shale exit

Global mining behemoth BHP Billiton has pleased shareholders by committing to a US shale exit and slashing net debt. Annual underlying profits surged to $6.7bn , the Australian firm announced overnight. Net debt fell from $16.3bn to $10.0bn. Markets chose to focus on the debt and ...

City Moves for 22 August 2017 - who's switching jobs?

Today's City Moves cover business development, forensic accounting, property and legal eagles. Take a look at these movers and shakers: Quilter Cheviot Quilter Cheviot has recently strengthened its presence in London and the home counties with the appointment of two members to its business ...

Ten years on: Three personal finance lessons from the crash

People forget. Or tend to have very short memories. But if there’s one event that seems to be burned into our consciousness, it’s the financial crisis. Now 10 years on, it continues to cast a long shadow. Pinpointing a single event or date as marking the start of the global financial ...

At least our mandarins have managed to √ʬĬėtake back control√ʬĬô

As a long-time Brexit watcher, I feel there is serious change in the air. At long last Britain is taking back control. Or more accurately, the British state is taking back control from the politicians. The proposals being put forward are complex and internally contradictory, but are miles away from ...

Without action, millennials will be pensioners in poverty

If it is a truth, universally acknowledged, that we have been living in a golden age of retirement, it must also be the case that the golden age will end. Does 2017 mark the tipping point? Pensioners today are nearly three times better off than their parents according to the latest ONS report, which ...

Shareholders need to get to grips with their remuneration responsibilities

Say you¬†own a business with a sole employee. Me. And tomorrow morning the lead article in one paper or another makes a sharp point that I’m outrageously overpaid. Whose responsibility is it that the situation is dealt with? Yours. You own the business, you fix the remuneration, you decide if ...

DEBATE: Is the Economists for Free Trade √ā¬£135bn figure realistic?

DEBATE: Is the Economists for Free Trade ¬£135bn figure realistic? YES –¬†Professor Graeme Leach, member of Economists for Free Trade. The impact of unilateral free trade on an economy is not rocket science, but it is enormously powerful. EU membership means surrounding the UK with a ...

Tui CEO Friedrich Joussen on how holidays are like bread

As the chief executive of a company that is headquartered in Germany but listed in London, Tui’s Friedrich Joussen is well-placed to evaluate the challenges that lie ahead as Britain leaves the European Union. “A strategy is needed to execute the vote,” he told City A.M. during one ...

Business groups urge UK and EU to make progress

Business groups have called on the UK and EU to accelerate talks on a transitional arrangement, as industry chiefs gave a cautious welcome to the government’s latest Brexit position papers. The Department for Exiting the EU yesterday revealed four key aims for goods on the market when talks ...

Rooney gives England boss Southgate food for thought

Former Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney revelled in silencing his critics after netting his 200th Premier League goal in Everton’s draw with Manchester City. Half-time substitute Raheem Sterling rescued a point for City inside the final 10 minutes after Rooney’s second goal in as ...

Has Britain stopped saving? Experts point out flaws in official figures

Policymakers are in danger of being duped into thinking UK households have stopped saving and embarked on a debt-fuelled spending spree, Britain's biggest insurance mutual has warned. Royal London challenged figures released by the Office for National Statistics earlier this year that suggested the ...

How analysts are reacting to the Rathbones-Smith & Williamson merger talks

Analysts are anticipating yet more consolidation in the asset management industry after Rathbone Brothers confirmed it was in merger talks with Smith & Williamson. Rathbones’ share price remained flat today¬†after it confirmed to the stock market that it is in exclusive talks with its rival ...

Froome boosts bid for double by taking Vuelta lead in Andorra

Britain’s Chris Froome resolved to fight for every second after claiming the leader’s red jersey with a gutsy ride on the first mountain stage of the Vuelta a Espana on Monday. Froome crossed the line third in Andorra la Vella as Vincenzo Nibali won stage three, but bonus seconds allowed ...

Quantitative easing is 'like heroin' says former top Treasury official

The quantitative easing bond-buying programmes pursued by major central banks around the world are “like heroin”, according to the former top Treasury civil servant. In an unusual intervention Lord Macpherson, who served as permanent secretary to the Treasury, said today it is ...

Cambridge University Press backtracks on China censorship

Cambridge University Press made a U-turn today on a decision to prevent Chinese users from viewing some content. The publisher said it will no longer suppress articles on subjects which the Chinese government objected to, following protests against the move.  Access to articles covering topics ...

Eniola Aluko hits out at FA over her bullying claim

Chelsea striker Eniola Aluko believes the manner in which her complaint of alleged bullying, harassment and discrimination was handled by the Football Association could discourage others from airing similar concerns. England head coach Mark Sampson and the FA were last year cleared of any ...

Seneca says it will stop investing in US stocks and shares

Investment manager Seneca has caused a stir in the industry today, saying that it will completely eliminate exposure to US equities in its Global Income & Growth Trust. The firm believes that the US has moved from the “recovery” phase of the business cycle to the “expansion” ...

Macron faces an uphill battle to reform France

It is¬†six months to the day since Emmanuel Macron visited Britain to address a rally of adoring London-based supporters. The energetic President-elect was flying ahead in the polls at the time, his En Marche party undoubtedly Europe’s political movement du jour. The hype was understandable. A ...

The UK is still a driving force in tech M&A despite Brexit

The UK is still a power to be reckoned with in the technology sector despite Brexit, according to a series of reports on tech mergers and acquisitions from advisory firm Hampleton Partners. M&A involving British companies accounted for one in 10 e-commerce deals in the first half of 2017, the report ...

Goal-shy Brighton agree √ā¬£12m deal with FC Zurich for striker

Premier League newcomers Brighton and Hove Albion are set to reinforce their striking options after reaching an agreement with Swiss club FC Zurich for the signing of Ghana forward Raphael Dwamena. Having had an approach for the 21-year-old rejected earlier in the transfer window, Brighton have ...

One extra day of Waterloo travel trouble as upgrade closure is extended

The massive upgrade work to boost capacity at London Waterloo by 30 per cent has been extended after a partial train derailment last week. Network Rail announced today that platforms 1 to 14 will be shut for an extra day, from Thursday 24 August, and then throughout the bank holiday weekend, with ...

This flying car startup just hired a former UK taxi boss

The former top boss for ride-hailing startup Gett in the UK and Europe has resurfaced at another tech company with even grander ambitions. Remo Gerber, who oversaw the expansion of Uber rival Gett in the UK and more widely in the region during which time it landed $300m from Volkswagen, has ...

Deutsche Bank plans to expand UK wealth management operation

Deutsche Bank is planning to expand its wealth management operation in London. The planned growth of its private bank comes at a time when the firm is mulling moving thousands of other jobs away from the UK because of Brexit. But Peter Hinder, Deutsche Bank’s head of wealth management for ...

A raft of small British firms have won Heathrow funding for trade missions

Heathrow has today announced the 20 successful small and medium-sized businesses it will fund trade missions for in an export grant programme. The small businesses have been awarded grants as part of the £40,000 programme the airport runs in partnership with the Department for International ...

'Hey Siri': Now you can transfer money with just your voice

"Hey Siri, transfer some money." Apple's virtual assistant just got more useful thanks to Barclays, which has become the first high street bank in the UK to let customers use just their voice to transfer cash. iPhone users simply need to tell Siri who they want to move money to without even having ...

Retirees have seen incomes plummet since the financial crisis

Today’s retirees are facing the prospect of surviving on half the income they would have expected 10 years ago. A combination of a fall in inflation-adjusted wages, lower market returns, and plummeting annuity rates mean today’s pensioners must manage on 46 per cent lower income, ...

Scheduled services at St Helena airport just drew a big step closer

A test flight by South African airline Airlink with an Embraer jet has successfully landed its test flight to St Helena airport today, signalling a big step towards the start of a new scheduled service for the remote island. The trial flight is to prove to South African authorities that the plane ...

Warehouse investment company to float on London Stock Exchange

A warehouse investment company that works with Amazon and Asda is planning to float on the London Stock Exchange. The real estate investment trust is newly incorporated and will be seeking to raise £150m. After flotation, Warehouse REIT will seek to invest in UK assets in urban areas. It has ...

Brexit position papers revealed: Here's what Dexeu is seeking next

The UK is seeking to guarantee "frictionless" trade on day one after Brexit, the first of the government's position papers published today reveals.  The Department for Exiting the EU has set out four key aims for goods on the market, ahead of the next round of talks.  They are:    To ensure ...

Global Ports Holding's shares sink on first half loss

Shares in the world's largest cruise ports operator fell nine per cent this morning after Global Ports Holding reported a first half loss. At the time of writing, shares were down nine per cent at 620p.

One in four Brexit voters think they were misled by Leave campaign

A quarter of people who voted for Brexit believe they were duped by the Leave campaign - and a number of them would now vote to Remain, a new poll suggests.  Some 26 per cent of people who voted to leave the European Union said the campaign for Brexit was either "mostly" or "completely" ...

Online estate agent Emoov raises √ā¬£9m in latest funding round

Online estate agent Emoov has raised £9m in its latest investment round, City A.M. can reveal.  The group said the new injection of funding brings its enterprise value to £40m. Emoov is planning to plug the money into its technology platform and marketing. The company said the latest fundraising ...

How to tackle the PR challenge facing Uber's Kalanick

Former¬†Uber chief executive, Travis Kalanick, has hired reputation management firm Teneo BlueRubicon to “refresh his tarnished image”, according to reports. Whether it’s real news or fake news, it makes the news because Kalanick is news. And because an executive’s personal ...

These are the best and worst Tube lines as ranked by Londoners

It's the moment you've all been waiting for. YouGov has surveyed 1,513 Londoners who use the London Underground to settle the heated debate of just what takes the title as the capital's best Tube line, and which comes bottom of the rankings. Taking the top spot is the Jubilee Line, with 51 per cent ...

US dollar edges higher ahead of Jackson Hole symposium

The dollar edged higher against the euro in early trading in Europe ahead of a closely-watched meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole¬†in Wyoming this week. The dollar was 0.2 per cent higher against the euro, at €0.8517, and flat against sterling, at ¬£0.7769, before the three-day central ...

Airport signs ground-breaking China partnership amid √ā¬£80m expansion

Edinburgh Airport has signed a ground-breaking partnership agreement with Beijing Capital International Airport,¬†whilst also beginning work¬†on an ¬£80m expansion. Edinburgh Airport, Scotland’s largest carried 12.3m passengers in 2016 and is on track to surpass that record-breaking year in ...

Ofgem threatens electricity distribution networks with √ā¬£13.9m in fines

Ofgem has warned Britain's electricity distribution network operators that their revenues could be cut by up to £13.9m if they fail to improve customer service. The energy watchdog set operators an incentive to better engage with larger customers requiring new connections as part of their ...

Elon Musk's latest dire warning about killer robots is directed at the UN

Tesla entrepreneur Elon Musk and Mustafa Suleyman, the co-founder of Google's DeepMind Artificial Intelligence arm, are among a group of experts who have warned the United Nations it must take action to prevent the development of killer robots.  The letter, signed by 116 experts in the field of ...

The bus is back: Volkswagen's electric camper van is coming in 2022

Volkswagen's classic camper van is officially going electric and will go on sale in 2022, the car company has confirmed. VW said its concept car, the ID Buzz, is being further developed in preparation for its launch as a production vehicle. The concept stirred up a great deal of interest when it ...

Internet customers to be much worse off if Ofcom caves to industry pressure

Broadband customers are set to be short-changed out of tens of millions of pounds if regulators cave into the demands of Britain's largest internet providers, a leading consumer group has warned. In March Ofcom revealed plans to force internet firms to automatically compensate customers for poor ...

Total is buying Danish shipping giant Maersk's oil unit for $7.45bn

Danish container shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk is set to sell its oil and gas unit to France's Total for $7.45bn in order to focus on its core transport and logistics businesses. Maersk will receive a consideration of $4.95bn in Total shares and Total will assume $2.5bn of ...

New South Western Railway franchise hit with RMT protests at Waterloo

The new South West Trains rail franchise holder is facing its first row with the Rail, Maritime and Transport union on its first full day of service as the union protests about the role of the guard. The union arranged a demonstration for the morning of Monday 21 August at Waterloo station, which ...

Train delays to last all day at London Paddington due to a derailed train

Train services in and out of London Paddington will be disrupted today due to a derailed train.  A train came off the tracks at the station yesterday, and timetables are still subject to change as a result.  Great Western services may be cancelled or delayed by up to 20 minutes, National Rail ...

John Menzies, who? DX shares return as it focuses on plan B shake-up

Delivery firm DX is set to kick-off plan B of its transformation as shares in the troubled firm resume trading this morning. DX had hoped to resize its distribution arm by merging with logistics firm John Menzies. But last week John Menzies walked away from the deal amid concerns over DX's ...

Soho revamp continues as Shaftesbury snaps up Berwick St property for √ā¬£39m

The revamp of London's West End is set to continue as real estate investment trust Shaftesbury PLC has snapped up a long-leasehold interest in a Soho property.  The Reit has agreed to pay £38.5m for 90-104 Berwick Street, London W1, close to the new Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station. The ...