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Plans for FCA to withhold fine discounts delayed in Lords

New rules that could have allowed the FCA to withhold discounts to firms who settle on fines early, but do not take action to stop misconduct, have been put on hold as the regulator reviews its stance on financial penalties. An amendment to the Criminal Finances Bill was proposed by Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Sharkey […]

Steve Webb

Webb: Scrapping state pension age rise would cost Labour £300bn

Leaked manifesto commitment called into question by former pensions minister Labour’s leaked manifesto proposal to scrap the planned pension age rise will cost taxpayers around £300bn, says former pension minister Steve Webb. Webb calculates the combined effect of halting the proposed rise from 66 to 67 due between 2026 and 2028 and the planned rise […]

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Apfa: FCA was right to back down over Mifid II

The FCA recently published its mission statement and business plan setting out what it is going to do over the next year. I am often asked what I think of these plans. My answer is that it depends on how the regulator lives up to its professed intentions. In other words, what it does is […]

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Will the latest FCA review hit interest-only mortgages?

Mortgage lenders have downplayed the risks in their interest-only back books as they fear consumers could be left underserved by a hamstrung market. The FCA launched its third review into the sector in just five years last week. It unveiled the latest thematic review in its 2017/18 business plan. The business plan says: “Around 1.8 […]

Japan Economic Insight

James Dowey, Chief Economist, and Paul Caruana-Galizia, Economist

The conventional wisdom is that following a roughly 50 per cent rise in the stock market in 2013 in Yen terms, the Japan trade is over and done*. So the story goes, those big gains were due to a one-off boost from quantitative easing (QE) and a depreciation of the Yen — policies that one should think of as a palliative to Japan’s economic weakness, but not a cure. Rather the cure, and by implication the necessary condition for a longer-term investment case, is deep structural reforms — a painstaking re-weaving of Japan’s economic and social fabric, no less. The story continues: this is a much tougher test than launching a blast of QE, and one that prime minister Shinzo Abe, although well intentioned and well supported by the public thus far, is likely to fail. Stick a fork in Japan, it’s done…continue reading

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