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Lloyds profits fall as it takes £660m hit on TSB sale

Lloyds Banking Group has reported an 11 per cent fall in pre-tax profit for the first quarter of the year, after making a £660m loss on the sale of TSB. The bank’s Q1 results, published today, show it made a £1.2bn profit in the first three months of the year, down from £1.4bn in the […]

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Is Steve Webb under threat from Lib Dem polling crash?

Pensions minister Steve Webb may face an uphill battle to retain his seat in the Liberal Democrat stronghold of Thornbury & Yate after a Comres poll predicted support for the party in the South West is set to collapse. Webb was elected in 2010 with a majority of 14.8 per cent, and polls conducted by […]

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Under attack: Advisers warned of cyber risks of ‘insecure’ email

Advisers are exposing their clients to the risks of fraud and theft, experts warn as research reveals hundreds of firms are using non-secure email addresses. Data from Matrix Solutions compiled for Money Marketing shows 9 per cent of advice firms use a webmail domain name as their company email address. Of a sample of 4,945 […]

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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