Are small businesses being locked out of commercial lending?

Small business in the spotlight as de-regulation hits the headlinesSmall businesses are an important part of the US economy, creating wealth and employment opportunities as well as supporting economic growth at grass-roots level. So are small business owners being unfairly hindered by the slew of regulations introduced following the financial crisis of 2008? It’s an issue that’s in the headlines at the moment as ‎President Trump embarks on a full-scale review of the Dodd-Frank Act (2010) which tightened lending restrictions on banks. But are startups finding it impossible to get a foothold, or is growth stalling for existing businesses because of the lack of availability of business funding? Read more…

Trump takes aim at Dodd-Frank

President Trump plans to repeal Dodd-Frank regulationsWhile Donald Trump and Johnny Depp may not appear to have much in common, they are both weighing in at different ends of the spectrum on whether or not the financial services industry requires more or less regulation. Depp is in dispute with his former managers whom he accuses of mismanaging his finances. He has filed 11 complaints and is seeking damages of more than $25 million. Trump, meanwhile, has reaffirmed this pre-election promises to loosen regulations by reversing post-financial-crisis reforms designed to discourage excessive risk-taking – including the dismantling of the Dodd-Frank law of 2010. Read more…

Hard Brexit could result in British banking crisis

Head of Germany’s central bank warns that UK could lose its status as the financial centre of EuropeUK could lose its status as the financial centre of Europe

Since the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, there’s been no clear indication of how the British government intends to carry out the political and economic split. Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty must be invoked before Brexit can begin but with the clock ticking on a two-year negotiation timetable as soon as the process is triggered, the prime minister seems reluctant to push the button too soon. Britain sells almost half of its exports via the single market. A ‘soft’ Brexit would minimise the economic impact on the UK but is unlikely to assuage the concerns of those who voted to reduce immigration. Read more…

Federal Open Market Committee holds interest rates steady

US interest rates remain on hold as the Fed looks for more certainty before signalling a hikeUS interest rates on hold as the Fed looks for certainty

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) made the decision to hold US interest rates steady in July. Market analysts had predicted the hold as the continued threat of economic uncertainty coupled with the upcoming presidential election prevented the Federal Reserve from the announcing a rate hike in the short term. It’s the fifth time the Fed has stuck to its guns since nudging the rate up last December for the first time in nearly a decade. Many believe that it could be the end of the year before a further change is contemplated. Read more…

First conviction secured in Libor rigging scandal

A former derivatives trader has been convicted of fraud following rate rigging scandalFormer City trader imprisoned for his part in the Libor rate rigging scandal

Seven years after it began, the global investigation of the rate-rigging scandal that caused shockwaves across the world has resulted in its inaugural conviction. A 14-year jail sentence has been handed down to former UBS and Citigroup derivatives trader Tom Hayes after becoming the first to be found guilty by a jury of rigging the Libor interest rate. The trial, which is being held in London has resulted in a number of charges against individuals as well as $9 billion-worth of bank regulatory settlements. Read more…

 

Greek stock market plummets as financial woes continue

Greek stock market plummets as financial woes continueTough times for the Greek economy as stocks fall

The Greek stock market plummeted by more than 20% on its first day of trading after the month-long closure prompted by concerns that Greece may be about to leave the eurozone. The Athens stock index saw its worst-ever performance in the minutes after trading began, with banking shares, which make up about a fifth of the index, being hit particularly hard. The overall banking index fell to its 30% volatility limit. Read more…

Chancellor Osborne initiates RBS sale

RBS sell-off

RBS sell-off underway

British Chancellor George Osborne has started the controversial process of transferring bailed-out bank RBS back to private ownership. The sell-off of a 5% stake in the bank – around £2bn-worth of shares – will reduce the taxpayers’ holding to under 75% and is the first sale of shares since the bank was rescued in 2008. The sell-off will result in a loss of around £1bn to the UK taxpayer. Read more…

Trouble at the top as Barclays oust boss

Barclays Chief Executive ousted in boardroom falling outBarclays Chief Exec ousted in boardroom falling out

British bank Barclays has announced that boss Antony Jenkins has been ousted from his job by a disgruntled board just three years after he was promoted to the job in the wake of the Libor scandal. Jenkins is being replaced for now by chairman John McFarland following unrest over the board’s desire for bigger cost cuts and more focus on the investment bank’s performance. Read more…

China stock market in freefall

$3tn wiped off value of Chinese shares$3tn wiped of the value of shares

The Shanghai composite index has plummeted by 6% as panic selling continues to wipe trillions of dollars off the value of Chinese-listed companies. Despite the government’s efforts to stem the tide by relaxing borrowing rules and cutting fees, shares have dropped to less than a third of their June peak. Read more…

Hound of Hounslow arrested

 Hound of Hounslow arrested for helping to cause 2010 flash crashThe Hound of Hounslow

In a drama worthy of a movie script, a solo British trader has been arrested for his part in allegedly triggering a multi-billion-dollar US stock market crash from his parent’s west London house. Navinder Singh Sarao, alias ‘the Hound of Hounslow’ is currently being held at the request of US authorities investigating his involvement in the 2010 ‘flash crash’ which sent shockwaves through in the world’s biggest stock market. But how did it happen and why is the Department of Justice so keen to make an example of Sarao? Read more…