The FTSE fell by 2.3% yesterday on news of new turmoil in Greece and the Spanish prime minister dragging his heels on a full bailout. The Spanish government is due today to present a budget to shrink their deficit from 6.3% to 4.5% in 2013, but analysts believe their shrinking economy means this goal is already unachievable. In Greece, riots broke out once more following new spending cuts of £9.1bn , raising fears that the coalition government may crumble.
The Bank of England’s latest quarterly credit conditions survey suggested a significant increase in the availability of secured lending – including mortgages. Encouragingly, banks suggested the strongest improvement in availability was to buyers with a deposit of less than 25%. The Treasury argued that this was a sign that the Funding For Lending Scheme was working.
L’Oreal’s chief believes that if the French government proceeds with a 75% marginal income tax, French companies’ ability to hire top talent will be compromised.
In the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, consumer groups yesterday told MPs that the banking industry is “an unethical mess”, and argued for reform on hidden or unclear banking charges. The Financial Services Consumer Panel singled out unauthorised overdraft charges of £5, stating they have no bearing on the cost of a consumer going over their limit.