A fall in business lending and a ‘lacklustre’ month for the mortgage market raised concerns over efforts to get credit flowing yesterday. The Bank of England’s Trends in Lending report showed that business lending shrank 3.1% in the year to August, with loans to smaller companies shrinking since June last year. The Council of Mortgage Lenders also reported a 10% fall in home loans. Adam Marshall, policy director at the British Chamber of Commerce, said the figures ‘reflect underlying uncertainty across the economy’. The Independent
The Daily Mail’s Hugo Duncan reports that Redrow chairman Steve Morgan has abandoned his plans to buy Redrow, the housebuilder he founded after seven weeks of takeover talks. He had left the company in 2000 but returned in 2009 as executive chairman following a boardroom coup. Morgan had proposed a 152p-a-share offer worth £560m through his investment vehicle Bridgemere Securities.
In the Financial Times, Sharlene Goff writes that Barclays has set aside a further £700m to refund customers wrongly sold payment protection insurance, bringing its total provision to £2bn.
Recruitment / Employment
The Sun’s Steve Hawkes says some 6,000 Comet staff face uncertainty over their jobs after OpCapita, the private equity group that owns the chain, was reported to be considering three bids. Sources claim OpCapita agreed not to put Comet into administration for two years after buying it from Kesa 11 months ago.