In this morning’s leader column, the Financial Times takes the unusual step of commenting on its choice for the next Governor of the Bank of England. Having conjured a leviathan central bank with vast new powers over the financial system, the FT says there are few more important tasks facing George Osborne than picking the right person for the job. There is no perfect candidate on the shortlist, apparently. Sharon Bowles, the high-profile Liberal Democrat Euro-MP, has engaged vigorously with policy. Sir John Vickers is a distinguished economist whose inquiry has shaped important banking reforms. Lord Turner is a versatile public servant with a cutting-edged intellect. But none of them possess the all-round experience of Mr Tucker. As a BoE lifer he has overseen all the key areas the next governor would have to deal with: monetary policy, prudential supervision, macro-prudential regulation and international markets. The editorial concludes, he’s a “safe solution” and “the best bet”.
Tim Wallace, writing in City AM, says according to the LSL buy-to-let index published today, London rents hit another record high in October as landlords celebrate solid returns on investment. Average monthly rents in the capital jumped 0.9 per cent to £1,102, breaking the £1,100 mark for the first time. In a similar piece, the BBC also quotes Shelter who say the increasing cost “piles on the pressure” for hard-pressed families.” The Guardian’s Mark King also quotes LSL’s research in a piece on owner-occupation, which shows homeownership falling to its lowest level since 1988.
Recruitment & Employment
The Independent’s James Moore believes the FSA is right to argue this year’s bonus season shouldn’t be very festive. He says the Libor and PPI scandals had their genesis in a ‘debased’ culture that many individuals contributed to. As a result, those banks lost a lot of money – and the bonus pools currently under consideration ought to reflect that. Moore has little sympathy with Professor Chris Roebuck of the Cass Business School, who has complained about the FSA’s intervention.
In The Times, Katherine Griffiths writes that credit card insurer and identity protection group CPP has been given a record fine of £10.5 million by the FSA for “widespread mis-selling” and been told to pay some £14.5 million in compensation to customers (the story also runs in the Mirror). Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Jonathan Russell points out that other UK banks are conducting talks with the FSA following the CPP fine; most of their products were sold to consumers by the credit card insurer’s business partners, including Barclays. The FT’s Lombard column (Alison Smith), says the market must really like certainty – shares closed the day up 4 per cent on the news.