The chancellor is expected to bring forward a bill in 2013 to ringfence retail banking as proposed in the Vickers report. A cross-party banking commission has also proposed giving regulators powers to impose legal duties on bank directors to prevent them from finding holes in the ring fencing, as well as a reserve power to break up banks completely if ring fencing fails. FT, p.1.
House prices in England and Wales are set to decline in 2013, according to Hometrack. The firm has recorded six consecutive months of price falls, and as a result prices fell in two thirds of postcodes in 2012. However, the capital continues to buck the trend, and the average London house price is now 10% above its 2007 peak. Times, p.33, FT p.3
The Express has taken an untypically negative view on mortgages, arguing that mortgage costs are likely to soar next year because of a potential rise in interest rates. They state that many economists are penciling in a rise at the end of 2013 – 18 months earlier than anticipated. A rise of 0.5% would add £500 to annual repayments on a £100,000 mortgage. Express, p.4
Businesses have turned to temps in the place of permanent staff in 2012 according to the Association of Professional Staffing Companies. They calculate that permanent placements fell by 2% in the year, while temporary roles picked up the slack, rising by 4%. IT proved the most active sector, with temporary hiring up 6%. Media and marketing saw permanent placements fall by 15%, although temporary hires were up 8%. Times, p.35