- Philip Aldrick, writing in The Daily Telegraph, reports Sir Mervyn King has called on the Chancellor to split up RBS and lift the UK out of its economic torpor. The Bank of England governor said “nothing had been achieved” since taxpayer cash was used to rescue the bank, highlighting that RBS is failing to support small businesses. He urged the government to use its 82% stake to take control and split the bank up. The Mail’s Alex Brummer says the governor is right that RBS needs to be broken up. But Brummer takes issue with the governor’s timing, arguing it was the obvious step to be taken years ago. Brummer believes it might still be worth doing if it speeds up the return of a functioning RBS. The Times, meanwhile, is less supportive of Sir Mervyn. Ian King believes that with a successor confirmed, the government – which has blamed the Bank of England for the lack of growth – no longer needs Sir Mervyn. King (the columnist) says King (the civil servant) is responding in kind by blaming banks for the lack of growth – and that he expects more salvoes from the outgoing governor.
- House prices rebounded in February, according to data released by Halifax yesterday and reported by City AM’ Ben Southwood. The average UK house price climbed 0.5 per cent in the second month of 2013, recovering from January’s 0.3 per cent dip. “It’s not yet full steam ahead for the national housing market, but it is certainly building momentum,” said Marsh & Parsons boss Peter Rollings.
- The biggest payday loan firms have been threatened with closure over the misery and hardship caused by irresponsible or illegal lending, according to Sean Poulter, writing in the Daily Mail. They include market leader Wonga. Yesterday, the Office of Fair Trading gave the 50 firms a deadline of just 12 weeks to clean up their act or lose their credit licences.
Recruitment & Employment
- In the Daily Telegraph, Louise Peacock says candidates need to prepare carefully for a job in the UK after working overseas quoting a new study from recruiter Randstad UK showing just how difficult it is to get a job. Job hunters now spend more than 10 weeks – 25 per cent longer than five years ago – on searching for a new post. Meanwhile, The Independent’s Jonathan Brown reports that a new earnings survey has revealed that a pay gap between male and female graduates still exists after decades of equal-opportunities legislation. Female graduates can expect to earn thousands of pounds less than their male counterparts, with the trend visible across almost all career paths, except the not-for-profit sector.