Wriglesworth Paper Summary 20th June 2013

Business and Economic

Banking: George Osborne uses the annual Mansion House speech last night to reveal a range of news on banking sector policy. Will be a review this summer, with announcement in Autumn of whether to hive off RBS ‘bad bank’ assets i.e. Ulster Bank, commercial real estate loans etc from the ‘good bank’ assets. Says that on reflection this should have happened in 2008. Furious reaction from CBI. Also Government is readying for sale of its stake in Lloyds as the bank’s shares are trading above the level the Government acquired them. Osborne also backed the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standard’s call for prosecution of reckless bankers who cause banks to collapse. Finally, said the OFT will bring forward a review examining competition in banking for SMEs. City AM p1, Telegraph p1 and B1, The Times p41, Indy p16

Employment/Recruitment

Women in the workplace: Government says efforts to get women into better jobs needs to start in primary school. Business, Innovation and Skills Committee identified two points where efforts should be focused: at 14 choosing GCSE subjects and at 16 when vocational training or A levels are chosen.  They call for a culture change to raise the aspirations of girls who are still overwhelmingly heading into jobs in social care and beauty, not IT or engineering. CBI also attacked the careers service in schools which they describe as ‘on life support’ in many schools. Times p17 (Rosemary Bennett).

Also in The Times, a report by the Conservative Women’s Forum urges Cameron to do more to help new mothers return to work. The study ‘Executive Women in the Workplace’ examines why female representation at the top of British business remains so dismal. The Times p17 (Laura Pitel)

3 out of 4 on the Government’s £5bn Work Programme have not yet started a job (27% have), although the success rate among young people is higher at 40%. Independent p18

EU yesterday outlined plans to get Europe’s 6 million unemployed young people into work, describing it as a social emergency. Independent p34

Property

China plans to build tallest residential tower in Europe on the South Bank (Nine Elms) – topped off with a 5* hotel to rival The Dorchester. The Times p44 (Deidre Hipwell)

Record amount per sq ft paid for rundown property in Sandbanks Dorset, Telegraph p14

Personal Finance

More than £50bn of dividends distributed by British banks may have been paid illegally according to a legal opinion on the interpretation by banks of International Financial Reporting Standards since 2005. The report was commissioned by some of the country’s leading shareholders and could see them suing former directors of HBOS and RBS. The Times p48

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