City analysts expect that GDP figures published tomorrow will show that economic growth picked up sharply in the second quarter of the year. After a modest growth of 0.3% at the start of the year, experts believe we will see 0.6% growth or even better. The Guardian, P22.
Millions of people in the countryside face higher house prices and more expensive council tax bills but receive less funding for school and other public services, MPs say today. The Commons Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee argues in a report that rural communities suffer a rural penalty and that minsters are failing to address it. P19, The Times; P28, The Independent; P11, The Guardian
George Osborne was warned yesterday that Help to Buy could create a new property bubble. Critics called the scheme “mad” and said that the government’s commitment to underwrite hundreds of thousands of mortgages is “like a drug” that will artificially inflate house prices. P4, The Independent; P1, City AM; P4 The Guardian.
The Royal Bank of Scotland is close to appointing a new Chief Executive to replace outgoing boss Stephen Hester, with an announcement expected as early as next week. The lender is weighing up a shortlist of about four internal and external candidates for the job. B3, The Daily Telegraph. A former HSBC banker, Mark McCombe, has emerged as the leading external candidate. P1, The Financial Times.
Britain’s banks have cut back in lending to small business in all but 22 UK postcode districts, according to data published for the first time yesterday. Lending fell in more than 80% of the country’s 120 postcode areas between 2011 and 2012. P21, The Guardian.
Pressure is rising on banks as they agree to publish local loan data. The seven largest lenders will make public their business, mortgage and unsecured consumer lending figures, listed by postcode. It is part of a long drive to put pressure on banks to lend more. This should encourage competition by helping smaller lenders to identify gaps in the market. P3, City AM.