Paper Summary for Tuesday 17th August 2013


The tax-payers’ stake in Lloyds, the largely state-owned bank, is set to fall from 38.7 per cent to 32.7 per cent. George Osborne began the process of reprivatisation of the bank last night, by selling £3billion worth of shares to US investors. The sale price of the shares is to be announced later today and is likely to be well above the 61.3p a share price needed for the government to make profit. Yesterday the share price closed at 77.3p, so the public purse looks set to benefit from the sale. George Osborne called the sale the first step in retrieving taxpayers money, used by the last government to bail out the banks, and “another step in the long journey to repair what went so badly wrong in the British economy.” The share sale is set to reduce the UKs net debt by £680m and will cut the UKs net cash requirement by £3.3bn, without impacting strongly on borrowers. (The Times p.4, The Telegraph B1, Guardian p.1, FT p.1)

Personal Finance

More than 300,000 Barclays customers are set to receive a refund of hundreds of pounds next month. Yesterday the bank revealed that it had incorrectly charged interest to personal loans customers, in a blunder worth a total of £100 million pounds. The mistakes happened five years ago, with Barclays admission marking another set-back in Barclays attempt to rebuild its image. The Office of Fair Trading is monitoring the reimbursement process, which will see borrowers refunded all the interest they have paid on the loans, since the date of the error. (The Times p.1, Guardian p.22)


The skyline of the city of London is set for another addition. Today, Henderson Global are unveiling plans for a new skyscraper, inspired by the American 20th century skyscraper development that gave rise to buildings such as the Rockefeller centre. The development will sit at 40 Leadenhall Street, close to the Lloyds building, and planning permitting could be ready by 2019. It will be the latest addition to join what Deidre Hipwell refers to as “Gotham City,” and will sit alongside other square-mile projects including the Gherkin, Cheese-grater, the Heron Tower, the Scalpel and the Pinnacle. (The Times B1)


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