UK Paper Summary: Friday 29th November 2013

The Financial Times and The Guardian lead with the news that Mark Carney has signalled that the UK economy is ready to start moving away from loose monetary policy as he announced the withdrawal of Funding for Lending for mortgage lending. After endless questions about what the Bank of England will do to counter a housing bubble the answer finally came yesterday. As well as ending the incentives for cheap liquidity for banks to lend to households, the BofE is also ending a waiver on bank capital requirements for house-hold lending. Mr Carney said the steps put in place would reduce the need for “larger interventions” in the future. The MPC also warned it would require banks to test mortgage borrowers’ ability to withstand larger interest rate rises than they currently do. LEX argues that action was inevitable suggesting that “a Martian landing from outer space and looking for somewhere to live in the UK would immediately realise that government incentives are pumping up Britain’s housing sector and house prices”. Housebuilder’s shares slipped 3-6% on the news. FT, p.1,3,LEX; Guardian, p.1,2

When it comes to buying homes, house hunters trust their nose more than their eyes. A survey from interior designers A Passion for Homes has shown that nasty smells come top of the list of house-buying turn-offs, ahead of damp patches, cracked walls and bad décor. The problem is not just the usual suspects of wet dogs, kitty litter and cigarette smoke. Buyers claim 10% of whiffs come from the people selling the property. Telegraph, p.19

Personal Finance
Co-op is suffering a customer exodus after the scandals over its chairman and revelations about its finances. In a surprise statement yesterday the bank admitted there had been increasing numbers of customers ditching current accounts. Experts pointed out it must have been a significant number of customers to warrant the stock market announcement. Daily Express, p.20

The main employment news focusses on the announcement of new family-friendly laws that will allow fathers to share up to 50 weeks of parental leave with their partners. New parents will also be able to divide their time off into as many extended breaks as they want as long as their employers agree. The reforms will extend parents’ right to request flexible working to all employees, in an attempt to reflect the growing role of grandparents and other carers in looking after children. Times, p.1,2 ; Telegraph, p.1.2


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