The Business: Friday April 11 2014
Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday
The Co-operative Bank has confirmed it made a loss of £1.3bn for 2013, as analysts predicted. The losses come after the troubled lender’s failed bid to buy 632 branches from Lloyds Bank last year. That proposed deal collapsed after the discovery of a £1.5bn black hole in the Co-op Bank's balance sheet. The bank has confirmed it will not pay out £5m to former executives who left following its near collapse last year.
Britain remains over reliant on consumer spending to drive growth, says the head of the IMF, adding that further action is needed to promote stronger exports and investment to ensure the economy is "three engines powered". Although the IMF updated its forecasts for the UK growth to 2.9%, Christine Lagarde told American journalist Charlie Rose: “At the moment [the recovery is] predominantly driven by consumption. The UK has to export more, the UK has to invest more.”
Tesco boss Philip Clarke is taking the business “in the wrong direction”, fear former directors. The Times says “several” ex directors are “dismayed and angry” over the cull of senior talent at Tesco. “[Clarke] is just not good enough. He is doing serious harm to the business,” said one former director who worked at the supermarket group for two decades. “Philip needs to be held accountable for his period as chief executive,” said another.
House prices will soar 35% by 2020, predicts The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, as mortgage lending to first-time buyers jumps 55%. A severe shortage of homes for sale means a growing number of owners are unwilling to move for fear of not finding a new place. This further restricts supply in the face of burgeoning demand, leading to an increase in the value of UK property. A spokesman said it will be “ever harder” for many first-time buyers to own their own home.
More than 600,000 people switched their current account provider in the first six months of the scheme designed to make changing banks easier – a 14% rise on the same period a year ago. The Payments Council, which oversees the scheme, says it has taken the "fear factor" and "barriers" away from switching. The scheme allows current account holders to move their account to another lender within seven days. It had taken up to 30 days previously.
FTSE-100: up +0.10 to 6641.97
Dow Jones: down -1.62 to 16170.22
Dax: down -0.55 to 9454.54
Cac-40: down -0.66 to 4413.49
Nikkei: down -2.48 to 13945.95
Hang Seng: down -0.64 to 23039.40
US dollar: buys €0.71990 and £0.59600
Sterling: buys $1.67770 and €1.20790
Oil: $107.35 down -0.6