The Business: Wednesday July 16 2014
Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday
Is the latest jump in inflation the result of this summer’s good weather? Data from the Office for National Statistics shows the annual pace of inflation rose in June to 1.9% from 1.5% in May, reveals Sky News. Analysing the figures, the ONS pointed out that clothing prices rose month on month at a time when they are usually falling - as stores held off on summer discounts due to warmer weather bringing shoppers out.
Payday lenders would lose more than two-fifths of their revenues, with smaller firms forced out of business, under a further clampdown proposed by the financial watchdog. The Financial Conduct Authority proposes that people taking out payday loans will never have to repay more than twice the sum they borrowed. The watchdog estimates that the ruling would cost the £1bn payday loan industry £420m in lost revenues.
HMRC has published a list of more than 800 schemes that it says are deliberately designed to avoid tax. The list consists of a series of schemes’ reference numbers (SRNs) allowing them to be identified by the taxpayers involved. HMRC will begin demanding the scheme’s disputed tax through accelerated payments when it is handed new legal powers in August. An estimated 33,000 people will receive tax demands for billions of pounds from HMRC over the next two years.
Apple’s iPhones and iPads took a step closer to becoming staples of office life yesterday as the software giant closed a groundbreaking deal with IBM to turn its gadgets into fully business-friendly devices. IBM and Apple have been forced to set aside longstanding enmity as worked bring personal-use gadgets into the office, says the FT. Apple has traditionally had only distant relations with the business world, though it has boasted in recent years of how many companies now use its technology.
“It can tilt the economy back into recession, and we start from a position of vulnerability. There is the possibility that currently responsible lending standards become irresponsible to reckless." Mark Carney says high levels of mortgage debt can have a knock-on effect on household spending.
German sausage-makers have received €338 million (£268 million) of fines for their part in a price-fixing scandal. A watchdog found that agreements were made between manufacturers in an attempt to make supermarkets pay higher prices. “Prices were fixed over many years,” said Andreas Mundt, the president of cartel office which imposed the fines. The Times observes that the price-fixing was the “wurst case scenario for sausage lovers”.
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