Promo menarik pada undian Data HK 2020 – 2021.
Unions have criticised Lloyds Banking Group as it announces the closure of 44 more branches across England and Wales this year.
The Unite union says the move is a “bitter blow for customers, staff and local communities”, at a time when people need support from the financial services sector more than ever.
Unite national officer, Caren Evans, said:
“The decision by Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) to further erode its presence within our communities is baffling. The closure of 44 more bank branches will deny our communities of essential services such as access to cash and experienced highly trained staff. A local ATM is not a suitable alternative to a staffed bank branch.
In recent times LBG has spent significant resource to sell its message of ‘Helping Britain Recover’. Unite seriously question how this decision to walk away from local communities promotes this message at a time when the customers will rely on the financial services sector support more than ever.
According to Unite, 166 full-time equivalent staff will be affected by the decision to close 29 Lloyds Bank and 15 Halifax branches in 2021. Unite says that Lloyds has given the union a commitment that most staff affected will be redeployed, with some voluntary redundancies.
It takes the total number of Lloyds closures this year to 100.
Lloyds says that it is seeing “significantly” fewer transactions at these locations, at a time when many customers are moving to electronic banking instead.
Vim Maru, retail director for Lloyds Banking Group, said Lloyds digital banking customers had grown by over four million in five years, to almost 18 million, including 13.6m active app users.
“This means that, like many businesses on the high street, we must change for a future where branches will be used in a different way, and visited less often.
“We’ll continue to invest in our high street presence, as this week we’re opening a new concept Bank of Scotland branch in Edinburgh, the only bank to take up residence in the new St James Quarter.
The Evening Standard have a list of the branches being closed.
The surge in hiring at UK firms this month is a very encouraging signal, says Dean Turner, Economist at UBS Global Wealth Management:
“Although down from their recent peaks, today’s PMI figures signal that the recovery in the economy charges ahead.
There were some particularly encouraging signals for hiring, although evidence of price pressures and supply constraints continue to feature in the surveys. Encouragingly, the economy continues to respond positively to the easing of restrictions. The recent delay to the final stage of lifting restrictions shouldn’t hamper the recovery in a meaningful way.
The dip in the UK composite PMI this month (to 61.7, from 62.9) suggests the pace of economic recovery may be peaking, says Kieran Tompkins of Capital Economics.
If so, the UK’s monthly GDP growth rates may slow after hitting 2.3% in April.
Inflation pressures do not seem to have peaked, though, he points out, with firms facing rising input costs, supply chain problems, and pressure to raise wages to attract staff.
- There is little sign in the manufacturing sector of supply issues and pipeline price pressures abating soon. Suppliers’ delivery times lengthened by the second greatest extent on record and input prices set a fresh record high for the second consecutive month. What’s more, output prices rose from 68.3 to 73.2, which on past form is consistent with core producer output price inflation rising from 2.6% in May to around 6.5%. That would suggest core goods CPI inflation could rise to 5.0% in the coming months, which is enough to add 1.0 percentage point (ppt) to May’s overall CPI inflation of 2.1%.
- The fall in the services PMI from 62.9 to 61.7 was a surprise given that the survey captured a full month of indoor hospitality reopening. But the lofty level suggests that the sector is still growing healthily. There were some worrying signs, though, of recruitment difficulties. At face value, the rise in the services employment balance from 56.7 to 58.7, which suggests growth in services employment could rise from -2.7% y/y in Q1 to +2.0% y/y, indicates that hiring is strong. But combined with the increase in input costs to 71.6, just shy of a record high, this suggests that there could be a rise in wage pressures.
Here’s the full note:
IHS Markit’s Chris Williamson also warns that the surge in UK growth may have peaked (as the composite PMI dipped to 61.7 this month, from May’s 62.9, showing slightly slower growth).
Williamson adds that inflation could rise further over the Bank of England’s 2% target (it hit 2.1% in May), because firms are seeing input costs, and their own output prices, rising at unprecedented rates.
“Businesses are reporting an ongoing surge in demand in June as the economy reopens, led by the hospitality sector, meaning the second quarter looks to have seen economic growth rebound very sharply from the first quarter’s decline.
There are some signs that the rate of expansion appears to have peaked, as both output and new order growth cooled slightly from May’s record performances, but full order books and a further loosening of virus-fighting restrictions should nevertheless help ensure growth remains strong as we head through the summer.
However, inflation worries have continued to intensify. Record levels of the survey’s price gauges and the further development of capacity constraints hint strongly that consumer price inflation has much further to rise after already breaching the Bank of England’s 2% target in May.
Employment growth at UK companies has surged this month as companies struggle to handle rising demand as the economy emerged from lockdown this spring.
That’s according to the latest survey of purchasing managers at UK firms, from data firm Markit.
It found that companies are responding to rising workloads by taking on extra staff this month, at the fastest rate since its survey began in 1998.
The ramping up of new business increased demand for staff at services firms in June, Markit says. Jobs growth at services companies was only fractionally below the record posted seven years ago, following the recent reopening of hospitality venues, leisure sites and many shops.
Manufacturers also reported strong jobs growth, only slightly below May’s record, as firms “scaled up workforce numbers in response to surging workloads.”
This suggests that the recent recovery in the jobs market is continuing (company payrolls rose by almost 200,000 in May, and the jobless rate fell to 4.7% in February-April)
The survey also found that some companies are lifting wages as they struggle to attract staff, says Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.
“Although businesses also reported a record increase in employment during June, many firms continued to report a lack of capacity to meet the recent surge in demand, often due to staff and supply shortages.
The survey also found growing evidence of labour shortages feeding through to higher wage costs, which could add to worries that the recent spike in inflation could prove stickier.”
Overall, new orders continued to surge, with marked increases seen at services firms and manufacturers.
However, growth in new export orders was much softer than that seen for total new business, with a second successive drop in services new business from abroad.
Companies also reported that inflationary pressures are rising.
Markit’s gauge of input cost inflation accelerated for the fifth month running, and was the joint-fastest on record, equal with that seen in June 2008.
This is leading companies to raise their own prices, with the rate of output price inflation hit a fresh record high for the second month running.
The overall ‘flash’ UK composite PMI, which tracks manufacturers and services companies, dipped slightly to 61.7 this month from May’s 62.9.
That suggests a slight cooling in the pace of the recovery, but still shows strong growth:
- Flash UK Services Business Activity Index June: 61.7, 2-month low (May final: 62.9)
- Flash UK Manufacturing Output Index June: 62.0, 2-month low (May final: 63.0)
- Flash UK Manufacturing PMI June: 64.2, 2-month low (May final: 65.6)
But, some manufacturers reported that production was restricted to some extent this month by severe supply-chain disruption. Vendor delivery times worsened, towards the trough seen in the first lockdown in April 2020.
Duncan Brock, Group Director at CIPS, says:
“The month of June offered abundance in terms of rapid growth and new orders along with the highest levels of job creation since 1998 in private sector business. The lockdown lid was lifted on depressed sales and marketplaces buzzed with activity and optimism.
“It was only struggling supply chains that constrained further expansion. The manufacturing sector experienced longer delivery times and more shortages for items such as semi-conductors, preventing many businesses from meeting demand. Some supply chain managers increased forward buying activities to beat future delays but only served to add to the lengthening times for their goods.
“As materials were increasingly hard to come by, they once again became more expensive. Record cost inflation last seen in 2008 filtered through to increasing output costs as manufacturers were unable to absorb these rapid rises any longer. In service businesses, consumers were hit with considerably higher prices for food and hospitality, increasing the threat of soaring inflation in the UK economy this summer.”
The surge in eurozone growth this month shows that Europe’s vaccination programme, which has sped up radidly after a slow start, is helping its economy – particularly services sector firms.
Oliver Blackbourn, portfolio manager at Janus Henderson, explains:
Eurozone PMI surveys saw another jump in the services sector as the bloc gears up its reopening in response to the vaccination roll out and declining infections.
While the manufacturing survey has been above 60 since March, the closer-contact services sector has lagged as the eurozone continued to struggle with COVID-19 infections. With the percentage of the population receiving a first jab now approaching 50% in the EU, confidence is clearly returning to the most stricken parts of the eurozone economy.
Germany is leading the region in getting shots into arms and that translated into an almighty 5-point surge in its service sector survey response. With the eurozone’s largest economy also seeing tremendous growth in its manufacturing sector, the consensus forecasts for 9% year-on-year growth this quarter do not look unachievable.
European stock markets have dipped this morning, despite the surge in activity at eurozone companies this month.
The Stoxx 600 has dipped 0.15%, with Germany’s DAX (-0.45%) and France’s CAC (-0.4%) both lower.
The FTSE 100 has inched into the green, up 4 points at 7093 (+0.05%). Royal Dutch Shell (+2%) is the top riser, after Brent crude hit $75.66 per barrel, the highest in over two years.
Inflation is still on investors’ minds. Yesterday, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell told US lawmakers that the Fed was focused on achieving a “broad and inclusive” recovery in the job market, and wouldn’t raise interest rates too quickly based only on the fear of coming inflation.
“The (business activity) data doesn’t matter. The only data that matters is inflation,” said Keith Temperton, a sales trader at Forte Securities.
“It’s all about central banks feeding the sugar high to the market and that’s not going to end in a hurry, because if it does, everything will crash.”
The eurozone recovery is strengthening, with business growth accelerating at its fastest pace in 15 years this month.
The reopening of Europe’s economy after lockdowns, and the progress in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, is boosting growth and confidence, and unleashing pent-up demand, according to the latest data from IHS Markit.
It’s Eurozone Composite PMI has jumped to 59.2 in June from 57.1 in May, its highest level since June 2006, showing rapid growth (anything over 50 indicates expansion).
It suggests that the euro area is recovering strongly after falling into a double-dip recession earlier this year.
Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit, explains:
“The eurozone economy is booming at a pace not seen for 15 years as businesses report surging demand, with the upturn becoming increasingly broad-based, spreading from manufacturing to encompass more service sectors, especially consumer-facing firms.
“Virus containment measures have been eased to the lowest since last September and are set to be reduced further in July to the lowest since the pandemic began.
Vaccination programmes are also making impressive progress. This has not only facilitated greater activity in the service sector in particular, but the brightening prospect of life increasingly returning to normal has also pushed confidence to an all-time high, fueled greater spending and encouraged hiring.
“The data set the scene for an impressive expansion of GDP in the second quarter to be followed by even stronger growth in the third quarter.
Eurozone firms reported that new orders accelerated at the fastest pace since June 2006.
Manufacturing continued to lead the upturn, with the twelfth successive month of output growth, while the service sector continued its strong recent recovery.
- Flash Eurozone Services PMI Activity Index rose to 58.0 from 55.2 in May, a 41-month high.
- Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI Output Index rose to 62.4, from 62.2 in May, a 2-month high
- Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI at 63.1, unchanged from May
Both Germany and France have seen a surge in private sector activity, today’s PMI reports show:
But, Markit’s flash eurozone PMI survey also shows that inflationary pressures are rife as supply chains struggled.
Prices charged for goods and services rose at an unprecedented rate this month, with supply struggling to meet in demand. There was also a record rise in work backlogs, a further near-record lengthening of supply chains, and the increasingly widespread depletion of warehouse inventories.
AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says Persimmon has taken a ‘big step forward’ by agreeing to let leasehold homeowners buy the freehold at a discounted price (capped at £2,000).
“Purchasers of these properties have in some cases been hit by escalating ground rents which have left them heavily out of pocket and struggling to sell homes on as well as claiming they weren’t properly informed during the buying process.
Persimmon’s move today extends some of its existing measures brought in to mitigate the issue, Mould point out. It also puts pressure on other companies being investigated by the competition watchdog:
“Given the support the sector gets from the state-backed initiatives like Help to Buy and the mortgage guarantee scheme, it can’t really afford to put a foot wrong and Persimmon’s actions will ramp up the pressure on the other names under the CMA’s microscope – Countryside Properties, Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey.”
Some of the stories of people caught up in the leasehold scandal are quite shocking.
The problem started when developers began selling houses as leasehold that would traditionally have been freehold, with clauses that allow the ground rent to rise dramatically in later years.
Many people have found that this has made their homes unsellable.
In 2016, we wrote about a couple who bought a Taylor Wimpey home on the edge of Dudley, with a leasehold that saw the ground rent double every 10 years. So from paying £250 in 2009, it would rise to £500 per year in 2019 – and reach £8,000 per year in 2059.
They found they were unable to move house, as some banks and building societies were refusing to give mortgages to prospective buyers.
Homeowners also received an unpleasant shock when they found their leasehold had been sold to an investment firm.
One, Paula Richmond, bought a four-bed house built by Taylor Wimpey in 2011 for £122,000 with 995 more years to go on the lease. At the time, she understood that buying the freehold would cost no more than £2,000-£3,000.
But she then found that her lease has been sold to another company, E&J Estates ,and that she’d have to pay up to £40,000 for the freehold. Again, she’d been warned that “the house is almost unsaleable”, with solicitors warning potential buyers to stay away.
Back in 2017, Taylor Wimpey set aside up to £130m to buyers of some of its new-build leasehold properties who were trapped in spiralling ground rent contracts.
The doubling of ground rent isn’t the only issue in the scandal.
Homebuyers have reported being charged £100 even to have a letter answered by the freeholder, and as much as £2,500 for permission to build a conservatory.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has welcomed today’s agreement:
The Government asked the CMA to conduct this investigation – and I welcome their efforts to bring justice to homeowners affected by unfair practices, such as doubling ground rents, which have no place in our housing market.
This settlement with Aviva and Persimmon is a hugely important step and demonstrates our commitment to support existing leaseholders who may have been mis-sold properties.
We have also introduced new legislation that will protect future homeowners by restricting ground rents in new leases to zero and I would strongly urge other developers to follow suit in amending their historic practices.
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
Britain’s competition watchdog has declared a win for thousands of people caught up in the UK’s leasehold scandal.
The Competition and Markets Authority has secured formal commitments from investment group Aviva and housebuilder Persimmon that will help customers who bought homes on leasehold, rather than owning the freehold.
Aviva is one of several investment companies who bought freeholds from housebuilders.
Some leaseholds on new developments stated that ground rents would double every 10 years.
This left leaseholders trapped in spiralling ground rent contracts, making some homes unmortgageable, and leaving owners unable to move and facing hefty bills – prompting the government to bring forward reforms:
Aviva has agreed to remove controversial and unfair ground rent terms that saw the ground rents paid by leaseholders double every 10 or 15 years, and to repay those who have lost out through those rising ground rents.
The CMA explains:
- Aviva will remove from leasehold contracts certain clauses which were doubling the ground rents payable by leaseholders. It will also remove terms which were originally doubling clauses and have been converted into RPI-based ground rent terms. Doubling clauses that cause ground rents to double every 10 to 15 years mean people can often struggle to sell or mortgage their homes. They can also affect leaseholders’ property rights. Where Aviva is the current freeholder, those leaseholders’ ground rents will revert to the original amount – i.e. when the property was first sold – and this will not increase over time.
- Aviva has also agreed to repay homeowners who were affected by these doubling ground rent clauses. This means that, where ground rents had increased, people will be refunded the excess money they had paid over this time.
Persimmon Homes has agreed to allow leasehold house owners the opportunity to buy the freehold of their property at a discounted price capped at £2,000.
This addresses concerns raised by consumers with the CMA, and local Trading Standards, that they were led to believe they could buy their freehold at a certain price, only to find out later that this price had increased by thousands of pounds with no warning.
Persimmon, which stopped selling leasehold houses in 2017, has agreed to:
- An extension of its existing Right to Buy scheme to cap the purchase price of a freehold at £2,000. This extended scheme will apply to any house leases sold on or after 1 January 2000 and runs until 31 December 2026;
- Customers who have already acquired their freeholds from Persimmon under the existing Right to Buy scheme, and who still own the freehold, can apply to be reimbursed for the difference between the price paid and £2,000;
Persimmon is also extending its Reservation Period for home buyers from 35 days to 42 days.
Last year the CMA launched enforcement action involving Persimmon, Barratt Developments, Countryside Properties and Taylor Wimpey, into whether they had broken consumer protection law in relation to leasehold homes. It is also looking into other investment firms who have bought freeholds.
Today, it is urging other housebuilders and investors to follow Aviva and Persimmon’s lead.
Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, said:
This is a real win for thousands of leaseholders – for too long people have found themselves trapped in homes they can struggle to sell or been faced with unexpectedly high prices to buy their freehold. Now, they can breathe a sigh of relief knowing things are set to change for the better.
It’s good that Aviva and Persimmon have responded positively to this investigation, enabling these issues to be fixed for leaseholders. But our work isn’t done. We now expect other housing developers and investors to follow the lead of Aviva and Persimmon. If not, they can expect to face legal action.
Also coming up today
Flash PMI surveys from businesses in the UK, Europe and the US will show whether the economic recovery is holding up this month.
The UK’s travel industry is holding a day of action to put pressure on the Government to reopen the sector and provide tailored financial support to businesses.
Events are planned outside the parliaments in London and Edinburgh, and in cities and airports around the UK.
Industry body Abta estimates that up to 195,000 jobs have been lost or are at risk within the UK travel industry, while a survey of members found more than half did not have enough money to survive more than three months in current conditions.
Pharmaceuticals group GlaxoSmithKline is holding a capital markets day, where chief executive Emma Walmsley will update investors on her plans to restructure the company into a pharmaceuticals-and-vaccines business, dubbed “New GSK”, and a consumer healthcare business.
It’s a crucial day for Walmsley, since New York-based Elliott Management took a multibillion-pound stake in GSK in April to push for change, with some investors concerned over slow progress with the drugs pipeline.
My colleague Julia Kollewe explains:
The head of Britain’s second-biggest drugmaker will present a 10-year outlook to shareholders and analysts, under pressure from an aggressive US hedge fund to demonstrate that she is the right person to lead the company beyond its breakup next summer.
- 9am BST: Eurozone flash purchasing managers index for services and manufacturing, June
- 9.30am BST: UK flash PMI
- Noon: US weekly mortgage applications
- 3pm: US new home sales
- 3pm BST: US flash PMI