Morning papers: Surveyors predict rise in UK house prices

The housing market will heat up across the UK during the summer months, according to a survey that shows optimism at its highest level for 14 years, reports the Financial Times.

The Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors said on Tuesday the industry was now more confident that sales will rise across in England and Wales in the coming quarter than at any point since the trade body began polling members in 1999.

Andrew Tyrie: bank reform legislation ‘so weak as to be virtually useless’

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The government’s pledge to drive through radical banking reforms cannot be relied upon after ministers watered down legislation designed to allow regulators to break up banks, the architect of the changes has claimed, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (PCBS), said that legislation presented to parliament on Monday to “electrify” the planned ringfence between retail and investment banks was “so weak as to be virtually useless”.

Bond sales by Europe banks tumble sharply

Lending to European financial institutions has dropped to its lowest level in a decade as banks shrink their balance sheets and investors grow wary of regulatory risks, reports the Financial Times.

Total issuance of financial institutions’ debt dropped 7 per cent year-on-year to $230.3bn (£153.8bn) for the six months to the end of June, the lowest since 2003, according to figures from Dealogic.

RBS sell-off investigation ruled out

The government has ruled out a broad investigation into whether Royal Bank of Scotland should be broken up and sold off in smaller component parts to foster more competition in the banking sector, reports the Guardian.

As shares in rival bailed-out bank Lloyds Banking Group hit their highest levels in more than two and a half years, of 67p, amid speculation that a sale of the government stake was imminent, the coalition admitted that the sell-off of the 81 per cent-owned RBS was a more distant prospect.

Vince Cable to announce date for Royal Mail privatisation

Members of the public will be allowed to buy shares in Royal Mail in the biggest state privatisation for more than two decades, Business Sectretary Vince Cable will announce on Wednesday, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The announcement to MPs will raise the prospect of a ‘Tell Sid’-style privatisation, similar to the viral marketing campaign which led to the privatisation of British Gas in 1986.