Investments  

Morning papers: Treasury in talks with FSCS over Dunfermline

The Treasury is working with the FSCS to quantify how much of nearly £780m owed to UK taxpayers will be returned in the wake of Dunfermline Building Society’s collapse four years ago, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The society was placed into resolution in March 2009 and was taken over by the Nationwide Building Society. The Treasury provided nearly £1.6bn to Nationwide and has a claim in the subsequent administration of Dunfermline for £779m.

In a House of Lords written answer last week, Lord Deighton, the commercial secretary to the Treasury, told Lord Laird that his department is now working with the FSCS “to complete the further calculations necessary to determine the final cap on FSCS contributions”.

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Crashing computer systems could see banks hit with fines and customer exodus

Crashing computer systems at Britain’s top banks could see the industry hit with massive fines from regulators and an exodus of customers, experts warn, reports the Mail on Sunday.

Rising fears over computer failures, most conspicuously at Royal Bank of Scotland, which has suffered two system failures in the past week alone, are attracting closer scrutiny from watchdogs. At the same time, research shows that more than one in four customers say they would consider moving banks over a system failure.

HSBC sounds out spin-off of UK unit

HSBC has sounded out investors about a flotation of its UK arm, in a move that would realise value from its high street banking business and address regulatory pressures, reports the Financial Times.

The bank has in recent weeks asked investors whether they would support the sale of a sizeable stake in the UK business. It has also discussed the issue informally at board level, according to three people familiar with the project.

Labour’s energy price cap unwise, says OECD chief

Labour’s plan to freeze energy bills after the election has been branded unwise by the head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, reports The Guardian.

In an interview being broadcast on Panorama on BBC1 on Monday night, the OECD secretary-general, Ángel Gurría, said that preventing firms from raising their prices for almost two years would be a major deterrent for investment.

Troubled Co-op Bank looks to shed £1.7bn in business loans

The Co-operative Bank is hiving off a £1.7bn portfolio of business loans as part of its rescue plans, reports the Daily Mail.

The self-styled ethical bank, which wants to concentrate on serving individuals and small firms, is trying to dispose of loans to businesses with sales of more than £25m, which have been deemed ‘non-core’.

Pension schemes face funding crisis

A PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis of defined benefit pension schemes – which offer guaranteed pensions based on their members’ final salaries – shows that their financial health is still far below the levels seen before the financial crisis, reports the Independent.