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Instinctif Partners

Our Weekly Newsletter

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Our Weekly Newsletter

Across Instinctif Partners’ Financial Services team, we are always keeping an eye on the key developments taking place across the sector to evaluate their impact on the many businesses we work with. Here we share our picks of the week’s most interesting news, and our expert views.

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FCA discusses extending mortgage holidays in excess of a year 
Homeowners who have taken a severe hit to their income as a result of the coronavirus crisis could be given a reprieve from mortgage payments for over a year to ease the pressure on their household finances. The Financial Conduct Authority is considering offering mortgage repayment holidays of between 12-18 months to avoid thousands of people defaulting on mortgages and having their homes repossessed. (From The Times, 12th May 2020)

Government unlocks England’s property market 
The Government announced plans to reopen England’s property market this week, which has been locked shut since the coronavirus lockdown. Estate agents’ offices are now free to open, viewings are permitted, conveyancers can restart operations and removal companies are able to assist movers in relocating to their new property. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP reiterated that the new freedoms must comply with social distancing and safety measures. (From BBC News, 13th May 2020)

Active funds to be ‘tested and proven’ amid Covid  
In his final AGM before stepping down, Standard Life Aberdeen’s Chairman Martin Gilbert says the role of active management is to be “tested and proven” through the coronavirus crisis. Proponents of active fund management claim the majority of actively managed funds will outperform passive portfolios over time. It is added that in the long-term, the effects of the coronavirus crisis on markets could trigger a shift into active funds as the prolonged period of strong performance of equity markets, which made it logical to hold passive funds, comes to an end. (From FT Adviser, 12th May 2020)

Now is the time to emerge as a corporate ‘saint’ not ‘sinner’ 
Kimberly Lewis, director of engagement at fund manager Federated Hermes, observes how the global pandemic has forced an abrupt rethink of a responsible capitalism agenda. While many businesses are battling to survive in the short term, advocates of tackling ESG contend that the pandemic will shift the focus to these issues, leading to greater scrutiny on whether executives are doing the right thing. Certain companies are beginning to emerge as corporate ‘saints’, with asset manager BlackRock signposted as a leader in sustainable investing having pledged to punish companies that failed to meet its expectations on issues including executive pay and managing environmental risk. (From Financial Times, 11th May 2020)

Britons face pay freezes and tax rises to cover £300bn coronavirus bill 
Leaked documents from the Treasury suggest that Britons could face pay freezes and tax rises equal to £300bn to help the UK to overcome the economic shock of the crisis. Chancellor Rishi Sunak refused to rule out tax hikes and public spending cuts despite PM Boris Johnson previously telling MPs that he had ‘no intention of returning to austerity to re-start the economy. The news emerged in conjunction with findings from the ONS, highlighting that the UK economy contracted by 2 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 and plunged 5.8 per cent in March, the largest monthly fall on record. (From Daily Mail, 13th May 2020)

 

 

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