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.
“Britcoin” – exploring a new UK digital currency
Chancellor Rishi Sunak told the Bank of England this week to look at the case for a new “Britcoin”, a central bank-backed digital currency. This comes as they look to try tackle some of the challenges presented by cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. A new taskforce between the Treasury and Bank of England are beginning the early stages of exploring how this could work in practice. (From Reuters, 19 April 2021)
Households amass £5tn in savings since onset of Covid
Savers globally have amassed $5.4tn in savings since the onset of the pandemic. The elevated levels of cash sitting in consumers’ savings accounts can be partly attributed to restrictions on economic activity to curb the spread of coronavirus limiting household expenditures. Hopes for a sharp economic rebound are being fuelled by hopes that savers will splurge their new-found nest eggs once consumer-facing firms are able to reopen without Covid prevention measures in place. (From FT, 18 April 2021)
MPs call for inclusion of sidecar savings in auto-enrolment policy
A group of Conservative MPs have called on the Government to introduce a sidecar savings mechanism into the current auto-enrolment policy. This is part of measures they’ve suggested with the aim of enabling a recovery that serves those hurt worst by the pandemic. These proposals would look to encourage employees to build up their emergency savings in particular. (From FT Adviser, 20 April)
Barclays’ ‘fat-finger trade’?
As Barclays shared plunged 10% after an alleged typo, this has led to discussions about this pretty rare phenomenon in City mythology – the ‘fat-finger trade’, which is traditionally attributed to a trader putting in one too many noughts than they had meant to. While risk management mitigates this, and trading houses’ computers should in theory flag anything untoward to query and fix it, sometimes human errors do fall through the cracks. (From Evening Standard, 19 April 2021)
PE-owned firms lag behind listed companies on boardroom diversity
Scrutiny on privately held firms’ lack of diversity at board level is intensifying, according to a report by New Street Consultancy Group. Improvements in C-suite female representation among listed companies is bringing the lack of progress in gender diversity at private equity and family office-backed firms into sharp focus. (From Private Equity News, 20 April 2021)