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Our Weekly Newsletter

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.

House prices at new high as buyers seek more space

Surging demand for houses will last well into 2022 as buyers continue to look for more room following the Covid-19 pandemic. According to property website Zoopla, the search for space has pushed the average price of a house up by 7.3% over the past year, reaching a new high of £230,700. While house prices are surging, the growth in flat prices is lagging at 1.4% over the past year. However, it is noted that properties of all kinds are in short supply. (From BBC, 27th July 2021)

Hedge funds back away from Binance after regulatory assault

Several hedge funds have backed away from Binance in response to the accelerating regulatory crackdown and warnings from watchdogs on the crypto exchange. Crypto specialist Tyr Capital said it had decreased its exposure to the group and hedge fund ARK36 said it was also reducing its activity on the venture. While regulators often struggle to stop crypto exchanges from conducting unauthorised business in their jurisdictions, the pullback indicates they can still have a significant effect, deepening the strain for Binance given it is a group already cut off by several banks and payments companies. (From Financial Times, 23rd July 2021)

Tesco Bank to close all current accounts from end of November

Tesco Bank will be closing all of its customers’ current accounts from the end of November. The banking arm of the retailer launched its current account in 2014, offering 3% interest on balances and Clubcard points on spending in a bid to win customers. With more than five million customers holding savings, loans and insurance as well as everyday accounts, Tesco closed the current account to new business in December 2019. While 213,000 accounts remain open, it estimates that only 12% of these accounts are being used as a primary current account and the majority have limited activity. (From The Guardian, 26th July 2021)

UK dividends jump 51% in Q2

UK dividends increased by 51% in the second quarter of this year, as businesses began to reinstate payments to shareholders. According to Link Group’s UK dividend monitor, dividends jumped to £25.7bn on a headline basis quarter-on-quarter, or to £24.3bn excluding special dividends. Commentators argued that the financial services industry wasn’t hit as bad as was expected and that the Financial Conduct Authority is now allowing firms to distribute provisions via dividends. (From FT Adviser, 26th July 2021)

Raising retirement age could help Bank of England fight next recession

Raising the retirement age could help the Bank of England fight the next recession, according to a top official. Gertjan Vlieghe, who is on the monetary policy committee (MPC), commented in his final speech as an MPC member that as people save more as they approach retirement, this helps to push down borrowing costs on financial markets. (From Daily Mail, 26th July 2021)

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