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.
Female board members at FTSE 100 companies paid 40% less than men
Research from New Street Consulting Group found that average pay last year was £1.5m for women and £2.5m for men at the UK’s largest businesses, as female board members are paid about 40 per cent less than their male counterparts. Women took home an average of £104,800 for non-executive roles at FTSE 100 companies in 2020, compared to £170,400 among men. On top of this, ONS data showed women were paid 15.5 per cent less than men in the wider job market. (From Financial Times, 22 August 2021)
PayPal to allow UK users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies through the platform
PayPal is to allow UK users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies for the first time. A crypto tab will be added to the payment platform for real-time currency prices as well as offering educational content to help answer common questions and learn more about cryptocurrencies, including the potential risks. They will be offering the service for bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin cash. (From The Guardian, 23 August 2021)
Savers keep faith with premium bonds despite cuts in prize pool
Demand for premium bonds has remained robust despite the prize pool being slashed last October, according to National Savings & Investments. While savers continued to pull money out of some other savings products, £17 billion worth of bonds have been purchased since pool cuts were made and the number of people with at least one premium bond rose by 300,000 to 21.4 million in the year to March 2021. These redeemable securities, offering the chance to win prizes of up to £1 million in monthly draws, proved highly popular during lockdown. (From The Times, 25 August 2021)
Lockdown’s wealth divide
Around a third of UK adults feel more financially vulnerable post-lockdown, according to research by pensions and investment firm Royal London. A third (33 per cent) attribute this to a reduced income, while 19 per cent said they had a lack of savings. This has created a wealth divide between those who saved more money during the pandemic and others who have been struggling. (From Daily Mail, 24 August 2021)
Could banks find that sharing is caring?
The concept of rival banks sharing branches to save money is gaining currency in the UK, with six of the UK’s biggest high street banks agreeing to extend a pilot scheme sharing counter services in a dedicated ‘Bank Hub’ operated by the Post Office. It is hoped the model can be expanded from two locations in England and Scotland to potentially dozens more. With banks facing increased cost pressures in an digitised climate as regulators and policymakers place social obligations on banks to swallow these costs, sharing space seems the obvious solution. (From Financial Times, 23 August 2021)