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.
Pensions: What is the triple lock and why has it been suspended?
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey has said the triple lock is to be suspended for 2022-2023. Instead, the state pension will be determined by either the inflation rate or by 2.5% and not the average wage increase, with the triple lock restored for the remainder of this Parliament ending in 2024. The policy is used to set how much the state pension rises each year, and the suspension follows concerns that it would have produced an unaffordable rise in the next year if determined by average wage increase. (From BBC, 6th September 2021)
UK regulator calls for greater powers against risky crypto ventures
UK regulators should be given more powers to protect consumers from dubious crypto investments being promoted online, with FCA chair Charles Randell warning that vulnerable people are at risk of jeopardising their financial futures. He argues that urgent action needs to be taken to stop their promotion, including via social media influencers such as Kim Kardashian who recently encouraged her social media followers to speculate in cryptocurrencies. (From Financial Times, 6th September 2021)
Europe’s top 25 banks failing on green pledges, campaigners warn
Campaigners warn that Europe’s 25 largest banks are still failing to present comprehensive plans that address both the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, putting their sustainability pledges in doubt. Research by investment campaign group ShareAction has found that none of the banks it reviewed were taking action across all key areas. This includes biodiversity; exposure to high-carbon sectors; policies restricting services to sectors such as oil and gas; and linking executive pay to progress on climate issues. (From The Guardian, 6th September 2021)
Private-equity billionaires ripping up the City rule book
An analysis of the boom in private equity highlights how the global value of deals carried out by private equity firms is set to surpass $1 trillion (£723bn) for the first time this year. The piece makes the argument that depending on who you ask, private equity firms and billionaire backers are either “asset-stripping vultures that swoop on unloved companies”, or “analytical investors that take contrarian bets and provide valuable long-term capital to firms that might otherwise drift sideways”. (From The Sunday Times, 5th September 2021)
Record house prices ‘here to stay’ as average home hits £263k
According to new data from Halifax, the sharp rise in property prices over the past year is likely here to stay as property values rose to a record high in August. The average home now costs £262,954, up 0.7% from July and 7.1% over 12 months – and this was despite the Stamp Duty holiday ceasing for most buyers at the end of June. Estate agents have reported that a shortage of stock for sale combined with demand for more space will likely drive prices up even further in the future. (From the Telegraph, 7th September 2021)