New figures out from Leading accountants Ernst and Young suggest that companies will be borrowing less this year as the UK economy bounces back strongly. While this is not too surprising, the Bank of England says that the UK has not seen such a bounce back in modern times. In the small print there is a suggestion that the rise in property prices might well be temporary and due to stimulus through the stamp duty holiday and pent up demand. This sector will undoubtedly slow during 2022 as reality hit home. In addition the suggestion is that interest rates will remain near to rock bottom during the next couple of years. This does not bode well for profitability in the medium term.
The Malaysian Government has obviously not given up on trying to pin at least some of the blame for the 2015 1 Malaysian Development Berhad scandal on the global banking system. Last Friday they filed some 22 suits against banks and individuals involved in the scandal including Deutsche, JP Morgan and a subsidiary of Coutts with the aim of recovering some $ 23 billion. Years after Goldmans owned up to helping Greece cook the books during the Eurozone crisis these corruptions keep bubbling up to the surface. Of course given the sums of money involved the citizens of the countries who have been cheated would hope that the world’s premier banking outfits would try and act properly. Of course these are only allegations at this point but it seems to me that the more the worlds authorities try to regulate the bigger the scandals become. Personally I do not think that regulation is the answer. Integrity is lacking within some of these big financial institutions and making individuals take responsibility for their actions might be a good place to start. At the moment it looks like hiding the truth is more important.
The Bradford based lender has decided to throw in the towel on its doorstep lending business after posting a hefty loss citing regulatory changes and a change in client habits. Fair enough but when an outfit like this decided to pull out there is literally nothing left to take its place. Those punters who are not IT literate or cannot qualify for slightly more sophisticated forms of finance and there are still quite a lot of them still have a requirement but the 21st century has left them behind. They are then left to the loan sharks who are unregulated and take few prisoners. As is usual in situations like this it does not look like the social implications are important at all. Nevertheless it is a shame that our political masters don’t seem to provide any assistance to those who need it most.
Howard Tolman is a well-known banker, technologist and entrepreneur in London,
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