|Barclays plc gears up to defend itself in key interest swap mis-selling suit|
|Thursday, 25 October 2012 08:38|
News round up: Barclays, GDB statistics, BP, Shell, Ford, Mortgages, Sir David Walker, Double-dip recession.
Barclays plc (LON:BARC) was yesterday gearing up to face down interest rate mis-selling claims, with the Guardian Care Homes (GCH) suit set to come before a judge on Monday. The pre-trial hearing will see GCH present its accusations at the Commercial Court, while Barclays will defend itself. The judge will then decide which, if any, of the claims can progress.
David Cameron on Wednesday promised "the good news will keep coming" as his error-prone government prepared to seize on new data that is expected to show Britain’s double-dip recession is over. Mr Cameron hopes Thursday’s release of GDP statistics for the third quarter – including the period of the London Olympics – will be a political tipping point, even though he will also warn that the economy still faces tough times ahead. Private sector economists expect third-quarter growth to be about 0.6 per cent following nine months of contraction.
BP and Shell
BP and Royal Dutch Shell have been accused of colluding with four other oil companies to fix diesel prices for more than 15 years. Subsidiaries of the two oil giants were yesterday named, along with divisions of America’s Chevron, France’s Total, and domestic companies Sasol and Engen, in a referral to South Africa’s Competition Tribunal by the country’s Competition Commission.
Ford’s vehicle manufacturing in Britain is at risk of coming to an end after more than a century following the US car maker’s decision to shrink its European production operations. Ford’s vehicle manufacturing in Britain is at risk of coming to an end after more than a century following the US car maker’s decision to shrink its European production operations. It is understood that Ford’s Southampton plant has been earmarked for closure risking 500 jobs as part of a broader consolidation process prompted by the negative impact of the Eurozone debt crisis on the industry. In a statement Stephen Odell, chairman and chief executive of Ford’s business in Europe said the region-wide review was necessary for the company’s future, The Telegraph says.
New rules to curb the number of homeowners with risky interest-only mortgages have been watered down by regulators, as it emerged that the Government has been asking banks to consider reviving mortgages for people with a deposit of just 5 per cent. The Times has learnt that the Treasury has approached at least two high street banks to ask whether the Government could offer guarantees or other assistance to revive the market in mortgages that cover 95 per cent of the value of a property.
Sir David Walker
Sir David Walker is planning a clean sweep of Barclays’ board after he formally becomes chairman of the scandal-tainted bank next week and will also oversee the replacement of some key executive positions. The City grandee has spent recent weeks sounding out a selection of top figures over their suitability to join the bank in a variety of roles, according to people close to the process.
Britons are more than £1,800 a year worse off than they would be had the country avoided a double-dip recession, according to a study by leading business analysts. With official growth figures due this morning expected to show the economy growing for the first time this year, a study by PwC for The Times shows the long shadow cast by the banking collapse of 2008-09.
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