Helen Nugent

Lloyds, investment, compensation and housing

Lloyds, investment, compensation and housing
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Lloyds Banking Group has set aside a further £475 million for misconduct costs as the bank's statutory profits more than doubled to £4.2 billion.

The Times reports on results that Lloyds called a 'good overall performance'. Its profits are the highest for a decade and shares in the bank rose by 4 per cent after the announcement. The bank, in which taxpayers own a stake of just under 5 per cent, also unveiled an 11 per cent rise in total dividends to £2.2 billion and the same percentage increase in staff bonuses to £393 million. Underlying profits fell from £8.1 billion to £7.9 billion.

Investment

After a sustained period of record low interest rates, investors remain hungry for yield and more investment companies (46 per cent) are paying quarterly dividends to meet this demand.

Research from the Association of Investment Companies suggests almost half of conventional member investment companies which pay a dividend, are now paying a quarterly dividend. That means some 104 conventional member companies are now paying dividends on a quarterly basis, in comparison to 92 conventional member companies (43 per cent) a year ago. In 2010 only 17 per cent of investment companies paid a quarterly dividend.

Airline compensation

Some good news for travellers today after the BBC reports that five airlines that fly into Europe have been told they must pay compensation to passengers for delays.

American, Etihad, Emirates, Singapore and Turkish Airlines will have to obey European laws or be taken to court. According to the BBC, 'all had told the Civil Aviation Authority that they did not pay compensation when their delays meant passengers missed a connecting flight. But compensation is in fact due if passengers arrive at their final destination more than three hours late.'

Housing

Figures released this morning by the Council of Mortgage Lenders reveal that home-buyers in London borrowed £5.9 billion for house purchases in the fourth quarter of 2016, down 5 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 13 per cent year-on-year. They took out 18,500 loans, down 3 per cent compared to the previous quarter and 15 per cent on the fourth quarter 2015.

Pensions

Almost 106,000 working people are not being auto-enrolled into a pension because their earnings come from more than one job and 70 per cent of them are women, research by Citizens Advice reveals.

To qualify for auto-enrolment you need to earn over the £10,000 a year threshold from a single job. New analysis by the national charity finds that in total 250,000 have several jobs paying under £10,000 a year- meaning they don’t qualify for auto-enrolment.

But for 2 in 5 of these people the combined income from their jobs exceeds £10,000 - but under current rules they still don’t get auto-enrolled into a pension. Women are particularly likely to be affected, with 72,000 missing out.

Business rates

As the government comes under increasing pressure to soften the blow of increased business rates, the BBC reports that 'thousands of businesses across England and Wales were taken to magistrates courts last year for non-payment of their business rates'.

The rates advisory firm CVS found that nearly 200,000 businesses had been summoned to court. That amounted to one in every eight businesses on average, with an even higher proportion in London.

Economy

UK growth in the last three months of 2016 was slightly stronger, according to revised data from the Office for National Statistics. GDP rose by 0.7 per cent between the third and fourth quarters, up from the initial ONS estimate of 0.6 per cent.