News in brief - 24 May 2019

Top stories

1. Prime Minister announces resignation

2. UK Finance publishes product transfer figures for Q1 2019

Stat of the day


The number of homeowners who switched mortgage product with their existing provider in the first quarter of 2019 according to the figures published by today by UK Finance.

Prime Minister announces resignation

The Prime Minister has announced she will resign on  June 7 with a new Conservative party leadership race beginning in just over a week. In a speech at Downing Street this morning, Theresa May said it's a regret she couldn't deliver Brexit (Sky News). A YouGov poll for The Times (p1, £) suggests Boris Johnson is the overwhelming favourite among 125,000 Conservative members to be the next leader.

Meanwhile, chair of the City of London's policy committee Catherine McGuiness called for Britain to find a way through Brexit and project an image of openness to trade and immigration ( Politico (online only).

UK Finance publishes product transfer figures for Q1 2019

UK Finance has published its latest mortgage product transfer figures for the first quarter of 2019. These reveal 290,000 homeowners switched product with their existing provider in the first quarter of 2019, a decrease of 1.7 per cent year-on-year. By value, this represents £39.2 billion of mortgage debt refinanced internally, an increase of 2.1 per cent year-on-year.  Of the total number of product transfers in the first quarter of 2019, 161,100 were on an advised basis, an increase of 8.6 per cent year-on-year. 128,900 product transfers were conducted on an execution only basis, a decrease of 12.1 per cent year-on-year. The product transfer market tends to move in line with the external remortgaging market, but this will vary depending on individual lenders and brokers? retention strategies.

Latest from UK Finance

In their third and final joint blog post, Becky Clements, our Director of Payments and SWIFT UK's Vikesh Patel discuss how new technologies are playing their part in making cross-border payments seamless.

News in brief

A senior banking chief has criticised the high costs of Mifid saying the regulation has brought little benefits to the industry so far (Financial Times, p27, £).

European Central Bank policymakers are concerned that economic growth in the eurozone is even weaker than feared, eroding their confidence in a long-projected recovery in the second half of this year, reports Reuters (online only).

Facebook has been working for more than a year to create a digital currency that its two billion users can use to transfer money and purchase goods (Financial Times, online only).

The defence secretary Penny Mordaunt has announced £22m of funding for a new army cyber operations centre (Sky News, online only).

What the commentators say

In the Financial Times, Gillian Tett (p13, £) comments on how ethics as opposed to financial metrics are the main cause as to why a chief executive is most likely to get fired in the workplace today. Tett cites PwC analysis showing culture and a shift in standards and expectations as contributing factors alongside technology which enables protests to snowball rapidly. She concludes, investors and CEOs must realise corporate social responsibility is no longer a ?label? as it ?bites with a vengeance?.

In the Daily Mail (p,85), Alex Brummer discusses how the next European Parliament will influence the choice of who succeeds Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank in October. Brummer argues if Germany's Jens Weidmann were to get the job, and the ECB continues to retreat from quantitative easing, the eurozone will tip into recession, strengthening populist sentiment.


  • UK Finance publishes mortgage product transfer figures
  • ONS publishes UK monthly retail sales figures
  • British Chambers of Commerce publishes its Quarterly International Trade Outlook (QITO)