Top stories

  • Parliament to vote on Brexit deal in December
  • Shoppers using credit cards for day-to-day spending

Stat of the day

Five per cent – the loss in real wage growth between 2008 and 2017 in the UK, according to a report from the International Labour Organisation–en/index.htm.

Parliament to vote on Brexit deal in December

Prime minister Theresa May has confirmed that parliament’s “meaningful vote” on the withdrawal agreement and political declaration will take place on December 11th, following five days of parliamentary debate (The i, p1). This gives Mrs May 14 days to sell her Brexit deal to MPs, in the face of heavy opposition. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning, former cabinet member Michael Fallon warned that the proposed EU-UK agreement is “doomed” and should be renegotiated, arguing that it is the “worst of all worlds” (BBC News, online only). As part of the plan to promote her deal, The Sun (p1) confirms that the prime minister wants to participate in a live TV Brexit debate on December 9th with the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn.

However, The Times (£, p6) reports that Mrs May’s deal may be supported by Brexiteers, but only on the condition that she gives a resignation date. It’s reported that this would pacify discontent within her own party if she quits after ‘Brexit day’ on March 29th 2019.

Meanwhile, US president Donald Trump has warned the prime minister that Britain, “may not be able to trade with the US”, under the existing Brexit plan, according to the Daily Telegraph (£, p1).

Separately, the Financial Times (£, online only) highlights research from the government’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) warning that the current Brexit deal could cost Britons up to £2000 a year in the long run.

Shoppers using credit cards for day-to-day spending

Shoppers are increasingly using their credit cards for day-to-day spending rather than one-off purchases, according to UK Finance’s latest Household
// Finance update (BBC News, online only). It’s reported that greater protection offered to consumers when buying bigger purchases as well as the temptation of loyalty points has led to their increased use. The Daily Mail (p6) adds that the total amount of credit card spending was £17.1 billion, but features concerns from charities that consumers must be careful with their borrowing in the lead up to Christmas.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph (£, p1) reports that Britons saved less than £100 each over the last year, as households face slow wage growth and rising living costs. A report from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) confirms that workers in Britain have had the weakest real wage growth among the most advanced nations in the G20, and that the UK has suffered a “lost decade” for pay, according to the Guardian (p33).

Latest from UK Finance

Paul Chisnall blogs
// about the success of our inaugural Women In Finance event last week and how it is leading the way towards a more equal workplace.

News in Brief

Mortgage approvals increased to a four-month high in October, despite an uncertain economic environment, according to UK Finance’s Household
// Finance Update (The Times, £, p40).

The Bank of England will publish the results of its annual stress tests of banks’ balance sheets tomorrow, a week earlier than originally intended (Financial Times, £, p2).

The governor of the Bank of England and the chancellor of the Exchequer will appear separately before the Treasury Committee next week to give their institutions’ assessments of the economic impact of the Brexit deal to be voted on in Parliament (Sky News, online only).

There is no end in sight to the rise of technology glitches and cyber attacks on financial firms in Britain, according to Megan Butler, Executive Director of Supervision at the Financial Conduct Authority (Reuters, online only).

The Financial Conduct Authority will be stepping up its inquiries into cryptocurrencies, after concerns about the impact on consumers (Daily Telegraph, £, B5).

What the commentators say

Writing in the Financial Times (£, p11), editorial director Robert Shrimsley warns against the assumption that the UK will avoid crashing out of the EU without a deal. He writes that MPs opposed to leaving with no deal are split between supporting the Norway option or a second referendum, meaning neither could gain majority support. Shrimsley emphasises that: “it is not enough to say there is no majority for no deal; there has to be a majority for something else”.

Patrick Hosking, Financial Editor of The Times (p41, £) writes about how the regulatory crack down on subprime lending last week by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) means customers will never have to pay more than double the base price of any product. Hosking cites research from the FCA which shows only 29 per cent of people understand the longer they pay for an item, the more the total bill goes up. He argues that whilst getting trapped in debt is a modern epidemic, the obvious answer is for the state to step in, citing The Social Fund as an example of offering cheap credit. He concludes that the chancellor promised a new fund to make interest-free loans in his budget but details have yet to be disclosed.


  • FCA publishes a Technology and Cyber Cross-sector report
  • Treasury Committee evidence session on economic crime Richard Piggin and Richard Emery.
  • Exiting the European Union Committee evidence session on the progress of Brexit negotiations.
  • John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, discusses the challenges facing society at a Guardian event.

For a full list of upcoming UK Finance statistics releases, please click here

News in brief – 27 November 2018