Top stories

  1. Passengers’ bank details stolen in BA data breach
  2. FCA’s Andrew Bailey calls for EU-UK cooperation on financial regulation
  3. NAEA report reveals homeowners unaware of leasehold terms

Stat of the day

3.7 per cent – Annual house price growth in the three months to August 2018, the highest growth in nine months, according to Halifax’s latest House Price Index.

Passengers’ bank details stolen in BA data breach

British Airways passengers have had their banking details stolen in a major data breach, The Times (p1, £) reports. The airline said last night that the personal and financial details of customers making bookings between the 21st August and 5th September had been compromised and that about 380,000 transactions were affected, but that the breach has now been resolved (BBC News, online only). In a statement on its website, the airline has advised “any customers who believe they may have been affected by this incident to contact their banks or credit card providers and follow their recommended advice”.

UK Finance has issued a statement urging anyone who has been affected to check their statements regularly and, if they spot any unfamiliar transactions, to contact their bank or card company immediately. Consumers should also be vigilant of criminals attempting to use the news of the data breach as an opportunity to trick people into revealing personal or financial information, and follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign.

FCA’s Andrew Bailey calls for EU-UK cooperation on financial regulation

Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, has called for strong regulatory cooperation between the EU and UK after Brexit, in a speech to the Eurofi Financial Forum in Vienna. He said it should be possible for the EU and UK to work together on financial regulation while respecting both sides’ autonomy, in line with the approach set out by UK Finance (CityAM, p2, print only). Bailey also argued that as both sides will have identical frameworks there will be a strong case for the UK and the EU to find each others’ rules equivalent on ‘day 1,’ while also hinting that the UK is likely to continue to abide by the EU’s market transparency rules known as Mifid II (Financial Times, online only, £).

The Chancellor Philip Hammond has warned that a ‘no deal’ scenario could lead to cuts to public spending (The Guardian, p20). It comes after an internal Treasury document revealed officials and ministers have been discussing the need to build a “communications architecture” to maintain confidence in a ‘no deal’ scenario – particularly in the financial services sector (ITV News, online only). Meanwhile European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas has emphasised that the government’s Chequers plan contains some “positive elements”, downplaying previous reports that EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier had said the plan was “dead in the water” (BBC News, online only).

NAEA report reveals many homeowners are unaware of leasehold terms

More than half of homeowners who bought a leasehold house in the past ten years did not realise that they were only buying a lease, research by the National Association of Estate Agents has found (The Independent, online only). The reportfound that leaseholders are currently paying an average of £319 a year for ground rent, with most having been in their properties for three or four years (BBC News, online only). Of those currently trying to sell their home, a third said they were struggling to attract a buyer because they do not own the freehold and a quarter said interested house hunters were put off when they found out it was a leasehold home (The Times, £, p40).

Responding to the research, a UK Finance spokesperson said: “The inappropriate use of leasehold and unfair leasehold terms are not problems caused by lenders and we want to see poor practices brought to an end. We are working with the government and other stakeholders to improve the situation for consumers.”

Latest from UK Finance

  • Francesca Carlesi, CEO of Molo Finance, guest blogs about the brave new world of digital mortgages.
  • Daisy Johnson, Intern in the UK Finance CEO Office, blogs on the future of women in finance.
  • Following our publication of figures on mortgage product transfers for the first time, Jackie Bennett blogged about helping borrowers stuck on reversion rates.

News in Brief

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Chairman Charles Randell has called on accounting firms to improve their auditing of financial companies’ client assets, in a speech marking ten years since the financial crisis (CityAM, p1).

Security minister Ben Wallace has said that leaving the EU could open the door to tougher UK sanctions against Russia, raising the possibility that the UK could join the US in preventing Russian sovereign debt from being issued in its markets (The Guardian (p11).

Investment in Britain’s fintech sector has been boosted by the UK regulator’s early adoption of EU “open banking” rules, according to the Financial Times (p17, £).

High street sales fell by 2.7 per cent last month, the worst August for three years, according to a survey by accountants BDO (The Times, p49, £).

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has hinted that a new UK centre ground party could emerge in the coming months, suggesting that voters will want more a more “acceptable” political choice before the next general election (BBC News, online only).

What the commentators say

In the Financial Times (p13, £), columnist Gillian Tett lists five ways that finance has evolved since the 2008 financial crisis that ‘seem distinctly counter-intuitive’. These include the surge in overall global debt, the relative power of American finance and the increasing size of the ‘shadow banking’ sector. She also opines that despite the dangers of ‘too big to fail’ banks having been made clear, now ‘the big beasts are even bigger’.

Columnist Raphael Hogarth argues in The Times (p41, £) that the EU should take a more flexible approach to Brexit and engage constructively with the UK government’s Chequers proposal for a single market in goods. Hogarth suggests that establishing a deep economic partnership with the UK that goes beyond a traditional trade deal could serve as a blueprint for relations with other countries, such as Turkey or Ukraine, that the EU wants to pull into its orbit. While this could embolden some EU members to also call for greater flexibility within the bloc, he concludes that this shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a ‘frightening prospect’, and could be in line with plans for a more integrated inner circle of eurozone countries.

  • Eurofi conference closes in Vienna
  • Halifax releases its latest house price figures for August

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

News in brief – 7 September 2018