A MASSIVE surge in high street sales - the largest for 18 months - is causing concern across the fin...
A MASSIVE surge in high street sales - the largest for 18 months - is causing concern across the financial services industry that the interest rate cuts people have enjoyed may now be creating a "debt-fuelled spending spree", says the Times.
Latest retail sales figures indicate the market grew five times faster than expected last month, as fresh evidence emerged of the rising burden of personal debt as consumers continue to borrow and spend undaunted.
Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats appear to suggst the average debts of British households have grown by more than 50% under New Labour and now outstrip average incomes by nearly a third.
The figures, based on national accounts data, show that average household debts rose from £24,500 in 1997 to £37,500 last year. The scale of the increase dwarfs a smaller gain in average incomes, from £23,400 to £28,800.
NATIONWIDE Building Society came under attack yesterday at its annual general meeting as members expressed their unhappiness at the payment of an ex-director £889,457 when he left, even though some savers receive very poor interest rates, says the Financial Times.
Members grilled existing directors to find out why Alistair Dales, its former finance director, received compensation of £889,457, when he agreed to retire early in April 2003, as well as a basis salary of £301,000 plus bonuses - pushing his total remuneration package for the year to £1.435m.
Tim Tanner, a Nationwide member who had been trying to get onto the board to readdress director's remuneration, did not make it on to the board this time.
HEDGE FUND managers will no longer be expected to more tax from August 1st after a fierce campaign from the industry forced Customs and Excise to drop the proposal, continues the FT.
Original plans had been to prevent managers of OEICS from recovering VAT on overheads such as rent and trading screens, but a meeting yesterday with the hedge fund sector revealed they will now be allowed to recover the VAT.
A second investigation into the trading of Chelsea shares is also under way, the FSA yesterday revealed, as it has received information suggesting some of the publicly disclosed shareholdings may be inaccurate, suggests the Daily Telegraph.
The FSA says it is concerned that the true ownership of Chelsea Village may have been misleading to the market as a result, so the FSA is looking at ownership as well as emphasising the importance of publishing accurate information to the market.
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