US billionaire Warren Buffett's investment firm Berkshire Hathaway has been downgraded by Moody's, the ratings agency, according to The Guardian .
Citing damage from tumbling shares in the insurance business, Moody's lowered its credit rating on Berkshire by two notches to Aa2, from AAA.
Berkshire has already lost its top credit rating at rival agency Fitch, which pointed to its reliance on its 78-year-old founder, known as the Sage of Omaha.
The legendary investor has had to tell shareholders in his company that 2008 had been the worst year since he took the helm 44 years ago.
Investments in Wells Fargo bank and American Express are among those that have gone wrong. The third major credit-rating agency, Standard & Poor's, has kept the company's top rating but put it on "negative" watch for a possible downgrade. Full story...
THE BANK OF ENGLAND is examining whether Britain's biggest banks should formally separate their investment banking and retail banking operations, The Times has learnt.
News that such a move is under discussion at such a high level will send fresh shudders through the UK banking sector, still reeling from the fallout of toxic debt and the credit crunch.
George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, hinted yesterday that a Conservative Government would break up Britain's nationalised banks and would also consider whether to block other lenders from becoming too big.
Mr Osborne's plans would trigger the biggest change in the structure of the City since 1986, when Margaret Thatcher deregulated financial markets in a banking revolution that came to be known as Big Bang. Full story...
ALEX SNOW, CHIEF EXECUTIVE of investment bank Evolution, has made a passionate defence of the City bonus culture after surviving "the most difficult year" of his career that saw the bank's profits drop 91pc, reports The Telegraph.
Evolution increased its final dividend by 2pc to 127p in a sign he remains confident the bank will continue "to do well in very tough times", Mr Snow said, adding that he expects "the next three years to be a golden time for independents with strong balance sheets, who are picking up a lot of good people".
Evolution has increased its staff numbers by 30 to 380 in the past year and Mr Snow said he will continue to attract talent because he pays attractive cash bonuses. "We have an old-fashioned concept that if the company does well, you do well and we will stick to that. We are not looking to change anything," he said.
"Guys aren't going to sit around in these state-controlled banks being paid nothing. You'll go somewhere that is capable of rewarding you in a way similar to previous times. The market is efficient in talent and it will find its own equilibrium." Full story...IFAonline
Feasibility study due
'Let’s be bold enough to demand change'
Joint life second death option added to relieve tax burden on couples gifting assets
Backed by Schroders, LGIM and the IA
New system for funds without without three-year track record