The threat of an increase in interest rates in the new year grew yesterday after the International Monetary Fund sounded a warning another rise may well be needed, reports the Times .
News of a record monthly rise in mortgage lending last month, and a CBI report suggesting retailers are enjoying their strongest trading for two years, came just as the IMF said dearer borrowing costs may be needed to counter pressure for higher pay, says the paper.
In its annual health check of Britain’s economy, the IMF said signs soaring energy prices may be leading people to anticipate higher inflation, as well as a lack of spare capacity to help to tame price pressures, meant the Bank of England could be forced to push interest rates higher if wage deals accelerate in the year.
TWO MORE companies have been penalised for breaking the rules on the sale of payment protection insurance (PPI) as a clampdown gathers pace, says the Guardian.
One of the firms, home shopping group Redcats, was fined £270,000 for failing to treat up to 160,000 customers fairly when selling PPI, and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) said other enforcement cases were in the pipeline.
The FSA clampdown follows a recent investigation by the Office of Fair Trading, which criticised the high street banks, credit card companies and other lenders which sell PPI, telling them the policies were a rip-off and often mis-sold.
In September, Regency Mortgage Corporation was fined £56,000 for failures related to PPI policies linked to mortgages, and the next month secured lender Loans.co.uk was ordered to pay a £455,000 penalty.
ONE OF the City's leading fund managers has expressed considerable concern about the fortunes of HSBC and the merits of its chairman, Stephen Green, says the Daily Telegraph.
Michael Taylor, head of equities at Threadneedle Investments, criticised the effectiveness of Green, who moved up from his role as chief executive to take over from Sir John Bond at the end of May.
Taylor relayed his views based on a recent investor meeting with the HSBC chairman, saying: "We had Stephen Green in here two weeks ago, and, cor, he was asleep on the job is how I would describe it. He's just not up for it."
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