The government body at the heart of efforts to prop up Britain's banks is facing fresh upheaval with the appointment of a new chairman and the departure of its chief executive, writes the Daily Mail.
Sir David Cooksey, a pioneer of the venture capital industry, was yesterday appointed to chair UK Financial Investments, which holds the taxpayer's 72 per cent stake in Royal Bank of Scotland, the dominant 42 per cent investment in Lloyds Banking Group and the remains of Bradford & Bingley.
He replaces Glen Moreno, who took over as chairman of UKFI in January, replacing Sir Philip Hampton, who went to chair Royal Bank of Scotland. Full story...
THE LIGHTNING FAST world of high-frequency equity trading is being scrutinised by the Securities and Exchange Commission, amid concerns that this computer-dominated scene is placing less tech-savvy investors at a disadvantage, writes the Financial Times.
Volumes of trading generated by computers placing super-fast orders - where speed of execution is measured in microseconds - to generate business has rocketed in recent years.
The Tabb Group, a consultancy, recently estimated that high-frequency trading accounts for as much as 73 per cent of US daily equity volume, up from 30 per cent in 2005.
Tabb estimates these players, some of the largest of which are hedge funds such as Citadel, D.E. Shaw & Co. and Renaissance Technologies, represent about 2 per cent of the 20,000 or so trading companies operating in the US markets. Full story...
SPAIN'S SANTANDER, WHICH owns Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and part of Bradford & Bingley (B&B) in the UK, has beaten the gloom with a 30 per cent jump in profit in the first half of the year, according to the Times.
The bank also said it grew revenues by a fifth, while keeping costs down.
Santander has avoided the worst excesses of the banking crisis by maintaining conservative lending practices and picking up assets on the cheap.
As a result, Santander was able to increase lending to small businesses and individuals in the six months to June 30.
Santander's figures come after Antonio Horta-Osorio, its UK chief executive, attended a meeting on Monday with Alistair Darling, the chancellor, along with the bosses of other major banks to discuss whether banks are lending enough. Full story...
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