City minister Lord Myners has defended the emergency loans totalling £61.6bn that were handed to the Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS at the height of the financial crisis last year, as the political row over the secrecy surrounding them intensified.
Myners said this morning that it was "absolutely vital" for the British economy that the Bank of England carried out the rescue operation covertly, even though taxpayers and shareholders in other banks were left in the dark for more than 12 months, The Guardian reports.
"It's worth remembering that back in October we really were on the edge of a precipice, where the banking sector was very close to complete collapse," Myners told the BBC's Today Programme.
Myners also indicated that such secrecy will be maintained again when required. Full story...
The UK economy came slightly closer to pulling out of recession in the third quarter than first estimated, according to The Telegraph.
Britain's gross domestic product shrank 0.3pc in the third quarter, slightly better than an initial estimate of 0.4%, according to the The Office for National Statistics.
The first estimate dashed hopes that Britain has emerged from recession and left the UK trailing in the wake of other major economies, such as Germany, China and France, where the downturn has officially ended. The first estimate also provoked a mixture of embarrassment and disbelief from some economists who had forecast the end of the recession. Full story...
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) reported a 37% fall in interim pre-tax profits today amid increasing competition from other share trading platforms while fewer company floats took their toll on revenues, The Times says.
The exchange is facing increasingly tough competition from a number of new platforms such as Chi-X and Bats, which are winning market share by aggressively pricing their services. The LSE is in exclusive talks to buy Turquoise, the rival trading platform set up three years ago by a consortium of investment banks, but did not mention how discussions were progressing today.
During the six months to September 30, the total number of trades in UK shares dealt on the exchange dropped 17% to 78.4m, with the value of the shares traded falling 46% to £580bn. Full story...
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