UK High Street Feels The Pinch

Research from PWC has shown that the number of High Street store closures in the UK has increased over the past 12 months, in fact the figures are startling showing that on average 20 stores a day were closed down. While this figure may seem high it is possibly not surprising with the big household names such as HMV and Jessops going into administration has highlighted just how difficult trading conditions currently are. The UK high streets have noticeably changed over the last few years with Pound shops, coffee shops, betting shops and charity shops all on the rise and some of the big names such as Woolworths, HMV and Jessops going into administration. This is the mark of recession and with the UK one quarter away from an unprecedented triple dip recession there is a possibility that we could see things continue to get worse.

Bankers Bonuses To Be Capped

New financial rules have been agreed by the EU that states bankers bonuses must be capped at the bankers annual salary amount. Perhaps unsurprisingly the UK, considered Europe’s largest financial centre was opposed to the cap. There is concern that this cap will drive away talented bankers who will want to work where their bonuses are uncapped but many will feel that uncapped bonuses led to a cavalier attitude which led to the issues we saw with Northern Rock, Lehman Brothers and the global downturn. It will be interesting to see what impact this new legislation has on the financial district and if it does drive away the top bankers or whether it makes the big banks more stable. Only time will tell…

Spanish Bank Bankia Posts Record Loss

One of Spain’s largest bank – Bankia, has posted a record loss of €19.2bn despite receiving aid of 18bn Euros! The bank was formed thanks to the merger of seven of Spains struggling banks which probably meant it was always going to find it difficult but this to me highlights just how precarious the financial and economic conditions are in Spain, one of Europe’s largest economies. The Euro has got stronger recently against a number of currencies including Sterling and this was down to the head of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, stating they will support all the EU countries regardless but if the troubles at Bankia are anything to go by the ECB will be hard pressed to stick to their words.

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