Mark Emlick
Mark Emlick
Jul 232014

Senior figures within Bank of England have been worried about the United Kingdom economy’s shortfall although business leaders are now being advised this could be the time to raise interest rates. 9 members of the ‘Monetary Policy Committee’ have voted to keep rates at 0.5%, which has come as no surprise to the wider banking community. It was decided that “employment had continued to increase encouragingly… although wages had remained very slow by comparison”. Business Chiefs now think the lenders are being overly cautious and should now start increasing rates with no delay. Wage growth excluding bonuses slowed to a record low 0.7% in the three months to May.

By Mark Emlick

Apr 232014

Mark Emlick noted Knight Frank have issued figures confirming central London land values have risen by 4.7% in the first quarter of this year – up 15.9% on the year. The residential development land index indicated the increase was propelled by a lack of prime sites in the heart of London together with house price growth adding a cumulative 30% to the average property value over the last 3 years.  These socio-economic conditions are bolstering current price increases.

By Mark Emlick

Apr 222014

Consensus Capital’s Chief Executive, Mark Emlick, has said that today’s generation of young people are becoming more and more doubtful regarding their likelihoods of buying a first home due to the current thriving property market and ever-rising house prices.

This is causing a wave of negativity throughout the country with many people now having no aspiration to own their own property. With rent being so high at the moment, people are not getting a chance to save up and eventually invest in a home for themselves. This is effectively making renters postpone buying or even disinterest themselves from the prospect of owning a home entirely. For the people who are already homeowners, the fact that they are unable to sell their existing houses is stopping them from progressing forward and upward on the property ladder.

It seems that the whole housing market could have a very different structure if this situation continues or worsens in the foreseeable future. If people are unable to buy, sellers will be unable to sell and the circle of property marketing will inevitably struggle a great deal.

 The Government has said that Help to Buy and plans to build more houses should ease the problem. But polls suggest that despite these measures, few people believe Help to Buy is working.

By Mark Emlick

Apr 112014

More than 600,000 people have changed their current account provider in the first six months of a scheme designed to make switching banks easier.

The 609,300 switches in the six months to the end of March marked an increase of 14% on the same period a year ago.

Two thirds of customers are now aware of the service, according to the Payments Council, which oversees it.

But, with 46 million current account holders in the UK, switching levels remain relatively low.

The Payments Council said the new, quicker service had taken the “fear factor” and “barriers” away from switching.

Under the new rules current account holders should be able to move their bank account to another provider within seven days. It had taken up to 30 days to switch previously. The switching guarantee also means the new bank or building society has to arrange for the transfer of all existing incoming and outgoing payments to the new account.

“By making the Current Account Switch Service quick, hassle-free and removing the fear factor, we’ve taken away the barriers customers told us they had when it came to switching,” said Gary Hocking, managing director of the Payments Council. Current accounts should also not be ignored when it comes to shopping around for the best rate”

Kevin MountfordHead of banking, Moneysupermarket

“There’s also been a noticeable surge of advertising activity from current account providers, big and small, suggesting that the new service is helping foster competition and choice for customers.”

However, some have questioned the success of the new scheme.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of consumer group Which?, said: “Despite an increase in public awareness and confidence, switching levels are still low, suggesting that the new seven-day service is not the game-changer that can significantly increase competition in banking.”

Tesco Bank and Virgin Money plan to launch current accounts this year, while existing providers have offered a range of incentives for customers to change or stick with their current bank, from interest on balances to one-off cash payments.

Some current accounts now offer three times the interest rate of some instant access savings accounts, according to price comparison website Moneysupermarket.

“Current accounts should also not be ignored when it comes to shopping around for the best rate – especially as providers are also offering cash incentives to those who switch,” said Kevin Mountford, head of banking at the website.

“However, people should be aware of high overdraft charges on some of these accounts. Those who regularly dip into their overdraft will find a better deal elsewhere.

“In order to benefit from the higher rates, customers will need to meet the minimum funding requirements or other terms and conditions, so it is important to check these before you switch.”

Apr 112014

The Co-operative Bank has confirmed losses of £1.3bn for 2013 and has advised it will not pay out £5m to former executives.

Co-op Bank chief executive Niall Booker said: “We appreciate that customers and other stakeholders continue to feel angry about how past failings placed the future of the business so seriously at risk.

“I would like to apologise to them, to thank them for their continued loyalty and to thank colleagues for their commitment during such difficult times.”

The bank said it would not pay out £5m to former executives who left the bank after its near collapse last year.

But Mr Booker will receive a £2.9m pay package, which includes a basic salary of £1.2m and up to £1.7m in performance related bonuses.

Mr Booker should also receive up to £1.2m as part of a three year package of PRP.

The results were published after two earlier delays.

May 152013

“Samruk-Green Energy plans to invest up to $94 million in building of Kazakhstan’s largest wind power plant. The wind farm will have the capacity of 45MW and is expected to be located in the Yereimentau area of the northern Akmola region. Most of the funds for the project are expected to be provided by the Eurasian Development Bank..”

Wind Power Monthly has the full story.

May 072013

“Europe’s program to halt climate change is in disarray with lawmakers in the region expressing concern the drift is undermining the planet’s most significant effort to combat global warming.

Members of the European Parliament’s environment committee meet today for a second time to revive a plan the full assembly rejected that would have boosted the cost of greenhouse-gas emissions. The rebuff left the cost of pollution near a record low, leaving companies with less incentive to reduce emissions..”

Read the full story on

By Mark Emlick

May 032013

“Scottish Enterprise plans to spend more than £1 billion over the next three years to help boost Scotland’s economy and meet a target of creating tens of thousands of jobs.

The publicly funded economic development agency intends to invest £336.4 million across 2013/14, £386.6m during the following 12 months and £297.9m in 2015/16.

The figure for the current year is up from the £302.1m indicated in the last business plan, with Scottish Enterprise saying the rise is due to additional funding being made available to deliver the Renewable Energy Investment fund.

The agency said the latest update has a dual focus on supporting more globally competitive companies and focusing on the growing sectors of Scotland’s economy including energy, financial services, food and drink, engineering, tourism and digital media..”

The Herald have a full story exploring this news which you can read on their website here

Apr 042013

“As wind power’s share of electricity generation has increased, so have the financial consequences of risks associated with its inherently high variability – risks which don’t just affect wind power producers but reverberate vertically through the value chain and horizontally to affect a range of electricity market players. Large utilities can manage risk with a combination of all three basic risk management strategies: limiting exposure to specific energy sources, diversifying, and engaging in extensive trading activities to hedge several types of risks across their operations…”

You can read this report in it’s entirety here (opens in a new window)