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Post Office bank will not be viable

The government has ruled out creating a Post Office bank because it would be time consuming and expensive.

Edward Davey, minister for postal affairs, revealed last week that at a time when public finances are under huge strain the government believes its funding would be better spent modernising and maintaining the network.

He adds that the Post Office will not be for sale and there will be no closures.

The government is keen for the Post Office to expand further into financial services. This will include offering new products through its relationship with the Bank of Ireland and looking into ways that the Post Office and Credit Unions can work more closely together.

Davey says: “Our long-term goal is to convert the Post Office into a mutual structure, for example, like the Co-operative Group, giving em-ployees, sub-postmasters and communities a much greater say in how the company is run.

“Our programme means the net-ork is on the cusp of an exciting new era.”



Lending growth will not solve market ills

Latest Bank of England figures show that mortgage approvals in September remained almost level at 47,474 compared with August. Net lending in the same period dropped. Having predicted at the end of September that the figure would stand at 48,245 loans, our statistical wizards should be feeling reasonably smug to be within 1.6% of the […]


MMR: One-off costs could cost industry up to £50m

Compliance costs for the Financial Services Authority’s Mortgage Market Review distribution and disclosure paper could amount to a one-off cost of up to £50m and a further £2m every year for the mortgage industry, an FSA-commissioned report shows.


The only way is up

The secured loan sector has had its fair share of problems but the promise of new entrants and funding means it could be ready for take-offonce again

Apple: a stellar technology story

By Ali Unwin, head of technology sector research

Apple recently announced the highest-ever recorded quarterly net profit ($18bn), with the sale of 74.4 million iPhones helping the company deliver $74.6bn of revenue for the quarter ending December 2014. These sales were largely driven by strong demand for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Highlights included Chinese iPhone sales doubling year-on-year and unit growth of 44% in the US — supposedly a well-penetrated market. Apple ended the quarter with $178bn in cash on its balance sheet, having generated a staggering $30bn in free cash flow during the quarter.

At Neptune, we have been long-term believers in the Apple story, and continue to hold the stock in a number of our portfolios based on the company’s long-term growth prospects. This is predicated on our belief that Apple has proved thus far that it can — unusually for a consumer electronics company — maintain high margins for a sustained period of time, even as adoption of new technology slows down and competitors produce similar-specification products.


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