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HSBC warns UK government over bank levy

HSBC says its pre-tax profits for the year are well ahead of 2009, but it has warned UK and European regulators that there may be long-term consequences if they impose extra taxes on banks.

In its Q3 interim management statement today it did not give exact figures for its 2010 profits to date but it says pre-tax profits for Q3 2010 are well ahead of Q3 2009 figures.

But it is predicting a slowdown in the rate of recovery and says there is the likelihood of some bumps in the road ahead.

Michael Geoghegan, group chief executive at HSBC, says: “If the EU applies additional requirements to European firms operating in emerging markets, it would place those firms at a disadvantage to their regional competitors and to those based in North America.

“In the UK, a levy on the global balance sheets of UK-headquartered banks effectively places a tax on their emerging market growth and has a similar effect. Policymakers should therefore consider the likely long-term consequences of changes to the competitive landscape as they finalise legislation.”

In the UK, it says the economy continued to improve during the quarter although the level of activity remained depressed.

It says: “Confidence among households and businesses, and therefore appetite for credit, remained subdued while the impact of the government’s spending review remained uncertain.

“HSBC continued to build on its strong retail earnings base. As a result of targeted marketing, we increased market share of new mortgage lending on the previous quarter, while maintaining conservative LTV ratios.”



Trade bodies unite in face of regulation

It seems some kind of harmony has broken out among various trade bodies. I’m not suggesting that they have been at each other’s throats, but each have their own agenda and own members to look after. What common cause has emerged to bring these forces of the industry together? Of course, it can only be […]

Income verification proposals will just leave brokers stuffed

I feel I should respond to the letter from Charles Haresnape entitled ’Restore consumer faith by cleaning up industry’ (Mortgage Strategy October 11). It is astonishing that he feels we should embrace the Mortgage Market Review. That he should further summarily consign the self-employed to the mortgage bargain bin is plain nuts. The danger within […]

Your chance to grill the FSA at MBE

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries is calling on brokers to submit their questions to the Financial Services Authority in advance of next week’s Mortgage Business Expo.

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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