LSBF Blog - Global Matters

CBI calls for gender pay gap target

June 16 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

The Confederation of British Industry has called on the government to introduce a target for cutting the gender pay gap.

The gender pay gap has been the subject of fierce debate in the past few years, especially as wages have come under additional pressure as a result of the economic downturn.

Much has been written about how to reach a state where women’s average earnings are equal with those of men, and the latest contribution has come from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

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UK chancellor George Osborne announces tougher finance rules

June 13 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

George Osborne, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer and Second Lord of the Treasury, is set to announce a new set of measures to clamp down on bad behaviour in the finance sector.

The UK’s financial sector has suffered from a flurry of scandals in recent years, which have often left the public unaware of the amount of good practice that still goes on. In a bid to prevent problems such as the Libor-fixing fiasco from cropping up in future, George Osborne is due to announce a new set of measures to stamp out malpractice in the industry.

One of the most significant changes will be an extension of the new legislation that was put in place to regulate Libor rates.

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Bank of Ghana criticised for funding budget deficit

June 13 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Ghana’s central bank has attracted criticism for funding the government’s entire budget deficit.

Ghana’s central bank has drawn criticism from analysts by making the controversial decision to fund the government’s entire budget deficit.

Bloomberg reports that Bank of Ghana has confirmed it made use of its right to give a “short-term advance” to the government to make up the deficit. Grace Akofi, head of research at the central bank, told the source that the bailout became necessary due to “shortfalling government revenue”.

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ONS data shows strong rise in employment in the UK

June 12 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Britain’s economic recovery has been underlined today by another increase in employment.

There’s been a stream of positive news on the UK’s economic recovery recently, and figures published today by the Office for National Statistics show that employment is continuing to perform strongly.

Over 30.5 million people were in work between February and April – 345,000 more than in the previous three months and up by an impressive 780,000 from the same period last year. That was the single biggest leap since records began.

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Nigeria targets global oil leadership with OPEC secretary-general candidacy

June 12 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Nigeria is working to consolidate its status at the head of the global oil market by pushing for its oil minister to lead Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Nigeria recently overtook South Africa as the biggest economy in Africa, and Nigeria appears to be set on consolidating its position on the global stage.

Now, it appears the next step is to develop its reputation using its plentiful natural resources, as news has emerged the country is pushing its own oil minister for a leadership role in the world’s major oil organisation.

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UK industrial output rises for fifth straight month

June 11 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Manufacturing in the UK is still showing signs of recovery, after ONS figures shows industrial production on the rise again.

The UK economic outlook has been improving of late, with a series of reports showing that activity is firmly on the rise. New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published yesterday, 10 June, show that April was yet another positive month for the manufacturing sector in particular.

According to the latest Index of Production estimates, manufacturing output rose by 0.4 per cent in April from the previous month, marking the fifth month of expansion in a row. But the annual rate of growth was even more impressive at 4.4 per cent.

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India’s new government sets economic revival plan

June 11 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

India’s new government has announced a huge economic reform in a bid to bring fresh growth to the nation.

India’s economy has been failing to win over its critics of late. Although it has been growing fairly steadily, expansion below five per cent a year has not been enough to lift many citizens out of poverty and the country has been demanding more.

Manufacturing actually contracted in 2013-14, for the first time in more than 20 years.

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Barclays develops contactless payment wristbands

June 10 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Barclays says it will roll out wristbands that can be used for contactless payments in the next few months.

It is no secret that wearable technology is one of the key research areas for many tech companies. From Google Glass to patents suggesting that Samsung is still working on a smartwatch design, businesses are seeking ways to make technology more personal than ever.

Now, Barclays has announced that it is planning to extend the use of wearable tech into payment processes.

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Economic boom in sight as global shares hit all-time highs

Recovering economies and low interest rates have pushed world shares to their highest ever levels.

World shares were close to their highest levels ever yesterday, 9 June, as low interest rates in key economies and moves towards economic recovery buoyed investor confidence.

report from Reuters shows that MSCI’s 45-country All-World share index, an important benchmark for the performance of shares around the world, edged up 0.15 per cent to stand at 427.11 points. That was not far away from 428.63, the previous peak figure achieved before the financial crisis in 2007.

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European Central Bank imposes negative interest rates

Low inflation and a strong euro have driven the European Central Bank to impose negative interest rates.

The European Central Bank (ECB) took the dramatic step on imposing negative interest rates on 5 June.

Instead of paying out extra to banks that deposit money at the ECB, calculated according to the base rate, institutions will now actually have to pay financial penalties relative to the size of their deposit. Given the sizes of the sums involved, it is likely the move could prove very expensive for some banks.

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British retail calls on UK government for business rate reform

Small businesses would no longer have to pay business rates under proposals from the British Retail Consortium, but will the government listen?

Business rates have been a recurring theme for small firms over the past few years, with continual calls for the government to overhaul the current system.

But under proposals submitted to a government consultation on administering company taxes, more than 100,000 small businesses would no longer have to pay the notoriously high fees.

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Post Office and Travelex run out of Brazilian Reals ahead of World Cup

June 06 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Two major foreign exchange suppliers, Travelex and the Post Office, have run out of Brazilian reals ahead of the World cup.

The World Cup is fast approaching, and with only a week left to go excitement is mounting within the UK and the rest of the world. It’s expected to pull in 3.7 million visitors to Brazil, just over half of whom will actually be attending events linked to the tournament.

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Queen’s Speech aims for business vote

June 06 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

UK government uses the Queen’s Speech to unveil pro-business measures for the coming year.

It’s one of the highlights of the Westminster calendar, when the Queen descends on the House of Lords to unveil the government’s plans for the coming session.

Behind the pomp and ceremony of the most glamorous event that takes place in the Houses of Parliament, decision-makers have been working tirelessly on a list of measures that David Cameron described as “unashamedly pro-business”.

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SMEs and startups reap benefits of crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has grown considerably in the years since the financial crisis, and businesses are reaping the rewards of this alternative source of finance.

The years since the financial downturn have seen a considerable rise in the number of new businesses and self-employed people, both in the UK and around the world. Yet at the same time, low confidence and reluctance on the part of many banks to lend to riskier businesses has made it much harder for some small firms to obtain finance.

It is hardly surprising that companies have shown more and more interest in alternative forms of finance.

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$48 trillion investment needed to meet world energy needs

A new report shows that meeting the world’s energy needs could come at a much higher cost than most people might have imagined.

As the population grows and developing economies become more industrialised, the world’s energy needs are increasing every day. Yet governments are keenly aware that fossil fuels will run out eventually, and pressure is rising to make renewable energy more common and affordable.

But a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicates that meeting the world’s energy needs might be even more costly than we thought.

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New virus GameOver Zeus threatens to steal personal data

June 04 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Web users need to tighten up their security to protect against another new bug – GameOver Zeus, the National Crime Agency has warned.

Consumers have heard plenty of stories about online security in the past few months. But after the Heartbleed bug and eBay getting hacked just last month, the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) has once again urged consumers to rethink their security settings since another new bug has emerged.

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Apple iCloud and iMessage take on Dropbox and WhatsApp

Apple has announced new cloud and messaging developments aimed squarely at some of its key competitors.

Apple has announced a raft of new features for its software platforms, all of which appear to be aimed at getting ahead of major competitors such as WhatsApp and cloud-based file-sharing service Dropbox.

Speaking at the Worldwide Developer Conference on 2 June, senior vice-president of software engineering at the firm Craig Federighi told the audience that the upcoming OS X update will include some significant additions to messaging and cloud services.

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UK customers spend less cash than ever as digital payments rise

June 03 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Consumers are turning away from cash to use other means of payment, data shows.

Cash has been the principal method of payment in the UK for centuries, but the advent of new technologies means that this is slowly changing.

According to figures published yesterday by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), shoppers in the UK are actually using less cash than ever before as they turn to alternative payment methods. In fact, the proportion of sales transactions conducted in cash declined by 3.3 per cent last year compared to 2012. As a percentage of total sales turnover, cash transactions slipped by 4.5 per cent.

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Employment set to pick up for UK graduates; finance leads

June 03 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Finance is at the forefront of an upturn in graduate recruitment this year, according to new figures.

It’s an anxious time of year for many students, as exams give way to the inevitable period of waiting before results are published. In spite of the career advantages that a degree can bring, too, many will also be worrying about finding their first job. But for those who are concerned about their employment prospects once they graduate, some good news has appeared over the horizon.

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LSBF Alumni Interview: Kyle Tyrrell

June 02 ,2014 | by LSBF Blog Staff

LSBF ACCA alumnus Kyle Tyrrell is the true personification of a high achiever. Alongside his position as a Finance Business Partner at AXA Insurance UK, he qualified as an ACCA-certified accountant in 2014 and is now setting up his own business – a catering company called ‘My Little Kitchen’ with a business partner.

Kyle shares with us that his ACCA qualification and the things he learnt while working towards the qualification have helped him greatly in his decision-making as a director at his startup.

Kyle also was one of the finalists of the PQ Awards 2014, in the PQ of the Year category.

We spoke to Kyle about his reasoning behind pursuing an ACCA qualification, the benefits of studying ACCA at LSBF and what his advice for new students would be.

 

Here are some excerpts from our conversation with Kyle…

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From the world of business: May 2014 highlights

June 02 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

Welcome to our news round-up for May 2014. In this round-up of the most important business news from around the world, we point you to some of the biggest news stories that have had people talking during the past month.

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Lloyds gets closer to ‘40% women leadership by 2020’ target

June 02 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Lloyds Banking Group has hired a top female executive as it pushes towards its goal of increasing female representation in leadership roles.

The group has continued with its plans to hire more women in senior roles last week, after it announced the appointment of another top female executive.

Mary Hall will become the new group audit director at the firm, one of its most senior roles. She will also become the second most senior women in the organisation after Alison Brittain, who runs the bank’s retail side.

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LSBF Student Interview: Tien Thi Thuy Tran

May 30 ,2014 | by LSBF Blog Staff

Tien Thi Thuy Tran from Vietnam has always wanted to pursue her ‘dream career’ in finance. But before entering her undergraduate degree programme, she felt she needed to be better prepared.

Tien’s decision to study the LSBF Foundation Programme in Business in order to pursue a career in the financial sector has reaped rich rewards and she is now well set on moving towards her goal of one day becoming a financial advisor.

Here are some excerpts from our chat with Tien…

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LSBF Alumni Interview: Emile Albert Lloyds

May 30 ,2014 | by LSBF Blog Staff

LSBF MBA graduate Emile Albert Lloyds has a high-flying career in the financial markets. After finishing his MBA at LSBF in 2010, he secured a job as an Investment Operations and Income Consultant a JP Morgan, one of the world’s largest financial companies.

How was Emile’s path to success paved at LSBF?

Here are some excerpts from our chat with Emile…

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Argentina sets plans to repay $10 billion Paris Club debt

May 30 ,2014 | by Sarah Parkin

Argentina may have established a path back into the global community with a plan to settle its debts.

News has emerged that the Latin American country has reached an agreement with the Paris Club, an organisation which represents the creditor governments of industrialised countries.

The terms of the deal make clear that the nation will pay off some $10 billion in arrears over a period of five years, with the first repayment due in May 2015.

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