Monday, December 5, 2022
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FirstFT: UK ministers face showdown with regulators over insurance coverage guidelines

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Tensions are rising between Downing Avenue and UK regulators over Boris Johnson’s flagship post-Brexit reform of the insurance coverage sector, which goals to unleash an “funding massive bang” in British infrastructure.

The prime minister informed allies he was “getting impatient” over the tempo of change to Solvency II guidelines and with what he believed have been excessively cautious regulators. “He retains asking why it isn’t taking place,” stated one.

Insurers have lobbied for years for the Solvency II regulatory regime to be amended, arguing that it requires them to carry an excessive amount of capital and is just too restrictive in setting the parameters for which property they will spend money on.

Johnson has recommended that insurance coverage corporations will put billions of kilos into infrastructure, together with inexperienced power schemes, after the overhaul.

However the Financial institution of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority, which supervises insurers, needs to ensure that any easing of the regulatory burden doesn’t create threat to policyholders or the soundness of corporations.

Do you may have any suggestions on the publication? Inform us at Thanks for studying FirstFT Europe/Africa. Right here’s the remainder of at present’s information — Jennifer

1. Company fundraisings slide 25% throughout market rout Companies globally raised $4.9tn via new bonds, loans and fairness within the first half of 2022, down from $6.6tn within the first half of 2021 — a record-setting interval — in line with Refinitiv knowledge, as a chill throughout capital markets left bankers and company finance chiefs cautious.

2. UK commerce efficiency plummets The nation’s present account deficit was calculated at 8.3 per cent of gross home product within the first quarter of 2022, a deterioration from a median of two.6 per cent throughout 2021 and the worst stage since information started, piling extra stress on sterling and highlighting the financial impression of Brexit.

3. Russian forces withdraw from Snake Island Moscow pulled again from the strategic Black Sea outpost in what its defence ministry described as a “gesture of goodwill” to assist restore Ukrainian grain shipments, however which Kyiv claimed was a humiliating retreat after its artillery bombardment.

  • Associated learn: Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has threatened to derail Sweden and Finland’s Nato membership bids once more, demanding Stockholm extradite 73 folks accused of terrorism.

  • Interview: European leaders should maintain agency in the event that they wish to cease Vladimir Putin’s “battle of exhaustion”, stated the top of Ukraine’s state-run power firm.

4. France able to bypass Hungary for international company tax deal Paris needs the EU to contemplate bypassing Hungary to safe a minimal company tax fee for giant corporations after Budapest final month blocked an settlement negotiated by 137 nations on the OECD, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire stated yesterday.

5. London Metropolis airport’s massive post-pandemic plans The airport has set out plans for important growth, together with permitting extra weekend flights and growing the cap on passengers, to capitalise on the journey business’s restoration after the coronavirus pandemic.

The times forward

ECB ends bond-buying scheme The European Central Financial institution will wrap up a part of its stimulus measures launched a decade in the past, to tamp down stubbornly excessive inflation.

Altering of the guard Brazil takes over the presidency of the UN Safety Council for July, whereas the Czech Republic assumes the six-month presidency of the EU.

Financial knowledge S&P International manufacturing buying managers’ indices are out for France, Italy, the UK and the US. European client costs are anticipated to rise once more in June. The UK publishes client credit score figures whereas US manufacturing exercise is about to have decelerated. (FT, WSJ)

Julian Assange deadline It’s the final day for the WikiLeaks founder to launch an enchantment in opposition to the UK’s resolution to extradite him to the US to face espionage expenses.

Nationwide Days Rwanda commemorates independence from Belgium whereas Somalia marks the nation’s creation from British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland. Canada has a federal vacation celebrating the formation of the union of the British North America provinces that created Canada in 1868. On Sunday, Belarus marks Independence Day.

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What else we’re studying

Stolen tens of millions and trophy cattle weigh on Cyril Ramaphosa The majestic longhorns of the Ankole have been love at first sight for the longer term South African chief. However his costly interest of breeding the prized cattle has turn out to be his Achilles heel in an anti-corruption drive after a mysterious housebreaking raised questions in regards to the transparency of his wealth.

The Swedish island the place a 3rd world battle may begin Consultants say a Russian invasion of the Baltics may start with Gotland, an idyllic 1,200-square-mile island that is without doubt one of the most strategically vital places in Europe. Army management of the “unsinkable plane service” would threaten not solely Sweden but additionally Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Ground forces patrol Gotland, Sweden
Gotland can be one of many vacationer pearls of northern Europe © Bezhav Mahmoud/Swedish Armed Forces/TT Information Company/AP

keep away from a privateness apocalypse In the meanwhile, we have now the worst of each worlds: researchers wrestle to entry knowledge as a result of the individuals who have affected person information (rightly) hesitate to share them. But leaks are nearly inevitable due to patchy oversight. Tim Harford argues we want a brand new sort of knowledge infrastructure.

Will crypto contagion infect mainstream finance? The cryptocurrency market carnage has had one silver lining: the broader monetary system has been spared. Right here’s why most regulators and business heavyweights imagine banks and asset managers are protected.

Sufficient of the nanny employer Employers have been more and more conscientious about attending to workers wellbeing through the pandemic, notably psychological well being, usually delving into issues that have been beforehand seen as private. However have they encroached too far into our private lives?

Meals & drink

From glass bottles to linen napkins, freshly reduce flowers to sandwiches for everybody, right here’s host the proper picnic.

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