The hedge fund owned by the billionaire investor and anti-Brexit donor George Soros has made a £16m bet against shares in the owner of the Daily Mail newspaper. SFM UK Management, the London arm of the New York-based Soros Fund Management, this week took out a short position representing 0.9% of the shares of Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), according to filings to the Financial Conduct Authority published on Thursday. DMGT, which also owns the Metro newspaper, bought the i newspaper and website at the end of November for £46.9m. However, its crown jewel is the Mail titles, including the Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail and Mail Online, which have been intensely critical of Soros because of his donations to liberal causes. Soros has become a hate figure among some sections of the political right wing in Europe and the US. His vilification has included the persistent use of antisemitic tropes as well as outright conspiracy theories from figures including the Brexit party leader, … [Read more...] about George Soros hedge fund makes £16m bet against Daily Mail owner shares
Financial conduct authority
The term 0% should be banned on credit cards that come with an upfront balance transfer fee, and high cost, unauthorised overdrafts should be accompanied with a health warning, the consumer group Which? has said, as it called for broader efforts by the City regulator to clean up the credit market. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took over regulation of the credit market in April and began a crackdown on payday loan companies and other high-cost lenders. Which? said it had found evidence of poor practice elsewhere in the sector that made it difficult for consumers to manage their borrowing and shop around. The consumer group called for a series of actions to tackle the problems, including: capping default fees on all credit products; cracking down on irresponsible lending by withholding authorisation for firms found to have business models that rely on customers defaulting; and banning firms for advertising 0% deals if there was an upfront cost. It said lenders should be required … [Read more...] about Ban term ‘0%’ for credit cards with upfront fee, says Which?
The City regulator is investigating a number of debt management firms and has warned the industry that it needs to do more to protect consumers in financial difficulty. The Financial Conduct Authority, which was given responsibility for the sector in April, issued its warning as it prepares to authorise up to 200 debt management firms from next month. The FCA did not specify how many firms and individuals are already under investigation when it gave its update on the status of companies that step in when customers are facing difficulty paying their bills. Two firms have already had their applications refused before the formal authorisation date and seven firms have had their bank accounts frozen to protect money from clients. Victoria Raffe, director of authorisations at the FCA, said: “These firms are advising consumers who have often reached rock bottom, so it’s important that firms get it right. Many firms are falling well short of our expectations and they will need to … [Read more...] about Debt management firms face regulator investigation
Well done, the Financial Conduct Authority. After about six months of regulation, it has achieved something the Office of Fair Trading, the previous supposed policeman, never did: forced the company to admit that its lending practices have been obscene and make substantial redress. In short, Wonga has been shoving ultra-high-interest loans towards hundreds of thousands of people who could never have afforded to repay them. The result is a settlement that will see Wonga write off £220m-worth of loans made to 330,000 customers who are in arrears of 30 days or more. A further 45,000 people in arrears of less than 30 days will be asked to repay their debt without interest and charges. That’s a total of 375,000 people who do not meet Wonga’s new affordability criteria for responsible lending. For context, that’s roughly the equivalent of the entire population of Kingston upon Hull. The company, under the now departed founder Errol Damelin, was lending irresponsibly on … [Read more...] about Wonga’s irresponsible lending was on a colossal scale – it had to be tackled
The City regulator is to investigate whether credit cards are being marketed too aggressively, amid concerns that plastic payment is allowing consumers to run up debts they cannot afford. At £150bn a year, the UK credit card market is the largest in Europe, with 30 million people holding cards with total debts of £60bn. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it would launch an investigation into the market when it took over regulation of the sector in April. On Tuesday it revealed the full scope of its inquiry. It will look at the complexity of credit cards, the fairness and transparency of their terms and conditions, and whether consumers can easily switch between different credit card providers. The regulator will also inquire into whether the cards are marketed “in a way that works against the best interests of consumers”. In April, its research showed that many consumers tried to resist the lure of credit cards “but were eventually worn down by … [Read more...] about Credit card market faces inquiry into aggressive marketing