ECB asks Deutsche Bank to work out costs of winding down its investment bank

Germany’s largest lender has been looking into the potential impact of an exit from investment banking for some time
The European Central Bank has asked Deutsche Bank to work out how much it would cost to wind down its investment banking operations.
Germany’s largest lender has been looking into the potential impact of an exit from investment banking for some time. Now officials from the ECB’s supervisory division have said they must be presented with forecasts of how the plan would affect other parts of Deutsche Bank, Reuters reported on Sunday.
Deutsche is understood to be the first bank to be asked by the ECB to undertake the task, which is expected to take months to complete.
Read more Deutsche Bank sacks chief executive John Cryan after years of losses The news comes after Deutsche Bank signalled a change in direction by naming Christian Sewing, previously head of the retail banking division, as the replacement for John Cryan as chief executive.
Mr Cryan was sacked after t..

Chinese Social Media Site Reverses Gay Content Ban After Uproar

Chinese Social Media Site Reverses Gay Content Ban After Uproar Photo A conference booth last year for Sina Weibo, which had said Friday that it would reduce gay content as part of a campaign to remove pornographic and violent material from its site. Credit Jason Lee/Reuters BEIJING — Bowing to intense pressure from millions of internet users, a Chinese social media site said on Monday that it would scrap plans to censor cartoons and video games with gay themes.
The site, Sina Weibo, had announced on Friday that it would target gay content as part of a campaign to remove pornographic and violent material from its site.
But its efforts were almost immediately criticized as discriminatory and repressive, spawning an outpouring of #Iamgay hashtags and slogans like “gays aren’t scary.”
On Monday, Weibo said in a post that it would scale back its “cleanup” effort and focus on “pornographic, violent and bloody content” instead of gay material. In a nod to the intense backlash, it thanked int..

Average UK house price hits £305,732 as London property market continues decline

The average UK house price rose to a record high of £305,732 this month, according to the latest figures from Rightmove, but London property values continued to fall.
The average asking price was up 0.4 per cent between March and April for the UK overall, which was a 1.6 per cent increase compared to this time last year.
Read more Average UK house price rose to a record high in first quarter of 2018 Brexit to end London house price boom The 10 UK areas where house prices rose the most in 2017 However, the actual selling price being achieved nationally is 96.7 per cent of the asking price, meaning an average difference of more than £10,000 based on the average price of £305,732.
Meanwhile, sellers in the capital are achieving on average just 95.6 per cent of the asking price, which translates to a difference of more than £27,000 on the new seller average asking price of £628,039 in London.
“Home buyers are seeing average asking prices at their highest ever level with upwards pr..

Beast from the East saw UK GDP growth slip to just 0.3% in first quarter, suggests research

Negative impact not as severe as it was after last heavy snowfalls in December 2010, economists estimate
Severe bad weather could have reduced UK GDP growth to 0.2 to 0.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2018, according to new research.
Economists at PwC estimated that underlying economic growth had remained steady at 0.4 per cent and that any economic impact from heavy snow and ice should be temporary.
PwC kept its growth forecast for 2018 unchanged at 1.5 per cent and it predicts the economy will bounce back in the second quarter.
Read more UK economy in grip of most feeble recovery on modern record, says IFS Construction output slipped by 1.6 per cent in February and was 3 per cent lower than in the same month a year ago, the Office for National Statistics reported last week. That downward trend is likely to continue into March, according to PwC’s model, which uses data from a number of frequently released indicators. Some parts of the service sector – which makes up the majo..

Costa Coffee owner's share price jumps after reports the cafe chain will be spun off

US fund is now largest investor in hospitality group which also owns Premier Inn
The owner of Costa Coffee is facing pressure to spin off the high street cafe chain after activist investor Elliott Advisors built up a stake of more than six per cent in the group.
Whitbread’s share price jumped more than 6 per cent on Monday morning following reports over the weekend that Elliott had bought more shares in the company.
Read more Costa Coffee launches ‘Flat Black’ and receives mocking response Elliott’s holding is now worth more than £430m, making it the largest shareholder in Whitbread and giving it various voting rights that will allow the investor to press its case for splitting Costa Coffee from the rest of the business.
Whitbread, which also owns the Premier Inn brand, is also under pressure to spin off Costa from another New York-based investor, Sachem Head, which has a 3.4 per cent stake in the group.
Whitbread, which reports its full-year results next week, declined to ..

WPP shares drop 5% on first day of trading since Sir Martin Sorrell quit

Advertising boss said investigation was putting “unnecessary pressure” on the business
Shares in advertising group WPP dropped 5 per cent at the open on Monday, after the departure of chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell over the weekend.
Earlier this month, the group announced Mr Sorrell was under investigation over allegations of personal misconduct regarding company assets, which he rejected “unreservedly”.
Read more The business world needs more bosses like Martin Sorrell Sir Martin Sorrell quits as WPP boss after misconduct allegations WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell is under investigation On Saturday, Mr Sorrell said he was standing down as the “current disruption” was “putting too much unnecessary pressure on the business”.
Confirming his departure in a statement to the London Stock Exchange, WPP said: “The previously announced investigation into an allegation of misconduct against Sir Martin has concluded. The allegation did not involve amounts that are material.”
Roberto Qua..

UK car leasing costs driven up 9% in a year because of Brexit, research shows

Monthly costs rose most for German-made vehicles
The cost of leasing a new car in the UK has gone up 9 per cent in the space of a year due to the weak pound in the wake of the Brexit vote.
Research by accountancy group UHY Hacker Young shows the monthly cost of leasing a car rose from an average of £232 in February 2017 to £253 in the same month this year, based on a basket of some of the most popular car models in the UK.
Read more UK car registrations fall for 12th consecutive month The weakened pound is pushing import costs up for motor manufacturers, UHY said, and those companies are beginning to pass the expense on to consumers.
Prices are also being pushed up by strengthening sales in European markets, the accounting firm said, with less stock making its way to the UK.
The three biggest rises in monthly costs were all for German-made cars: the Mini Cooper D, up 31 per cent; the Audi A3, up 23 per cent; and the Mercedes-Benz C220, up 19 per cent.
This is in contrast ..

JD Wetherspoon to close Twitter, Instagram and Facebook of all its 900 pubs after online abuse of MPs

JD Wetherspoon is closing its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for all its 900 pubs and head office following the abuse directed at MPs and others.
The pub chain said the move also takes into account recent concerns over the misuse of personal data and the addictive nature of social media.
Tim Martin, the chairman of Wetherspoon, said: “We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business.
In a world of social media, J D Wetherspoon has decided to close down all Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts for individual pubs and head office. pic.twitter.com/16BbW7JS3g
— J D Wetherspoon (@jdwtweet) April 16, 2018 “I don't believe that closing these accounts will affect our business whatsoever, and this is the overwhelming view of our pub managers.
“It's becoming increasingly obvious that people spend too much time on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and struggle to control the compulsion.
“..