Latest George Osborne news

  • Unexpected RBS profit boosts chance of early share sale
    Unexpected RBS profit boosts chance of early share sale Thu, Jul 30, 2015

    By Matt Scuffham and Steve Slater LONDON (Reuters) - State-owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) posted an unexpected profit in the second quarter, benefiting from write-backs on problem loans and boosting its stock ahead of an impending first sale of a chunk of the government's shares. An RBS share sale, following successive disposals of government holdings in Lloyds Banking Group , would mark another milestone in Britain's recovery since the 2007-2009 financial crisis and could contribute billions of pounds to state coffers. Finance Minister George Osborne said earlier this month the Treasury planned to sell at least three-quarters of its 78 percent stake over the next five years and he was keen to kick off the process as soon as possible. More »

  • George Osborne: We must fix relationship with 'single market' EU
    George Osborne: We must fix relationship with 'single market' EU Wed, Jul 29, 2015

    Britain must fix its economic relationship with Brussels to persuade the voters it is right to remain in the European Union, George Osborne has warned. More »

  • UK bank Shawbrook's profit nearly doubles on loan book growth Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    (Reuters) - Newly-listed UK bank Shawbrook Group Plc said its first-half profit nearly doubled, driven by an increase in its loan book. UK Chancellor George Osborne announced an 8 percent surcharge on banks' profits effective January 2016. The bank's loan book grew 38 percent to 2.72 billion pounds from 1.97 billion pounds a year earlier. More »

  • UK-France taskforce set to boost digital economy
    UK-France taskforce set to boost digital economy Mon, Jul 27, 2015

    Tech companies are set to be boosted by a new joint taskforce set up by Britain and France, Chancellor George Osborne has announced. More »

  • Banks' credit and debit card processing fees to be capped
    Banks' credit and debit card processing fees to be capped Mon, Jul 27, 2015

    Fees charged by banks to businesses for processing credit and debit card payments are to be capped under new Government proposals that Chancellor George Osborne said should mean lower prices for consumers. More »

  • Britain's Osborne pushes EU reform in Paris
    Britain's Osborne pushes EU reform in Paris Mon, Jul 27, 2015

    Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is to push the case for European Union reform as he kicks off a European roadshow with a trip to Paris More »

  • Chancellor George Osborne takes EU reform campaign to Paris
    Chancellor George Osborne takes EU reform campaign to Paris Sun, Jul 26, 2015

    Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will take Britain's case for European Union reform to Paris on Sunday, seeking support from his French counterpart for a deal the Conservative government can put before voters in a promised in-out referendum. British Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to renegotiate ties with the European Union ahead of a vote on the country's continuing membership by the end of 2017. Osborne's trip to Paris, the first in a series of visits to European capitals, will seek to build on Cameron's meetings with all 27 leaders of the bloc earlier this year, the government said. More »

  • George Osborne to tour key capitals in EU reform drive
    George Osborne to tour key capitals in EU reform drive Sun, Jul 26, 2015

    George Osborne is to take centre stage in the drive to reform the EU as he kicks off a tour of key capitals. More »

  • David Cameron and George Osborne in Downing Street flats Treasury tax blund …
    David Cameron and George Osborne in Downing Street flats Treasury tax blund … Fri, Jul 24, 2015

    A Treasury blunder meant David Cameron and George Osborne were told to pay less tax than they should have for the use of their Downing Street flats. More »

  • TSB urges rethink of banking surcharge
    TSB urges rethink of banking surcharge Thu, Jul 23, 2015

    TSB Banking Group , being bought by Spain's Banco Sabadell for $2.5 billion (£1.60 billion), has urged British finance minister George Osborne to rethink his banking surcharge if he wants to encourage the growth of smaller "challenger" banks. British lawmakers and regulators want to break the dominance of Lloyds Banking Group , from which TSB was spun off last year, Royal Bank of Scotland , Barclays , HSBC and the UK arm of Spain's Santander . Together those five control more than four out of five personal current accounts in Britain, but Osborne's taxes on banks have already been attacked by the industry as harming their ability to lend. More »

  • Early departure leaves UK regulator with a sense of 'unfinished busines …
    Early departure leaves UK regulator with a sense of 'unfinished busines … Wed, Jul 22, 2015

    By Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Martin Wheatley, the chief executive of Britain's Financial Conduct Authority, said his early departure from his job leaves him with a sense of unfinished business. Wheatley's comments are his first public response to British finance minister George Osborne's decision not to extend his contract, which led to his decision last Friday to go before his term expires next March. "I am disappointed to be moving on and I do so with a sense of unfinished business," Wheatley told reporters after taking part in his last FCA annual meeting. More »

  • Wednesday's National Newspaper Front Pages
  • Osborne Tells Departments To Prepare For Cuts
    Osborne Tells Departments To Prepare For Cuts Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    George Osborne has warned Government ministers they will need to deliver "more for less" - as the Treasury aims to cut spending by up to 40% in the next four years. Launching the 2015 Spending Review, the Chancellor unveiled plans for unprotected departments to achieve savings of between 25% and 40% by 2020. As part of the measures, Mr Osborne wants Government departments to devise plans to sell off billions of pounds worth of land, and other public assets, as part of a drive to save £20bn and eliminate the deficit by the end of the current parliament. More »

  • Philip Hammond plays down George Osborne's call for 40% Whitehall cuts
    Philip Hammond plays down George Osborne's call for 40% Whitehall cuts Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    George Osborne's demands for cuts of up to 40% from government departments have been played down as "aspirational" by a Cabinet minister. More »

  • Osborne says no plans to loosen banks' ring-fence Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    British finance minister George Osborne said on Tuesday that he did not intend to allow a looser implementation of rules separating British banks' retail and investment banking operations. Osborne's commitment to tough banking regulation has been questioned since he decided last week not to renew the contract of the chief executive of the country's Financial Conduct Authority, Martin Wheatley. Asked by a member of parliament about a media report that finance ministry officials were preparing to relax incoming ring-fencing rules, Osborne said he was unaware of this. More »

  • Osborne tightens screws on government spending plans
    Osborne tightens screws on government spending plans Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    By William James and David Milliken LONDON (Reuters) - Chancellor George Osborne launched a new front in his austerity push on Tuesday as he challenged some government departments to find spending cuts of up to 40 percent by the end of the decade. Osborne said he would announce on Nov. 25 how he would find an extra 20 billion pounds of annual departmental savings, on top of deep cuts to welfare spending that he unveiled earlier this month in a post-election budget. "This spending review is the next step in our plan to eliminate the deficit, run a surplus and ensure Britain lives within its means," Osborne said in a statement. More »

  • UK consolidates Bank of England's bank supervision role
    UK consolidates Bank of England's bank supervision role Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    By Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's government unveiled plans on Tuesday to centralise financial regulation further at the Bank of England and reinforce its own powers to shield taxpayers from having to prop up failing lenders in future. British finance minister George Osborne published a consultation paper to reform the regulatory system just two years after a shake-up aimed at plugging gaps highlighted by a "light touch" regulatory regime that failed to spot the 2007-09 financial crisis coming. The government proposed making the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) an integral part of the Bank, ending its status as a subsidiary with its own board. More »

  • Lloyds to set out dividend plans ahead of share sale - sources
    Lloyds to set out dividend plans ahead of share sale - sources Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    By Matt Scuffham LONDON (Reuters) - Lloyds is expected to set out its dividend plans next week, including a potential return of surplus cash to shareholders, making its stock more attractive ahead of a possible sale to retail investors, industry sources said. Chancellor George Osborne said in June he would sell part of the government's remaining 15 percent stake in Lloyds to retail investors in the next 12 months, in a sale reminiscent of the 1980s privatisations of British Gas and British Telecom under then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Lloyds' potential dividend yield and prospects for special one-off payouts would be a big part of the stock's appeal to retail investors, many of whom look for shares to provide income. Prior to a 20.5 billion pound bailout in the 2007-2009 financial crisis, Lloyds was one of the biggest dividend-payers in the FTSE 100 . More »

  • No knockout blow as George Osborne and Dennis Skinner go head-to-head
    No knockout blow as George Osborne and Dennis Skinner go head-to-head Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    George Osborne has been warned not to knock himself out of the Tory leadership contest by the Beast of Bolsover. More »

  • UK government targets spending cuts of up to 40 percent by 2020
    UK government targets spending cuts of up to 40 percent by 2020 Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    Britain's government is asking some departments to prepare to cut day-to-day spending by as much as 40 percent by the 2019/20 tax year, in a major spending review launched by Conservative chancellor George Osborne on Tuesday. The finance ministry also set out changes to the Bank of England, adding an external member to its regulatory Financial Policy Committee and following a recommendation to cut the number of interest rate setting meetings to eight a year. "The (government) will ask departments to model two scenarios of 25 percent and 40 percent of savings within their resource budgets by 2019-20 in real terms. More »

  • Osborne asks government departments to find 20 billion pounds of savings
    Osborne asks government departments to find 20 billion pounds of savings Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    Government departments will be asked to identify public land that can be sold off for house building as part of plans to make 20 billion pounds of savings to public spending, Chancellor George Osborne will say on Tuesday. Fresh from an election victory in May, Osborne has already set out plans to cut 12 billion pounds from the welfare budget as he seeks to rebalance Britain's public finances. Launching a spending review on Tuesday, the results of which will be published on November 25, Osborne will say the government will have made savings of 98 billion pounds by 2015/16 but must continue to do "more for less" in public services. More »

  • Labour Party revolts against leader over government welfare cuts
    Labour Party revolts against leader over government welfare cuts Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    The Labour Party suffered an embarrassing split on Monday when about a fifth of its MPs defied its interim leader's call not to oppose government plans to cut welfare payments. In his first post-election budget this month, Chancellor George Osborne set out 12 billion pounds of welfare savings aimed at helping rebalance the public finances, including sharply restricting access to an expensive tax credits system which tops up the earnings of workers on low incomes. Labour, which in May suffered its worst election defeat since 1987, is in the midst of a soul searching debate about its future direction as it grapples with the reasons for its loss and seeks a new leader. More »

  • Budget 'means poor students will have bigger debts'
    Budget 'means poor students will have bigger debts' Tue, Jul 21, 2015

    Students from poor backgrounds will leave university owing "substantially" more debt than their richer classmates because of George Osborne's summer Budget, according to new research. More »

  • National Living Wage 'Puts 80,000 Jobs At Risk'
    National Living Wage 'Puts 80,000 Jobs At Risk' Mon, Jul 20, 2015

    Convenience stores could lose nearly £166m as a result of George Osborne's new National Living Wage. The analysis put together by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) and Oxford University's Said Business School calculated that 24,000 stores could be at risk of closure. The minimum wage is currently £6.50 for those aged 21 and over, but under the Chancellor's new scheme this will rise to £7.20 from April 2016 onwards. More »

  • Osborne Urges Labour MPs To Back Welfare Cuts
    Osborne Urges Labour MPs To Back Welfare Cuts Mon, Jul 20, 2015

    George Osborne has urged "progressive" Labour MPs to vote in favour of his welfare cuts, saying a majority of the party's voters thinks the UK pays too much in benefits. Ahead of a vote tonight on the measures unveiled in the Budget , the Chancellor said the party had to stop blaming voters for its election defeat and realise the public supported welfare changes. And he accused the interim leader Harriet Harman of bowing to pressure from the unions and changing her position on supporting Mr Osborne's stringent measures. More »

  • Liz Kendall Slams Mail On Sunday Journalist… And Rightly So
    Liz Kendall Slams Mail On Sunday Journalist… And Rightly So Mon, Jul 20, 2015

    Kendall who was described as a “slinky brunette” in a newspaper article, said it is “unbelievable” that female politicians are subject to this type of appearance-based scrutiny: a phenomenon that is not true for men in government. “Can you imagine the Mail on Sunday asking the weight of the prime minister, George Osborne or any other leading politician?” she said on BBC Radio 5 Live. Kendall was referring to when political editor Simon Walters called her “a power-dressing Blairite” who had the torch of Blairism “thrust into her elegant hand”. More »

  • IKEA becomes first retailer to pledge living wage for UK workers
    IKEA becomes first retailer to pledge living wage for UK workers Mon, Jul 20, 2015

    IKEA Group will next year begin paying its staff in Britain a living wage above the compulsory level set out by the government this month, the world's largest furniture retailer said on Monday. In his first post-election budget, British finance minister George Osborne announced a compulsory living wage for workers aged over 25, starting at 7.20 pounds ($11.24) an hour when it is introduced next April and rising to 9.35 pounds by 2020. The privately owned Swedish company, known for its flat-pack, self-assembly furniture, said it would instead pay all of its UK workers the level set out annually by The Living Wage Foundation, making it the first national retailer to do so. More »

  • Monday's National Newspaper Front Pages
  • Defence Giant BAE Puts New Chief On Radar
    Defence Giant BAE Puts New Chief On Radar Sat, Jul 18, 2015

    Mr King, who has run BAE since 2008, has no immediate plans to step down, and insiders believe that a change of leadership could still be at least two years away. News of BAE's preparations for a change of leadership comes just weeks after George Osborne pledged that Britain would meet a NATO commitment to spend at least ‎2% of its GDP on defence. More »

  • FCA Chief Wheatley quits early
    FCA Chief Wheatley quits early Fri, Jul 17, 2015

    By Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) - The head of Britain's financial watchdog is stepping down early in a move some industry watchers said was a sign the government wants to take a less confrontational stance towards banks. Sources familiar with the matter said Martin Wheatley, viewed as a hardliner in regulatory terms, had resigned as head of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after the government refused to extend his contract, due to end in March 2016. In a statement on Friday, finance minister George Osborne praised Wheatley for his work in launching the FCA in 2013 but said different leadership was required to take the watchdog to the next stage of its development, without elaborating. More »

  • Financial Watchdog Chief Steps Down Early
    Financial Watchdog Chief Steps Down Early Fri, Jul 17, 2015

    The head of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Martin Wheatley, is to leave ahead of the end of his four-year contract after the Government said new leadership was needed. Mr Wheatley was due to stay in the job until March 2016, but will now step down effective 12 September. It has been reported that he made the decision to leave after being informed the Chancellor, George Osborne, would not be renewing his contract in the new year. More »

  • Britain cuts Lloyds stake as full privatisation looms
    Britain cuts Lloyds stake as full privatisation looms Thu, Jul 16, 2015

    By Matt Scuffham LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has cut its stake in Lloyds Banking Group by a further percentage point to under 15 percent, accelerating its drive to return the bailed-out lender to full private ownership. The latest sale means the government has so far raised more than 13 billion pounds ($20 billion) from selling its shares in the bank, having pumped 20.5 billion pounds into Lloyds during the 2007/09 financial crisis leaving it with a 43 percent stake. Finance minister George Osborne has said he wants to return Britain's banking assets to the private sector at a faster pace and is also looking to sell at least three quarters of the government's stake in Royal Bank of Scotland over the next five years. More »

  • British banks complain of 40 billion pound extra tax bill
    British banks complain of 40 billion pound extra tax bill Thu, Jul 16, 2015

    By Matt Scuffham LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's banks will have been hit by an additional 40 billion pound tax bill by the end of this decade, harming their ability to lend to businesses and create new jobs, an industry lobby group said on Wednesday. Finance Minister George Osborne said last week that the government would replace a levy on bank balance sheets with a surcharge on profits, but the two schemes will run concurrently until 2020, placing an additional burden on lenders. The bank levy was introduced in 2011 in response to the financial crisis of 2007-2009, in which RBS and Lloyds were bailed out to the tune of 66 billion pounds, and applies to the global balance sheet assets of British banks as well as assets belonging to the UK operations of foreign banks. More »

  • Osborne Considers Approving EU Funds For Greece
    Osborne Considers Approving EU Funds For Greece Thu, Jul 16, 2015

    George Osborne has signalled that he could allow the use of a controversial European Union fund to help provide Greece with a short-term loan - but only if the UK is protected from a possible default. Treasury sources say that the UK would consider the use of the European Financial Stability Mechanism to provide a bridging loan of around €7bn (£5bn) to Greece to keep it afloat in the coming weeks - but only if an indemnity is provided to protect Britain’s cash. The move may be seen by some as a compromise, since only on Tuesday the Chancellor, in Brussels for the meeting of EU finance ministers, was described as "furious" about the proposal to use the EFSM. More »

  • Wetherspoon Warns Living Wage Will Kill Pubs
    Wetherspoon Warns Living Wage Will Kill Pubs Wed, Jul 15, 2015

    British pub frim JD Wetherspoon has warned that the introduction of the national living wage could lead to more pubs closing. Chairman Tim Martin insisted the policy will hit the company hard at a time when the pub industry is already struggling with high costs and competition from supermarkets. Chancellor George Osborne announced last week that the living wage would be introduced for all workers over 25. More »