Tuesday, 5 March 2013


The EU seems set to approve a new cap on bankers’ bonuses, limiting them to no greater than the amount of the basic salary. This is set to not only hurt the EU, but particularly the UK interests. 

London is a major world financial centre, with the UK benefiting from the enormous amount of international trade flowing through. 

As it stands, the proposed new rules don’t just affect the European employees of EU domiciled banks but also their employees worldwide. This would hand such a competitive advantage for banks based outside the UK. For example, JP Morgan (an American bank) would only have to apply this rule to their EU employees and not for their employees outside the EU. So, long term, what’s the point in London based banks, with substantial activities outside the EU staying in the UK?

Banks don’t have to be in Europe to conduct successful business in Euro denominated finance. There are plenty of alternatives that would welcome the opportunity to take London’s place – New York, Hong Kong or Singapore, for example.

Michael Fallon, the Enterprise Minister said ”There is a very special risk we have here in the UK, which does not apply to any other European country, which is that we have major international banks that are based in London but have branches all over the world..…we need to make sure that any regulation that applies across Europe is flexible enough to allow those banks to continue to compete from London”.
Don’t the Lawmakers of the EU get it? We’re in a global economy – yes, legislate about bankers bonuses, but make sure the rules are fair.

Tim Corfield

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Monday, 25 February 2013

If you are Ambitious – Tidy your Desk!

The resident life coach for NHS online, Jayne Morris has recently reported how much of an impact a simple operation like keeping a tidy desk can have on a business.

Ms Morris reports “having an untidy desk covered in clutter could be stopping you achieving the business success you want”. She recommends that anything that it no longer used should be thrown away completely. It is no good just moving the mess around – unwanted items need to be thrown away.

Tim Corfield

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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Weakness in Economy Continues

Disappointing figures have recently been issued showing continued weakness on the High Street. The volume of sales fell 0.6% in January (compared to January 2012).

The Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King has recently said that spending will have to shrink before the economy corrects itself. “There is no point trying to persuade people to spend in the way that they were spending before the crisis”.

Sir Mervyn has also warned that inflation will also remain high for at least another three years. Average earnings are back to 2003 levels according to the ONS (office of National Statistics) and in the last three years real incomes have declined as inflation has risen faster than wages.

This is inevitably going to put pressure on retailers. The decline in January’s sales was affected significantly by a sharp 2.6% fall in food sales – the lowest level in almost nine years.

Tim Corfield

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Sunday, 10 February 2013

IMF Highlights Greek Tax Evasion

A recent IMF report has criticised the Greek Government in its strategy to bring its debts under control. 

The report highlights that the strategy “has relied far too much on cuts in discretionary spending and increased taxation of wage earners, while the rich and self-employed have continued to evade taxes on an astonishing scale and bloated and unproductive state sectors have seen only limited cuts”.

One of the conclusions of the report is that the programme will fail unless it overcomes “these entrenched vested interests”.

The report also highlights that Greece will need from the EU an extra £7.9bn to bring its debts under control. 

Written by Tim Corfield - Griffin and King


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Bankers Warn of EU Backlash

George Osborne has been warned by top bankers that anti EU rhetoric that pushes the UK further from the core of Europe could well harm the city.

Any new deal to be negotiated between the EU and the UK repatriating powers could risk retaliatory moves against the financial services particularly by France and Germany.

Any deterioration in trading relations with the EU may put pressure on international banks to move jobs and operations to mainland Europe damaging the UK.

One banker commented, “You have to be worried, generally, about Britain distancing itself from core Europe and what the ramifications are for the financial services sector”.

Other major business leaders, including the president of the CBI, have recently highlighted the dangers that any confrontation with the EU poses and long term damaging effect it may have on the UK’s economy.

Tim Corfield

Thursday, 3 January 2013


Happy New Year! 

A survey carried out by Markit last month showed that 43% of households expect their finances to worsen this year against 24% who expect their finances to improve.

Without a strong rise in consumer spending it is unlikely there will be much real growth in 2013. Businesses held back investing in plant and machinery throughout 2012 and this is likely to continue if consumer spending remains subdued. 

Begbies Traynor have highlighted that around 140 high street shop chains could go out of business in 2013 without any increase in high street spending. These stores remain highly geared and will be seriously affected by the consumer continuing to bargain hunt and shop on-line.

A spokesman for Markit said ‘Households are bracing themselves for yet another year of squeezed personal finances in 2013. The vast majority of households anticipate that their financial wellbeing will either worsen or stagnate in 2013. With three quarters of all households not expecting any improvement in their finances, the latest survey suggests that domestic consumer demand will remain under pressure in the near term, especially since inflation perceptions remain elevated and job insecurities are prevalent’.