Daily business and finance update 1st August 2023
Good morning. Today we're talking about the UK’s new energy plans, BT’s groundbreaking new boss and pressure on banks to increase savings rates.
Prime minister Rishi Sunak has announced at least 100 new oil and gas licences for the North Sea as part of a move to boost British energy independence and grow the economy. Campaigners said that the plans would "send a wrecking ball through the UK's climate commitments". The government has said that it is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, but that new domestic fossil fuels will be needed to help meet energy demand in the meantime. The government has also announced plans to support two carbon capture and storage (CCS) clusters in Scotland and northern England. CCS is a technology that captures carbon dioxide from power plants and other industrial facilities, and then stores it underground. It is seen as a key technology for helping to decarbonize the economy.
BT’s groundbreaking new boss
BT has announced that telecoms veteran Allison Kirkby will become its new CEO, replacing Philip Jansen in January 2024. Kirkby, who has been a non-executive director of BT since 2019, is currently the CEO of Swedish telecoms firm Telia and has over 20 years of experience in the industry. Kirkby’s appointment is a significant moment for BT as she is the first woman to be CEO of the company. BT's chairman, Adam Crozier, said that Kirkby was the "unanimous choice" of the board. He said that she was "a highly respected leader with a deep understanding of the telecommunications industry.” Kirkby said that she was "excited" to join BT and "build on the company's strong foundations." She said that she was "committed to delivering on BT's strategy and making the company a leader in the digital economy."
Banking on better deals
High street banks have only passed through about a quarter of interest rate rises to savers, according to the financial regulator the FCA. The body warned of “robust action” for firms that don’t transfer benefits to consumers. The FCA's warning comes as the Bank of England is expected to raise interest rates for the 14th consecutive time this week to a fresh 15 year high. This has led to a rise in the cost of borrowing for businesses and consumers, but interest rates on savings accounts have not risen at the same speed. The FCA said from the end of August, firms offering the lowest savings rates will have to justify how they offer fair value under the new consumer protection rules.
Mortgage support: Mortgage lenders will launch a campaign aimed at illustrating the range of support they are providing to struggling customers.
Walking out: The CEO of outsourcing firm Capita is to step down as the company reels from a cyber-attack that could result in a hefty fine from the information and privacy regulator.
The value of the new shirt sponsorship deal between Adidas and Manchester United over the next 10 years, making it the most lucrative in Premier League history.
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