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  • Daily business and finance update 24th February 2023

Daily business and finance update 24th February 2023

Starmer’s 5 missions

Good morning. Amazon’s return-to-office mandate is not going down well with staff. Reportedly more than 16,000 employees have joined a Slack channel called “Remote Advocacy” to push back against the company’s recent announcement calling back corporate workers to the office at least three days a week from May. Employees have also drafted a petition to Amazon’s leadership team asking them to U-turn.

Big Stories

Starmer’s 5 missions

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer set out his “five bold missions” for the UK that centre around economic growth, the NHS, crime, zero-carbon electricity by 2030 and creating more opportunities for young people. He said he wants to make the UK have the “highest sustained growth in the G-7,” but acknowledged this mission will be “tough” and suggested it will take many years to achieve. Starmer’s five missions comes just weeks after prime minister Rishi Sunak set out his own five goals which also included growing the economy and improving the NHS. Labour is leading the Conservatives in opinion polls, suggesting the party is on course to win the next general election which could be held in 2024.

Bank black pay gap widens

Some of the UK’s biggest banks have not made progress in improving the relative pay of black workers at their firms, three years after the Black Lives Matter movement prompted the finance industry to announce a wave of pledges to improve diversity and inclusion. HSBC, Santander and Barclays all saw the average pay gaps for black staff increase from the year before, according to their 2022 reports. At Lloyds Bank the gap dropped from a year previously, but by just 0.6%.

Rolls Royce soars

Shares in the aviation manufacturer surged by 24% reaching the most in more than two years after its new CEO unveiled a transformation plan to improve performance and reduce debt. The news came as Rolls Royce ⁠— which makes plane engines and not the eponymous luxury cars ⁠— announced better-than-expected 2022 results with profit reaching £837m, up from £513m the year before. The company cited the recovery in demand for travel post pandemic lockdowns for the better performance. The business reported that the number of hours that its large engines flew during the year grew by 35%.

Bill’s beer bet

Billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates has purchased a nearly 4% of in the Dutch company that owns Heineken, even though in the past he’s confessed to not being a beer drinker. Gates hasn’t given a public explanation for the investment, worth $900m, which differs to the rest of his portfolio, which tends to be more philanthropic, tech or agriculture focused.


More trouble: Disgraced crypto platform founder Sam Bankman-Fried was hit with four new criminal charges.

Social ban: Staff working at the European Commission have been ordered to remove the TikTok app from their phones and corporate devices.

Turning to turnips: The environment secretary Therese Coffey said consumers shout eat more turnips amid the fruit and vegetable shortages in UK supermarkets.

End of an era: The only factory in Europe dedicated to producing iconic British construction toy brand Meccano is set to close.

Cutting prices: Netflix has slashed subscription prices in over 30 countries in recent weeks in a bid to beat out competitors.

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How much extra a month it costs single people compared to couples, according to analysis from Hargreaves Lansdown.

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