• Market Loop
  • Posts
  • Daily business and finance update 26th February 2024

Daily business and finance update 26th February 2024

Energy bills fall

Good morning. Today we're talking about falling energy bills, rising stock markets and Lloyds banking scandal.

Big Stories

Energy bills fall

Energy bills are set to fall, dropping 12% to £1,690 from April. The energy regulator Ofgem is lowering its price cap because of a sustained fall in wholesale gas prices, which has made bills the cheapest they’ve been since Russia invaded Ukraine two years ago. The fall is expected to help bring down inflation below 2% — in line with the target set by the Bank of England. However 3m households are currently in debt to their supplier and consumer bills are more than a quarter higher than before the war in Ukraine.

Global stocks soar

All three major American stock indexes reached new all-time highs last Thursday as chipmaker Nvidia’s results rekindled faith that breakthroughs in artificial intelligence will boost profits and give stock prices further room to run. The S&P 500 hit its 12th record close of 2024, the Nasdaq 100 soared 3%, while the Dow Jones topped 39,000 for the first time. At the same time, Nvidia’s shares added $277bn in market value - the most added in a single day ever, and takes its overall market capitalisation closer to $2tr. Japan’s Nikkei index also reached a new all-time high at last - finally surpassing previous peaks set in 1989. Indices in France, Germany and the Netherlands also achieved record levels.

Lloyds car finance scandal

Lloyds Banking Group faces a potential £1bn bill after the finance regulator launched an investigation into alleged mis-selling of car finance loans. The probe, focusing on practices between 2008 and 2021, could see millions of customers receive compensation if they were unfairly charged high interest rates. Concerns centre on commissions paid to brokers, potentially incentivising them to inflate interest rates for higher commissions. This practice, banned in 2021, could have left customers paying more than they should have for their car loans. Lloyds has already set aside £450m to cover potential costs, with the final figure dependent on the regulator’s findings and the number of successful claims. This scandal echoes the widespread Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) mis-selling issue, which cost UK banks billions of pounds in compensation.


New owners: The BT Tower, a well-known landmark in London, is set to be turned into a hotel after it was sold for £275m.

Note change: The first banknotes featuring King Charles will be issued on 5 June, prompting the Bank of England to warn businesses that they need to make sure their machines are ready to accept them.

Rescue rumours: Next has approached administrators to The Body Shop about a potential deal to purchase parts of the stricken cosmetics chain.

Insider dealings: The husband of a BP employee has been charged with insider trading in the US following claims he overheard details of calls made by his wife while working from home.

Loop Likes

Number of the Day


The number of years the world’s oldest branding and packaging - Lyle’s Golden Syrup - has remained unchanged before a refresh in 2024.

Not a subscriber? Sign up for free

Want to reach an audience of UK business leaders, young professionals and 2,000+ other smart, ambitious people? Reply to this email and we'll be in touch.