- Market Loop
- Daily business and finance update 27th November 2023
Daily business and finance update 27th November 2023
Autumn Statement lands
Good morning. Today we're talking about the Autumn Statement, another crypto boss gets dethroned and a newspaper group sale comes under scrutiny.
Autumn Statement lands
In a highly anticipated address, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled the government's Autumn Statement, outlining a package of fiscal measures aimed at addressing the country's economic challenges and stimulating growth. A key focus of the statement was on providing relief to households and businesses facing rising costs of living. Hunt announced a reduction in the main rate of National Insurance from 13.25% to 10.1%, effective from April 2024. This measure is expected to save taxpayers an average of £300 per year. Despite the cut to National Insurance, Britain’s tax burden is still on course to rise to a postwar high of 38% of national output, as the freeze in income tax thresholds along with wage inflation pushes millions of workers into higher tax brackets.
Another crypto boss dethroned
In a major blow to the cryptocurrency industry, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has stepped down as part of a $4.3bn settlement with the US government. The settlement resolves a years-long investigation into allegations that the crypto platform violated anti-money laundering laws and operated an unregistered money transmitting business. Under the terms of the settlement will also be required to implement a series of reforms, including hiring more compliance staff and conducting more rigorous due diligence on its customers. Zhao, who founded Binance in 2017 has also been personally fined $50m. The settlement is a major victory for the US government and a significant setback for the cryptocurrency industry. The news comes just weeks after Sam Bankman-Fried, the former boss of another crypto exchange FTX, was found guilty of fraud.
Telegraph sale under scrutiny
The UK government is investigating the proposed sale of the Telegraph Media Group to Abu Dhabi-backed investor RedBird IMI, raising concerns about potential impacts on media plurality and diversity. The investigation will assess whether the sale could compromise the editorial independence of the group’s titles - The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph sister newspapers and The Spectator magazine. The media group has been controlled by twin brothers Frederick and David Barclay for nearly two decades but has been put up for sale over unpaid debts. Under the Enterprise Act 2002, the government can intervene in takeovers that could harm competition or plurality in the UK media landscape. Critics argue that the sale could concentrate media ownership in the hands of foreign investors, potentially influencing editorial decision-making and reducing the diversity of voices in the UK media landscape.
Bank account blackout: HSBC has said its digital services are returning to normal after UK customers were left struggling to access mobile and online banking on Black Friday.
Accounting slowdown: Big four firm KPMG has announced it will freeze the pay of 12,000 staff, as the services sector continues to be hit by a major slowdown.
Health expansion: John Lewis is to offer health checks to customers including tests for vitamin deficiencies and hormone imbalances.
Number of the Day
The UK's placing (out of 134) in the 2023 Global Talent Competitiveness Index, published by business school Insead. The index aims to measure each nation's ability to attract and keep global "talent." Switzerland is at number one.
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