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Today's business and finance round up 24th September 2021

💬Interest-ing talk

24th September 2021

Good morning If you’re under 30 and love high-end fashion then LVMH wants you. The luxury French retail group, which owns brands like Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Fendi, plans to hire 25,000 young people worldwide in the next year. The company's focus on recruiting younger staff comes as it seeks to boost the popularity of its brands with a more youthful crowd.

Today's stories

  • Interest-ing talk – Bank of England gives latest view on rates

  • Show me the money – London fintech raises $750 from investment giants

ECONOMYBank of England gives latest view on rates

What’s going on?The Bank of England confirmed that interest rates would remain at rock bottom levels…for now. It also gave its latest thoughts on inflation and dropped hints as to when it could raise interest rates.

Why is this important?

Yesterday the Bank of England announced that interest rates would remain at 0.1% - unchanged since March 2020 when the Bank cut rates to support the economy as Covid emerged.In recent months inflation has become a hot topic. News of labour shortages, pent up demand for goods following lockdown and supply chain issues has led to concerns that inflation could get out of hand.The Bank has taken the view that an uptick in inflation - currently 3.2% and above the target of 2% - is transitory and will correct itself once the world returns to normal.It expects inflation to peak at over 4% by the end of this year, driven by the ongoing crisis in the energy market, before falling in 2022. Many have questioned the Bank’s relatively laidback view, asking whether now is the time to increase interest rates to stop dampen inflation.But the Bank finally gave clues that it could look to tighten monetary policy saying that the case for a rate rise "appeared to have strengthened".TakeawayInflation is forecast to hit its highest level in a decade this year. Analysts are taking the Bank’s latest announcement as a sign that a rate rise is on the cards for as soon as March 2022. Across the pond the US Federal Reserve has also made noises that a rate hike could be on the way in the next few months.

FINTECHLondon fintech raises $750 from investment giants

A London-based start up Prodigy Finance has secured $750m in financing to help it expand into key markets including China.Prodigy provides international postgraduate student loans and was founded in 2007 after founder Cameron Stevens struggled to get a loan for his MBA.Whilst lending to students from all over the world under UK consumer credit regulation, Prodigy’s payment solutions enable it to engage with and collect from borrowers wherever they are resident after their studies are completed.The $750m investment came from Canadian private equity fund CPP Investments and US development bank the DFC.Since launch, Prodigy has provided over $1bn in graduate education loans to more than 20,000 students from over 100 countries. According to its research, 89% of students say they had limited or no other options to fund their degree.The new funding will be used for expansion into China, South Korea and Singapore. China alone sends more than 100,000 students to the UK each year.International student numbers were severely hit by Covid. Applications for the fintech's loans jumped 50% year-on-year, however, and company said it is currently benefiting from the jobs boom being seen across tech and professional services as its students secure roles.

Stat of the day

Life expectancy for men in the UK has fallen for the first time in 40 years to 79

Other stories to keep you in the loop

  • John Lewis bonuses for 4,000 chosen staff angers partners

  • Deloitte partners average pay close to £1m as Big Four profits surge

  • Evergrande is a warning about the future direction of China’s economy

  • Grocery app Jiffy raises $28m to fuel growth around UK 

  • BP and Tesco close pumps and ration fuel as deliveries hit by driver shortage

  • French Connection shares jump after entrepreneur makes bid

  • House sellers in London less willing to drop asking prices

  • One in five London jobs is now in tech sector

Interesting links from around the web

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