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HSBC closing offices in Brexit fallout

Published on August 9 2018

Keith Lesser ACA ACMA

Partner at Lesser & Co Chartered Accountants & Business Advisors

HSBC is moving seven offices out of London as it prepares for Brexit. The Europe-focused offices, which are responsible for the bank’s activities in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic and the Republic of Ireland, will be shifted to Paris, with up to 1,000 staff to be affected. HSBC joins an outflow of banks shifting their hubs to the EU to avoid disruption to business in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

More than 1,000 jobs are at risk as Homebase plans to close up to 80 stores. The DIY chain is expected to file a controversial company voluntary arrangement, paving the way for the closure of between 50 to 80 shops. Turnaround specialists Hilco Capital bought Homebase from Wesfarmers for just £1 in May, after the Australian group booked a £547m loss on the venture. Plans for the closures are expected to be unveiled next week. Homebase employs 11,000 people across 249 outlets.

British Gas is raising prices for the second time this year. More than 3 million customers will see their annual energy bills rise by £44, with the price hike set to come into play from October. The 2.4 million households on fixed price contracts will be unaffected. British Gas blamed rising wholesale gas and electricity costs, in a move labelled “disappointing” by the government. It is the company’s second price hike in less than four months, following a £60 rise announced in April.

Rents could rise 15% by 2023 thanks to a supply shortage, according to a recent survey. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said members have seen the supply of new rental property fall for eight consecutive quarters, warning that the “reduced pipeline of supply will gradually feed through into higher rents”. RICS pointed to tax changes introduced last year which have made But-To-Let investments less profitable.

Ryanair is set to be hit by strike action in five countries this Friday. The airline has cancelled 250 flights to and from Germany on Friday as pilots based in Germany join crew in Ireland, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium in a walk-out. The Vereinigung Cockpit union says German pilots are walking off the job over pay and conditions, a move the airline describes as “unjustified”. An estimated 25,000 Ryanair customers will be affected by Friday’s flight cancellations.

Firm Number C002541956

Firm Number C002541956