CITY WHISPERS: Estonians grab a UK banking licence while fuming Revolut bosses are forced to wait
Britain and its financial regulators have been coming under attack, with one of the loudest critics being the financial tech firm Revolut.
The firm’s boss Nik Storonsky has been blasting watchdogs for not yet granting his company a UK banking licence.
Revolut has had its accounts qualified by its auditor, but its banking licence – which earlier this year it was confidently saying it expected to go through within days – has still not been handed over.
Revolut boss boss Nik Storonsky (pictured) has been blasting watchdogs for not yet granting his company a UK banking licence
Interestingly, others looking to make their mark on the UK’s financial sector seem to be having an easier ride.
LHV Bank, an Estonian group headquartered in the capital Tallinn, managed to score its own UK banking licence at the start of May, seemingly with little issue.
An LHV spokesman said Britain’s embattled regulators are ‘very focused’ and promote ‘strong competition’. One for Nik to ponder, perhaps.
Informa set for AGM pay row
Events group Informa suffered one of the biggest revolts last year when a majority of shareholders rebelled against a £2.8 million pay package for chief executive Stephen Carter.
Latest accounts show the former boss of media regulator Ofcom and aide to Gordon Brown trousered £3.8 million this time, taking total earnings since joining a decade ago to £28 million.
In that time Informa’s share price has grown by 4 per cent a year on average – not to be sniffed at but hardly shooting the lights out.
Chairman John Rishton says he’s pleased a new pay policy was worked out at last year’s meeting ‘while recognising differences of opinion’.
Will that ensure him a quieter time at this week’s annual meeting?
WE Soda adds a touch of glamour to the Footsie
Float: Didem Ciner is WE Soda’s chairman
News that WE Soda, which makes Soda Ash – a key component in glass – plans to float in London has been cheered by investors and bankers alike.
So far 2023 has been an annus horribilis for the UK market, with Cambridge microchip designer Arm picking New York, and many more UK firms saying they want to follow.
With a £6 billion valuation, We Soda should go straight into the FTSE 100.
It will also bring a touch of glamour to the Footsie, being majority owned by Turkish media mogul Turgay Ciner, 67, and his wife Didem, 43, who is its chair.
She joins a still pitifully small number of women at the top of blue-chip firms.
Credit Suisse bloodbath continues
The bloodbath following UBS’s takeover of Credit Suisse continues.
Sources say 200 Credit Suisse bankers are leaving each week, with London hit hard as there are more than 5,000 Credit Suisse staff in the capital.
UBS chairman Colm Kelleher last month told investors he was worried about ‘cultural contamination’ in taking on Credit Suisse investment bankers, adding: ‘A bit like Japanese knotweed, at Credit Suisse the investment bank grew out of control and absorbed all this capital.’