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Most buy-to-let lenders refuse loans when tenants are on benefits

Landlords association tells government to persuade banks to end practice by lenders representing 90% of market

Urgent action is needed to tackle discrimination against benefit claimants by mortgage providers, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), which has found lenders representing 90% of the buy-to-let market refuse a loan where a tenant is on housing benefit.

On Saturday, the Guardian revealed how NatWest told one landlord that she would either have to evict her tenant of two years, or take her mortgage business elsewhere, after a blanket ban by the bank on benefit claimants.

Related: NatWest, is it right to evict a woman on housing benefit? | Patrick Collinson

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Source: The Guardian

Italian bank fears expected to grow after debt downgrade

Pressure on reserves could trigger crisis as government official issues warning

Fears that Italy’s banks face a black hole in their finances are expected to grow this week following a debt downgrade that could send the value of bank reserves plummeting.

Despite efforts to shore up Italian banks’ reserves, a downgrade by the ratings agency Moody’s on Friday following a row between Rome and Brussels over the government’s budget could send them into freefall again.

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Source: The Guardian

Firms are partying like it’s 2007. Time the Bank played pooper

The trillions in cheap money that central banks created after the crash have just gone to service old debt or push up property prices. And we know where that could lead …

You wish fervently for something then, when it happens, it’s not what you hoped for at all. That is how central bankers must be feeling as they watch corporate debt soar to record highs.

They wanted companies to borrow and grow, but not like this. Last week, this concern was visible in the minutes of Bank of England’s financial policy committee. They show that the committee, which overseas bank lending and is chaired by governor Mark Carney, likened a rapid growth in lending to indebted companies around the world to the US sub-prime mortgage market, which triggered the 2008 financial crisis.

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Source: The Guardian

NatWest, is it right to evict a woman on housing benefit? | Patrick Collinson

The tenant is a vulnerable older woman who has always paid her rent on time

There are no arrears on Helena McAleer’s buy-to-let mortgage on a flat in Belfast. The tenant, a vulnerable older woman, has for more than two years always paid the £400-a-month rent on time. The money comes from housing benefit from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. But when Helena approached her mortgage company, NatWest, for some additional borrowing, she was staggered to be told it would only be possible if she kicked out her tenant.

Why? Because NatWest, part of state-controlled RBS, won’t accept landlords having tenants on housing benefits. Given there are 4.2 million housing benefit claimants in Britain, that’s a huge segment of the population. And how very odd that the state bank discriminates against people on state benefits.

Related: Taxes on buy-to-let landlords have not pushed up rents, study says

Related: Shoebox Britain: how shrinking homes are affecting our health and happiness

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Source: The Guardian

Banks to check account names to beat transfer fraud

‘Confirmation of payee’ system will stymie increasingly sophisticated criminal scams

Name checks will be carried out when UK bank customers send money to other people from next year in a bid to halt a rising tide of bank transfer fraud.

At the moment, anyone wanting to transfer money is asked for the recipient’s account name, account number and sort code. However, the bank does not currently check if the account name is correct.

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Source: The Guardian

EU members should be wary of stealing London's super-sized financial sector | Howard Davies

Paris and other cities have put out Brexit welcome mats for the City, but does banking unbalance the wider economy?

As the United Kingdom’s Brexit negotiations stumble on, other European countries are using the period of uncertainty about the future regulation of the continent’s financial markets to tempt firms and activities away from London to rival centres. The French have been particularly active in support of Paris but Frankfurt, despite lukewarm support from the government in Berlin, has not been far behind. And other cities such as Luxembourg, Dublin and Amsterdam have laid out their own welcome mats. Bankers have not been so popular for a decade or more.

But should other cities wish to emulate London and become a global financial centre? Do they know what is good for them and the national economies of which they are a part?

Related: Blockchain isn’t about democracy and decentralisation – it’s about greed | Nouriel Roubini

There is a ring of plausibility to the argument that with finance you can have too much of a good thing

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Source: The Guardian

Bank of England raises alarm over surge in high-risk lending

Central bank draws parallels to 2008 financial crisis in warning about leveraged loans

The Bank of England has issued a stark warning over the rapid growth in lending to indebted companies around the world, drawing parallels with the US sub-prime mortgage market that triggered the 2008 financial crisis.

Threadneedle Street said Britain was not immune from a global boom in risky lending that had alarmed financial regulators around the world this year, with the US market for such loans more than doubling since 2010 to surpass $1tn (£763bn).

Related: Cheaper chocolate and meat drive down UK inflation in September

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Source: The Guardian

Danske Bank's choice of chief blocked by Danish regulator

Bank hit by money-laundering scandal dealt humiliating blow as CEO candidate rejected

Danske Bank, which is reeling from a €200bn ((£176bn) money-laundering scandal, was dealt another humiliating blow on Wednesday when the Danish financial regulator blocked its candidate to become chief executive.

The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) intervened to stop the appointment of Jacob Aarup-Andersen, warning that the internal candidate did not have enough experience to lead the country’s biggest lender, which has been plunged into crisis by what the European commission said in September was “the biggest scandal” in Europe.

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Source: The Guardian

Banks will not be forced to reveal climate change risks they face

Critics demand tougher action as Bank of England stops short of call for mandatory reports

The Bank of England has stopped short of forcing financial companies to disclose the potential risks they face from climate change, despite growing calls from campaigners for such action.

In a warning to finance firms to vastly improve their planning to safeguard against the financial risks posed by global warming, Threadneedle Street asked companies to “consider the relevance” of disclosing their climate-related risks.

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Source: The Guardian

Financial abuse: will a new code bring change?

Women fleeing abuse shocked to find they are reconnected to former partners by their banks

After two decades of physical and psychological abuse, Debra* finally fled her partner and moved across the country. The 55-year-old bought a house and, for the first time in 20 years, felt safe.

That was until a letter arrived just a few years into her move. After updating her council tax, she was horrified to learn her former partner was also registered at the new address. On top of this trauma, she was told that most likely he had been informed of her new details.

Related: MP to call for ban on attempted murderers recovering joint assets

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Source: The Guardian