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Health of European banks in focus as stocks plunge again over Credit Suisse and rate rise worries | Business News

Banking stocks are enduring fresh, steep losses on Wednesday as concern over the health of US banks crosses the Atlantic.

Credit Suisse shares plunged to new record lows following comments by its largest investor that it could not provide the Swiss bank with more financial assistance.

Switzerland’s second-largest bank, no stranger to crisis over the past few years, has seen concerns for its financial health come into sharper focus since the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank last week.

The attention of investors has mostly been on the ability of lenders to absorb the aggressive tightening of interest rates since last year, which has soured their bond holdings.

Adding to the selling mood was speculation that the European Central Bank (ECB) planned to raise its core deposit rate by 0.5 percentage points this Thursday.

A source close to the ECB Governing Council, the Reuters news agency reported, had said that the ECB was unlikely to ditch plans for a big rate move this week because that would damage its credibility.

Analysts backed that assessment.

Investors took to the hills, with the European banking index down by almost 6%, leaving it on course for €120bn of losses since the crisis of confidence began last week.

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Markets react to SVB collapse

Read more:
How Silicon Valley Bank chaos has had a bearing on us all – and why we’re in for a bumpy few months

Credit Suisse shares were more than 20% lower.

In London, the FTSE 100 was trading 2.5% down by late morning, blow the level it had started 2023.

Financial stocks were again enduring the worst of the pain.

US equity futures were sharply lower.

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Silicon Valley Bank – what happened?

Attention, however, was firmly focused on Credit Suisse.

Its largest shareholder, Saudi National Bank (SNB), said it would not buy more shares on regulatory grounds as it would take its stake above 10%.

A string of scandals have undermined the confidence of its investors and clients, with Credit Suisse customer outflows in the fourth quarter rising to more than 110 billion Swiss francs (£100bn)

SNB said it was happy with Credit Suisse’s turnaround plan and did not think it would need more money.

That was despite its annual report for 2022, released earlier this week, admitting that “material weaknesses” in controls over financial reporting had been identified and customer outflows had not yet been stemmed.

Paula Yates: Life of late TV presenter to be focus of new documentary | UK News

The life of TV presenter and journalist Paula Yates will be the focus of a new two-part documentary.

The Channel 4 programme will centre on four “extraordinarily compelling” previously-unheard interviews with Yates, which were recorded in 1998 and 1999, shortly before she died of an accidental heroin overdose at the age of 41.

Yates was known for her presenting roles on The Tube and The Big Breakfast but she also attracted a lot of press attention as a result of her marriage to singer-songwriter Bob Geldof and her relationship with singer Michael Hutchence.

Head of specialist factual at Channel 4 Shaminder Nahal said: “Paula Yates exploded onto our screens in the very first week that Channel 4 came on air in 1982, a whirlwind of wit, verve and charisma – a totally unique style.

“Looking at what she achieved now, it feels like no one has ever quite matched her as a TV presenter.

“So as Channel 4 reflects on 40 years, it feels right to look at her life and career, and what an impact she made.

“As ever, (documentary producers) Curious Films has made a riveting and sensitive series that will, I hope, introduce Paula to a new generation.”

The documentary will also include testimonies from close friends and former colleagues of Yates’s, as well as footage from a number of other interviews and the programmes she presented.

‘A powerful lesson for today’s world’

Yates made her TV debut on Channel 4 on 5 November 1982 on music programme The Tube.

She went on to become a presenter of the channel’s breakfast show The Big Breakfast in 1992, where she became known for her On The Bed interviews, which included the likes of Kylie Minogue, Take That and Robin Williams.

Charlene Chika Osuagwu, producer at Curious Films, said: “Paula’s battle to ‘have it all’, torn between the duties of family life and her own personal career and happiness in the magnifying glare of a world determined to judge her, provide a powerful lesson for today’s world and women fighting the same issues 40 years later.”

It is understood that the documentary will air next month.

Yates married Geldof in 1986, and they had three daughters – Fifi, Peaches and Pixi.

Peaches Geldof also died of a heroin overdose at the age of 25 in 2014.

After their divorce in 1996, Yates went on to have a child, Tiger Lily, with Hutchence, the lead singer of Australian rock band INXS.

Rishi Sunak to attend COP27 – reversing decision to skip it to focus on economy | Politics News

Rishi Sunak has said he will go to COP27 in Egypt, in a reversal of his previous snub.

In a statement on Twitter, the prime minister said: “There is no long-term prosperity without action on climate change.

“There is no energy security without investing in renewables. That is why I will attend COP27 next week: to deliver on Glasgow’s legacy of building a secure and sustainable future.”

Pressure was growing on the PM after Boris Johnson confirmed to Sky News yesterday that he would be going to the climate summit.

Opposition parties were quick to mock Mr Sunak over his U-turn, which has been branded an “embarrassing mis-step on the world stage”.

Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner said Mr Sunak had to be “dragged kicking and screaming into doing the right thing”.

Ed Miliband, the shadow climate secretary, said: “The prime minister has been shamed into going to COP27 by the torrent of disbelief that he would fail to turn up.

“He is going to avoid embarrassment not to provide leadership.”

The Liberal Democrat’s climate change spokesperson, Wera Hobhouse claimed the environment is “simply not a priority” for Mr Sunak’s new government and that his is.”only going after being embarrassed by Boris Johnson’s attendance”.

And Caroline Lucas, the Green Party’s only MP, said: “Glad to see Sunak’s screeching U-turn on COP27, but what an embarrassing mis-step on the world stage.

“Let this be a lesson to him – climate leadership matters.

“Now he urgently needs to increase UK ambition on emission reduction targets & pay what we owe to global climate funds.”

Mr Sunak initially said he was not going to head to the conference in Sharm El-Sheikh due to “other pressing domestic commitments”.

But the PM faced a raft of criticism, with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accusing him of displaying a “failure of leadership” and Greenpeace UK saying he was not taking climate change “seriously enough”.

Within days, Downing Street changed course, saying the PM’s attendance was “under review”, depending on progress around preparation for the economic statement, set for 17 November.

A No 10 source told Sky News that Mr Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt have made “good progress” on the autumn statement after working on it over the weekend and this week.

Others have welcomed Mr Sunak’s commitment to attend the summit.

Tory MP Alok Sharma, the president of COP26, said he is “delighted” by the news, after previously saying he was “disappointed” the PM had decided not to go.

Chris Skidmore, who is chairing the government’s review into Net Zero, tweeted: “Extremely good news @RishiSunak will continue to champion the UK’s climate leadership and @COP26 legacy with @AlokSharma_RDG.

“Looking forward to also attending@COP27P to highlight how the #NetZeroReview is an opportunity to better deliver greater prosperity and economic growth.”

West Brom women’s team switch from white shorts to navy to ‘focus on performance without added anxiety’ of periods | UK News

West Bromwich Albion’s women’s team will switch to navy shorts to get rid of the anxiety of having to wear white while on their period.

They will wear the new home kit for the rest of the season and beyond after consultation with the whole squad.

Captain Hannah George praised the club for supporting the change to darker coloured shorts.

“Representing the club professionally and looking smart in the kit is really important to us,” she said.

“This change will help us to focus on our performance without added concerns or anxiety.”

Albion play in the Northern Premier division of the FA Women’s National League, the third tier of the game.

Head coach Jenny Sugarman said it was important to make any change, no matter how small, to help her players perform at their best.

“I’m proud the club have supported the decision to switch to navy shorts for our female players,” she said.

“It’s another sign of the continued integration of the women’s team across the club and recognition of a progressive and inclusive culture.”

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The change comes after England’s Euro-winning team raised similar concerns over the colour of their own shorts.

Beth Mead said in July: “It is very nice to have an all-white kit but sometimes it’s not practical when it’s the time of the month. We have discussed it as a team and we have fed that back to Nike.”

There’s also been talk about the issue with regards to Wimbledon’s strict all-white kit policy, with a small group protesting outside the club ahead of the women’s final this year.

Former Olympic tennis champion Monica Puig has also tweeted about the “mental stress” of wearing white at the tournament and “praying not to have your period during those two weeks”.

Focus turns to Queen’s funeral as world leaders arrive, scaffolding is erected and rehearsals get under way | UK News

Preparations are well under way for the Queen’s state funeral with scaffolding being erected, world leaders arriving in London and rehearsals at Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle.

As the lying in state continues in Westminster Hall, the queue of mourners waiting to see the monarch’s coffin is now expected to take around 22 hours from the back to the front.

Representatives from the Commonwealth nations have been invited to pay their respects, and heads of state from around the world are arriving throughout the weekend, both to attend the Queen’s funeral, and to sign a book of condolences.

A sign in Southwark Park in London, informing members of the public that the queue to view Queen Elizabeth II lying in state ahead of her funeral on Monday is 14 hours plus. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2022.

Meanwhile, King Charles will meet the chiefs of staff at Buckingham Palace before visiting police headquarters, where he will thank representatives from all the emergency services involved in the planning and delivery of the events during the mourning period.

He will also attend, with Camilla, the Queen Consort, a lunch for governors general – the people who represent the monarch in overseas realms – at the palace.

Man in custody after trying to rush Queen’s coffin, queues through a cold London night – all the latest, live

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The Queen’s children stand vigil for a final time ahead of her grandchildren’s tribute

Also on Saturday, the Queen’s grandchildren will take their turn standing in vigil around her coffin.

The Prince of Wales will stand at the head, the Duke of Sussex at the foot.

William will be flanked by his cousins Zara Tindall and Peter Philips – the children of the Princess Royal – while Harry will be with the Duke of York’s daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall leave after attending the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London, Britain, June 3, 2022. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Peter Phillips (L), Zara Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall (2nd L) during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations

The Earl of Wessex‘s children Lady Louise and Viscount Severn will stand near the middle.

Read more:
David Beckham in tears as he views Queen’s coffin after queueing for 13 hours
Watch live stream of the Queen lying in state

Forecasters say the sun is expected to shine on those waiting in the queue and those already securing the best spots for the funeral procession. After a cold start, Saturday should see long, sunny spells with maximum temperatures of 17C (62F), they predict.

London to Windsor route revealed where thousands can see Queen’s coffin on day of funeral

Queen Elizabeth II portrait

A London Fashion Week diversity fashion show will also take place in honour of the late Queen on Saturday. Models will carry a white lily in tribute.

Codenamed Operation London Bridge, arrangements for the Queen’s death have been carefully pored over for years, with the monarch herself overseeing and approving every detail before her passing.

However, the exact details were kept under wraps until the sitting sovereign, King Charles III, gave it his final seal of approval.

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What is a state funeral?

Monday’s funeral is at Westminster Abbey, one of London’s most recognisable landmarks and near the Palace of Westminster.

It has been the setting for every coronation since 1066, and was where the then-Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip in 1947.

Watch and follow the Queen's funeral on TV, web and apps on Monday from 9am
Watch and follow the Queen’s funeral on TV, web and apps on Monday from 9am