Welcome to the This is Money and Share Radio podcast, brought to you in partnership with NS&I. Are we seeing the end of an era for ultra cheap mortgages? HSBC is withdrawing its record low 0.99% deal which could usher in a new wave of price hikes. It’s not just mortgages undergoing price hikes though. Rail fares are set to rise 2.3% whilst growing commuter dissatisfaction with poor service has prompted Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to devise a new plan for better management. In the end though train times might be the last of our problems as we hear about one financial expert predicting major financial Armageddon just around the corner. Could we be in for the worst crisis yet? And what can people do to prepare? Gold is being tipped as a favourite but certainly not spread betting which is currently undergoing a crackdown. Georgie Frost is joined by Personal Finance Editor Rachel Rickard Straus and Consumer Affairs Editor Lee Boyce to find out more about this potential money meltdown. Also this week we take a look at Money Mail’s annual Wooden Spoon Awards and see which of Britain’s shambolic businesses have made it onto the shortlist.
Georgie Frost is joined in the studio by Tom Church, Co-Founder, LatestDeals.co.uk. Today on the agenda, they discuss food price increases – apparently being blamed on a potential shortage of EU workers. Plus, the National Grid agrees to sell a majority stake in its gas pipe network. All these stories and more on The News Review.
Concerns have been raised after the National Grid decided to sell a majority stake in its gas division. A consortium led by Australian bank Macquarie will buy a 61% stake in the UK's gas infrastructure network, that values the business at about £13.8bn. But public services union, Unison, says that their tax structure is an area for concern, and that profits will take precedence over maintaining the pipelines. James Brydges spoke to Matthew Lay from Unison, but first heard from Dr Jonathan Marshall from the Energy Intelligence unit.
Helen Thomas, Managing Director of BlondeMoney, joined Share Radio Breakfast for the first instalment of her new slot each Friday. She's a blogger, worked in the city for George Osborne, and loves policy, politics and finance. This week, Helen discusses Mario Draghi and the ECB meeting on Thursday. The ECB president warned of a year of 'big uncertainty' for the Eurozone as voters go to the polls in Germany, France and the Netherlands.
Ryan Heath, Senior EU Correspondent and Associate Editor at Politico Europe, joined Share Radio Breakfast to give his weekly take on the latest in European politics. Politico leads with a story on the 28 people shaping Europe. And in first place... Sadiq Khan. Ryan also discusses the reports that the Tories are courting the EPP for a better Brexit deal, and he takes a look at how French and German politics is shaping up ahead of elections next year.
Analysts say that Glencore could add an extra £63m a year to profits after buying a 19.5% stake in Russian energy giant Rosneft for £8.6bn. One of the key conditions was Glencore agreeing to sell 220,000 barrels of Rosneft’s oil a day over the next five years. It comes as Russian president Vladimir Putin tries to plug a budget deficit by privatising state assets. James Brydges spoke to Michael Moynihan, Research Director for Russia at Wood Mackenzie, to find out more.
McDonald's is to move its non-US tax base from Luxembourg to the UK, the company has said. The new holding company will pay UK tax on the royalties the firm receives outside the US. McDonald's said it had chosen the UK due to the "significant number of staff" it has in London. The Luxembourg tax affairs of the burger giant are currently under formal investigation by the European Commission. Clive Gawthorpe, Tax partner at UHY Hacker Young, joined Share Radio to discuss the move.
Gabriel Pirona, Group Finance Director at Photo-me International, the instant service equipment group, joined Share Radio Breakfast to discuss the company’s latest interim results. Once again the results were positive and Gabriel reflected on the performance.
The European Union has started legal action against seven nations, including the UK and Germany, for failing to take action against Volkswagen for cheating emission tests. The German car giant has had huge fines in the US over its use of "defeat devices" used to hide true levels of emissions. More than one million cars in the UK are involved, and Paul Simpson, CEO OF CDP, who run global disclosure systems for investors and companies to manage their environmental impacts, joined Share Radio to bring the latest.
The historic Brexit legal challenge has drawn to a close. And it did so with a reminder from the Supreme Court that it will not "overturn the result of the EU referendum". A decision is expected by early January. To look into the key findings from the case, George Peretz QC from Monckton Chambers joined Share Radio.