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Bank of England governor Mark Carney says he will step down in June 2019. It means he will serve one year more than the five he had committed to, but will still be two short of the usual eight years governors serve. Mr Carney said the move “recognised the importance to the country of continuity” during Brexit negotiations. But Treasury Select Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie said his decision to serve six years “requires a good deal of examination and explanation”. Prime Minister Theresa May said Mr Carney’s decision to stay for an extra year would provide “continuity and stability as we negotiate our exit from the European Union”.
Oil giant BP sees profits nearly halve
Oil giant BP has reported a near 50% fall in third-quarter profits from last year as the sector continues to struggle with low prices.
The company made $933m (£763m) on an underlying replacement cost basis, compared with $1.8bn a year earlier. BP blamed falling oil prices for its fall, saying it was affected by a “weaker price and margin environment”. Rival oil company Royal Dutch Shell also warned over oil prices, although its profits rose by 18% from last year. The company reported better-than-expected third-quarter profits of $2.8bn (£2.2bn).
Businesses should get ready now for the introduction of the new 12-sided pound coin, the Treasury has said. A new website is urging firms to adapt their equipment and train their staff in preparation for the arrival of the new coin in March 2017. All machines accepting cash, whether it’s in exchange for a rail ticket or a chocolate bar, will have to be updated. But for a six-month transitional period businesses will need to find ways to accept both the old and new coins. After that the existing round pound coin will be phased out.
Honda said it had “no plans for now” to withdraw from the UK market after the British government said it was seeking a deal to shield the car manufacturing industry from the fallout of the British exit from the EU. The comments by Japan’s third-largest carmaker came after Greg Clark, the UK business secretary, said on Sunday that assurances given to rival Nissan — which led to its decision last week to invest in Sunderland — were extended to other car groups with plants in the country.
Brexit Briefing: Queueing up behind Nissan
Greg Clark, Britain’s business secretary, has promised Nissan that there will be no tariffs or extra bureaucratic burdens on the Japanese carmaker after Brexit. The pledge has persuaded the company to expand production in Sunderland. It is also prompting leaders in a range of other manufacturing and industrial sectors to seek their own sweetheart deals ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU.
Britain’s service sector will see its exports drop up to 60 per cent after leaving the European single market, even with a free-trade agreement with the EU in place, according to research from a leading think-tank. A new study from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, to be published on Wednesday, says that signing a free-trade agreement with the EU will not recoup any loss in services exports, but would reduce the long-term fall in goods exports from between 58-65 per cent to between 35-44 per cent.
London living wage increased to £9.75 an hour
Almost 3,000 employers will pay their workers a minimum of £8.45 an hour or £9.75 in London after an increase in voluntary living wage rates was announced on Monday. The Living Wage Foundation, which grew out of a campaign started in 2001 by community group Citizens UK, sets new rates each year that aim to reflect the wage someone needs to sustain a decent quality of life. The rates are voluntary but almost 3,000 companies have promised to abide by them, employing roughly 120,000 low-paid workers between them. They have until April 1 to introduce the new higher rates.
Over the next 20 years, electric vehicles (EVs) may have a much greater influence on the London Metal Exchange than the oil market. Put simply, motorists are going to have a lot more copper in their cars. The Tesla Model 3 and Chevy Bolt (both of which will be launched imminently) will be the first mass market EVs that can be driven 200 miles on a single charge — the minimum many commentators say is needed if cars solely powered by batteries are to go mainstream in the US.
BMW is facing a battle with its British workforce as unions gear up for industrial action over plans to abandon its final-salary pension scheme. Unite has launched a consultative ballot of more than 5,000 staff at five sites across the country, accusing the German group of “robbery” over the proposal to transfer staff to a defined-contribution scheme. Workers have until next week to respond and, if the union establishes substantial opposition to the changes, it will press on with a full strike ballot, which could begin within the next few weeks and pave the way for industrial action by Christmas. If strikes were to go ahead, British production is likely to grind to a halt. The union’s members account for most of BMW’s production workforce, which includes staff at the Rolls-Royce Goodwood plant and Mini factories in Oxfordshire and Swindon.
A trial of driverless cars in London will avoid marking the vehicles in any way because of fears that motorists will bully the law-abiding robot cars. Volvo plans to start test driving 100 cars around the capital with volunteers from the public in 2018, with London’s busy streets representing a major challenge for self-driving technology. But unlike other trials of driverless cars around the world, which use custom-made vehicles, the cars will be indistinguishable from regular Volvos, said Erik Coelingh, the Swedish company’s senior technical leader. It comes after researchers found that motorists are likely to overtake and cut off self-driving cars because they are perceived as law-abiding and unlikely to react.