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Equilibrium's finance and investment news roundup

In this week's roundup we report on claims that employment has not been negatively impacted by changes to the National Living Wage, an announcement that the FCA is to review the payday loan interest rate cap, a new focus on big business good governance by the government, and how Christmas mail will likely be affected by an upcoming Post Office strike.

 

Employment 'not impacted by National Living Wage changes'

Employment in the UK has not been negatively affected by the introduction of a higher National Living Wage in April, it has been found. According to the Low Pay Commission, there is "no clear evidence" of changes in employment or hours since the rate was raised to £7.20 an hour for workers aged 25 and over.

The commission, which monitors low pay on behalf of the government, revealed that employment has continued to increase, and that this is applicable for the sectors affected most by the rise, including retail and hotels.

The news seemingly contradicts warnings from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which claimed employment could be impacted should the National Living Wage be increased. 

FCA to look at payday loan interest rate cap

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced it is to review the cap on interest rates charged on payday loans and charges on unarranged bank overdrafts.

Introduced in January 2015, the cap aimed to limit the damage that very high interest rates could have on vulnerable people taking out payday loans and struggling to pay them back.

In a statement, the FCA said: "The FCA is also keen to see if there is any evidence of consumers turning to illegal money lenders directly as a result of being excluded from high cost credit because of the price cap." 

Theresa May: Good governance to be extended across big business

Prime Minister Theresa May is hoping to extend good governance across big business in the UK by targeting boardroom excess and curbing executive pay at large private firms.

Ms May explained that while many private companies are performing well, a minority have been acting carelessly, which has led to employees and customers being negatively impacted. The move follows huge job losses and a significant pension deficit after the collapse of major retail chain BHS.

"We will explore ways to improve and extend good governance across big business so that everybody plays by the same rules and we create an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few," she added. 

Christmas post 'to be disrupted by Post Office strike'

The delivery of mail and parcels sent over the Christmas period could be affected by a planned strike by more than 700 managers at Crown Post Offices, Unite has warned. The third in a series of strikes is to be held on Saturday December 3, which is a peak day for Christmas mail.

The strike is in protest at a jobs dispute, closure of a final salary pension scheme and the franchising of Crown Post Offices and will see the managers joining the Communication Workers Union in the 24-hour walkout.

This latest action follows similar strikes held on September 15 and October 31.