Finance & Investment, Weekly Wrap-Up

Finance Wrap Up

EU agrees the Brexit withdrawal

Headlines continue to be dominated by Brexit and the withdrawal agreement that Theresa May is aiming to pass through Parliament. There was no such problem for the European Commission, who got the agreement of the 27 leaders of the EU to accept the proposed deal. The agreement sets out the £39 billion divorce bill, citizen’s rights, the Northern Ireland ‘backstop’ allowing Northern Ireland to remain within the EU customs union, and an extension of the withdrawal period until 31st December 2020. The declaration does not fully embed a future trade deal, however, it does set out key principles of what the agreement will look like. The EU has made it quite clear that those in Britain who believe the UK should demand more from the deal are going to be disappointed.

Highest Paid CEO in the UK

Denise Coates, the founder of Bet365, has been rewarded for the companies continued growth with a £265 million paypacket this year, making her the best paid female executive in the world and the UK highest paid CEO. She has been labelled Britain’s most successful woman. Starting Bet365 in a portacabin in Stoke-on-Trent, it is now the world’s biggest online gambling service with 35 million customers worldwide and worth £5.8 billion. Gamblers wagered £52.2 billion with the company last year alone. Coates’ hefty salary has gone up from last year’s £217 million. Is it justified? The results suggest so, with the firm’s revenue having grown by 25% with a profit margin of £628 million. The online gambling company is set to expand even further into the US, having just signed a $50 million (£39 million) deal with a New York casino.

Lloyds Banking Group

Britain’s biggest high street lender has confirmed that they will be adding 2,000 jobs to focus more on digital technology. As part of a £3 billion restructure they will be cutting 6,240 jobs but creating 8,240 new ones. More of the jobs will be offered to existing staff, as they intend to retrain staff to bolster their technological offering. The bank plans to close 60 branches over this year, in addition to its cut of 54 branches last year, as more customers prefer to do their banking online. The restructuring plan was announced after the government sold off their stake in the bank, and it will take until 2020 to complete.


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