‘Bank of mum and dad’ less likely to lend

Borrowing from the Bank of Mum and Dad has fallen sharply in the past year, as families adjust to new financial pressures caused by the pandemic.

The proportion of people who borrowed money from family and friends fell from 31 per cent in March 2019 to 22 per cent in the year to March 2020, according to research from Lloyds Banking Group. The number fell again to 13 per cent in June, after lockdown restrictions were imposed.

The share of those who lent money to loved ones halved, from two-fifths (40 per cent) in March 2019 to 19 per cent in June 2020.

Jo Harris, Lloyds Bank managing director, said the financial uncertainty experienced over the past year had been compounded by the pandemic, but this had effectively discouraged lending and borrowing between family members. 

“Lockdown led to a reduction in spending, leaving some with more surplus cash each month,

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ONS recognises full nationalisation of the UK railways

The de facto nationalisation of Britain’s railways was formally recognised on Friday after the statistical agency said train operators’ debts would now be counted on the government balance sheet. 

The Office for National Statistics said its decision, first reported by the FT, was made after the government agreed a six-month rescue package for train operators hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year. The deal effectively underwrote any losses.

“Under the EMAs [emergency measure agreements], normal franchise mechanisms have been amended, transferring almost all revenue and cost risk to the government. In addition, the [train operators] have had restrictions placed on their ability to borrow money and cannot make significant changes to fares or staffing levels without government agreement,” the ONS said.

Rail companies have already received about £3.5bn of taxpayer support and are currently in discussions with the government about a further rescue package to help them survive

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Coronavirus: Delay of lockdown easing ‘a hammer blow’ to business | Business News

Delaying a further relaxation of lockdown restrictions in England a day before they were due to come into effect has been branded “a hammer blow” by the business community.

The postponement means the venues such as bowling alleys and casinos, which were due to reopen on Saturday 1 August will have to wait at least another two weeks.

Small wedding receptions that were to have been permitted will also continue to be banned, while curbs on facial beauty treatments will now remain in place for the time being.

‘We need to squeeze brake pedal’

Boris Johnson said the decision to “squeeze that brake pedal” on changes had been taken due to COVID-19 numbers “creeping up” and “in order to keep the virus under control”.

Responding to the announcement, Claire Walker, co-executive director of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “While tackling the public health emergency must be the priority, these

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Furlough scheme wind down sparks UK job fears

UK ministers have been warned that hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk after the furlough scheme that helped pay the wages of more than 9m workers during the coronavirus lockdown begins to wind down, even as parts of England face new lockdown restrictions.

The easing of the government’s furlough scheme is part of a broader effort to return the British economy to a degree of normality. From Saturday, employers will be encouraged to bring more staff back to their offices to try to boost hard-hit sectors such as high street retail and dining.

Companies will also start paying national insurance and pension contributions for furloughed staff as part of a phased ending of a scheme that has so far cost the taxpayer more than £31bn.

But, with many parts of England facing the prospect of new lockdown restrictions as coronavirus cases rise, MPs and business groups have warned

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