Wednesday newspaper round-up: Stamp duty, big four accounting firms, US banks

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Wednesday 15 Jul 2020

Wednesday newspaper round-up: Stamp duty, big four accounting firms, US banks

(Sharecast News) - The £3.8bn stamp duty giveaway unveiled by chancellor Rishi Sunak last week has already sparked a mini property boom in the southern England commuter belt, according to the UK's biggest property website, Rightmove. The data indicates that most of the benefit of the £3.8bn giveaway will flow to Conservative-voting areas in the outer orbit of London. Rightmove named Milton Keynes, Watford and the north-west London borough of Harrow as the areas witnessing rises of more than 100% in buyer enquiries since the stamp duty announcement was made last Wednesday. - Guardian
Wealthy households could be in line for tax rises to claw back the cost of extra spending during the coronavirus pandemic, after the government called for a wide-ranging review of capital gains tax. - Guardian

A string of major British firms have pledged to stop using petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 and are calling for ministers to accelerate their own plans to go carbon neutral. BT, British Gas owner Centrica, outsourcer Mitie and Marmite maker Unilever are among the companies which have vowed to switch to electric fleets within a decade as part of the fight to cut carbon emissions and other pollution. - Telegraph

Britain's biggest accounting firms have been criticised by the industry regulator for the "unacceptable" quality of their audits after a review found one in three was substandard. The Financial Reporting Council's annual inspection of the seven biggest firms - KPMG, EY, PWC, Deloitte, Grant Thornton, BDO and Mazars - reviewed 88 audits, including those for 45 FTSE 350 companies. It found that 29 of the 88 audits reviewed required more than limited improvements, while seven of these required significant improvements. Of the FTSE 350 audits, 13 were found wanting, with two requiring significant improvements. - The Times

America's biggest banks are to set aside more than $47 billion to cover an expected wave of loan defaults resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. JP Morgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, three of the big four US lenders, collectively earmarked a further $28 billion for loan losses yesterday as they reported their second-quarter results, having already made significant provisions at the end of the first quarter. - The Times


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