Finance Extra for the UK and Spain

Finance Extra for the UK and Spain

JEREMY HUNT: Britain's Chancellor doe not support FCA plans to 'name and shame'.

No names The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which until now has named firms under investigation only in “exceptional circumstances”, is resisting pressure from the City to abandon plans to name all companies.  Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is also known not to support what he sees as a “disproportionate regulatory environment.” 

Cupra triumph Seat had a record year in 2023, with profits reaching €625 million thanks to its high-performance Cupra model. Volkswagen, which has owned Seat since 1986, announced a first-quarter operating profit of €226 million for the Spanish subsidiary which sold 164,000 models,  5.8 per cent increase up the same period in 2023.

Still growing Spain’s economy grew by 0.7 per cent during the first three months of 2024 for the third consecutive quarter owing to increased consumer spending and exports, the Institute for National Statistics (INE) announced.  Analysts have predicted good summer figures and a growth rate of more than 2 per cent by the end of 2024.

More buybacks Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group which has already raised its stake in AO World, Boohoo and N Brown via buybacks this year, announced that it will repurchase a further £80 million (€93.53 million) of its own shares, following a similar Frasers Group buyback scheme between mid-February and April 28, 2024.

Bet on it Kemi Badenoch, UK Business Secretary named Nigel Railton as Post Office chairman on May 1, replacing Henry Staunton who was dismissed in January 2024.  Railton, former lottery operator Camelot’s chief executive, was chosen on the strength of his experience in “transforming organisations”, Badenoch said.

Building block An experienced foreman who is in charge of a building site can currently earn between €65,000 and €70,000 a year, compared with €45,000 paid to the architect who oversees the project.  Veteran builders are in short supply, explained developers’ association Asprima, owing to retirements and a shortage of skilled trainees prepared to take over.

Bargain price Aurelius paid only £3.5 million (€4.09 million) upfront in its £207 million (€242.05 million) Body Shop deal with former owners Natura in November 2023, the Telegraph revealed.  The private equity firm failed to continue its agreed performance-based payments over five years, which are now unlikely to be made after the Body Shop went into administration in February 2024.

Wine buffs The chairmen of leading Valdepeñas bodegas Felix Solis and Garcia Carrion, both based in Ciudad Real, are currently under separate investigations by the National High Court in Madrid. They face charges of marketing wine under misleading labels between 2017 and 2019 but in their defence they maintain that the accusations are based on “incorrect interpretations” by the police.

London Blues Thirty-six oil traders working for ExxonMobil risk dismissal for refusing to relocate from Brussels for London, owing to uncompetitive pay and “lack of flexibility” according to Bloomberg.  Those who agree to the move, which the US oil giant said was “more convenient”, will be expected to work from the office five days a week.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at