Brexit, Former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King warns next crash imminent, Stamp Duty stampede, and more

Tax

Traditional savers turn to alternative investments – The Telegraph examines the tax advantages of investing in VCTs, the EIS and the SEIS, in light of an expected move into these investments from those hurt by changes to pensions and buy-to-let rules.

London’s “stamp duty stampede”  – Land Registry figures show house price values in London leapt by 13.9% in the year to January to an average of £530,409. Experts blamed a “stamp duty stampede” as buyers of investment properties and second homes rush to avoid a 3% stamp duty surcharge coming into force on April 1st.

Bankers face big tax bills – In light of the latest bonus season, the Independent on Sunday examines the financial rewards enjoyed by bankers and other high-earning professionals. Figures reported to the website Emolument.com indicate that an associate banker earning a typical £90,000 salary will have walked away with an average £50,000 bonus pot, a 27% increase on the previous year. A vice-president earning £119,000 will have been handed £110,000 on average – a 33% increase. Lisa Wilson, tax partner at Cowgill Holloway, states: “Most bankers will be higher-rate taxpayers, earning more than around £41,000 a year, and are therefore taxed at 40%… If a banker were to receive a £1m bonus, the net ‘take home’ would be £530,000.”

Landlords plan to raise rents or sell – Data obtained by the Sunday Telegraph suggests a modest rise in interest rates would force losses for buy-to-let landlords in 70% of locations following the government’s tax increases. It comes as more landlords say they will sell their properties or raise rents in response to the abolition of tax relief on mortgage interest and the new stamp duty penalty.

Small and medium size enterprises

SMEs back EU membership – More than 60% of members of the small business group Enterprise Nation say they will be voting for the UK to remain in the EU. Emma Jones, who set up the support group in 2006, said: “We believe the UK’s membership of the EU brings lots of benefits to small firms and we’ll be taking some on trade missions to EU countries to prove that point.”

UK economy, finance and markets

G20 warns Brexit would be global “shock” – Finance ministers from the G20 have warned of a “shock” to the global economy if the UK leaves the EU. Speaking at the end of a meeting of the G20 in China, George Osborne told the BBC: “The financial leaders of the world’s biggest countries have given their unanimous verdict and they say that a British exit from the EU would be a shock to the world economy – and if it’s a shock to the world economy imagine what it would do to Britain.”

Britons failing to save for a rainy day  – Consumers are saving less now than they have in the past 50 years, according to the ONS. Britons are putting just 4.4% of their disposable income away, half the level of four years ago and lower than in any period since records began in 1963. Meanwhile, consumer borrowing on plastic and short-term loans has gone up 14% in the past two years. Separate figures from HMRC show the number of women saving (2.4m) was 40% lower than the number of men (4m) in 2013/14, however, this is down from 2002/03, when nearly double the number of men were saving compared with women – 5.2m compared with 2.7m.

UK economic growth confirmed at 0.5%  – The ONS has confirmed UK economic growth in the last three months was 0.5%, supported by steady growth in the services sector and a 0.7% rise in household spending. Output in the UK’s services sector grew 0.7% in the three months to the end of December, but production output was down 0.5%, construction down 0.4%, and factory output was flat. Business investment fell 2.1% – its biggest fall since 2014, raising concerns businesses were showing signs of increased risk aversion. Exports also fell, with a decline in net trade knocking 0.4 percentage points off growth. Meanwhile, global trade fell 13.8% in dollar terms last year, the first contraction since 2009, according to new data. Weaker demand from emerging markets was largely to blame for the slowdown. The news comes as Mark Carney warns the G20 that the global economy risked “becoming trapped in a low growth, low inflation, low interest rate equilibrium”.

Other

Lord King warns of impending crash – The Telegraph reports in its serialisation of Lord King’s new book, The End of Alchemy. The former Bank of England governor warns that the world is on the verge of another crash because regulators have failed in their attempts to reform the financial system in the wake of the last crisis.

Accountant buys Everton stake – Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri has bought a 49.9% stake in Everton FC. Mr Moshiri, a chartered certified accountant who has worked for EY, PKF and Deloitte, sold his stake in Arsenal to business partner Alisher Usmanov in order to buy into the Merseyside club.

Christian Elmes, Partner

Christian Elmes trained at PwC and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1999, before moving to Morgan Stanley (2000-2002) as Associate in the Investment Banking Division (IBD).

He was appointed Director of Finance, Teather & Greenwood Investment Management in 2002 and moved with the Tax Efficient Solutions team to Smith & Williamson in 2004, becoming Deputy head of the department. He left to co-found Enterprise in 2011.

Over the last ten years, Christian has been responsible for developing a number of tax efficient products, particularly Enterprise Investment Schemes. He is able to lead on tax efficient product development from inception through to completion, because of his financial and tax background and commercial experience.

Christian is competent across a broad range of sectors including, leisure and hospitality, media, property and renewable energy.

Christian is a non-executive board member to a number of leisure and hospitality companies, Casper & Cole Ltd, Wright & Bell Ltd, Albion & East Ltd, Camm & Hooper Ltd and Darwin & Wallace Ltd.

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