Employees offered 20% pay rise to opt out of final salary schemes, Government urged to relax EIS rules, UK gender pay gap won’t Close until 2069 and more


Airport retailers sign up to VAT code of conduct – Dozens of major airport shops in the UK have signed up to a code of conduct pledging to better explain how they return VAT savings to customers. Last year, it was revealed how stores were making customers present boarding passes when making purchases and using the information to keep the VAT owed to customers flying outside the EU. The new code of practice, introduced by the UK Travel Retail Forum, and the Airport Operators Association, compels retailers to have “signage in-store and on their website showing how the VAT benefit is being reflected in prices”.

Life gets tougher for buy-to-let landlords – The Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) will announce new lending requirements for landlords in the coming weeks. Under the new rules, landlords will have to show that they can provide rental income of 145% of their mortgage payments – up from 125% – and at stress rates of 5.5% – up from 5.25%. Alistair Hargreaves at John Charcol argues that the crackdown on buy-to-let will not help first-time buyers who he says will be priced out by larger, professional landlords once amateur landlords are forced to sell.

Staff offered 20% more to swap schemes – Employers are offering staff up to a fifth more than a year ago to give up their rights to defined benefit pension schemes in return for plans that give easier access to cash. Final salary transfers are controversial because they involve giving up a guarantee, writes the Telegraph’s Sam Brodbeck, but fears over the security of pensions provided by the likes of BHS and the added flexibility of defined contribution schemes have fuelled transfer requests.

Small business and enterprise

Government urged to relax EIS rules – The Enterprise Investment Scheme Association has said the rules governing tax-efficient enterprise investment schemes (EIS) should be eased following the Brexit vote to boost investment in early-stage companies.

Birmingham best for enterprise – Birmingham has been named the most enterprising place in Britain by the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Birmingham City Council has supported 1,000 firms, generated £87m in investment and created or safeguarded 4,300 jobs, said small business minister Margot James.

UK economy, finance and markets

Eurozone growth slows – Economic growth in the eurozone slowed to its weakest pace in almost two years in September, with the overall purchasing managers index (PMIs) from Markit falling to 52.6, down from 52.9 and moving closer to the 50-level that indicates no growth. Rob Dobson, senior economist at IHS Markit, said the figures indicated economic growth of 0.3% in the third quarter of the year, adding that a combination of slowing growth and low inflation leaves room for the ECB to ease policy further in an effort to stimulate the economy.

Confidence grows that Mark Carney will steer BoE through Brexit – Mark Carney is likely to serve his full eight-year term as governor of the BoE until 2021, with officials suggesting he’ll embrace the challenge offered by the Brexit vote and the opportunity to influence policy.


BoE considers kite-mark for banks – The Bank of England’s executive director for markets, Chris Salmon, has said banks and city traders could have to earn a kite-mark to show they are responsible and trustworthy. The Bank’s code of conduct planning group is exploring the idea of an industry kite-mark, “which firms would be awarded if their public attestation to the code was buttressed by a threshold amount of independent assurance work”.

Jérôme Kerviel’s SocGen damages slashed to €1m – A French appeals court has slashed the amount of damages due to be paid by rogue trader Jerome Kerviel to his ex-employer Societe Generale, from €4.9bn to €1m. The court said the “patchy nature” of SocGen’s control systems limited its rights to damages. The judgement prompted the French government to question whether it should claw back the €2.2bn in tax relief given to the bank in 2008 following Kerviel’s fraud, which cost the bank €4.9bn.

Britain’s gender pay gap won’t close until 2069 – Research by Deloitte shows the hourly pay gap between men and women is closing at a rate of just 2.5p per year – with pay parity not expected until 2069. The firm suggests it could be sooner if women take advantage of technology-driven changes in the labour market by studying and working in areas like science, technology, engineering and maths. Deloitte says women make up just 14.4% of the STEM workforce in the UK. Female graduates earn an average of 8% less than males.

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 (EIS). 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, Ruth & Robinson Ltd, Camm & Hooper Ltd and Darwin & Wallace Ltd.

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