Brexit – obvs! AIM delistings accelerate, Elton John and Harry Potter

Brexit

Threats to the City are just hot air – The Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says French and German plans to wrest control of huge chunks of the City may prove more difficult than they imagine. Barclays chairman John McFarlane says clearing business would be very hard to extract from London, while others point to the European Court, which ruled that the ECB lacks the competence to regulate clearing systems. Elsewhere, Professor Athanasios Orphanides, a former member of the ECB’s governing council, says neither Paris nor Frankfurt have the skills or outlook to run an international financial centre and will “end up shooting themselves in the foot and driving the businesses out Europe…The EU regulations are so costly that I think the City could actually see long-term benefits from leaving.” He adds that: “The EU itself is so messed up right now and the eurozone is so fragile that any shock could tip them over the edge, and when it happens it is going to be non-linear.”

Osborne to lure investors with sub-15% corporation tax – George Osborne is planning to cut the UK’s corporation tax to less than 15% in an effort to encourage businesses to still invest in the UK following the EU referendum vote. Mr Osborne said it was important for “Britain to “get on with it” to prove to investors that the country was still “open for business”. He added that he wanted a leading role in determining the future of Britain’s economy, which he says should be “super competitive”. However, the head of tax at the OECD warned that more aggressive tax offers post-Brexit may “turn the UK into a tax haven type of economy”. George Osborne’s tax proposal is part of a five-point plan which includes a new push for investment from China; ensuring support for bank lending; redoubling efforts to invest in the Northern Powerhouse; and maintaining the UK’s fiscal credibility.

May rules out tax rises – Home Secretary Theresa May has said she would rule out tax rises for the rest of the decade by dropping plans to achieve a budget surplus by the end of this parliament if she becomes prime minister. Mrs May also said she would abandon plans to take Britain out of the European Convention on Human Rights stating that there was no parliamentary will for the move and ruled out a general election before 2020. Other contenders for the role of PM said to be “low-tax Tories” are Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom and Liam Fox.

Small business and enterprise

AIM delistings double in 12 months – The number of companies delisting from the AIM doubled in the past 12 months, according to UHY Hacker Young. Forty new companies joined in the year to the end of the second quarter but a hundred left.

FSB reports sharp drop in small business confidence – The FSB has found small business confidence at a four-year low following the largest annual drop in the FSB Small Business Index (SBI) since it started in 2010. The latest SBI, gathered before the EU referendum, found smaller firms planning to cut jobs for a second consecutive quarter. FSB members reported falling profits with increases to the cost of labour and the overall tax burden listed as major contributors to a rise in the cost of doing business. The index also saw a sharp fall in investment intentions with just 12.2% of small firms planning new capital investment in the next 12 months. FSB chairman Mike Cherry said: “There are many questions left unanswered following the EU vote. While these remain, we must take steps to shore up the economy and support UK small businesses. The Government should hold off introducing disruptive digital tax reporting and honour commitments to expand small business rate relief.”

UK economy and markets

Elborne: UK will remain attractive for inward investment – The UK head of General Electric, Mark Elborne, says the UK will remain an attractive destination for inward investment despite the result of the referendum on EU membership. He told the Times: “It is not just the domestic market that makes the UK attractive to inward investors, but the fact that the UK has a strong export mindset, which supports and promotes UK companies and efforts overseas.” He added that the firm’s UK projects will continue despite the uncertainty.

Brexit uncertainty calls for stable monetary policy – PwC adviser Andrew Sentance says Mark Carney’s recent statement on monetary policy was a surprise considering the lack of data on the post-Brexit economy, and that he would argue against a rate cut or further QE.

BoE: Interest rate cut likely after Brexit vote – The Bank of England is likely to cut interest rates to cushion the blow of Brexit, governor Mark Carney has said, perhaps as soon as July. In a speech to bankers and business leaders, Mr Carney said the economic outlook had deteriorated: “The committee will make an initial assessment on 14 July and a full assessment complete with a new forecast will follow in the August inflation report. In August, we will also discuss further the range of instruments at our disposal,” he added.

Other

Elton plays out Powell – The FT notes that PwC hired Elton John for a farewell party for UK chairman Ian Powell, who retired this week after almost 40 years with the firm.

Harry Potter star claims £1m tax refund – Rupert Grint, the actor who played Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter film series, has taken the Government to court claiming he is owed a £1m tax refund. The dispute between Grint and HMRC is said to concern his tax returns during the period when the 50% top rate of tax was introduced.

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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