Market trading is underway in Europe, with most major bourses falling into the red:
- FTSE 100 is down -0.1%
- France’s CAC 40 -0.1%
- Germany’s DAX is down -0.1%
- Italy’s FTSE MIB is a bright spot up 0.1%
Royal Bank of Scotland appoints Alison Rose as new boss
Royal Bank of Scotland has finally confirmed that the appointment of Alison Rose as its new boss, making her the first woman to run one of the UK’s major banks.
The announcement was so widely-expected that it would have been more of a shock if she hadn’t been given the job. (To put this into context, rumours about the fact Rose was preparing to replace outgoing boss Ross McEwan have been circulating for more than a year.)
The 49-year-old will take up her post on November 1 and will be paid a base salary of £1.1m – which is £100,000 more than McEwan. RBS says this reflects the fact that McEwan’s salary had not increased since 2013.
But her pension pay has been set at 10% of salary, which is in line with the rest of the workforce as guided by the UK Corporate Governance Code. It means Rose will avoid the criticism lobbed at McEwan, who was granted pension pay worth 35% of his £1m salary.
It’s worth noting that the pound is also up against the euro at €1.13.
RBC’s chief currency strategist Adam Cole says the probability of a no-deal Brexit has fallen to around 19% following Juncker’s comments:
GBP is this morning retesting highs made late in the North American session on the back of EU Commission President Junker’s comment that “I think we can have a deal” and that he was ready to remove the current Irish backstop if the UK came up with an alternative way of guaranteeing no hard border that is just as robust.
While this is a marked softening of the EU’s line of the last few months, constructing an alternative in the 41 days that remain will be extremely challenging. Brexit Secretary Barclay meets with Barnier in Brussels today. With the UK bookies, the probability of no deal exit this year drifted slightly lower to 19%
Introduction: Rising pound in spotlight as Brexit talks planned
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
After some dismal news from the OECD about the trajectory of UK growth yesterday afternoon, the pound got a bit of a boost on hopes of a Brexit deal overnight.
Against the US dollar, sterling is now sitting at $1.2576 – its highest since mid-July.
That’s thanks to comments made by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. In an interview with Sky News, he insisted that “we can have a deal” on Brexit and that he was doing everything he could to get there.
Juncker also assured he did not have “an erotic relation” to the Irish backstop. (Good to know?)
Eyes now turn to Britain’s Brexit minister Steve Barclay, who is set to meet with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels today.
In corporate news, RBS has confirmed its worst-kept secret and appointed Alison Rose as its first female chief executive. It will also make her the first woman to run one of Britain’s major high street banks.
And after the the steady stream of data and central bank decisions earlier this week, the economic agenda is slim. Consider it a well-earned break.