Britain’s finance sector will double in size in 25 years, says Mark Carney

Britain’s finance sector will double in size in 25 years, says Mark Carney

Bank of England governor predicts the industry will thrive after Brexit but warns that regulations must not be watered down. The governor of the Bank of England has predicted that the financial sector could double in size to be 20 times as big as GDP within the next 25 years, but warned that the government must hold its nerve and resist pressure to water down regulation after Brexit. Speaking to the Guardian to mark the 10th anniversary of the start of the global financial crisis in August 2007, Mark Carney…

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Meal vouchers increasingly popular in Belgium

Meal vouchers increasingly popular in Belgium

Some 1.7 million Belgian workers received part of their wages in meal vouchers last year. This emerges from a parliamentary question by the deputy, Georges Gilkinet, (Ecolo), to the federal Minister for Employment, Kris Peeters (CD&V). L’Echo is reporting on Tuesday that in total 2.5 billion euros have thus been distributed in vouchers for the purchase for “environmentally friendly” products and meal vouchers. Taking meal vouchers first, the total amount of such vouchers paid in 2016 reached 2.2 billion euros or 10% more than in 2015. This is an increase…

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Michel government strengthens fight against social security fraud

Michel government strengthens fight against social security fraud

The federal government anticipates instigating more in-depth checks on those receiving welfare benefits, in an attempt to better fight fraud. De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad are stating on Tuesday that fines are becoming severe. The federal government will intensify the fight against social security fraud. Increased and systematic checks will take place targeting family-orientated situations involving welfare benefits. The organisations ONEM (which gives employment and benefits advice) and INAMI (that provides advice upon sickness benefits and related issues) will work together to dispatch inspectors. These inspectors will cross-check their databases….

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Pensions threaten communal budgets

Pensions threaten communal budgets

Cash reserves for the collective Pension fund, which provide pensions for Province civil servants and the majority of communal ones (as well as police, CPAS, public hospitals…) are dwindling fast. L’Echo reported on this story on Saturday, and claims to have seen a report that supports it. The Federal Pension Service (SFP) told associations that represent local Flemish, Walloon and Brussels authorities that “they might not be able to guarantee pension payments from November 2017 onwards”. The SFP has found a solution: make accountability contributions paid by communes that take…

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Nicky Morgan requests assessment of City’s readiness for hard Brexit

Nicky Morgan requests assessment of City’s readiness for hard Brexit

The Conservative MP Nicky Morgan has asked the Bank of England to provide comprehensive details of the City’s readiness for a hard Brexit, in an early indication of the agenda she hopes to pursue as head of one of parliament’s most influential committees. The newly elected chair of the Treasury select committee also called on the Bank to provide its views on what a Brexit transition deal should look like to minimise damage to the City. An analysis by the consultancy firm Oliver Wyman calculated that up to 40,000 jobs…

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BT profits dive by 40% after £225m payout over Italian scandal

BT profits dive by 40% after £225m payout over Italian scandal

Telecoms giant forced to pay Deutsche Telekom and Orange to settle claim relating to the sale of EE. BT’s profits fell more than 40% in the first quarter of its new financial year after it was forced to pay out £225m to two shareholders following the accounting scandal at its Italian operation. Deutsche Telekom and Orange became shareholders in BT after the company struck a £12.5bn cash and shares deal to buy mobile company EE in 2015. As part of that deal the two companies were issued a warranty as…

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General financial situation of Belgian football in the red

General financial situation of Belgian football in the red

The majority of Belgium’s professional football clubs are in the red. This is the conclusion of an article written in the Dutch-speaking version of Trends on Thursday. The authors of the article, Patrick Claerhout and Luc Huysmans, consider that the objectives of the licensing system instigated by Royal Belgian Football Association have not been met, and that the general financial situation of clubs depends, to a large extent, on outgoing transfers. There are red flags around the general situation of the twenty-four professional clubs. Half of the teams in the…

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Special Tax Inspectorate director hearing

Special Tax Inspectorate director hearing

The regional director for the Special Tax Inspectorate (known as the “ISI”), Karel Anthonissen, had a federal police hearing on Monday on his contacts with politicians and journalists. De Tijd reveals on Tuesday that he was not interrogated as a witness, but as a suspect. His private e-mails and messages were searched by investigators. Karel Anthonissen, who heads up the West and East Flanders ISI divisions, but who is currently subject to investigation, is suspected of having leaked more than 300 names of large companies, recognised institutions and company directors….

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Party and politics sponsoring: limit of 500 euros per year

Party and politics sponsoring: limit of 500 euros per year

A bill supported by a large majority in parliament has been introduced. It aims to limit the sponsoring of parties, representatives and political candidates to a maximum of 500 euros per year per sponsor. De Tijd and L’Echo are reporting this on Tuesday. In the future, entrepreneurs and businesses will therefore no longer be able to sponsor ocal festivals, campaigns and other events organised in the political world, without the imposition of any limit. The deputy Inez De Coninck (New Flemish Alliance), sees the introduction the bill, as “a major…

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Port of Antwerp invests $10 million in Brazilian port

Port of Antwerp invests $10 million in Brazilian port

The Port of Antwerp has acquired a shareholding of 1.176% in Porto do Açu. This is a port complex located in the north of the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. The Belgian port announced on Monday that the investment amounts to $10 million (€8.5 million) and has been generated via the subsidiary Port of Antwerp International (PAI). Porto do Açu is active notably in the transport of oil and gas, and dry bulk and container goods. Brazil is ranked the sixth partner of the Port of Antwerp in order…

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