ING posts 1Q2021 net result of €1,005 million

ING posts 1Q2021 net result of €1,005 million

1Q2021 result before tax of €1,463 million; capital position remains strong at 15.5% • Net interest income up on 4Q2020, supported by the benefit from TLTRO III, which more than offset liability margin pressure. • Robust growth in fee income of 9.1% year-on-year, especially on investment products. • 1Q2021 had a low level of risk costs. Expenses were under control, but included some incidental costs due to restructuring. Lending and customer deposits increase • Net core lending growth of €17.8 billion in 1Q2021 as TLTRO funds were applied to support…

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Vestager accuses Apple of abusing its role as gatekeeper in music streaming market

Vestager accuses Apple of abusing its role as gatekeeper in music streaming market

The European Commission accuses Apple of abusing their position as a gatekeeper in the music streaming market. In its ‘statement of objections’ the Commission says music streaming app developers who want to reach Apple device users (iPhone, iPad) have to use Apple store and are charged a 30% commission fee on all subscriptions. They are also obliged to follow Apple’s ‘anti-steering provisions’, which limit developers from informing consumers of alternative purchasing possibilities outside of apps. Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Our preliminary finding is…

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Free ports and the blockchain come together to speed up seamless trade

Free ports and the blockchain come together to speed up seamless trade

Some say they can boost manufacturing while others claim they are used to launder money and avoid tax. The issue of “free ports” has never been more topical, not least in the post-Brexit era. But are freeports really all they appear to be? What exactly is a free port? Typically, when goods enter a country, they have to follow the import regulations of that country. This often involves a tariff—a tax on those imports. A free port or “free zone” is an area that is inside the geographic boundary of…

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French farmers protest to give ‘first warning to government’

French farmers protest to give ‘first warning to government’

As farmers’ protests calling for a fair income increase across France, farmers will protest on the streets of Île-de-France Friday (2 April) to denounce the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). “France, do you still want your farmers?” Those are the words used to describe the protest organised on Friday in the Greater Paris region by the French agricultural union FDSEA. Ile-de-France farmers “attached to the future of their profession” will protest to give a “first warning to the government”, according to a press release from the FDSEA and…

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UK inflation rate falls as clothes prices drop

UK inflation rate falls as clothes prices drop

The UK’s inflation rate unexpectedly fell to 0.4% in February, down from 0.7% in January, as the cost of clothes and second-hand cars tumbled. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there had been a rise in the cost of petrol and diesel. But that impact on consumer prices was more than offset by downward pressures, which also included falls in the cost of travel and toys. February is traditionally a month where clothing prices would rise. However, ONS deputy national statistician, Jonathan Athow said: “The impact of the pandemic…

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Donohoe argues sustainability requires ‘timely, temporary and targeted’ fiscal measures

Donohoe argues sustainability requires ‘timely, temporary and targeted’ fiscal measures

The Eurogroup has issued a statement (15 March) on the eurozone’s continuing fiscal response to the COVID-19 crisis, committing to what Eurogroup President Paschal Donohoe described as timely, temporary and targeted measures that would be key to longer-term fiscal sustainability. European Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni underlined his agreement with the Eurogroup statement, saying: “We will not repeat the same mistakes of the last crisis.” Pointing to the growing consensus in Europe and internationally, he said pulling back too quickly would be a policy mistake, and argued that the best way to…

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Commission publishes market access offers of the EU-China investment agreement

Commission publishes market access offers of the EU-China investment agreement

The Commission has published the schedules of commitments agreed under the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), concluded in principle on 30 December 2020. Following the publication of the text of the agreement in January, the publication of market access offers today represents the next steps in the process towards adoption and ratification. They provide the basis for informed political deliberations and public debate. China is a key trading partner for the EU with a fast growing domestic market of 1.4 billion consumers. It is expected to contribute to almost…

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Digitalization is a key to trillion euro reward for the European GDP

Digitalization is a key to trillion euro reward for the European GDP

A new report, Digitalization: An opportunity for Europe, shows how increased digitalization of Europe’s services and value chains over the next six years could boost the European Union’s GDP per capita by 7.2% – equivalent to a €1 trillion increase in overall GDP. The report, commissioned by Vodafone and conducted by Deloitte, looks at the five key measures – connectivity, human capital, use of internet services, integration of digital technology and digital public services – that are measured by the European Commission’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), and reveals that even modest…

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BIL partners up with Candriam for ESG criteria

BIL partners up with Candriam for ESG criteria

To better understand sustainable investment and respond to new European rules in terms of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria, lender BIL has called on the expertise of asset manager Candriam, well established in Luxembourg. It has become a European requirement in the investment world. Financial actors, who have an important role to play in the development of sustainable finance, must integrate ESG factors into their analysis and present them clearly to their clients. A major challenge that requires expertise. Rather than acting alone, BIL has therefore decided to partner…

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€4trn gap between ‘Paris-aligned’ bank lending, market

€4trn gap between ‘Paris-aligned’ bank lending, market

European companies must largely step up their efforts to achieve the goals set out in the Paris Climate Agreement, according to a CDP report released on Tuesday. The banks granting them loans must also better align their actions. Despite the promises made to fight against climate change, European companies remain far removed from the Paris Climate Agreement principles. Based on their declared emission targets, they are on a temperature increase trajectory of 2.7°C–that’s 1°C more than the targets set in Paris end-2015. As the CDP report reveals, to limit the global warming increase to 1.5°C would require eight times the current level of ambition by European companies in terms of…

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