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Motorists shun diesel cars while eco-friendly sales rise

Motorists are shunning diesel cars, as they turn to buying vehicles that are much more eco-friendly, industry figures suggest.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that 78,778 diesel cars were sold in January, a drop of 4.3% on the same month last year.
Over the same period sales of electric cars and other alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) jumped by 19.9%.
For the first time, AFVs now account for more than 4% of the market.
The figures show that 7,270 AFVs – including hybrids – were sold in January, gaining a 4.2% market share.
Sales of diesel cars have been falling for several months, following publicity about pollution and health issues. And revelations that Volkswagen – and possible other manufacturers – used engine software to distort emissions data during tests have not helped diesel’s reputation.
In December 2016, sales of diesel cars were down by 6.8% on the same month a year earlier.

Analysis: John Moylan, Industry Correspondent

Are the headlines over diesel cars finally hitting sales? We bought a record number of cars in 2016.
But the growth in diesel sales lagged the wider market. That growth, of 0.6%, hid the fact that the move against diesel had accelerated throughout the year.
Diesel car sales have fallen in 7 of the past 8 months, compared with the previous year.
Today’s figures for January seem to confirm the trend.
They show that while a year ago diesel sales were outnumbering those of petrol cars, by January 2017 that situation had reversed.
And while the market share of diesel and petrol cars was neck and neck in 2015, in January diesel’s market share fell to 45.1% compared to petrol’s 50.7%.

Several big cities around the world have said they want to ban diesel cars within 10 years, because of the pollution they cause.
A group of doctors has called on the Mayor of London to ban them in the capital, while Westminster will hit some diesel drivers with extra parking charges from April.
The government is also thought to be planning a diesel scrappage scheme, to encourage motorists to ditch cars which are the heaviest polluters.
However, the SMMT figures show that overall sales of vehicles in the UK last month were at their highest January level in 12 years.
In total 174,564 cars were sold, a rise of 2.9% on January 2016.
Motorists who buy electric or hybrid petrol/electric cars still enjoy a grant from the government, worth up to 35% – or £4,500 – of the total value.

Link to original article:

City of London grapples with new EU shake-up

The City of London is braced for the chill winds of regulation

Financial institutions across the UK are gearing up for one of the most far-reaching regulatory shake-ups they have ever faced.
There’s a five-letter acronym regularly muttered in the City of London, which leads to some rubbing of chins, looks of bewilderment and groans about the workload.

The acronym in question is Mifid 2, the name of a rather technical, complex and, yes, dull-sounding piece of financial legislation from the EU. It stands for the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. Mifid 2 means big changes for banks across Europe over the next year.
“It’s a complete system change, very detailed,” says Anthony Browne, who runs the British Bankers’ Association (BBA).
“It is changing their IT systems, changing the way their whole systems operate right from the front end and the information the traders put in to the back end and information they provide to clients; it’s also the documentation they provide for their clients, and information they give to regulators themselves.”
‘Unintended consequences’
The rules run to more than 1,000 pages.
The new rulebook – or perhaps rule “tome”, more accurately – is the EU’s response to the financial crisis.
A decade on from that scarring experience, the European Commission predicts the law will be transformative for markets.

Despite the Brexit vote, the City still has to abide by the new EU regulations
Many banks back the new rules, saying they will help avoid a rerun of 2007-08 by bringing in more transparency and giving investors greater protection.
Some companies, though, say they are too tough and have already led to job losses.
“It is the unintended consequences that could be the problem here,” says Julian Allen-Ellis from the EFMA financial markets trade body.
“The operational cost of both buy-side and sell-side setting up for this new regulation could mean profitability is impacted and that ultimately impacts the person on the street with their pension and their portfolio.”

So why Mifid 2?
It’s the sequel to Mifid 1, which has been in force since November 2007
That made it easier and cheaper to buy investments across the EU, by allowing investment firms to operate across borders more easily
But the financial crash exposed some of its weaknesses
So the European Commission now wants to make financial markets “more efficient, resilient and transparent” and to “strengthen the protection of investors”
The new regulations come into force in 2018

A recent survey of the City suggested two out of five companies are not prepared enough to implement the new rules.
They’d better get a move on. The sprawling regulations come into force in January 2018.
Way forward?
There are some who argue that these complex EU rules could be a big help to the City after Brexit, because they contain something called “equivalence”.
That allows financial companies from outside the EU to do business inside it, as long as their home country has the same standards of regulation.

The City is wary of what Mifid 2 will usher in
“Potentially this could be a way through the mire,” says David Biggin, an adviser at PA Consulting.
“For a lot of the companies talking about relocating, actually this rule might allow some light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a technocratic decision rather than a political decision. It is a way forward.”
However, not everyone thinks “equivalence” will save the City’s bacon if it finds itself with less favourable access to the EU than it has today.
“The main drawback is it can be withdrawn unilaterally at any time,” warns the BBA’s Anthony Browne.
He has other concerns too. “This would be a political process done at a time when the UK is negotiating its divorce arrangements from the EU, and when it’s thinking about negotiating a trade deal with the EU. The chance we would get agreement on equivalence, to come in the day the UK leaves the EU, seems hopeful at best.”

Roadblock fears
The experience of some countries already outside the EU seem to bear that fear out.
Several have already applied for “equivalence” status under previous financial rules.
Guernsey is one of them. The Crown dependency has beefed up its laws, and they have been judged as technically the same as the EU’s by an EU regulator, no less.
Guernsey is now waiting for the European Commission to give it the final nod – and has been for two years.
“The technical decision was made. Now it’s become a political decision,” says Christopher Jehan from the Guernsey Investment Fund Association.
“That political decision is effectively the roadblock for us,” he says. “They’re using whatever reason they have for anything else going on in the world as a delaying tactic.”
Guernsey’s experience does not bode well for those in the UK who think these new complex EU rules will help the City after Brexit.
But Mifid 2 is already bringing about big regulatory change in the City, the scale of which it has rarely seen.

Read the original article on the BBC website here:

Bike sales dip in the Netherlands, stable in rest of EU

The latest market report from the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) reveals that annual bike sales in the Netherlands have dropped below 1 million units. However, the Dutch bike market is still in healthy shape because a fifth of new bikes sold in the Netherlands are e-bikes and the average selling price per bike is 914 Euros (in Ireland it’s just 190 Euros).

The stats are contained in CONEBI’s 2016 European Bicycle Market & Industry Profile, which collates figures from member organisations for 2015. This is CONEBI’s eighth report; the first was published in 2009.

The report states that 21 million bikes and e-bikes were sold across Europe in 2015, a rise of 300,000 over 2014. 13 of the 21 million were produced in the EU.

The biggest market for bicycles in Europe is Germany, with 21 percent of EU sales in EU; the UK is next with 17 percent of the market.

In Germany, 4.35m bicycles were sold in 2015, 6.6 percent more than the previous year. Germany sold 535,000 e-bikes in 2015. The average price for a bicycle in Germany is 397 Euros.

3.5 million bicycle were sold in the UK in 2015, about 100,000 fewer than in 2014. The average price for a bicycle in the UK is 300 Euros.

The Netherlands sold 1.05 million bicycles in 2014 but this dropped by more than six percent to 988,000 in 2015. However, the average price per bicycle is double than that found in Germany mainly because of the sales of e-bikes of which 276,000 were sold in 2015 (223,000 e-bikes were sold in 2014). In comparison, the UK’s market for e-bikes in 2014 is estimated to be between 35,000 and 40,000.

CONEBI members are the national bicycle industry sssociations in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Great Britain, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

Hat tip to Carlton Reid @ Bike Biz for bring this to our attention

Nearly six million fraud and cyber crimes last year, ONS says

Almost six million fraud and cyber crimes were committed last year in England and Wales, the Office for National Statistics has said.

It estimated there were two million computer misuse offences and 3.8 million fraud offences in the 12 months to the end of March – suggesting fraud is the most common type of crime.

Most related to bank account fraud.

It is the first time fraud questions have been added to the official Crime Survey for England and Wales.
The figures are separate from the ONS headline estimate that a total of 6.3 million crimes were perpetrated against adults in the year to March – a 6% fall in the number of crimes compared to the previous year.

Computer viruses

John Flatley, of the ONS, said: “This is the first time we have published official estimates of fraud and computer misuse from our victimisation survey.

“Together, these offences are similar in magnitude to the existing headline figures covering all other crime survey offences.
“However, it would be wrong to conclude that actual crime levels have doubled, since the survey previously did not cover these offences.”

The most common types of fraud experienced were bank and credit account fraud, with 2.5 million incidents, followed by “non-investment” fraud, such as scams related to online shopping, the ONS said.
Of the two million computer misuse incidents, the majority involved a computer or internet-enabled device being infected with a virus, accounting for 1.4 million incidents.

The remaining 0.6 million crimes related to “unauthorised access to personal information” – such as hacking.


Police officers

By Danny Shaw, BBC home affairs correspondent

For years fraud was thought of as a “victimless” crime which mainly affected businesses and banks.
It wasn’t part of the official crime survey and wasn’t seen as a priority by police and politicians.
But the widespread use of computers, laptops and smart-phones to facilitate fraud has changed all that – and the survey is finally catching up.

Its findings are startling: we are more likely to be a victim of fraud than any other type of crime, with one in 10 adults defrauded in the past 12 months.

Unlike other crime types, such as robbery, people in rural parts were more vulnerable to fraud than city-dwellers; middle-aged adults were more likely to be victims than those in other age groups; and people in managerial and professional jobs were at greater risk than manual workers, students and the unemployed.

Fraud is one of the oldest crimes – but these figures have put the problem firmly on the map.

The ONS said that the fraud questions were only added to the crime survey from October 2015 and the data was based on interviews conducted during the second half of the survey year.

The data had then been “grossed up” to provide an estimate covering the entire survey year, it said.
The College of Policing’s head of research, Nerys Thomas, said: “There are dozens of ways the internet can be used to exploit and defraud people, and officers need to be equipped with the skills to tackle these crimes.

“Last year, we launched the second stage of our cybercrime training, which focuses on developing the awareness and skills of frontline officers, as well as more specialised investigators.”

Credit to BBC for highlighting this story –

E-bike sales to reach $24.3billion by 2025

Electric bicycles continue to be the highest selling electric vehicle on the planet, and are set to account for $24.3bn worth of annual sales by 2025.

A new report from Navigant Research examines the global market for throttle-control and pedal-assist electric bicycles (e-bikes).

Globally, e-bikes continue to be the highest selling electric vehicle, with nearly 35 million unit sales forecast for 2016. According to the new report, global e-bike sales are expected to grow from $15.7 billion in revenue in 2016 to $24.3 billion by 2025.

“Rising levels of population density and traffic congestion are driving interest in different modes of transportation,” says Ryan Citron, research analyst at Navigant Research.”E-bikes are uniquely positioned to be a primary benefactor of this trend since they are low in cost relative to cars, do not require licenses to operate, and can take advantage of existing bicycling infrastructure.”

Improving lithium ion (Li-ion) battery technology is also helping to drive e-bike sales, allowing for e-bikes that are lighter, lower in cost, and remarkably similar to traditional bicycles, according to the report.

To give the cycle trade the knowledge needed to cater for this booming e-bike market, Cytech has introduced the brand new Technical e-bike course to provide the skills and confidence needed to set up, repair and sell a broad spectrum of electric bicycles along with an understanding of the specific standards and legal aspects that apply to them.

Suitable for those who are looking to stock and repair e-bikes, the Cytech technical e-bike course is available to those who already hold a Cytech technical two qualification or as a guide, 3-4 years industry knowledge.

Hat tip to ACT & BikeBiz for bringing the information to our attention. More info on ACT can be found & BikeBiz

Transaction banking to play key role in restoring banks’ ROE

The wholesale transaction banking business continues to play a starring role in improving return on equity in the global banking industry, with revenue from fees and accounts forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of ten percent over the next ten years.


In its eleventh annual report on the global payments industry, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) reports that in 2012, wholesale transaction-banking revenues totaled approximately $220 billion, about 15% of the total corporate-banking revenue pool. Nearly $140 billion came from transaction fees and account revenues, which are projected to grow at a CAGR of 10% over the next ten years, reaching more than $350 billion.

BCG’s research suggests that leading banks, or “transaction-banking champions,” achieve above-average ROE on their wholesale business and also generate more funding (with loan-to-deposit ratios lower than 125%).

“These banks differentiate themselves from their peers with a clear sense of their strategic strengths and boundaries as well as a relentless focus on execution excellence,” states the report. “They pay strict attention to how they sell, how they price, and how they organise their servicing model, cutting across traditional silos.”

Looking more broadly, the payments and transaction-banking businesses of the world’s banks generated $301 billion in transaction-specific revenues (including monthly and annual card fees) and an additional $223 billion in account-related revenues (including account maintenance fees and spread revenues) in 2012. The total represented roughly a quarter of total global-banking revenues.

Banks handled $377 trillion in noncash transactions in 2012, more than five times the amount of global GDP.

By 2022, payments and transaction-banking revenues will reach an estimated $1.1 trillion, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of eight percent. The value of noncash transactions is tipped to reach an estimated $712 trillion by 2022, a CAGR of nearly seven percent.

The report notes that there are widening gaps between how payments are evolving in mature economies and their evolution in rapidly developing economies (RDEs). From 2012 to 2022, both payment values and volumes are projected to grow at a CAGR of 11% in RDEs, compared with four percent and five percent, respectively, in the developed markets. Similarly, RDEs will generate stronger revenue growth – a projected CAGR of 12% in total payments-related revenues – than the developed markets, which have a projected CAGR of five percent.

According to the report, the digital revolution is having a dramatic impact on retail commerce and how people make purchases. The e-commerce market, estimated at $1.1 trillion globally in 2013 (up from $0.5 trillion in 2002) is expected to grow by 15 percent per year even in mature economies such as the US and the UK.

BCG forecasts that transaction-related revenues generated by consumer-initiated (retail) payments worldwide will increase from $249 billion to $460 billion from 2012 to 2022, a projected CAGR of six percent. North America and Asia-Pacific will be the strongest regions, with RDEs in the latter posting the most robust growth. In addition, account-related revenues will grow from $138 billion to $321 billion, a projected CAGR of nine percent.

Carl Rutstein, a coauthor of the report and the leader of BCG’s transaction-banking segment in North America, comments: “In what we call the ‘new new normal’ climate, banks need to become more innovative across the value chain of retail payments – from data analysis, customer segmentation, and product development all the way to rewards bundling and commingling products’ value propositions.”

In a two-speed world of low growth in developed markets and high growth in emerging markets, payments are still very attractive, adds co-author Stefan Dabs, “but banks must find optimal business models and excel at execution if they hope to succeed.”

64% Of Organizations Have Invested In Or Plan To Invest In Big Data Tech, But Only 8% Have Started Using It, Says Gartner

big data

Businesses are eager to spend money on big data, but few have a clear cut plan for what they plan to do with the technology, according to a new Gartner report. 64% of organizations surveyed have already purchased or are planning to invest in big data solutions in 2013, compared with 58% in 2012. Of that 64%, 30% have already invested in big data tech, 19% plan to invest within the next year and another 15% plan to invest within two years. Less than 8% of Gartner’s 720 respondents, however, have actually deployed big data technology.

Big data is expected to drive $34 billion of IT spending in 2013, but though organizations are intrigued by the promises of big data solutions, most are still trying to figure out how the technology fits into their strategy.



“For big data, 2013 is the year of experimentation and early deployment. Adoption is still at the early stages with less than 8% of all respondents indicating their organization has deployed big data solutions. 20% are piloting and experimenting, 18% are developing a strategy, 19% are knowledge gathering, while the remainder have no plans or don’t know,” said Gartner research vice president Frank Buytendijk in a statement.

Though many organizations are still unclear about which big data solutions they will invest in or how much they will spend, Gartner spotted trends in how they plan to use the technology. 49% want to increase their company’s efficiency by using big data to reduce costs or identify risks earlier, while 55% hope it will help them improve customer service. 42% of organizations want to develop new products and business models using insight gleaned from big data, while 23% want to monetize information directly.

Every vertical industry surveyed by Gartner had companies that are planning to or have already invested in big data solutions. Media and communications, banking, and services firms are the most enthusiastic big data adopters. 39% of media and communication organizations surveyed said they have already invested in big data, followed by 34% of banking organizations and 32% of services firms. The industries with the most planned investments over the next two years are transportation, with 50% planning to invest in big data technology, followed by healthcare at 41% and insurance companies at 40%. Most of these organizations are located in North America, where 38% of organizations surveyed said they had already invested in big data technology. 45% of organizations surveyed in the Asia-Pacific region said they plan to invest.

While most organizations are laying out their big data investment strategy, 15% of Gartner’s respondents are still trying to figure out what big data actually means, which is not shocking considering how broad and complex the term is.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, this concern came mainly from respondents with no plans to invest. Organizations should be sure they are educated about big data opportunities in their industry to ensure they are not missing the boat,” said Gartner research director Nick Huedecker in a statement.

Payments in 2022: Cash out, mobile in

Gazing into its crystal ball, the UK’s Payments Council predicts that Brits will turn their backs on cash over the next 10 years as plastic cards continue their ascent and mobile money becomes a mainstream player.

The number of cash payments made in the UK will fall by a third from 21 billion in 2012 to around 14 billion in 2022, predicts the Council in a new report.

For cheques the picture is even bleaker, with the number of consumer transactions expected to plummet from 477 million in 2012 to 186 million in 2022. The Council wanted to kill of cheques by 2018 but has been forced to keep them limping along by politicians.

In contrast, consumer card use will rise by 75% from nearly 10 billion payments in 2012 to around 17 billion in 2022, with debit, rather than credit, driving the growth.

Mobile payments and Internet banking will help drive up consumer use of one-off payments from their accounts from 356 million payments in 2012 to around 1.5 billion in 2022.

Some of this will be enabled by the Payments Council’s own mobile service, which will let people send account to account transfers using phone numbers when it launches next year.

Direct Debit use by consumers will grow steadily, by 20% to around 3.7 billion payments in 2022, driven by increased uptake of new regular commitments and a growth in the size of the adult population.

Adrian Kamellard, chief executive, Payments Council, says: “It’s fascinating to see how much of the groundwork we’re laying down now will work out in 2022. The next few years will be an exciting time for the payments industry.

“Over the coming decade we will see major innovation with the introduction of our Mobile Payments Service in 2014, the Current Account Switch Service next month and of course all the innovations brought to market by individual players within the payments field.”

PayPal trials ‘pay with face’ tech in London

PayPal Check In

Shops in Richmond, London, have begun trialling mobile payments technology from PayPal which lets customers verify themselves at the checkout using a photo and their first name.

The new feature, called check in, within the firm’s Android, iOS and Windows apps highlights nearby shops and restaurants that accept PayPal; the customer then checks in by clicking on the retailer and pays by sliding a pin down in the app.
Once a user has checked in, their name and photo appears on the shop’s payment system, and when they agree the amount to be paid, the cashier charges them by clicking on the image. The customer gets an alert on their phone to let them know how much they’ve paid, as well as PayPal’s usual e-mail receipt.
A dozen businesses in Richmond high street, including cafes, restaurants and shops, have become the first to pilot the technology, which aims to consign wallets, cards and PINs to history.Richard Garcia, owner of one participant, Cook and Garcia café, says: “We’ve been using PayPal’s check in service within the business for several months, and have found it really efficient. Customers don’t have to worry about having cards, cash or change, just their phones – it is the quickest transaction through the till, which means less queues and we never have to turn down a sale, both of which are great for business.”
Rob Harper, head, retail services, PayPal, adds: “This is another step on the journey towards a wallet-less high street, where customers will be able to leave their wallet or purse at home and pay using their phone or tablet. We predict that by 2016 this will become a reality.”

The Mobile Retail Opportunity