Archive for August, 2008

ACCA reports record exam participants

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

According to, record number of ACCA students - 164,646 - taking a total of 335,566 papers sat their final ACCA exams in June, with over 6,000 successful candidates achieving affiliate status.

Clare Minchington, ACCA’s managing director - learning and technical policy, said: ‘The new qualification, launched in 2007, continues to be well received by employers, tuition providers and candidates.

To meet the demands of globalised and complex economies, we are committed to ensuring that all our examinations meet the highest standards and provide a thorough testing of our students.

Mortgage lending slumps 27%

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

The slump in mortgage lending continued throughout July, according to the the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Total lending stood at £24.8bn, up by 5% from June, but still 27% lower than a year ago.

Lending to homeowners has slumped dramatically in 2008, because the so-called ‘credit crunch’ has dried up the supply of funds available to banks.

House sales have dropped by 50% this year and will probably fall further.

Sterling hits 2 year low against US Dollar

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

The British pound has fallen further against the dollar, hitting its lowest level in almost two years amid fears the UK will fall into recession.

Sterling touched a 22-month low of $1.8619 in Thursday trading.

The pound dropped sharply on Wednesday after the Bank of England issued its gloomiest assessment yet of the state of the UK economy.

Recent official figures have already shown the UK is struggling with high inflation and faltering growth.

Fears about European growth have also helped the dollar bounce back from record lows.

CIMA equivalent to Master’s Degree

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

The CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) website is reporting that their professional qualification is equivalent to a master’s degree.

The claim is supported by the independent UK agency responsible for government scoring of immigrants’ qualifications has said.

A point score of 35, which is the same as an MSc, has been awarded to the CIMA professional qualification by UK NARIC, the independent body that assesses and scores qualifications from around the world.

The UK government uses this information on its official database to benchmark qualifications held by potential immigrants to the UK under its highly skilled worker programmes.

Robert Jelly, CIMA’s Director of Education, commented, ‘CIMA is delighted to be awarded this rating by an independent body that objectively ranks the value of various qualifications. This shows the prestige the CIMA professional qualification holds in the UK and throughout the world”.

More information, see:

Darling’s stamp duty indecision causes Treasury headache

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Chancellor Alistair Darling has rejected a third request for a meeting with estate agents over proposals to lift stamp duty, refusing to be pushed on the issue.

Whitehall sources have told various newspapers there was increasing anger within the Treasury over the fallout of the stamp duty issue, which aids of Darling and department officials have been left to deal with.

Despite calls for “clarity” from Peter Bolton-King, Chief Executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, Treasury aides said the chancellor was adamant that he was not going to be pushed into taking any quick action on stamp duty.

Bolton-King asserts up to one in four recent house sales have fallen through, due to uncertainty regarding the “on / off” Stamp Duty saga.

Barclays Bank profits fall 34%

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

Barclays Bank has taken a £2.8bn writedown hit as its profits fell 34% for the first half of the year.

The bank’s report yesterday in a statement included a fall in net income to £1.72bn in the first six months of the year but the writedown was surprising at being more than £2.3bn of the average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The Barclays Capital investment showed pretax profit of £525m, down 69% from £1.7bn a year ago.