Weekly Digest – 15 March 2023

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

HSBC acquires UK arm of collapsed Silicon Valley Bank

HSBC has acquired the UK arm of collapsed Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) for just £1, bringing relief to UK tech firms who had warned they could go bankrupt without help. The government and the Bank of England worked through the night to seal the deal with no taxpayer money.

Global markets under severe pressure amid SVB collapse

Despite US President Joe Biden seeking to restore calm by insisting that the US banking system remained safe, shares in US and European banks sold off sharply amid a crisis of confidence in global markets over the financial system’s health.

Bitcoin surges nearly 10% as concerns about the banking crisis ease

Bitcoin’s price rebounded nearly 10% within a few hours after concerns about a possible banking crisis subsided. The US government’s assurance to protect customer funds and HSBC’s agreement to purchase SVB’s UK operations helped boost confidence in the cryptocurrency.

Hunt to unveil plans for new investment zones to boost hi-tech growth

In his first budget, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will announce plans for 12 new investment zones. Each zone will be backed by £80m of investment over five years to accelerate research and development in hi-tech industries. The investment zones will be clustered around universities or other research institutions.

Millions of households on prepayment energy meters will no longer be charged extra

The Spring Budget is expected to include a move that will save households on average £45 per year on their energy bills. Currently, households on pay-as-you-go meters pay more on average than those using Direct Debit because firms managing the meters pass on costs to users.

Welsh government approves floating offshore wind farm to power up to 4 million homes

The Welsh government has approved the construction of a floating offshore wind farm consisting of seven 14MW turbines on floating platforms 40km off the Pembrokeshire coast. The wind farm will provide enough clean energy to power 93,000 homes and could potentially generate as much as 20GW of electricity in the Celtic Sea.

Rising Inflation Linked to “Greedflation”

According to an analysis of the accounts of the top 350 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, large corporations have contributed to rising inflation by increasing prices beyond the rising costs of raw materials and wages. The trend has been found among supermarkets, food manufacturers and shipping companies.

Heathrow prepares for successful Easter getaway after busiest day since the pandemic started

Heathrow Airport has recorded its busiest day since the pandemic’s start, with more than 94,000 passengers on February 26. The airport is now preparing for a successful Easter getaway and has sought to reassure families after last year’s holiday period was marred by chaos and cancellations.

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