WELCOME to scotsman.com’s Scottish Business Briefing. Every morning we bring you a comprehensive round-up of all news affecting business in Scotland today.
Banks braced for higher fees as regulators bill jumps
BRITAIN’S largest banks were made to pay the price for their misdemeanours yesterday with a sharp rise in the cost of funding the new regulatory regime. While the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) said the smallest firms will see their minimum fee frozen at £1,000, costs are set to rise by a fifth for deposit-taking banks and general insurers.
Insolvencies dip as winding-up orders reduced
A “VERY significant drop” in winding-up orders being initiated by the taxman has led to a 46 per cent fall in the number of Scottish companies going bust in the opening months of this year. Figures published today by accountancy firm KPMG show the number of liquidations – which usually affect smaller companies – fell by 54 per cent year on year to 122 during the first quarter.
Economic growth hopes after factory output upturn
HOPES that Britain can duck its third recession in less than five years were boosted yesterday with news of a surprise rebound in factory output. Economists also pointed to signs of improving business and consumer confidence but said growth for the first quarter of 2013 was likely to be marginal at best.
ENERGY & UTILITIES
Wood extends flagship contract with Total
WOOD Group said it has won a significant extension to a flagship North Sea contract from Total, expected to be worth around an additional $150 mil-lion (£98m) to the oil and gas services giant. The contract, which will secure around 300 jobs, covers maintenance work on offshore platforms that handle production from assets including the giant Elgin Franklin gas fields 150 miles east of Aberdeen.
Cairn raises estimate of Skarfjell reserves
CAIRN Energy have celebrated a successful test well in the Norwegian North Sea, which showed the prospect contains more oil than previously thought. The Skarfjell appraisal well sheds light on one of the largest discoveries in the Norwegian sector in recent years, which will now be developed into a producing field.
MEDIA & LEISURE
Fitsip hopes to tap into a healthy marketplace
THE sight of runners clutching bottles of water as they pound the streets may soon be a lot less common. Two Glasgow-based entrepreneurs have designed and launched what is believed to be the world’s first hydration armband for runners, freeing athletes from the burden of carrying cumbersome bottles.