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Equilibrium's Finance and Investment News Roundup

In our roundup this week we report on new findings showing that the Bank of Mum and Dad is set to lend around £5 billion this year to help children access the housing market, while we also bring news of profit drops for HSBC and UBS, and claims that Britain leaving the EU could place £250 billion of trade at risk.


Bank of Mum and Dad 'to lend £5bn in 2016'

The so-called Bank of Mum and Dad - the name given to parents lending money to their children - is to lend around £5 billion in 2016. This is according to new data from Legal & General, which found parents are providing this option to their adult children in order to help them access the housing market.

It was found that parents are set to help finance around one-quarter of all UK mortgage transactions this year, and it was calculated that if the Bank of Mum and Dad were a formal business, it would be among the top ten mortgage lenders in the UK.

Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive of Legal & General, commented: "The Bank of Mum and Dad plays a vital role in helping young people to take their early steps on to the housing ladder." 

HSBC reports 14% profits drop

HSBC has posted a 14% profits drop for the first quarter of 2016, with pre-tax profit coming in at £4.17 billion. The bank cited volatility in the financial markets at the start of the year as the main reason for the downward movement.

During the quarter, the bank cut almost 1,000 jobs worldwide. However, it claimed it has been able to remain resilient in very difficult market conditions, and the profits fall was not as steep as some analysts had predicted.

Stuart Gulliver, Chief Executive of HSBC, said the bank is confident that by the end of 2017 it will have reached its cost-saving target of £3.5 billion. 

UBS posts almost 2/3 profits fall

Swiss bank UBS has reported a net profit slump of almost two-thirds for the first quarter of the year, with volatile markets to blame for the drop. UBS, which is the biggest bank in Switzerland, posted a net profit of 707 million Swiss francs, which was 64% lower than the 1.98 billion francs reported for the same quarter in 2015.

In a statement, the bank said: "Negative market performance, substantial volatility, as well as underlying macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainty, led to more pronounced client risk aversion and abnormally low transaction volumes in the first quarter." 

Brexit 'would risk £250bn of trade' 

If Britain leaves the European Union (EU) it could put £250 billion of trade at risk, campaigners have claimed. Britain Stronger in Europe suggested trade with members of the EU and more than 50 countries that have free-trade agreements with the EU could be put in jeopardy should Britain vote to leave the bloc in the upcoming referendum.

According to the lobby group, more than 60% of Britain's trade is with either EU partners, countries with which the EU has trade deals or countries within the European Economic Area. In response, Brexit campaigners claimed that 'In' campaigners were being inconsistent with regard to their forecasting.