A year in the City | The Week UK

Mike Ashley, founder of Sports Direct, announced he would step down as CEO of his sprawling high-street empire in 2022, to be succeeded by Michael Murray, his daughter’s fiance. The BoE predicted that CPI inflation would reach 4% in late 2021/early 2022, but maintained that it was “transitory”. Pfizer reported that its Covid vaccine would likely generate £33.5bn in 2021. Macquarie, the Australian investment giant, bought a controlling stake in Southern Water – reflecting an explosion of foreign interest in “cheap” UK blue-chips, from the supermarket Morrisons to the defence companies Ultra Electronics and Meggitt.

City investment banks celebrated their best year on record for M&A fees. The biggest company in the FTSE 100, the GBP137bn Australian mining behemoth BHP, announced plans to quit London. Health Secretary Sajid Javid vowed to crack down on “cowboy” companies providing PCR tests at grossly inflated prices.

Sharon Graham became general secretary of Unite, vowing to do away with union “passivity”.