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Ten homes that cost less than half the UK’s average house price

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House price inflation may have slowed but homes have continued to get more expensive over the past year.

The average UK house prices is £234,000, according to the ONS / Land Registry statistics, with the most recent report showing that in September a typical home cost £3,000 more than a year earlier. 

With the median salary standing at £29,400, according to the ONS, that means the average property costs a hefty eight times wages – far beyond what a bank or building society would lend on a mortgage.

However, it is possible for a single buyer to purchase a home in the UK for less than £117,000 – which is half the typical UK house price and a mortgageable four-and-a-half times the average salary. 

There are a range of homes on the market across the UK that are available for under £117,500 - we have tracked down ten of them to show what's possible.

There are a range of homes on the market across the UK that are available for under £117,500 - we have tracked down ten of them to show what's possible.

There are a range of homes on the market across the UK that are available for under £117,500 – we have tracked down ten of them to show what’s possible.

Our research found a number of examples of such homes up-and-down the country to show what is possible at this level.

These included a three-bedroom semi-detached property in Stoke-on-Trent, that potential buyers could get for just £90,000. This means buyers could get a home on a 90 per cent mortgage with as little as a £9,000 deposit. 

It isn’t just families that will be looking out for property bargains, as a recent study by Zoopla revealed that first-time buyers are shunning one-bedroom flats for larger, three-bedroom homes.

The suggestion is that they are doing this, as they think about the long-term implications of buying. 

As first-time buyers do not have to pay stamp duty, it makes sense to avoid this extra fee by purchasing a home that you would stay in for a longer period.  Another reason could be that some may plan a family in the not so distant future, meaning they would soon need more space and are planning ahead.

Many first-time buyers could also be sick of renting cramped one-bedroom flats and will be looking to move on to the next chapter with a bit more space – and a spare room for guests.

With the property market in the doldrums in London and the South East and even busier markets in regional cities slowing, now may not be a bad time to look for a home to negotiate on. 

Miles Shipside, of property listing site Rightmove, said: ‘In a strange Brexit-induced paradox, thousands of potential sellers are holding back compared to this time a year ago, though the number of buyers agreeing purchases is virtually the same. 

‘But this is a price-sensitive market, so if sellers are not willing to be realistic on their initial asking price, or to accept a lower offer, they can end up wasting time for both themselves and their agent.’ 

To give you an insight into where you can buy a property in the UK without spending a fortune, This is Money, with the help of Purplebricks, Zoopla and Rightmove, has compiled houses you can buy across the country for under £117,500.

1) Two bedroom house in Winlaton, Tyne and Wear, for £115,000

This two bedroom home in the North East of England is open to offers from just £115,000

This two bedroom home in the North East of England is open to offers from just £115,000

This two bedroom home in the North East of England is open to offers from just £115,000

This two double bedroom home in the North East of England is currently on the market for £115,000 on Purplebricks. 

The property comprises of a gardens to the front, side and rear which backs onto woodland and there is also an allocated parking space to the side.  

Inside, there is a fitted kitchen, downstairs toilet, dining lounge, the two bedrooms and a family bathroom. 

Purplebricks regional property expert Kirsty Hodgson, said: ‘Winlaton is a small village in Tyne and Wear. Its hilltop position means you can enjoy views over the River Tyne to the north and fields and woods to the south.

‘If high prices and hectic city living are pushing your house hunt further afield, the quiet village of Winlaton could be just what you’re looking for.’ 

The average house price in the area comes in at £125,482, according to Zoopla, meaning those looking to purchase this property would be paying slightly less than most.  

The home comes with a sizable lounge & dining room

The home comes with a sizable lounge & dining room

The property comes with a front and back garden

The property comes with a front and back garden

The home in Winlaton comes with a fairly large lounge and dining room as well as two gardens

2) Three bedroom house in Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne and Wear, for £85,000

North East: This three bedroom home in Houghton-le-Spring is on the market for just £85,000

North East: This three bedroom home in Houghton-le-Spring is on the market for just £85,000

North East: This three bedroom home in Houghton-le-Spring is on the market for just £85,000

This terraced home in Houghton-le-Spring, in the North East, may look normal on the outside but it has a very unique interior. 

The entrance hallway, which has a sparkly tiled floor, leads into the lounge and conjoined dining room, both of which have a white and grey design throughout. 

The white marble floor in the lounge area has an ‘M’ logo emblazoned on it whilst grey velvet sofas and a silver, glittery table surround the room. 

There is also a shower room and three good sized bedrooms with a rear garden accompanying the property. 

The average house price in the area comes in at £147,555, according to Zoopla, meaning those in the area would be getting a home for nearly half the price – perhaps due to the somewhat interesting inside.  

Houghton-le-Spring is equidistant between the university town of Durham and Sunderland with those interested in the property able to find it on Zoopla.  

The lounge in the Houghton-le-Spring home

The lounge in the Houghton-le-Spring home

The lounge in the Houghton-le-Spring home has a marble floor and velvet grey cushions

The unique interior in the property could attribute for the lower than average price in the area

The unique interior in the property could attribute for the lower than average price in the area

The unique interior in the property could attribute for the lower than average price in the area

3) One bedroom flat in Bournemouth for £110,000 

Bargain hunt: The first floor flat in Bournemouth is currently on the market for just £110,000

Bargain hunt: The first floor flat in Bournemouth is currently on the market for just £110,000

Bargain hunt: The first floor flat in Bournemouth is currently on the market for just £110,000

This first floor flat in the coastal town of Bournemouth is currently being advertised on Purplebricks. 

It comes with a double bedroom, open plan living room, modern kitchen and a shower room.

On the market for just £110,000, the flat is retailing for much less than the £299,358 average price of a property in the area. 

Transport links are good with the flat just under a ten minutes walk from Pokesdown train station and only half an hour walk away from Bournemouth train station.  

Purplebricks regional property expert James Lavis, said: ‘The property is located within half a mile of Bournemouth Sandy beaches – just a ten minute walk. 

‘Pokesdown Train station is less than half a mile away with trains that go to London, there are two to three local schools within walking distance and AFC Bournemouth Premiership football stadium is nearby. 

‘The property is located in a popular shopping area – and the area is currently undergoing a lot of regeneration.’ 

The bedroom in the Bournemouth property is fairly large and has a number of windows

The bedroom in the Bournemouth property is fairly large and has a number of windows

The bedroom in the Bournemouth property is fairly large and has a number of windows 

4) Two bedroom house in Turriff, Aberdeenshire, for £105,000 

The two bedroom house in Scotland is within walking distance of the town centre of Turriff

The two bedroom house in Scotland is within walking distance of the town centre of Turriff

The two bedroom house in Scotland is within walking distance of the town centre of Turriff

This two bedroom, end-terrace home is located within easy walking distance of the town centre of Turriff, a town in Aberdeenshire. 

The home comprises a lounge, with a feature fireplace, which leads into the kitchen, fitted with modern units. Upstairs, there are two bedrooms and a modern shower room.

It also comes with a rear garden with decking and a driveway big enough to fit two cars, with house hunters interested in the property able to find it on Zoopla.

The market price of £105,000 is much lower than the average price paid for properties in Turriff which is £173,068. 

The area of Turriff has a small population of just over five-and-a-half thousand and sits miles away from any of the major cities in Scotland – perfect for those looking for peace and tranquility.  

This two bedroom home is located within easy walking distance of the town centre of Turriff

This two bedroom home is located within easy walking distance of the town centre of Turriff

This two bedroom home is located within easy walking distance of the town centre of Turriff

5) Three bedroom house in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, for £90,000

This three bedroom semi-detached house in Stoke-on-Trent has front and back gardens

This three bedroom semi-detached house in Stoke-on-Trent has front and back gardens

This three bedroom semi-detached house in Stoke-on-Trent has front and back gardens

This three bed semi-detached house in Stoke-on-Trent, is currently on the market for just £90,000 – far lower than the average house price in the area which is £153,546.

The accommodation, which is currently on Zoopla, comprises of an entrance hall with a downstairs toilet, lounge and dining kitchen on the ground floor. 

The first floor has three bedrooms and a bathroom whilst there is also a front and back garden. 

Stoke-on-Trent’s train station is situated just over two miles away from the home, whilst there are a number of schools which are also just under ten minutes walk away. 

The city, in central England, is a popular place to visit for tourists thanks to its number of historical attractions and the fact it is near Alton Towers.  

The three bedroom home comes with a brightly decorated kitchen and dining room

The three bedroom home comes with a brightly decorated kitchen and dining room

The three bedroom home comes with a brightly decorated kitchen and dining room

6) Two bedroom flat in Douglas, Isle of Man, for £90,000 

This two bedroom flat on the Isle of Man has been recently renovated & comes with sea views

This two bedroom flat on the Isle of Man has been recently renovated & comes with sea views

This two bedroom flat on the Isle of Man has been recently renovated & comes with sea views

The two bedroom top floor flat in Douglas, the capital town of the Isle of Man, has recently been renovated with a new modern kitchen and bathroom suite. 

The property, which can be found on Zoopla, has distant sea views, shared parking to the rear and is within walking distance of the town centre.  

It is currently on sale for just £90,000 – much cheaper than the average price of a property, as recorded in the Isle of Man House Price Index, which came in at  £248,250 in 2017. 

Douglas is the capital and largest town of the Isle of Man, which is situated in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. 

The town is the Island’s main hub for business, finance, legal services, shipping, transport, shopping, and entertainment. 

The two bedroom flat, in Douglas has recently been renovated

The two bedroom flat, in Douglas has recently been renovated

The two bedroom flat, in Douglas has recently been renovated

7) Three bedroom house in Bury for £115,000 

A three bedroom terraced home in Bury is selling for much less than the area's average

A three bedroom terraced home in Bury is selling for much less than the area's average

A three bedroom terraced home in Bury is selling for much less than the area’s average

This three bedroom terraced home in Bury is currently on the market for £115,000 and can be found on Purplebricks.  

Situated near the town centre of Bury, the house comes with a lounge, kitchen/dining room, downstairs bathroom and upstairs toilet, as well as three bedrooms. 

Bury is a town in Greater Manchester where houses sell for an average of £191,229, suggesting this property is a catch. 

It is situated just a few miles from Bolton, Rochdale and Manchester – meaning the owner is easily within commutable distance of a number of busy cities.  

Purplebricks regional property expert Gino Marone, said: ‘The property is very well presented, and in a fantastic location – close to the famous Bury market and within walking distance to Bury town centre. 

‘There are great transport links into Bolton and Manchester and lots of local amenities including a Vue Cinema.’ 

Bury is situated just a few miles from Bolton, Rochdale and Manchester - ideal for a commuter

Bury is situated just a few miles from Bolton, Rochdale and Manchester - ideal for a commuter

Bury is situated just a few miles from Bolton, Rochdale and Manchester – ideal for a commuter

One of the bedrooms in the Bury property - which has access to an outside area

One of the bedrooms in the Bury property - which has access to an outside area

One of the bedrooms in the Bury property – which has access to an outside area

8) Three bedroom home in Mount Pleasant, Swansea for £110,000

This three bedroom, terraced home in Mount Pleasant is on the market from just £110,000

This three bedroom, terraced home in Mount Pleasant is on the market from just £110,000

This three bedroom, terraced home in Mount Pleasant is on the market from just £110,000

This three bedroom, terraced house in Mount Pleasant is just a short walk away from Swansea town centre and the train station. 

The property, advertised on Rightmove, is set over two floors and comprises of an entrance porch, lounge open to dining room, second reception room and a kitchen. 

On the first floor are the three bedrooms and bathroom. There is also a small front and rear garden.

The interior of the property is currently somewhat dated but with the low price point, house hunters could possibly have enough money to spend on refurbishment. 

Average house prices in the Swansea area are £173,468, according to Zoopla, meaning buyers are getting a significant discount. 

Mount Pleasant was named after the main road in the centre of the town and shouldn’t be confused for the other Welsh town in Merthyr Tydfil.  

The interior of the property in Mount Pleasant is likely to need an update from the buyer

The interior of the property in Mount Pleasant is likely to need an update from the buyer

The interior of the property in Mount Pleasant is likely to need an update from the buyer

The three bedroom property is currently being advertised on Rightmove for £110,000

The three bedroom property is currently being advertised on Rightmove for £110,000

The three bedroom property is currently being advertised on Rightmove for £110,000 

9) Three bedroom house in Rotherham, South Yorkshire for £110,000 

This three bedroom, semi-detached home in Rotherham has a decent size front & back garden

This three bedroom, semi-detached home in Rotherham has a decent size front & back garden

This three bedroom, semi-detached home in Rotherham has a decent size front & back garden

A semi-detached home in Rotherham has gone on the market with a guide price of just £110,000.

As the average price in Rotherham for a house is £146,130, potential buyers are likely to be getting a bargain. 

The home, which is advertised on Rightmove, comes with three decent sized bedrooms, a lounge, kitchen, bathroom as well as a sizable front and back garden. 

It is just over two miles away from Rotherham Central and Swinton train stations and also has good links to nearby Doncaster. 

Rotherham, a large town in South Yorkshire, is under an hour journey from Sheffield, proving to be a good spot for those commuting. 

The Rotherham property has a spacious kitchen and dining room as well as two big gardens

The Rotherham property has a spacious kitchen and dining room as well as two big gardens

The Rotherham property has a spacious kitchen and dining room as well as two big gardens

10) Two bedroom house in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire for £110,000

A terraced home in Lancashire has two double bedrooms and is in a popular area

A terraced home in Lancashire has two double bedrooms and is in a popular area

A terraced home in Lancashire has two double bedrooms and is in a popular area

This two bedroom, terraced home in Lancashire is on the market for £110,000, on Rightmove. 

Whilst this is cheap, the average price for a home in Oswaldtwistle is actually £106,204, suggesting house buyers will be paying slightly more than usual in this area for this property. 

The property comprises a welcoming hallway which leads openly to a reception room which currently has very unique decor and furniture. 

The reception room then leads on to a second reception room, sunroom, kitchen and stairs to the first floor. On the first floor there is a landing leading to two double bedrooms and a family bathroom with a garden at the rear. 

Those looking for a more a neutral toned home may have to complete a number of refurbishments to the property thanks to the taste of the current owner.  

The home is just 0.6 miles from the nearest train station and is situated not far from Burnley, Preston and nearby Blackburn which is just a 25 minute train journey away.  

The home currently comes with a very unique interior that new buyers may wish to change

The home currently comes with a very unique interior that new buyers may wish to change

The home currently comes with a very unique interior that new buyers may wish to change

The home is just 0.6 miles from the nearest train station and is situated not far from Burnley

The home is just 0.6 miles from the nearest train station and is situated not far from Burnley

The home is just 0.6 miles from the nearest train station and is situated not far from Burnley

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Delhi fire: CM Kejriwal announces Rs 10 lakh for kin of deceased

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The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident

Delhi Chief Minister announced an ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh for the families of those dead in the Anaj Mandi fire tragedy on Sunday, promising “strictest” punishment for those responsible for the incident.

The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident.

Kejriwal visited Anaj Mandi, where an early-morning fire at a four-storey building housing illegal manufacturing units claimed 43 lives, and also met the injured admitted to LNJP hospital.

He announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh for those injured in the blaze and said the government will ensure proper treatment for the injured.

“It’s a very tragic incident. The exact numbers of casualties are being ascertained although over 40 have died. Magisterial inquiry has been ordered. The exact cause of fire will be found after the probe. We will ensure strictest punishment for the guilty,” he told reporters.

First Published: Sun, December 08 2019. 17:35 IST

Source: Business Standard

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Bharti seeks Rs 4,900-cr FDI nod; infusion to make Airtel foreign firm

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Bharti Telecom holds around 41 per cent stake in Bharti Airtel while foreign promoter entities hold 21.46 per cent stake in the telecom firm

Bharti Telecom, a promoter of Bharti Airtel, has sought government nod for the infusion of Rs 4,900 crore investment from Singapore-based Singtel and other foreign entities, a move that would make the country’s oldest private telecom operator a foreign entity.

The fund infusion will enhance foreign stakeholding in to over 50 per cent that will make it a foreign-owned entity, an official source aware of the development told PTI. and his family own around 52 per cent stake in Bharti Telecom, at present.

holds around 41 per cent stake in Bharti while foreign promoter entities hold 21.46 per cent stake in the telecom firm. Public shareholders have around 37 per cent stake in the company.

has applied for infusion of Rs 4,900 crore in the company which includes investments from Singtel and some other foreign investors. With this Bharti Telecom will become a foreign entity as majority stake will be held by overseas investors. DoT is expected to approve this investment this month,” the source said.

The Department of Telecom had earlier this year rejected Bharti Airtel’s FDI application as the company had not provided clarity on the foreign investor.

Total foreign shareholding is 43 per cent in Bharti Airtel, at present. With promoter firm Bharti Telecom becoming a foreign entity, foreign shareholding in the company will cross 84 per cent, the source said.

Bharti has already been in discussion with Singtel and other entities for fund infusion.

The company in August had informed stock exchanges that Bharti Telecom in order to retire some debt may seek equity from its existing promoter group which may include overseas entity and Singtel in proportionate to its holding.

Bharti has said that even a marginal increase in foreign equity would take the foreign investment in Bharti Telecom above 50 per cent making it a foreign owned entity.

has already applied to raise FDI limit to 100 per cent in the company.

board last week approved a proposal to raise $3 billion through QIP, stake sale and debt papers as the company owes AGR dues of Rs 43,000 crore to the government.

The company will launch one or more QIPs or offer for sale of equity shares or a combination of similar offers to raise $2 billion. Rest $1 billion will be raised through debentures and bonds.

First Published: Sun, December 08 2019. 17:00 IST

Source: Business Standard

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We MUST get Boris a majority and unleash a boom in Brexit Britain, says City titan Michael Spencer

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There’s Chez,’ Michael Spencer beams, proudly brandishing a photograph of himself with pop star Cheryl Tweedy. ‘My chum Chezza!’

If there’s one thing this self-made billionaire has perfected over 40 years in the City, it’s the art of networking – and he clearly wants visitors to his Knightsbridge office to know it.

Photo frames showing the 64-year-old meeting Barack and Michelle Obama; the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; and David and Samantha Cameron all sit proudly alongside his snap with the former Girls Aloud singer.

Billionaire: Michael Spencer has used his vast wealth to be a key Tory donor

Billionaire: Michael Spencer has used his vast wealth to be a key Tory donor

Billionaire: Michael Spencer has used his vast wealth to be a key Tory donor

Spencer’s enviable collection of acquaintances – fellow billionaire and Democrat Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg included – has been built up over a stellar business career that saw him grow a four-man operation called Icap into a £4billion business with 5,000 employees.

Last year, Spencer took a major step back from the City, selling his business – best known for hosting ‘Chezza’, Prince Harry and others at its festive charity days – and, as he himself points out with disarming frankness, solidifying his status as a billionaire.

Now an ever-growing portion of his attention is being directed towards Westminster and his beloved Conservative Party. Over four decades in the City, Spencer has used his vast wealth to establish himself as one of the Tories’ biggest donors. 

The tally stood at more than £5million before this Election campaign, and Spencer – who served as the party’s treasurer between 2006 and 2010 – says he has been ‘even more generous’ than usual ahead of Thursday’s vote, though he declines to say exactly how much he has donated.

‘It is an absolutely critical Election,’ says Spencer, sitting at the large table in his glass-walled office and smartly dressed in a waist jacket and tieless shirt. ‘I know that’s a cliché – every Election is critical. But I think this is particularly critical.

If Boris doesn’t win, we will have stasis in this country for another year 

‘If Boris does not win this with an overall majority, we are going to have stasis in this country for another year at least while he fumbles along with a minority Government that can’t do anything. Or Corbyn fumbles along with a minority Government trying to negotiate another deal with the Europeans – which he won’t succeed in doing, in my opinion – and then has another referendum. God knows when that will be.’

With General Election day looming, Spencer fears it is ‘not inconceivable’ that – with help from other parties – Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn could become Prime Minister on Friday, which would be ‘really quite severely bad’.

‘New investment in the UK will shrivel,’ says Spencer. ‘Why on earth would you invest money in the UK if you know you’re going to have ten per cent of your company taken away from you by a Labour Government with no compensation and where, if you have a public company, it might be nationalised?’

Exchange controls would soon follow to prevent an otherwise ‘unstoppable’ capital flight, he predicts.

Spencer sold his business Icap – best known for hosting pop star Cheryl (pictured), Prince Harry and others at its festive charity days

Spencer sold his business Icap – best known for hosting pop star Cheryl (pictured), Prince Harry and others at its festive charity days

Spencer sold his business Icap – best known for hosting pop star Cheryl (pictured), Prince Harry and others at its festive charity days

What are Spencer’s plans? ‘I’m not going to share with you my contingency plans,’ he says after a pause, and in a manner surely used many times in business to signify a conversational cul-de-sac. So he does have ‘contingency plans’? ‘Yes. I can share with you the fact that I know very, very many people with contingency plans. And the tragedy is that the Leftists will say, “Good riddance to the lot of you,” ’ he adds.

‘Let’s not beat around the bush, I’m a self-made billionaire. But by becoming a self-made billionaire I’ve built a business. So I made a billion quid out of it, but other investors made £6billion out of it.’

Spencer points out that his business has paid around £2.5billion of tax in this country. In addition, Icap’s well-publicised charity days have raised £150million and he’s in the process of setting up a charitable foundation with his wife Sarah that will hand about £10million a year to good causes.

That aside, he has a shared conservation plot in Kenya with 200 rhinos – ‘probably the biggest concentration of rhinos anywhere’ – protected by 160 armed guards. ‘The Left seems to think that anyone who has made a lot of money has done so by thieving from the community as opposed to maybe because they built businesses that have created wealth for the benefit of the whole nation.’

Corbyn has made clear Labour will not be good for billionaires.

‘It deeply saddens me,’ says Spencer. ‘There have been bad people in business who have behaved dishonourably. But, by the way, there are bad people in every walk of life – there are bad people in the priesthood, there are bad people in the military, there are bad people in Parliament, dare I say it. The misconduct of a small minority should not tarnish the vast majority.’

Asked if there is anything he likes about Labour’s manifesto, Spencer erupts into laughter perhaps more at the idea that he might promote the competition rather than the content. 

Corbyn has made clear Labour will not be good for billionaires

Corbyn has made clear Labour will not be good for billionaires

Corbyn has made clear Labour will not be good for billionaires

‘In fairness,’ he adds, after gathering himself, ‘I can’t say I’ve been through every line of their manifesto. I’ve no doubt they’ve said something somewhere that I might well agree with. Do I believe that we should have a cleaner, greener country? Yeah, of course I do. Do I believe that we should look after the poor? Of course I do.’

If Corbyn fails and Johnson wins a workable majority, Spencer is confident ‘a psychological and commercial cloud will lift’ across the country.

‘I think capital inflow will return to the UK and, by the way, a load of stuff has been held up,’ he says.

There is still the small matter of Brexit, but Spencer – who reluctantly voted Remain in 2016 but would back Leave in the event of a second referendum – is confident Johnson is the right man to implement a plan.

Hidden away at the back of his office is a dining room walled with dozens of bottles of fine wine and featuring four Second World War Enigma machines.

Spencer calls it ‘a rare bastion’ of the dying tradition of the long City lunch – for which he himself is famous.

He pines for a return to the City of yesteryear in other ways, too. Assuming Johnson does get the keys to No 10, Spencer wants the Government to set its sights on scrapping some of the red tape that has bound firms in recent years.

His ideas for reform are likely to raise eyebrows: the suggestion that banker bonus caps – introduced across the EU in the aftermath of the financial crisis – should be lifted, for example.

If Corbyn fails and Johnson wins a workable majority, Spencer is confident ‘a psychological and commercial cloud will lift’ across the country.

If Corbyn fails and Johnson wins a workable majority, Spencer is confident ‘a psychological and commercial cloud will lift’ across the country.

If Corbyn fails and Johnson wins a workable majority, Spencer is confident ‘a psychological and commercial cloud will lift’ across the country.

Along with many others in the City, Spencer believes bonus restrictions have forced banks to inflate standard salaries or driven talented individuals away.

‘The bonus caps are ridiculous,’ he says. ‘That was a classic case of “Let’s do something populist” that achieves nothing – actually achieves damage. And, of course, it should be rescinded.’ Spencer also believes the Vickers Report – which forced banks to ‘ringfence’ their retail and investment banks – should be reconsidered, saying this has forced up financial services costs in the Square Mile.

Spencer’s ideas sound politically tricky to implement – but they cannot be dismissed given his influence within the party. Will Johnson consider them? ‘I hope so,’ says Spencer. ‘I think there is widespread acceptance that there needs to be a review but they’re not a priority on anyone’s Election manifesto.’

Spencer, whose father was a civil servant, grew up in parts of what was then still the Empire, including Sudan where he would ride to school on a donkey.

Boarding school in England was followed by physics at Oxford before graduating into the City in the 1970s.

In 1986 – using £50,000 of his own money – Spencer set up Icap, and then, following the sale of its telephone broking business in 2016, it was renamed NEX Group. 

Spencer believes bonus restrictions have forced banks to inflate standard salaries or driven talented individuals away

Spencer believes bonus restrictions have forced banks to inflate standard salaries or driven talented individuals away

Spencer believes bonus restrictions have forced banks to inflate standard salaries or driven talented individuals away

Last year, after building his trading firm up into a FTSE 100-listed global powerhouse, Spencer crystalised his status as a self-made billionaire by selling NEX to US financial giant CME Group for around £4billion – receiving cash and shares in CME for his own stake.

Spencer now sits on the board of CME as its largest individual shareholder with around three million shares worth around $200 each.

He’s busy managing his personal investments through IPGL, with stakes in betting firm Tote; investment giant AJ Bell; wine company Chapel Down; and Elvie, a so-called ‘femtech’ firm best known for making wearable breast pumps.

His career could have gone down a significantly different path. It had been his intention to work in the City until his 40s and then move into politics as a Conservative MP. But in his late 30s, as Icap was growing into a global firm, ‘I just thought, crikey, do I give up work? And I decided I was enjoying my career too much.’

In 2016, Spencer appeared to be on the verge of having his cake – a long and successful City career – and eating it, by entering the House of Lords as a Tory peer.

But David Cameron’s efforts to insert him into the Lords were thwarted. It is believed Spencer was turned down because of a 2013 fine imposed on Icap for allegedly playing a part in manipulating Libor interest rates. Three Icap employees were charged by the Serious Fraud Office but acquitted at trial.

‘I was, to be honest with you, astonished…I was genuinely astonished that I was rejected,’ says Spencer, apparently still crestfallen by the affair.

‘It appears that it was something related to Libor. Since our staff have now been acquitted over Libor, and indeed the Libor investigations have been terminated, I can’t see how that in any way can mean that my reputation has been somehow irrecoverably damaged.

‘I had hoped, obviously under Cameron’s tenure, to have been a peer for the Conservative Party in the House of Lords and I would have been happy to have done it. I do feel like I have something to add in terms of my expertise in certain areas of enterprise and business.’

Despite his 2016 snub, Spencer remains an influential figure within the party, as well as a major donor. Could he yet be welcomed into the Lords?

‘To be honest with you, it’s the Prime Minister’s choice. So who knows.

‘But it’s not the most important thing in my life or anything like that. Life’s too short to get stressed about things like that.

‘And do you know, I’ve had a phenomenally lucky career anyway.’

Michael Spencer, 64: Aston Martin-driving wine lover 

Family: Wife Sarah and three children – including two sons who Spencer feels might make a career in politics – and two step children.

Lives: Homes in Kensington, New York and Kenya.

Hobbies: Collecting fine wine (Clos des Papes from the Rhone is ‘not in a silly price bracket but is a really lovely wine’) and wildlife conservation. Favourite book: Churchill by Andrew Roberts.

Film: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Music: Dire Straits.

Breakfast: Coffee.

Car: Aston Martin DB4. (On order).

 

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