Craig Sanderson: The obsession with shareholders

Craig Sanderson: The obsession with shareholders

Craig Sanderson

I refer to the article in Scottish Housing News on 11th August 2023 which outlined how housebuilder Persimmon is to put pressure on suppliers and subcontractors to find savings as part of new measures to curb falling sales and profits.

It resonated with an item in The Guardian on the same day.

Both articles confirmed the obsession that the private sector in general and the housing construction and development industry in particular now has with serving the interests of investors and shareholders at the expense of customers and suppliers.

The fall in profits has heralded commitments to cut supplier costs and a significant number of jobs and a gripe about the withdrawal of Help to Buy (the benefits of which mainly materialised as bonuses and higher dividends).

Little mention of cushioning sales prices to defray the effects of soaring mortgage interest rates and utilities charges.

And the immediate reaction was?

“Shares rose 3.7% on Thursday morning”.

This would beggar belief if not so entirely expected and intended.

To understand further what the industry and its partners in government and various professions are up to (in full view, if you only care to look), read Bob Wylie’s book ‘Bandit Capitalism: Carillion and the Corruption of the British State’.

  • Craig Sanderson is a former chief executive of Link Housing and a member of the Edinburgh Poverty Commission
Share icon
Share this article: