UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

Press Round-up – March 13

FTSE boards resist pressure to smash the glass ceiling
The drive to get more women into Britain’s biggest boardrooms is making progress but, according to critics, there is much more to be achieved at director level and below, according to a report published on Tuesday. (Times)

Cost fears cause MoD to rethink fighter jets
British ministers are considering another U-turn in the long-running debate over which model of the F35 Joint Strike Fighter the UK should buy, threatening further disruption to a project which has been dogged by indecision and cost escalation.   (FT)

Virgin Money hikes credit card interest
Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Money, which recently bought Northern Rock, has hiked interest rates on its credit cards by almost 50 percent in the latest blow to consumers already hit by rising mortgage rates. (Telegraph)

HSBC to scale back Asia operations
HSBC is set to scale back its Asian operations as it considers the sale or closure of seven Asian retail businesses from Pakistan to New Zealand, where it has decided to no longer focus investment. (FT)

Press Round-up – March 12

Air industry calls for EU carbon tax delay
Airbus and six big European airlines have joined forces in an effort to delay plans by the European Union to force carriers to pay for carbon pollution, in a project that the aerospace groups say is jeopardising billions of dollars of orders and 2,000 jobs.  (FT)

Clegg forced to go soft on UK ‘tycoon tax’
Britain’s deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, has been forced to soften his proposals for a so-called “tycoon tax” less than 48 hours after announcing it as the flagship policy for his party’s spring conference. (FT)

Press Round-up – March 9

Ryanair threatens to sue over EC ‘bias’
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has threatened to sue the European Commission for damages amid claims that its official travel agency discriminates against low-cost carriers. (Telegraph)

Murdoch faces probe over BSkyB ownership
Rupert Murdoch is facing a fresh challenge to his UK media business as it emerged that Britain’s communications regulator has escalated its probe into whether British Sky Broadcasting is a “fit and proper” owner of a broadcasting licence. (FT)

Press Round-up – March 8

Osborne urged to ignore calls to spend
A report published on Thursday by accountancy firm PwC will urge British finance minister George Osborne to bank any one-off improvement in the public finances this year rather than attempt to use the spare cash to prop up growth. (Times)

Green tax must be cut to save companies, says Cable
British Business Secretary Vince Cable is pushing finance minister George Osborne to scrap a 740 million pound environmental burden on the UK’s business in this month’s budget. (Independent)

Press Round-up – March 7

RBS should be split up, says Cable
British Business Secretary Vince Cable has called for state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland to be broken up to create a vehicle for lending to small companies, as ministers scramble for ways to unblock credit lines to the sector.  (FT)

Osborne makes budget pledge to small firms
British finance minister George Osborne has promised businesses that credit easing, the government’s long-awaited plan for getting cheap loans to small businesses, would be under way by the budget, as anxious financial markets suffered their worst day’s trading since December. (Guardian)

Press Round-up – March 6

Regulators consider Libor overhaul
UK regulators and global banks are discussing a potentially far-reaching overhaul of the calculation and regulation of interbank lending rates, amid claims that the benchmark for $350 trillion contracts worldwide may have been subject to manipulation.  (FT)

Print room scam insider traders made £1 million
An alleged insider-trading ring made more than 1 million pounds using secret share tips stolen from the printing rooms of two of the City’s biggest investment banks, a court heard yesterday. (Times)

Press Round-up – March 5

Banks still long way from completing “living wills”
Banks are a long way from finishing the “living wills” that spell out how they can be stabilised or shut down in a crisis before a June deadline, with European and Japanese banks far behind their U.S. and UK counterparts, according to a survey by Ernst & Young. (FT)

Millions to be affected by higher mortgages
Mortgage bills are to rise for millions of households after Britain’s biggest home lender, Halifax, announced an interest rate increase that will cost average borrowers at least 16 pounds extra a month. (Times)

Press Round-up – March 2

A380 wing cracks related to UK design fault
Wing cracks that have grounded the Airbus 380 superjumbo have been identified as the fault of design engineers at the manufacturer’s state-of-the-art facility in England. (Times)

Osborne to defy calls to remove tax rate
British finance minister George Osborne is to defy calls for the removal of the 50 pence upper rate on income tax and will instead instigate a clampdown on wealthy homeowners in an attempt to demonstrate that the rich cannot avoid Britain’s austerity programme.   (FT)

Press Round-up – March 1

50p tax rate is delaying UK recovery, say businesses
The 50 pence higher rate of income tax is “damaging the economy” and delaying the recovery from recession, more than 500 entrepreneurs and business owners warn on Thursday. (Telegraph)

Shareholder warns Murdoch will lose BSkyB position
One of BSkyB’s biggest investors has warned that James Murdoch’s exit from News International suggests he will soon lose his position as chairman of the pay-TV broadcaster. (Telegraph)

Press Round-up – February 29

BTG takes steps towards listing
BTG Pactual has mandated Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan to help manage its initial public offering as it tries to build one of the biggest independent emerging market investment banks. (FT)

Google in EU showdown over privacy rules
Google has found itself on a collision course with European regulators after a provisional finding that its new privacy policy breaches European law. (FT)