Friday newspaper round-up: BCC gloom, BoE lending, alcohol, Aramco

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Friday newspaper round-up: BCC gloom, BoE lending, alcohol, Aramco

Fri, 08 September 2017
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Friday newspaper round-up: BCC gloom, BoE lending, alcohol, Aramco

(ShareCast News) - Britain is locked into a "low growth trajectory" that will see GDP growth dip next year while the eurozone shrugs off Brexit uncertainty to stretch ahead, according to a leading business group. The British Chambers of Commerce said a squeeze on household budgets and the failure of exporters to capitalise on the low pound meant the UK was "treading water". - Guardian
Britain's lenders have tapped the Bank of England for £123 billion of cheap state-backed funding, figures show. Banks and building societies have drawn £75 billion from the term funding scheme, part of the stimulus package announced in August last year after the Brexit vote, and £48 billion from the funding for lending scheme launched in 2012 at the height of the eurozone debt crisis, the Bank said. - The Times

The chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland is among senior figures from the financial services industry who will attend a Brexit meeting with David Davis at Chevening House next week. The inclusion of Sir Howard Davies and several others representing banking and fund management will be welcomed by the City, which has felt shut out from Brexit planning. - The Times

The drinks industry is misleading the public by downplaying and misrepresenting the link between alcohol and cancer - especially breast cancer - in a bid to protect its profits, new research claims. Alcohol firms and "responsible drinking" bodies they fund are denying that drink causes cancer and distorting the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, in information they provide to consumers, according to the British-led team of international experts behind the findings. - Guardian

The Financial Conduct Authority is facing questions from MPs about whether political influence was behind proposed City rule changes that could lure the $2tn (£1.5tn) float of Saudi Aramco to London. Andrew Bailey, the chief executive of the FCA, is being asked by the chairs of two powerful Commons committees whether there were any discussions between the City watchdog and ministers ahead of the consultation on the planned changes. - Guardian

British Airways faces the threat of new strike action after announcing plans to close its main defined-benefit pension scheme because of a multibillion-pound black hole. It was revealed yesterday that the flag carrier wanted to shut the New Airways Pension Scheme (NAPS) after the fund's deficit ballooned to £3.7 billion. - The Times

Bank of England supervisors have told Deutsche Bank of their "significant concern" over its UK operations, which employ 9,000 people based in London and Birmingham. Officials at the Prudential Regulation Authority, the supervisory arm of the Bank, are worried about Deutsche's recovery and resolution planning in a crisis, as well as its business model. - The Times

Tesco has been accused of holding on to millions of pounds that should have gone to charity from the proceeds of the compulsory 5p charge on disposable plastic bags. The retailer retained £3.4 million last year to cover the "cost of administering donations" unlike other major supermarket chains, which did not deduct any of the proceeds for that purpose. - The Times

Charlotte Hogg, who resigned from the Bank of England earlier this year after failing to declare her brother's job at Barclays, has been named the new head of Visa's Europe business. Ms Hogg had been seen as a potential successor to Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, but was forced to quit as both deputy governor and chief operating officer of the BoE in March after it emerged she had not disclosed that her brother was head of strategy at Barclays. - Telegraph

Jaguar Land Rover has become the latest large carmaker to say it will stop launching new models solely powered by internal combustion engines, two months after Volvo pledged to do so. The UK-based manufacturer promised that all new models from 2020 will be fully electric or hybrid, a year later than Volvo's target, but a big step beyond its unveiling last November of a single electric concept car. - Guardian

Bell Pottinger could fall into administration as early as next week, staff have been told, as the fallout from a divisive campaign it ran in South Africa accused of stoking racial tensions threatens to force the City PR firm under. A source at the company said the agency's chairman Mark Smith and a representative of accountant BDO - a firm drafted in earlier this week to try and find a buyer - met with more than 100 employees at the firm's London HQ this afternoon. - Telegraph

Eicher Motors, the Indian company that owns Royal Enfield, is set to make a binding bid to buy Ducati of up to $2 billion by the deadline at the end of the month. Volkswagen, which owns Ducati, put the superbike maker up for sale in April. Other companies reported to have shown an interest in bidding include Harley-Davidson, Suzuki and India's Bajaj Auto. - The Times

A former Amazon financial analyst pleaded guilty on Thursday to insider trading for tipping a former college fraternity brother about the retailer's quarterly results before they were made public. Authorities said Brett Kennedy gave fellow University of Washington alumnus Maziar Rezakhani nonpublic information from Amazon's database, showing that the retailer would lose less money and report higher revenue for the first quarter of 2015 than Wall Street expected, in exchange for $10,000 (£7,652) cash. - Telegraph

The publisher of the Sun and the defunct News of the World has settled 17 cases of phone hacking and illegally obtaining personal information, avoiding a high-profile court case. News Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, has settled with celebrities including Les Dennis, the footballer Jonathan Woodgate and the Coronation Street actors Samia Ghadie, Kym Marsh and Alan Halsall. - Guardian