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Monday newspaper round-up: Brexit, estate agents, Prudential, motoring

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Monday newspaper round-up: Brexit, estate agents, Prudential, motoring

Mon, 31 July 2017
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Monday newspaper round-up: Brexit, estate agents, Prudential, motoring

(ShareCast News) - Britain will not slash taxes and regulations after Brexit to undercut European rivals, Philip Hammond has said. In a marked softening of tone, the chancellor said that Britain's social, economic and cultural model would remain "recognisably European" after it left the EU. - The Times
Luxembourg has hit back at claims that it is giving finance firms easy ­access to the EU by allowing "brass plate" operations to list an address in the Duchy even though they have no real presence there. Luxembourg's officials took offence at accusations by Eoghan Murphy, Ireland's former finance minister, that some countries had engaged in "very aggressive" behaviour including "creeping regulatory arbitrage". - Telegraph

Senior Conservative MPs are urging members of Theresa May's cabinet to stop publicly setting out their demands for a transitional deal on Brexit, saying the move could make negotiations with the European Union more difficult. The warnings from senior leave campaigners and allies of the Brexit secretary, David Davis, come as ministers prepare to clash over issues of immigration and trade in a series of key meetings this autumn. - Guardian

One in five UK estate agents are at risk of going out of business amid a growth in online companies, new research shows. Almost 5,000 estate agents are showing signs of "financial distress", said accountancy firm Moore Stephens. - Guardian

Prudential is about to look for buyers for about £10 billion of its annuities business, which could lead to the sale of the entire £45 billion division and the transfer of thousands of policyholders to a new provider. Britain's biggest insurer recently ran a search for investment bankers to advise it on the divestment and has tentatively decided to start with a £10 billion sale, which may be broken up into two blocks of £5 billion. - The Times

Five more banks have agreed to pay a total of $111m to settle claims that they manipulated currency markets, as the foreign exchange scandal continues to haunt the finance industry. Lawyers behind the claims in the US hope to bring similar cases to the courts on this side of the Atlantic in the near future. - Telegraph

Every driver in Britain is being overcharged for motor cover because insurers are using secret deals to grossly inflate repair bills, a Daily Telegraph investigation has established. Insurers are routinely inflating repair costs by as much as 100 per cent, while receiving undisclosed kickbacks for the difference, it can be revealed. - Telegraph

British motorists face a 10% rise in the cost of their annual car service and repair bills if the UK leaves the EU without a trade deal, an industry body has warned. The UK's collective car repair bill could rise by more than £2bn due to tariffs and other barriers arising from a hard Brexit, according to a report published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which assumes the UK is forced to fall back on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. - Guardian

Business owners affected by Royal Bank of Scotland's restructuring scandal have expressed frustration at what they say is a lack of progress in the lender's compensation scheme. RBS has paid millions in "automatic" refunds of fees it wrongfully charged, but the bank has taken longer than expected to get its complaints and appeals process off the ground. - The Times


The number of "overeducated" workers has increased by a third in the past decade but companies are failing to make use of the skills of their staff, a study has found. The mismatch between training and what employers find useful could contribute to another ten years of stalled productivity and falling wages, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says. - The Times

Scottish pub tenants have until Monday to make their voices heard over landmark legislation that would end a centuries-old system forcing them to buy supplies from their owners. More than 1,000 pubs north of the border are under tied agreements, which means they have to buy some or all of their drinks from pub company owners, often at inflated prices in return for promises of lower rent. - Telegraph

A developer of luxury retirement homes is eyeing a slice of the lucrative UK market after teaming up with a big American partner. The partnership between Elysian Residences and established US player One Eighty is developing homes with five-star hotel services ­including a concierge, spa facilities and a private dining room, as well as 24-hour medical facilities on site in a bid to challenge established players such as McCarthy & Stone. -Telegraph

Virgin Atlantic's boss has claimed the airline will overtake its big rivals in the lucrative transatlantic market following a tie-up with Air France. The deal, which saw Virgin Group sell a 31pc stake to Air France-KLM, means the airline will collectively offer more than 300 daily non-stop flights between North America and Europe and the UK. - Telegraph

Bupa is close to selling about half of its care homes to the former chief executive of Priory Clinics. HC-One, led by Chai Patel, is in advanced discussions to buy 150 homes from Bupa. HC-One was created in 2011 out of the rubble of Southern Cross, which collapsed. - Times

The deteriorating health of the UK population has boosted turnover at one of Britain's largest private hospital ­operators as the NHS comes under growing strain. Increasingly unhealthy lifestyles and a growing number of elderly people have helped drive sales up 9pc at Nuffield Health to £840m. - Telegraph

The billionaire behind the Three mobile network has netted £1.4bn from the sale of a chunk of his telecoms empire. Li Ka-shing has offloaded Hutchison Global Communications, which runs fixed-line and wifi services, to American private equity group I Squared Capital for HK$14.5bn, equivalent to £1.4bn.The unit being sold operates in Hong Kong and China as well as serving businesses in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. - Telegraph