Sunday newspaper round-up: Bank of England, Palmer & Harvey, Brexit, Santander, BT

Press Round Up

Sunday newspaper round-up: Bank of England, Palmer & Harvey, Brexit, Santander, BT

Sun, 30 July 2017
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Sunday newspaper round-up: Bank of England, Palmer & Harvey, Brexit, Santander, BT

(ShareCast News) - The Bank of England is demanding detailed information from high street lenders on how they approve loans after sounding the alarm over the consumer borrowing binge. Within five weeks, banks must provide evidence of how they assess the financial position of their riskiest customers. The particular areas of concern are introductory 0% rates on credit cards, which some consumers are using to fund house deposits, and the maximum size of personal loans. - The Sunday Times
The UK's biggest cigarette supplier has stepped up attempts to find new backers amid a looming deadline to ­repay tens of millions of pounds to some of the world's biggest tobacco manufacturers. Palmer & Harvey, one of the UK's largest private companies with around 4,000 employees, is understood to need around £50m of fresh funds by the end of September. - Sunday Telegraph

Britain will be hit by huge border delays, require vast lorry parks in the south-east, and suffer more than £1bn a year in economic damage, according to a stark economic analysis of the likely impact of customs checks after Brexit. Additional costs associated with potential motorway queues, extra customs staff and jobs lost as a result of companies relocating mean even that assessment is "extremely conservative", a study by the Europe-wide Oxera consultancy warns. - Observer

The boss of Santander has defended slashing interest rates on its popular 123 current accounts after a plunge in new customers. The lender cut rates from a market-leading 3 per cent to 1.5 per cent in September, upsetting savers struggling to beat inflation. Results for the first half of 2017 show just 43,000 accounts were opened, down from 276,000 in the same period last year. - Mail on Sunday

BT has offered to spend up to £600m on upgrading internet speeds for more than 1m rural homes, as it fends off pressure to break up its empire. Following government threats to create a legally binding requirement to supply high-speed broadband, BT has volunteered to extend coverage to 99% of the population by 2020. - The Sunday Times

Senior managers at CH2M, the engineer behind some of Britain's most high profile infrastructure projects including the HS2 rail line, are poised to bag multimillion-dollar payouts in an imminent takeover by rival Jacobs Engineering. A $1.5bn deal is expected to be announced and is likely to prompt job cuts and generous compensation packages for its executive team. - Sunday Telegraph

The Bank of England will hold last-ditch talks with the UK's largest trade union on Monday as the central bank attempts to avert its first strike in 50 years. The stoppage has been called over a below-inflation pay offer to the Bank's maintenance, security and hospitality staff, and was originally due to begin on Monday. However, the action has been delayed for a day to allow late talks via the conciliation service, Acas, and is now scheduled to last between Tuesday and Thursday if talks fail. - Observer

Car giant Renault could be forced to set up a fully-fledged bank in the UK to continue taking billions in deposits from savers after Brexit. The car maker set up a branch of its French bank, RCI Bank, in the UK in 2015. It has frequently been top of the best-buy tables for its easy access account and has attracted £2.1billion in deposits from 60,000 British savers. But because RCI is technically a 'branch', its operations are regulated elsewhere. - Mail on Sunday

HSBC is tipped to launch a $2bn (£1.5bn) share buyback tomorrow, in the first phase of a three-year programme to run down its vast cash stockpile. Britain's biggest bank is expected to announce the investor windfall alongside its first-half results - which are forecast to show profits of $10bn. - The Sunday Times

The owner of British Gas faces a hit to profits after bowing to political pressure to keep bills down in the face of climbing costs. Centrica is expected to reveal that earnings from its residential supply arm fell by a quarter in the first half of this year, to £487m, after it kept to its promise not to raise prices before August. - Sunday Telegraph

EasyJet is "urgently" seeking answers after a worker at Nice airport apparently punched one of the airline's passengers who was holding his baby at the terminal after a 13-hour delay. A photo circulating online appears to show the man, believed to be a special assistance provider at the airport in south-east France, attacking the man in front of other passengers on Saturday. - Observer

Banks will be forced into a radical overhaul of current account charging tomorrow when regulators signal a clampdown on overdraft fees. The Financial Conduct Authority is set to outline in detail the huge fees charged on unauthorised overdrafts as part of a review of all types of 'high-cost credit', including payday loans. - Mail on Sunday

Sales of Apple's iPhone have nosedived in recent months as fans hold off replacing their smartphones before a radically redesigned model is launched later this year. The iPhone 8 is attracting considerable hype, with several analysts predicting that it could drive a new "supercycle" in sales. - The Sunday Times

Almost every graduate taking an unpaid internship can expect to be worse off three years later than if they had gone straight into work. A study, conducted by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, reveals that, three-and-a-half years after graduating, former interns face a salary penalty of approximately £3,500, compared with those who went straight into paid work, and £1,500 compared with those who went into further study. - Observer

The Government could be forced to drop its plans for a crackdown on controversial whiplash insurance claims after last week's Supreme Court ruling on industrial tribunals, according to a leading accident insurance lawyer. Stephen Cavalier, chief executive of trade union law firm Thompson, which deals with both employment and personal injury cases, said the legal grounds used to force the U-turn on employment tribunal fees could equally apply to the Government's proposed whiplash clampdown. - Mail on Sunday