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Monday Papers: Osborne pushed to turn screw on banks

Monday Papers: Osborne pushed to turn screw on banks

Top stories

  • Financial Times: British Chancellor George Osborne is facing intense pressure to impose tough new legislation on banks next year, as a powerful cross-party coalition of MPs and peers mobilises to take on the City.
  • Financial Times: Households are facing a fourth consecutive annual rise in insurance premiums as underwriters try to pass on the costs of claims from a year of floods that are estimated to reach at least £1 billion.
  • Financial Times: Facebook became the latest company to see its tax affairs scrutinised after reports that the royalties paid by its international headquarters in Ireland increased more than fivefold to £441 million in 2011.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Barclays is to rewrite its rules on pay and multi-million pound bonuses in an attempt to drive down costs and stop criticisms that the bank incentivised its executives to take the wrong type of risks.
  • The Independent: A third of bankers say they hate their jobs, according to a survey by eFinancialCareers of more than 500 financial services professionals.
  • Financial Times: Capital Group, one of the world’s largest asset managers, has been quietly lobbying in Washington against an expected proposal designed to make it easier to deal with large banks facing financial difficulties.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The West Coast rail bid fiasco has claimed its biggest civil service casualty with the departure from the Department for Transport of Peter Strachan, its head of major projects.
  • Daily Mail: Britain’s multi-billion pound nuclear building programme could face long delays because of cutbacks at EDF Energy’s parent company in France.
  • Financial Times: The big three US carmakers – General Motors, Ford and Chrysler – are eyeing increasing involvement in alternatives to private car ownership such as e-bikes and buses, amid a dip in car use and ownership.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Nat Rothschild should be barred from voting on plans to resurrect the struggling coal miner, Bumi, according to its newly-installed chief executive.
  • Financial Times: Robert Donald, one of the UK’s top equity traders, is leaving Soros Fund Management, the hedge fund founded by billionaire George Soros.
  • Daily Mail: The management of online betting company Sportingbet are in line for multi-million pound windfalls after selling the company to bookmaker William Hill.
  • Financial Times: Tesco has quadrupled the amount it spends flying its executives around the world on private jets over the past three years, racking up a bill for £9 million in the year to February 2012.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Analysts predict 2012 will be the year children as young as three-years-old will unwrap tablets at trendsetting rates; that has the traditional toy companies scrambling to stay relevant.
  • Financial Times: Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime-minister-in-waiting, has threatened to revise the law governing the Bank of Japan if it refuses to introduce a 2% inflation target at its January policy meeting.
  • Financial Times: Britons will have to wait longer to receive a state pension under a government plan that will see future increases in pension age linked to fast-rising life expectancy.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The British Government was accused of "ridiculous bureaucracy" in refusing to extend Sunday trading hours as retailers and supermarkets struggled to cope with the Christmas rush.
  • Daily Mail: Water regulator Ofwat has stepped back from the brink in its confrontation with the industry over proposals to alter the way water is priced.
  • Financial Times: Investment funds that seek to profit by pushing for strategy shifts at companies or improvements in corporate governance have had a banner year, posting returns well ahead of the US equity market and their stock trading peers.
  • Daily Mail: Anger over miner ENRC’s deals in the Democratic Republic of Congo has erupted anew ahead of a shareholder vote scheduled for Friday.
  • The Independent: The scale of the crisis on Britain's high streets will be laid bare on Monday when new figures show that 140 retailers have "critical" financial problems.
  • Financial Times: The woes of the global charity industry are deepening as donations – both smaller individual gifts and philanthropy – continue to contract as demand for the services of non-profit organisations keeps mounting.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Stephen Hester, the chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, is to undertake a moral overhaul of the state-backed institution, calling on all 150,000 of his employees to consider “obsessively” the external impact of everything they do in order to avoid repeating past mistakes.
  • The Guardian: UK tax inspectors are investigating Goal.com, which bills itself as the "world's largest football website", over its widespread use of unpaid interns, the Guardian can reveal.
  • The Independent: Paul Woolf, the finance director of Jack Wills, has left the private equity-backed retailer, while Liz Hall, its head of UK stores, is to exit early next year.
  • Financial Times: Fewer than one in four finance directors of the UK’s biggest companies now acts as a non-executive director on another board, according to boardroom research by Spencer Stuart.
  • Financial Times: Lundbeck, the Danish drugmaker, is stepping up its production of medicines using a pioneering manufacturing technique called “continuous production” that is designed to save time and money.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Chancellor's family-owned interior design business, Osborne & Little, failed to contribute to the Exchequer last year as it recorded its fourth straight year of losses.
  • Daily Mail: Anglian Windows, the home improvements group, saw profits fall by more than half to £3.9 million in the year to the end of March.
  • Daily Express: Hobbs, a fashion stalwart of the high street, has set its sights on selling in China in the belief that the country's consumers will want to buy its contemporary British designs as their love affair with luxury goods wanes.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: The KaDeWe building in Germany and 16 other Karstadt department stores are to be sold by a consortium led by Whitehall, the Goldman Sachs property fund, to Signa, an Austrian investor for €1.1 billion.
  • Financial Times: China’s sovereign wealth fund is among a trio of Asian investors vying to buy an £800 million London office campus from Blackstone, the US private equity firm.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The UK’s crab-like performance of the last two years is not easy to explain – a third year of the same would be distinctly weird.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Municipal bonds: as lawmakers debate how to avoid the fiscal cliff – recession-threatening tax rises and spending cuts – the tax exemption afforded to ‘munis’ is on the table.
  • Financial Times (Lex): 4G mobile services: pricing issues loom large with rollout of superfast services set to accelerate across Europe where spectrum auctions have concluded and will take place soon in UK.
  • Financial Times (Lex): SE Asian economies: Southeast Asian equities now look expensive and individual countries have their own challenges that investors should bear in mind for 2013.

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