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Friday Papers: RBS cleared of forcing clients into insolvency

Friday Papers: RBS cleared of forcing clients into insolvency

Top stories

  • The Guardian: Royal Bank of Scotland has been cleared of deliberately engineering the collapse of some of its business customers, but has decided to sell off the £3.2 billion commercial property portfolio at the centre of the row.
  • The Guardian: America’s two largest former investment banks report increased earnings but Morgan Stanley's profits rise and Goldman's fall; Morgan Stanley grew its revenue by 4% to $8.9 billion, but was a bigger winner in its net income, boosting that 18% to $1.5 billion; Goldman Sachs announced earnings of $2.3 billion on revenues that declined 8% compared to last year, coming in at $9 billion.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Quantitative easing has boosted UK growth by 3%, says Martin Weale; it has raised growth by around £50 billion, Bank of England working paper finds, but has also stoked inflation by more than previously estimated.
  • The Guardian: The Co-operative Group has revealed losses of £2.5 billion after the most "disastrous year" in the mutual organisation's 150-year history due to "fundamental failings in management and governance at the group over many years".
  • The Daily Telegraph: Former BP official, Keith Seilhan, who played a pivotal role in cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, had been charged with insider trading.
  • The Guardian: Two former Anglo Irish Bank executives - Patrick Whelan and William McAteer - have been found guilty of handing out illegal loans from the financial institution whose reckless lending almost bankrupted Ireland.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Energy companies 'in line for £245 million windfall' from green levies deal; companies will enjoy a cost saving of £10 per household that they have not passed on to consumers, the Association for the Conservation of Energy claims.
  • The Independent: Taylor Wimpey's Pete Redfern warned yesterday that soaring property price inflation in London is "not healthy" as the company unveiled a 22% rise in average selling prices in the past year.
  • Daily Express: Stephen Hester made his first big sell-offs yesterday in his plan to revive the fortunes of troubled insurer RSA; the former Royal Bank of Scotland boss announced the sale of three Baltic businesses and one in Poland to Polish group PZU for £300 million.

Business and economics

  • The Guardian: Diageo reported a 1.3% decline in third-quarter organic net sales on Thursday, as volatility in emerging markets curbed demand for its alcoholic drinks.
  • The Guardian: Mulberry is cutting prices to make its handbags more affordable after admitting that the cost of its bags, which sell for up to £5,000, had got "out of line" with what its British customers are prepared to spend.
  • Daily Mail: The pound touched $1.6841 against the greenback yesterday – its highest level since August 2009 and up from $1.4865 in July last year and $1.5279 a year ago.
  • Daily Mail: Santander will chop the rate on its easy-access cash Isa from 1.6% to 1.2% on Tuesday meaning savers will need to act fast over Easter if they want the rate.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Vodafone and Netflix are in talks to launch TV and film service in the next few months.
  • The Daily Telegraph: European cars sales jumped by 10%; sales rose in all countries in March with the British market leading the way.
  • The Guardian: The powerful mining lobby is considering whether to join the push by resource industries to ban environmental boycott campaigns as it battles an escalating grassroots movement calling for banks, superannuation funds and institutions to ditch fossil fuel investments.
  • The Guardian: Barclays could axe thousands more jobs, mainly at its investment banking arm, under a strategic review which will report next month.
  • The Guardian: Gross mortgage lending rose by 4% in March, and ended the first quarter of the year up 37% on the same period of 2013, according to the latest figures from lenders.
  • The Guardian: Online retailer Amazon has been hit by renewed industrial action in two of its distribution centres in Germany; hundreds of workers in Leipzig and Bad Hersfeld staged an all-day strike yesterday, these centres had seen strikes last summer and in the run-up to Christmas.
  • The Independent: US activist investor Jason Ader has laid out plans to install four directors on the board at bookie Bwin.Party.
  • The Independent: The UK’s second largest biscuit supplier, Burton's Biscuit Company, has announced nearly £15 million of investment in a bid to drive growth.
  • Daily Mail: Recession-proof shoppers at upmarket grocer Fortnum & Mason have splashed out £90 on its best-selling Ultimate Egg, driving Easter sales up by a record 31%.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph: Weibo shares jump 19% in market debut; flotation on Nasdaq of China's Twitter seen as test of investor appetite for tech stocks.
  • The Independent (Comment): Austerity and pension problems leave PCS facing a takeover, not a merger.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): The underlying problem of the Co-op Group is its governance. As a mutual it is meant to run in the interest of its members, the millions of loyal customers.
  • Daily Mail (Comment): Tesco boss Philip Clarke faces a difficult time ahead as he attempts to turnaround troubled supermarket.

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