Hargreaves Lansdown

Monday newspaper round-up: Catalan fallout, Monarch, EU banks, Nisa

Mon 02 October 2017 07:05 | A A A

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(ShareCast News) - Riot police who bludgeoned, kicked and fired rubber bullets at voters taking part in an illegal referendum in Catalonia yesterday acted within the law, the Spanish prime minister said. In a day of violence unprecedented in modern Spanish history, 850 people were hurt, three seriously, according to the Catalan authorities. Riot police fired baton rounds in Barcelona and beat pro-independence supporters trying to stop them confiscating ballot boxes. - The Times

The UK's biggest peacetime repatriation operation has been launched to bring home 110,000 holidaymakers after Monarch Airlines was placed into administration. A total of 300,000 future bookings were cancelled as result of the firm's collapse, the largest to hit a UK airline, and Monarch passengers were told not to go to airports because there would be no more flights. - Telegraph

Banks are gearing up for complex negotiations across the European Union over the uncertain future of about £20 trillion of crucial finance contracts. Valuable derivatives traded between EU and UK banks will have no legal basis after Britain leaves the bloc - unless a deal can be reached. The financial trades are widely used by thousands of businesses and banks to guard against sudden economic changes, so disruption would create chaos on the continent as well as in the UK. - Mail

Boris Johnson has come under attack from business leaders and some Tory MPs as the Conservative party conference got under way in Manchester on Sunday. Adam Marshall, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, accused the foreign secretary of destabilising the government and warned that Cabinet division was undermining economic confidence. - Guardian

The chief executive of supermarket chain Nisa has left suddenly during takeover talks. Nisa said on Saturday that Nick Read had moved on after less than three years in the job, but did not give a reason. The chain, which is owned by its independent retail members, is in takeover talks with the Co-operative Group. - Mail

The Financial Reporting Council has come under renewed pressure over alleged conflicts of interest after it emerged that a former KPMG partner who works for the regulator had driven through a change in the rules that may later have helped to clear his erstwhile employer over the HBOS audit. Nicky Morgan, chairman of the Treasury select committee, said it was "concerning" after The Times alerted her to a decision by the Financial Reporting Council to narrow its definition of misconduct in July 2013. - The Times

Ministers have announced an £11 billion package to win over young voters that includes freezing tuition fees and reviving a scheme to help first-time buyers. As support surged for Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party among under-45s Theresa May vowed to "look again" at university fees as part of her "mission to make the UK a fairer place". - The Times

Some of Britain's wealthiest homeowners have seen as much as £13m wiped off the value of their property in a year as Brexit uncertainty and tax changes continue to wreak havoc in the prime central London market. According to new research, Kensington Palace Gardens in west London tops the list of the most expensive streets in Britain, with an average property value of £35.7m - although that is £2.5m less than this time last year, when the figure was £38.3m. - Guardian

The rapid rise in the number of people renting their homes has led to a big payday for private landlords and a growing division between those who own their own property and those who do not. Private landlords earned a total of £54 billion in the year to June from their tenants, according to research from Savills, which is twice the total amount of interest that home owners paid on their mortgages. - The Times

The Chinese state-owned company planning a nuclear power station in Essex refused to share the security arrangements for a Chinese nuclear plant with the British authorities, it has been revealed. Inspectors from the UK nuclear regulator visited the China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) in Shenzhen earlier this year, as part of the four-year approval process for the reactor the company wants to build at Bradwell. - Guardian

Picturehouse Cinemas has threatened to sack striking workers ahead of a planned walk-out over pay at five London cinemas. Workers represented by the union Bectu have announced plans to disrupt the British Film Institute's London film festival between 4 and 15 October, with nine days of strike action over the period in a dispute over the living wage and other rights, including sick pay. - Guardian

They were supposed to generate a sense of camaraderie, enhance teamwork and encourage an open flow of ideas between colleagues after decades of segregation in booths. But open-plan offices are actually bad for productivity, allowing workers to be interrupted every three minutes by a range of distractions, a futurologist at BT has warned. - Telegraph

With Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley open to offers to sell the Premier League club there was much interest in the presence of financier Amanda Staveley at St James' Park. Staveley was said to be attending Newcastle's fixture against Liverpool with friends and is understood to be "a big fan of both clubs", according to one source, having previously, of course, been close to organising a deal to buy Liverpool when she advised DIC (Dubai International Capital) back in 2008 before it was sold to Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett. - Telegraph

Barclays has made another attempt to delay a court battle against Amanda Staveley, the financier, over its 2008 Middle Eastern fundraising. The bank wants to put off the case, which is scheduled for January, because of complications caused by a separate criminal trial over the fundraising brought by the Serious Fraud Office against several former senior employees, including John Varley, who was chief executive. That case is due to come to court in April 2019. - The Times

A British tech star valued at $1 billion made just £40.3 million in revenue last year. London-based Shazam Entertainment, which is behind a music app that can identify any song being played, hit more than 300 million active users at the end of 2016 as revenue grew 14 per cent on the previous year. - Mail

Bags for life pose a food poisoning risk, the food safety watchdog has admitted, as it has advised shoppers to label them "raw" or "ready to eat" to avoid the spread of deadly bacteria. The Food Standards Agency is urging millions of shoppers who use the bags to take new steps to avoid getting food poisoning as a result of using them to carry supermarket shopping. - Telegraph

Comic Relief and Fairtrade have joined forces with the Dutch government to back a $15m (£11m) scheme to support ethical gold mining in east Africa after a successful pilot project in Uganda. About a fifth of the world's gold produced every year comes from small-scale mines where millions of people work in hazardous conditions without access to modern technology. - Guardian

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