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Friday newspaper round-up: Trade deal, Fifteen, RBS, Autonomy

Fri 13 December 2019 07:33 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - The US and China have reportedly reached a limited deal that would pause escalating trade tensions and pave the way towards ending a bruising trade war between the world's two largest economies. The two sides have reached an agreement "in principle" that would see the US roll back some of the tariffs on $360bn of Chinese goods in exchange for Chinese commitments to buy US agricultural products and other concessions, according to US media reports on Thursday.- Guardian

Fifteen Cornwall in Watergate Bay, one of the last outposts of Jamie Oliver's UK restaurant empire, has closed its doors with the loss of 100 jobs. Chefs and waiting staff at the restaurant, which uses the celebrity chef's name under licence but is owned and run by a charitable trust, were told the business would be shutting its doors on Thursday afternoon. About 70 people work at the restaurant and a further 30 work at the Cornwall Food Foundation charity, which will also be wound up. - Guardian

The Royal Bank of Scotland is to pay £40m in compensation to 730,000 customers after it uncovered a group of rogue staff "skimming" cash on foreign money transfers over four years. Workers on the lender's foreign exchange desk manipulated the rates applied to overseas transactions between 2010 and 2014 - earning Natwest owner RBS tens of millions of pounds in extra profits. One customer, believed to be a large business, is to receive £70,000 in redress. - Telegraph

Coventry Building Society revealed last night that it had been exaggerating its financial strength for the past 11 years because of a calculation error. In an admission which has echoes of the Metro Bank debacle, Coventry said it had understated its risk-weighted assets by £222 million as of June 30. This meant that its common equity tier 1 ratio, a measure of financial strength, was 32.6 per cent, not the 34.2 per cent stated in its last results. - The Times

Mike Lynch was accused in the High Court yesterday of telling "lie after lie" in a $5 billion civil fraud trial brought against the Autonomy founder by Hewlett-Packard. The former chief executive of the British software company, which he started in 1996, is engaged in a legal dispute with the American computing giant in London. HP bought Autonomy in August 2011 for $11 billion but a year later wrote $8.8 billion off the value of the acquisition. It estimates that about $5 billion of the impairment was because of "accounting improprieties". - The Times

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