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Monday newspaper round-up: Brexit, banks, Debenhams, AA, PatVal

By Oliver Haill

Date: Monday 14 Jan 2019

Monday newspaper round-up: Brexit, banks, Debenhams, AA, PatVal

(Sharecast News) - Theresa May will make one final appeal to the Commons to pass her Brexit deal, amid speculation among many Conservative MPs that the expected defeat could spark a cross-party plan or moves to oust the prime minister. May is to start her most crucial week as prime minister with a speech at a factory in Stoke-on-Trent, where more than two-thirds of people voted to leave the EU. - Guardian
Brussels expects Britain to ask for an extension to Article 50 to allow Brexit to be delayed if the House of Commons rejects Theresa May's deal tomorrow. EU officials anticipate more parliamentary political turbulence for the prime minister after the expected request to extend the two-year exit process, which would delay Brexit day for months beyond March 29. - The Times

The EU is preparing to delay Brexit until at least July after concluding that Theresa May is doomed to fail in getting her deal through parliament. The country's 29 March deadline for exiting the EU is now regarded by Brussels as highly unlikely to be met given the domestic opposition facing the prime minister and it is expecting a request from London to extend article 50 in the coming weeks. - Guardian

Central banks risk triggering another wave of volatility on markets by draining $1.2 trillion (£930bn) from the global financial system, top analysts have warned. The Federal Reserve is sucking liquidity out of the system by reversing quantitative easing (QE) amid fears that December's volatility was sparked by the US central bank removing the bond-buying stimulus. - Telegraph

British banks have suffered their first drop in demand for five years as Brexit uncertainty, regulation and market volatility took their toll. The latest CBI/PwC Financial Services Survey showed the financial services sector had a difficult end to 2018, with just 24% of firms reporting a rise in business volumes in the three months to December, compared with 32% having experienced a decline. - Guardian

A daring rescue attempt being drawn up to save Debenhams from going bust could cost more than 10,000 job losses, dealing the biggest blow to the high street since the collapse of BHS. The chain has earmarked as many as 90 of its high street stores for closure, more than half the current total, as part of a radical turnaround plan. - Telegraph

Takeaway restaurants will be allowed to be converted into homes without planning permission under government plans to reclaim Britain's high streets from fast-food shops. Jake Berry, the high streets minister, said that he wanted to bring the premises in line with office buildings and warehouses, which are already allowed to be converted into residential accommodation without council consent. - The Times

Homeowners face paying more for their mortgages as specialist lenders are hit by higher funding costs due to investors' fears about Brexit and the global economy. Fleet Mortgages, based in Hampshire, last week withdrew all of its products to new customers and said it was seeking funding. Secure Trust Bank, whose products span business and personal lending, is planning to pause residential mortgage lending because profit margins have been squeezed. - The Times

A Brexit legal dispute that could open the floodgates to companies wriggling out of multimillion-pound property contracts is due to be heard in court this week. The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is moving to Amsterdam after Brexit, is trying to get out of a £500 million office lease it agreed with Canary Wharf Group in 2011. - The Times

Hedge funds have ramped up their bets against the AA, piling pressure on chief executive Simon Breakwell to get to grips with its enormous debts. The stock is now the sixth most shorted on the London market, with around 10pc of its shares on loan to those who think their value will fall even further than the current record lows. - Telegraph

The Financial Reporting Council approved the quality of an audit of Patisserie Valerie's accounts six months before the café chain revealed a £40 million fraud that brought the company to the brink of collapse. The watchdog conducted a review of auditing work on the 2017 accounts of Patisserie Holdings, the parent company, as part of a random sample of businesses whose audits it inspected last spring. - The Times

Digital bank Tandem has unveiled plans to float on the stock market within the next five years, as interest in fintech companies continues to swell. Tandem said an initial public offering would "make sense" and that there was "clearly potential for multiple unicorn valuations in the digital banking space, as evidenced by recent capital raises". - Telegraph

Thousands of garment workers in Bangladesh who make clothes for top global brands have clashed with police as strike action over low wages entered a second week. Police said water cannon and tear gas were fired on Sunday to disperse huge crowds of striking factory workers in Savar, a garment hub just outside the capital, Dhaka. - Guardian

A social care start-up backed by former Standard Chartered boss Peter Sands has bought two regional home care companies as it embarks on an ­aggressive acquisition spree. Cera Care, which raised $17m (£13m) last year, has acquired Nottingham-based Radcliffe Home Help Services and Yorkshire's Advanced Community Healthcare and is planning between six and eight similar deals this year. - Telegraph

Air pollution is costing Britain hundreds of millions of pounds more in damage to health than ministers had previously admitted. The government's air pollution strategy, published today, includes for the first time the full costs of childhood asthma, heart disease and other debilitating conditions caused by toxic air. - The Times


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