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Wednesday newspaper round-up: British pubs, Thomas Cook, Lloyds Banking Group

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Wednesday 11 Dec 2019

Wednesday newspaper round-up: British pubs, Thomas Cook, Lloyds Banking Group

(Sharecast News) - The decline of the British pub may be at an end, according to official figures showing that the number of pubs has increased for the first time this decade. The UK ended March 2019 with 39,135 pubs, 320 more than a year earlier, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). It is the first net increase since 2010. The rise marked a dramatic turnaround compared with the previous nine years, during which the UK pub network declined by an average of 732 each year, comparable data showed. - Guardian
Tens of thousands of Thomas Cook customers waiting for refunds for holidays booked with the travel company have not been repaid on time after the body making the payments missed a self-imposed deadline. The world's oldest tour operator collapsed earlier this year after failing to secure emergency funding from banks, leaving about 150,000 British holidaymakers stranded abroad. - Guardian

For investors it truly is the season to be jolly as they take stock after a stellar year. A miserable 2018 has been followed by a barnstorming 2019. Central bank stimulus and cooling trade tensions were top of the market's Christmas wish list last year. Neither Trump or Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell played Grinch in 2019. Instead they came with plenty of early Christmas gifts for investors, allowing global stocks to skyrocket despite the deteriorating economic picture. - Telegraph

Lloyds Banking Group has agreed to restart a compensation scheme it set up for victims of fraud after "serious shortcomings" were found. An independent review of recompense provided to small business owners who were damaged by the £1 billion HBOS scandal found that the scheme failed to deliver "fair and reasonable offers of compensation". - The Times

The system for settling global trade disputes is in disarray after pressure from President Trump led to the shutdown of the World Trade Organisation's top court. The incapacity of the court raises questions about the future of the WTO and will put further pressure on the established rules-based order for trade. Roberto Azevêdo, director-general of the Geneva-based regulator, said last night: "We now live in a moment of uncertainty with regard to disputes that are ongoing." - The Times

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