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Friday newspaper round-up: Steelworkers, TM Lewin, AstraZeneca, Bulb

(Sharecast News) - Thousands of steelworkers were the victims of pension regulation failures that left some with losses of up to £489,000, an official report has found, prompting accusations that the UK financial watchdog was "asleep at the wheel". The National Audit Office's findings relate to a 2017 scandal involving members of the British Steel pension scheme, many of whom were persuaded to transfer their retirement savings by advisers who then pocketed huge fees. - Guardian

The shirtmaker TM Lewin has called in administrators for the second time in less than two years, becoming the latest victim of the general shift to working from home. The business, which operated 150 shops before the pandemic, has operated a solely online business since first calling in administrators in June 2020. As well as its specialism, shirts, it sells suits, knitwear, coats and accessories such as ties. - Guardian

AstraZeneca is braced to abandon efforts to get its Covid vaccine approved in the US if it is simply "banging its head against a brick wall indefinitely" with regulators. Sir Mene Pangalos, AstraZeneca's head of research and development, said the company did not need to "push [its Covid-19 vaccine] in places we are not needed or wanted". - Telegraph

HSBC may be closing down dozens more of its branches in the real world, but in the virtual world the bank is embarking on an expansion drive. It has bought a plot of virtual real estate in The Sandbox, an online gaming space majority-owned by the Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands. The bank did not say how much it paid for the land, which it will use to engage with its customers and sports and gaming fans in the metaverse. - The Times

MPs have called on the government to explain why it has barred administrators to Bulb Energy from hedging its gas and electricity purchases, leaving taxpayers exposed to rising costs as prices soar. Britain's seventh-biggest household energy supplier collapsed in November with 1.6 million customers and was placed into a government-backed special administration regime. The administrators, from Teneo, were provided with an initial £1.7 billion taxpayer loan. - The Times

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Thursday newspaper round-up: Border controls, McKinsey, KPMG
(Sharecast News) - New post-Brexit UK border controls coming into force later this month will cost British businesses £2bn and fuel higher inflation, according to a report warning that UK-EU trade will be damaged as a result. With less than a month before the introduction of new checks on animal and plant products from 30 April, the insurer Allianz Trade said the controls agreed under Boris Johnson's Brexit deal could add 10% to import costs over the first year. - Guardian
Wednesday newspaper round-up: Shoplifting, EnQuest, Klarna
(Sharecast News) - The government is investing more than £55m in expanding facial recognition systems - including vans that will scan crowded high streets - as part of a renewed crackdown on shoplifting. The scheme was announced alongside plans for tougher punishments for serial or abusive shoplifters in England and Wales, including being forced to wear a tag to ensure they do not revisit the scene of their crime, under a new standalone criminal offence of assaulting a retail worker. - Guardian
Tuesday newspaper round-up: Pharma companies, Puig, Thames Water
(Sharecast News) - Rachel Reeves has said an incoming Labour government would launch a £5bn crackdown on tax avoiders to close a gap in its spending plans exposed by Jeremy Hunt scrapping the non-dom regime to finance tax cuts. Warning households and businesses that Labour was prepared to adopt tough measures to tackle tax fraud and non-compliance, Reeves said the funding would be used to pay for free school breakfast clubs and additional NHS appointments. - Guardian
Monday newspaper round-up: Boeing, rent rises, e-scooters, Santander UK
(Sharecast News) - US airline regulators have launched an investigation after an engine cowling on a Boeing plane fell off during takeoff and struck the wing flap. The Southwest Airlines flight 3695 rose to about 10,300ft (3,140 metres) before returning safely 25 minutes after takeoff to Denver international airport at about 8.15am local time on Sunday. It was towed to the gate after landing. The Boeing aircraft with 135 passengers and six crew members aboard had been headed to Houston. No one was injured. - Guardian

Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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