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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

Rishi Sunak ordered multiple taxpayer-funded focus groups and polls to craft the messaging of his planned "eat out to help out" campaign in July 2020, despite keeping the UK's top medical and scientific advisers in the dark about the scheme. The Treasury negotiated five public opinion contracts worth more than £2m from June 2020 throughout the pandemic, while Sunak was chancellor, including those to establish how best to "sell" the hospitality scheme to voters. - Guardian

Heat pump owners are to host visitor days at their homes for prospective buyers as Britain races to boost demand for the technology in an attempt to hit net zero targets. Homeowners can invite curious neighbours round so they can see the pumps in action using a website launched by the charity Nesta, in a move likely to recall 1960s Tupperware parties when the brand's supporters showed off its products to their friends. - Telegraph

McKinsey is planning to lay off hundreds of staff as the consulting giant grapples with weaker demand for its services. The management consultancy company is preparing to make 360 redundancies across its design, data engineering, cloud and software divisions. McKinsey's layoffs will affect about 3pc of 12,000 of workers across the business's global offices who are considered as specialists or as having technical expertise. The job cuts will not affect the firm's traditional consultant roles, Bloomberg first reported. - Telegraph

Hundreds of staff at the Dutch division of KPMG cheated on professional exams and misled investigators, resulting in the Big Four accountancy firm being hit with a record $25 million fine from America's audit regulator. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board in the United States found that between 2017 and 2022 hundreds of KPMG workers in the Netherlands, including senior partners and managers, had shared questions and answers with one another. This included for exams that they had to sit to test their understanding of professional ethics. - The Times

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Monday newspaper round-up: Border checks, house prices, apprenticeships
(Sharecast News) - Post-Brexit border checks will cost UK businesses £470m a year, the government's public spending watchdog has said. Plans to bring in border checks on goods coming from the EU faced "significant issues" including critical shortages of inspectors before their introduction last month, the National Audit Office said in a report. - Guardian
Friday newspaper round-up: Bank branches, mortgages, Northern Rock
(Sharecast News) - The number of UK bank branches that have shut their doors for good over the last nine years will pass 6,000 on Friday, and by the end of the year the pace of closures may leave 33 parliamentary constituencies - including two in London - without a single branch. The tally is being published by the consumer group Which? as it seeks to make the "avalanche" of closures and the "disastrous" impact they can have on local communities an election battleground. - Guardian
Thursday newspaper round-up: JCB, M&S, smart meters
(Sharecast News) - The British digger maker JCB, owned by the billionaire Bamford family, continued to build and supply equipment for the Russian market months after saying it had stopped exports because of Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, the Guardian can reveal. Russian customs records show that JCB, whose owners are major donors to the Conservative party, continued to make new products available for Russian dealers well after 2 March 2022, when the company publicly stated that it had "voluntarily paused exports" to Russia. - Guardian
Wednesday newspaper round-up: Brexit border outages, Boeing, Stellantis
(Sharecast News) - Lorries carrying perishable food and plants from the EU are being held for up to 20 hours at the UK's busiest Brexit border post as failures with the government's IT systems delay imports entering Britain. Businesses have described the government's new border control checks as a "disaster" after IT outages led to lorries carrying meat, cheese and cut flowers being held for long periods, reducing the shelf life of their goods and prompting retailers to reject some orders. - Guardian

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