Higher food and fuel prices drove inflation to a three-year zenith of 2% in January, up from 1.6% in December, with more increases coming as the year progresses. Figures from the Office for National Statistics are expected to confirm the jump in inflation this week, the Sunday Telegraph said, while price hies from energy companies and shortages of vegetables accelerating the rise in coming months.
Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Ross McEwan will slash up to 15,000 jobs as he seeks £1-1.5bn of cost cuts to turn around what will be nine consecutive year of losses. The Sunday Times said the taxpayer owned bank will close further branches and make yet more redundancies at its main offices in Edinburgh and London.
Theresa May faces defeat in the House of Lords over the right of foreign nationals from other European Union countries to live and work in Britain after Brexit, according to the Sunday Times. Those who arrived before the EU referendum last summer would be able to stay under an amendment to the article 50 bill tabled by the Liberal Democrats who are confident that they have the cross-party alliance needed to get it through.
Britain is being hit by a step-change of around 60 significant cyber-attacks a month, including attempts by Russian state-sponsored hackers to steal defence and foreign policy secrets from government departments, according to Ciaran Martin, head of GCHQ's new National Cyber Security Centre. He warned of Russia's online aggression against the West was a seeing more attacks on "soft targets" such as local councils and charities to steal personal data, and universities to steal research secrets.
Tesco boss Dave Lewis is planning a major offensive in the online market following its acquisition of Booker, the Mail on Sunday reported. The deal will more than double the number of click-and-collect locations for internet orders to almost 8,000 and formed a key part of the strategy that led to the takeover proposed last month.
Holidaymakers are paying for their summer breaks early in a bid to avoid feared plunges in the value of sterling once Theresa May triggers the Article 50 process to leave the European Union. The Observer pointed to estimates that the cost of 2017 summer holidays to Europe and the US will cost an additional 15% because of drops in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote.
A group of SMEs has launched a multi-million-pound legal fight accusing brokers and banks - such as Moneycorp, Investec and World First of misselling complex financial products that dived in value after last year's Brexit vote. Alleging the providers failing to give adequate explanations of the risks involved in taking out foreign exchange
derivatives contracts, the SMEs were hit with hefty charges when the pound plummeted after the June referendum rather than being shielded from the currency fluctuations as they had expected, the Sunday Times reported.
Major institutional investors are pushing for the government to create a 'sin bin' for companies with over-the-top boardroom pay, where the company would automatically face a binding vote on its remuneration policy at its next annual general meeting if more than a quarter of shareholders reject its proposals. The Sunday Telegraph said another submission to Theresa May's review of corporate governance will be a so-called 'Mike Ashley law' that would require the proportion of equity that must be floated to achieve a premium listing to be increased from 25% to 50%.
BAE Systems has warned that giving a rival company the contact to build the new Type 31 warship could breach its 'terms of business agreement' (Toba) made with the government in 2009. Although the Toba guarantees BAE a steady flow of warship work until 2024 in return for efficiency savings, November's Parker report urged ministers to kick-start work on a cheaper new warship, the Type 31, to win export orders as the Type 26 frigates made by BAE were proving too costly.
George Osborne's gloomy "project fear" forecasts about the economic risks of leaving the EU have undermined public confidence in the Treasury and its ability to influence Brexit, in what the Observer said was a damning new report from former Whitehall chief Lord Kerslake. "Whilst there is a debate still to be had as to whether the Treasury forecasts were completely wrong or just wrong in the timing, and how other factors such as the febrile political climate and criticisms of 'experts' played a part, there is no arguing that the standing and credibility of the Treasury was damaged by the widespread rejection of its warnings," the report says.
The government is moving closer to a decision to use public cash to fund the construction of new nuclear power stations, even though successive energy ministers have insisted that no public cash will be used. Citing industry sources, the Sunday Times said business and energy secretary Greg Clark was preparing to launch a consultation on taking minority equity stakes in new nuclear projects to kick-start their construction.
Some US hedge funds have built large positions in Sky ahead of its proposed takeover by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, the Sunday Telegraph reported. Funds managed by HBK and Pentwater Capital took the positions as Sky shares
sank below the 1,075p offer price due to concerns the deal may be affected by regulators.
Ed Miliband's call for a review into whether 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch is a 'fit and proper' person to lead a merger with Sky is unlikely to derail the £11.7bn takeover, reported the Mail on Sunday, citing media research agency Enders Analysis. While Ofcom has an ongoing duty to assess whether a licence holder is 'fit and proper', Murdoch has already been investigated and cleared in his role as chairman of Sky.
William Hill's board is being lobbied to look into a merger with GVC Holdings by one of its largest shareholders, hedge fund Parvus Capital, according to City sources cited by the Sunday Times. Parvus, which owns 14% of the bookmaker, opposed the proposed to Canada's Amaya last year but is open to a merger with the FTSE 250 online gaming group.
Reckitt Benckiser will face a shareholder revolt over accusations that Friday's proposed takeover of US rival Mead Johnson will guarantee its boss enormous future bonuses. One major shareholder told the Sunday Times: "It has the feel of a 'Hey presto, we've found this great acquisition'."
Investors have told inter-dealer broker TP Icap to redraw its executive pay plan and make bonuses harder to hit. The Sunday Telegraph reported that the board has climbed down as the targets did not require much of a stretch.
Insurance giant Zurich Insurance will publish data this week confirming that last year it paid more than 95 per cent of protection claims. The Mail on Sunday said the release of the figures was the latest attempt by big life insurers to reassure a sceptical public that such policies are worth buying and do pay a majority of claims.
Unite, Britain's biggest trade union, has decided to rewrite its strategy to protect its members from the march of the robots in the automotive industry. The union has drafted in the help of experts from Aston University as it looks to ensure skills keep pace and that factories are not stripped of staff when technologies change, the Sunday Times said.
Clinton Cards' US owner could close up to 120 of the chain's stores as part of a strategic review currently underway. The Sunday Telegraph reported that American Greetings last year already stopped investing in store refurbishments.
L'Oréal boss Jean-Paul Agon told the Mail on Sunday he is selling The Body Shop as he failed to grow the skincare company as much as he expected. The Frenchman said he was "sorry" to be selling up, reportedly for around £850m, but that the chain would be a better fit for a private equity firm whereas as a public firm "you have constraints".
Pollution in London is so bad that mayor Sadiq Khan has called for motorists to be given up to £3,500 to persuade them to scrap their old diesel cars and vans and replace them with cleaner vehicles. With nitrogen dioxide emitted by diesel cars making London's air quality so poor that City Hall now advises the public to avoid going out unnecessarily on the worst-affected days, the Observer said Khan was urging the government to introduce a scrappage scheme offering incentives to low-income households and businesses to get rid of their older vehicles, as well as removing car tax incentives for diesel cars.
GW Pharmaceuticals plans to roll out plans to increase cannabis production in the UK in order to fuel its new epilepsy treatment, Epidiolex. The Sunday Telegraph reported that GW, which plans to apply for a US licence in 2017, currently uses greenhouses owned by AB Foods' British Sugar and also plans to spend £30m in the coming three years to at least triple capacity at one of its UK manufacturing facilities.