PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Jan 10

Thu Jan 9, 2014 8:45pm EST

Jan 10 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

The Telegraph

SHOPPERS SPENT LESS IN DECEMBER THAN NOVEMBER, SAYS BRC

British retail sales growth slowed in December despite signs of strong consumer confidence, industry data showed, raising questions about the durability of the recovery. Capping a mixed holiday season for major British retailers, the British Retail Consortium said shoppers spent 1.8 percent more in December than a year earlier, slackening from annual growth of 2.3 percent in November. ()

KATE SWANN SET FOR CITY RETURN WITH SSP

The former boss of WH Smith, Kate Swann, looks set for a return to the City as SSP, the food brand company she joined last year, is eyeing a London flotation. ()

The Guardian

EURO PLUMMETS AFTER ECB WARNS CURRENCY ZONE MAY NEED MORE SUPPORT

The European Central Bank sent the euro tumbling on world markets after it warned that the 18-member currency zone may need further support to prevent a Japanese-style period of stagnation. ()

GREGGS RETURNS TO SALES GROWTH - AND CUTS MORE THAN 400 JOBS

Greggs emerged as a winner from Christmas trading but it will not be a happy new year for more than 400 of its employees who face losing their jobs. In a trading update, the bakery chain said underlying sales for the five weeks ending Jan. 4 rose 3.1 percent in a return to growth after a difficult start to the year. ()

The Times

STRONGER TRADE 'NOT ENOUGH' TO FUEL RECOVERY

Britain's trade position strengthened slightly in November but is still too weak to support the recovery, economists have warned, dealing another blow to coalition hopes for an economic rebalancing. ()

MEDDINGS GOES AS STANDARD CHARTERED SHUFFLES ITS PACK

Standard Chartered's finance director is to leave the bank amid a wide-ranging restructuring. The resignation of Richard Meddings, who has until recently been one of the best-regarded finance chiefs in the banking sector, further unsettled investors after a profit warning last month. ()

The Independent

BANK OF ENGLAND KEEPS RATES UNCHANGED AT 0.5 PCT

The Bank of England has kept interest rates on hold at a record low of 0.5 percent. The Bank pledged last year not to consider a rise until the unemployment rate falls to 7 percent as part of efforts to support the UK's recovery. ()

RSA BLAMES 200 MLN STG HOLE ON 'INAPPROPRIATE COLLABORATION' BETWEEN BOSSES IN IRISH BUSINESS

Insurer RSA has indicated that there would be more pain ahead on the dividend as it looks to shore up its finances after "completely unacceptable" losses in Ireland. A review of the Irish business by accountants PwC and KPMG found that "inappropriate collaboration" between the subsidiary's top bosses undermined accounting controls, but said the problems were confined to Ireland. ()

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