PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Jan 24

Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:48pm EST

Jan 24 - 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

MARK CARNEY: NO NEED FOR AN IMMEDIATE RATE RISE

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has pledged there will be no "immediate" increase in interest rates as unemployment nudges closer to the 7 percent threshold in an apparent softening of his forward guidance policy.

BANKERS IN DRIVE TO BOOST SME LOAN APPLICATIONS

If all businesses that required finance went ahead with their applications, based on the current approval rates, there would be a significant economic uplift, said the BBA.

"Businesses are more likely to get finance than they think," said BBA chief executive Anthony Browne.

The Guardian

OUTGOING LLOYDS CHAIRMAN TO HEAD UK ACCOUNTING REGULATOR

The retiring chairman of state-backed Lloyds, Sir Win Bischoff, has been named as the next head of Britain's accounting regulator, days after being drawn into controversy over the bank's handling of the proposed sale of more than 600 branches to the Co-op.

INTEREST RATE RISE WOULD UNDERMINE RECOVERY, WARNS MPC MEMBER

A leading Bank of England policymaker, Paul Fisher, a member of the central bank's monetary policy committee, warned on Thursday that a rise in interest rates risked undermining the recovery and the cost of credit should remain low until living standards begin to rise.

The Times

FALLON SET TO HAND OVER THE DEEDS TO THE LAND REGISTRY

Land Registry, which holds the titles to most of the land in England and Wales could be sold or part-privatised in the latest move by the Government to raise billions from state assets. Michael Fallon, the Business Minister, laid out the options for the Land Registry yesterday as he kick-started a consultation on the 150-year-old organisation.

TEMPERATURES SOAR AS 'CONCERNED' SSE PREDICTS PROFITS RISE

SSE has been accused of hypocrisy after claiming that bill-payers are "at the heart of the debate" about energy, while it is forecasting a near-9 per cent rise in profits. On Thursday, the company forecast pre-tax profits for the year to the end of March of more than 1.5 billion pounds, an 8.8 per cent rise on the previous year's profit of 1.4 billion pounds, and will boost the dividend by 3 per cent.

Sky News

HIGH STREET CHAIN BATHSTORE GROOMED FOR SALE

Sky News understands that Endless, the investment fund that acquired Bathstore in May 2012, has decided to explore a sale of the company, which operates more than 150 shops across the country. Rothschild, the investment bank, has been appointed to sound out interest from potential buyers.

ENERGY BOSS ATTACKS PRICE COMPARISON WEBSITES

The boss of Co-operative Energy has accused price comparison websites of misleading customers and pushing up energy bills. Group General Manager Ramsay Dunning has called on the likes of uSwitch, MoneySupermarket.com and Energy Helpline to disclose how much they charged in commission each time a business or household moves supplier.

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