PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Jan 27

Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:19pm EST

Jan 27 - 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.

Sky News

LLOYDS AND TSB HIT BY CARD AND ATM PROBLEMS

Lloyds Banking Group has apologised after customers were unable to withdraw money from cashpoints or pay for goods with their debit cards. The group became aware of the difficulties on Sunday afternoon and later said the problems which lasted for several hours had been fixed.

VIRGIN MONEY SPEARS NEW DIRECTOR BEFORE FLOAT

Sky News understands that Virgin Money will this week name former Deutsche Bank executive Marilyn Spearing as a non-executive director, who joins a board populated by heavyweight City figures such as Sir David Clementi, the bank's chairman.

The Telegraph

OFWAT TO HOLD BACK BIG WATER BILL RISES

Ofwat is expected on Monday morning to announce it has blocked the planned increases in water costs for the years 2015-2020 in effort to call time on the industry's debt-driven business model.

SENIOR BUSINESS FIGURES HIT OUT AT LABOUR'S 50 PENCE TAX RATE PLAN

In the strongest criticism so far, the heads of 24 of Britain's most successful companies warned in a letter to The Telegraph that Ed Miliband's policy would threaten the recovery and cost jobs.

The Times

VODAFONE TO SPLASH CASH ON SPANISH ACQUISITION

Vodafone has approached the private equity owners of a Spanish broadband operator Grupo Corporativo ONO SA about a potential 7 billion pound offer as part of its efforts to expand across Europe. The British company is understood to have entered into talks with the shareholders of Ono.

NETWORK RAIL PRESSED TO CUT BOSSES' BONUSES

Network Rail is under pressure from its members to cut bonuses after scathing criticism of executive pay at the company by the leading judge in England and Wales.

The Guardian

DAVID CAMERON PLEDGES TO RIP UP GREEN REGULATIONS David Cameron will on Monday boast of tearing up 80,000 pages of environmental protections and building guidelines as part of a new push to build more houses and cut costs for businesses. Addressing the Federation of Small Businesses conference, Cameron will argue that the new rules will make it "vastly cheaper" for businesses to comply with their environmental obligations.

FRACKING FIRMS SHOULD PAY 6 BLN POUND A YEAR TAX TO COMPENSATE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE -STUDY

Shale frackers operating in Britain should be paying 6 billion pounds a year in taxes by the middle of the 2020s to compensate for the damage wreaked on the environment, according to a study from Cambridge University.