PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Aug 20

Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:38pm EDT

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 Times

STANDARD CHARTERED FACES U.S. ACCOUNT BAN

Standard Chartered has been banned from opening new U.S. dollar bank accounts without the explicit permission of American regulators, amid a series of extraordinary restrictions, after officials warned the lender that it could be used as a conduit for illegal transactions.

MARK CARNEY IN MPS' SIGHTS OVER GEORGE OSBORNE 'PACT'

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is expected to be questioned by MPs next month over his political neutrality in the wake of accusations that he has a secret pact with the chancellor to keep interest rates on hold until after the general election.

The Guardian

INCOME FROM PRIVATE PATIENTS SOARS AT NHS HOSPITAL TRUSTS

Some of Britain's leading hospitals stand accused of exploiting the coalition's controversial lifting of the cap on the number of private patients they can treat to increase their income as part of a "creeping privatisation" of the National Health Service.

RAIL FARES TO RISE BY AVERAGE OF 3.5 PCT IN JANUARY

Rail fares will rise by an average of 3.5 percent in January, with some increasing by up to 5.5 percent, adding hundreds of pounds to the cost of commuters' season tickets.

The Telegraph

TESCO-BACKED COFFEE CHAIN HARRIS + HOOLE CLOSES STORES

Harris + Hoole, the coffee shop chain backed by Tesco , is to close six stores, raising questions about its performance.

Sky News

MINISTERS FACE NEW ROYAL MAIL SELL-OFF ROW

Ministers considered selling the government's entire stake in Royal Mail when the shares were trading close to their post-privatisation peak earlier this year - but decided against doing so because it risked antagonising investors.

(Compiled by Karen Rebelo)