Jan 22 - 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.
BRITAIN'S BANKS URGE STRONGER TIES WITH BRUSSELS
Britain's banks have urged the Government to strengthen ties
with Brussels, as the single market is vital to the success of
the country's financial services sector. The British Bankers'
Association has sent a paper to the Treasury's "balance of
competences" review, which studies the balance of power between
the EU and Westminster.
IMF ENDORSES CARNEY STIMULUS AS IT UPGRADES UK
The International Monetary Fund has handed a boost to the
Governor of the Bank of England by pledging its support for
continued economic stimulus, even as it ramped up growth
projections for Britain's economy. The organisation forecast on
Tuesday that Britain will grow by 2.4 percent this year, against
the 1.9 percent prediction it made in October.
UNILEVER COULD PULL OUT OF BRITAIN IF IT LEFT EU, WARNS
The UK would be better off staying inside the European Union
"than kicking against the table" and voting to leave, the boss
of one of the world's largest consumer goods companies has said.
Paul Polman, the Dutch chief executive of the consumer
multinational Unilever, said the company could review its UK
investment if Britain left the EU.
LLOYDS BANK - CO-OP DEAL WAS SWAYED BY POLITICS, LORD LEVENE
State-backed Lloyds Banking Group was "swayed by political
considerations" when it chose the Co-operative Bank to take over
more than 600 branches, the head of a failed rival bid told MPs.
UK CHIEFS "AMONG WORLD'S MOST OPTIMISTIC" AT DAVOS
Britain's bosses are planning a hiring spree and new
investment this year after rediscovering their economic mojo.
According to PwC's annual global CEO survey, UK business leaders
started the year among the most optimistic in the world. Two
thirds plan to employ more, against a global average of half,
and half expect to drive growth through "product and service
HOBAN NAMED FOR "INTERFERING" IN LLOYDS BRANCH SALE
Mark Hoban, the former Financial Secretary to the Treasury,
has been named as one of the politicians who appeared to
interfere in Lloyds' ill-fated auction of more than 600 branches
by Lord Levene of Portsoken.
HUNT PAYDAY DELAYED AS 35 MLN POUNDS SALE COLLAPSES
A company takeover that would have netted Jeremy Hunt, the
Health Secretary, a 17 million pounds jackpot has collapsed
after the prospective buyer failed to agree the terms of a deal.
Sky News understands that negotiations between Inflexion Private
Equity and Hotcourses, a provider of online education listings,
broke down in recent weeks.
HORSEMEAT SCANDAL FIRM FINDUS PLOTS PAYOUT
One of the companies at the centre of last year's horsemeat
scandal is plotting a financial restructuring that will lead to
a multimillion-pound payout for its owners. Sky News has learnt
that Findus is planning to launch a bond worth up to 200 million
pounds in the coming weeks to take advantage of attractive