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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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