April 4 (Reuters) - 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.
PLAIN PACKAGING FOR CIGARETTES ‘CONTRAVENES EU LAW’
Tobacco companies have sent a thinly veiled warning to ministers that a decision to press ahead with plain packaging for cigarettes in England could be challenged through the courts.
TREASURY WOULD HAVE ‘OVERRULED’ REGULATOR IN FAVOUR OF CO-OP BID
Treasury lawyers clashed with financial regulators over the Co-op Bank aborted takeover of 632 Lloyds Banking Group branches after concerns were raised over the legal changes needed at the mutual to allow it to proceed with the deal.
SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE WILL BRING ‘GUARANTEED’ COSTS, WARNS WEIR GROUP
One of Scotland’s largest companies, Weir Group, believes that independence will “guarantee” higher costs for business but produce few and uncertain benefits.
TESCO FINANCE DIRECTOR LAURIE MCILWEE MAY QUIT AFTER FALL IN PROFITS
Speculation was growing that Tesco’s finance director, Laurie McIlwee, could quit in the coming days as the supermarket group battles shrinking sales and falling profitability.
CALL FOR TOP-RATE TAX CUT AFTER TREASURY‘S 9 BLN STG BONUS
George Osborne is facing demands to cut the top rate of tax again to 40 pence after figures suggested the wealthy had paid more tax since he cut the 50 pence rate.
Blackstone and other institutional investors, including Clearbell Capital, have invested 94 million pounds in Pluto Finance. This is in addition to the 100 million pounds raised last May and takes Pluto’s total lending firepower to 360 million pounds.
Lloyds Banking Group is to seek approval to boost the pay packets of up to 400 of its most senior staff in a move that could stoke political tensions over bankers’ remuneration.
The veteran investor Jon Moulton is mulling a multimillion pound investment aimed at rescuing Britain’s biggest remaining coal miner from collapse. (Compiled by Aashika Jain in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)