August 29, 2017 / 12:23 AM / a year ago

PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Aug 29

Aug 29 (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.

The Times

- The European Union's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has warned Britain to start "negotiating seriously" as the stand-off over the Brexit divorce bill intensified. Speaking before the latest round of talks began in Brussels today, Barnier voiced frustration at the government's "ambiguity" and the failure of ministers to publish a position paper on UK's potential financial liabilities.

- High street lenders are enjoying windfall gains from a 115 billion pounds ($148.61 billion) Bank of England funding scheme that was supposed to boost growth rather than profits. Net interest margins for some of the biggest users of the Bank's term funding scheme have risen significantly since it was launched as part of a post-Brexit stimulus package in August last year.

The Guardian

- Companies that are publicly listed in the UK will be obliged to publish the pay ratio between their chief executive and their average British worker under government plans. The proposals, which will be announced on Tuesday and will come into force by next June, will also aim to give workers a voice at the boardroom level.

- Manufacturers are demanding that the UK government provide urgent clarity on the future of EU workers' rights, warning they will face shortages of skilled staff if they cannot recruit from Europe after Brexit.

The Telegraph

- The pension deficits weighing down thousands of Britain's businesses grew by billions of pounds last year, with black holes widening ­despite moves to close "gold-plated" defined benefit schemes. The total cost of pension liabilities among blue-chip FTSE 100 companies grew 95 billion pounds to 681 billion pounds in 2016, according to JLT Employee Benefits.

- Nissan Motor Co Ltd will increase production at its Sunderland plant by a fifth and double the amount of parts it sources from within the UK in an attempt to offset higher costs following Britain's withdrawal from the EU. The Japanese car company will step up production by 20 percent to around 600,000 vehicles per year.

Sky News

- Leading shareholders in Dixons Carphone Plc want directors to accelerate a search for its next boss after last week's shock profit warning wiped nearly a quarter off the company's stock market value.

The Independent

- Ministers in Britain have spent almost 40 million pounds in an "appalling" attempt to stop sick and disabled people receiving the financial help they are entitled to. Freedom of Information requests have exposed how taxpayers' money has been spent on futile legal battles to prevent vulnerable people receiving help.

- The skills shortage in the UK's service sector has hit its worst level in at least 19 years, a new survey of British firms has found. The proportion of services firms saying their businesses will be held back by a lack of appropriately skilled professional or clerical staff rose to the highest ever recorded on the Confederation of British Industry's quarterly survey, since it began in 1998.

$1 = 0.7738 pounds Compiled by Bengaluru newsroom; Editing by Peter Cooney

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