What the other papers say this morning - 26 March 2014


Banks pay out $100bn in US fines
Wall Street banks and their foreign rivals have paid out $100bn in US legal settlements since the financial crisis, according to Financial Times research, with more than half of the penalties extracted in the past year. The sum reflects a substantial shift in political attitudes towards banks, as regulators and the Obama administration seek to counter perceptions that bankers have got off lightly for their role in the financial crisis. The milestone comes amid signs that banks’ legal costs could rise further, with a number of large banks still under investigation by the task force set up by Barack Obama in 2012 and the political backlash still under way.

Big lenders seek to ease bank tax
The British government may shift the burden of its bank tax on to foreign institutions and away from UK retail banks, experts say, amid claims that UK lenders are among the most heavily taxed in the world. The government is to begin consulting on changes to the tax tomorrow.

Hopes fade for fast start to Crossrail 2
Expectations of an imminent start on a new north-south rail line across London have been damped, with the former chief executive of Network Rail warning that no work on “Crossrail 2” will happen in the next decade. The scheme is seen as the natural successor to Crossrail 1.


Tesco tries for a taste of New York
Tesco has invested “a small amount” to acquire a minority stake in Fred’s Food Construction, a deli diner, and will open the first site on Monday at the Tesco Extra in Osterley, West London.

Honda to cut 340 jobs in Swindon
Honda is cutting 340 jobs from its factory in Swindon in response to weak demand in Europe.

The Japanese manufacturer is moving from three shifts to two, which will result in about 10 per cent of production workers losing their jobs. The Wiltshire plant mainly caters for the export market, which has been weaker than domestic demand this year.

The Daily Telegraph

Just Eat valued at over £1bn in IPO
Online food takeaway service Just Eat is expected to be valued at more than £1bn on Wednesday as it reveals the price of its inititial public offering in London. Just Eat’s flotation follows the listings of AO World, Poundland and Pets at Home and comes amid growing scepticism over the valuations being handed to IPOs.

Virtual bitcoins are real property: IRS
America’s Internal Revenue Service has ruled that bitcoin should be treated as property for tax purposes. New rules mean that wages paid in bitcoins should be subject to tax, as should gains or losses made on sales or exchanges.


Commission says yes to crowdfunding
The European commission says it will work with national regulators to overcome legal inconsistencies and help develop an EU "quality label" to build trust with users around crowdfunding platforms.

Mudslide’s speed vexes scientists
Researchers are trying to find out why Washington Hill collapsed on such a deadly scale on Saturday. The mudslide, which occurred near the small town of Oso about 55 miles north of Seattle, flattened homes, toppled trees and left a gaping cavity.