December 12, 2017 / 1:05 AM / a year ago

PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Dec 12

Dec 12 (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

- Lloyds Banking Group Plc discussed a merger with a string of banks, including ABN Amro Group NV of the Netherlands, and Deutsche Postbank AG of Germany, before going after its stricken rival HBOS in the autumn of 2008, a court has heard.

- City lawyers have said that plans to put the Serious Fraud Office effectively under the control of a new "national economic crime centre" could make it harder to attract a director after Amber Rudd, the British home secretary, said that the government would set up the centre to root out wrongdoing.

The Guardian

- The European Union could scrap a divisive scheme that compels member states to accept quotas of refugees, the president of the European council, Donald Tusk, will tell EU leaders at a summit on Thursday.

- Ryanair Holdings Plc flights to and from Dublin could be disrupted by strikes over Christmas after pilots based in Ireland voted for industrial action.

The Telegraph

- In a highly unusual move, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain have joined forces in writing a letter to the U.S. Treasury expressing "significant concerns" about the tax changes "having a major distortive impact on international trade".

- The chemicals company Ineos has shut down the North Sea's most important oil and gas pipeline system after discovering a widening crack. The company said it discovered a small crack in the pipeline outside Aberdeen.

Sky News

- Parts of the Bank of England could be moved out of its historic base in London and relocated to Birmingham under Labour if it wins the next general election. The move would be designed to strengthen other regions, described in a report commissioned by shadow chancellor John McDonnell as "underweighted in policy decisions".

- HSBC Holdings Plc has drawn a line under a scandal that saw it fined $1.9 billion in the U.S. 5 years ago for failing to prevent Mexican drug cartels from laundering hundreds of millions of dollars. The bank said the deferred prosecution agreement entered into with the Department of Justice had expired - lifting the threat of further penalties.

The Independent

- Three-quarters of Britain's small and medium-sized businesses are unprepared for the introduction of strict new EU data laws designed to protect people's private information following a number of high profile data breaches, a merchant bank Close Brothers has warned in a survey. (Compiled by Bengaluru newsroom Editing by Sandra Maler)

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