PRESS DIGEST-British Business – March 17

March 17 (Reuters) – The following are the top stories on the business pages of…

March 17 (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

– France and Italy prepared to drop their suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Tuesday after the European regulator said it was “firmly convinced” that the benefits outweighed any risks.

– Britain’s financial regulator has launched a criminal prosecution of NatWest, alleging that the bank accepted 264 million pounds of cash deposits from a gold dealer accused of being at the centre of money-laundering “on a massive scale”.

The Guardian

– Uber is to guarantee its 70,000 UK drivers a minimum hourly wage, holiday pay and pensions after a landmark supreme court ruling.

– Former head of the civil service, Bob Kerslake, and scientific advisers have spoken out in favour of a public inquiry into the UK’s handling of Covid-19, raising pressure on Boris Johnson to finally launch the process as the UK’s coronavirus fatalities rose to almost 126,000.

The Telegraph

– The metals tycoon Sanjeev Gupta was handed hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayer support by the Scottish government even as alarm bells were raised about his strength as a buyer, The Telegraph can reveal.

– Boris Johnson has revealed his vision for Britain becoming “match-fit” for its post-Brexit future by using its agility, soft power and security expertise to thrive in the decade to come.

Sky News

– The payments giant Visa is to hike fees for purchases made by UK-based customers from most of Europe – stoking fears of higher prices and fuelling the argument that Brexit is adding to the cost of trading with the EU.

– The chief executive of Capita will on Wednesday unveil a fresh restructuring of the embattled outsourcer alongside a plan to raise 400 million pounds from a string of disposals.

The Independent

– Demand for the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the UK remains “incredibly strong” despite a string of EU countries pausing use of the jab in their inoculation programmes, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

(Compiled by Bengaluru newsroom)