Friday newspaper round-up: Starling Bank, airlines, SFO, EDF

by | Jul 22, 2022

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Starling Bank has reported its first annual profit thanks to a surge in lending, though executives played down the impact that a controversial boom in Covid loans had on its path to profit. The chief executive and founder, Anne Boden, said the latest set of earnings were a “landmark” for the eight-year-old digital bank. Starling, which is backed by investors including Goldman Sachs and Austrian billionaire Harald McPike, swung to an inaugural annual profit of £32m for the year to March, from a loss of nearly £14m over the previous 12 months. – Guardian
Airlines have been warned that they could face fines if they do not tackle “harmful practices” fuelling chaos at UK airports, including selling more tickets than they can supply and not warning passengers about the risk of cancellations. In an open letter, the aviation and competition watchdogs told carriers they could be penalised if they are shown to be contributing to the misery of passengers hit by this summer’s widespread airport disruption. – Guardian

The embattled director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has vowed to fight on after an official review laid bare “disastrous” mistakes in a major bribery investigation, and the third man jailed in the case had his conviction quashed. Lisa Osofsky, who was appointed in 2018, admitted that the findings of former High Court judge Sir David Calvert-Smith made a “sobering read” but that she intends to stay put and implement his recommendations. – Telegraph

Indian conglomerate Tata Group has threatened to shut Port Talbot steel works unless it is given a £1.5bn government lifeline to help reduce carbon emissions. The company’s Tata Steel UK business, which owns the plant in South Wales, has been in talks with the Government about decarbonisation plans over the past two years, but those have now stalled. As one of Britain’s largest industrial groups, Tata Steel UK is a huge emitter of carbon dioxide. – Telegraph

EDF is seeking to amend the controversial subsidy contract for its £26 billion Hinkley Point C nuclear plant so that it will not be penalised even if the plant does not start to generate power by 2030. Hinkley was supposed to start up in 2025 but EDF has pushed this back to mid-2027, primarily blaming Covid disruption, and warned of the risk of a further 15-month delay. – The Times

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