Monday newspaper round-up: BrightHouse, City regulations, National Grid

Administrators for the collapsed rent-to-own firm BrightHouse, which specialised in loans for big-ticket items such as fridges and sofas, have warned they will not have enough money to compensate thousands of customers who were left with unaffordable debts. The latest report from the accountants Grant Thornton, which is managing the administration, shows a plan to set aside £600,000 for payouts to customers who may have been mis-sold expensive loans by BrightHouse has been scrapped. – Guardian
A group of 58 leading economists and politicians, including the former business minister Vince Cable, has written to the chancellor to say that scaling back City regulation will put the UK at risk of another financial crash. The open letter, which has also been signed by the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and Columbia University professor Adam Tooze, was sent in reaction to the Queen’s speech, which outlined Rishi Sunak’s plans to “cut red tape” through a financial services and markets bill. – Guardian

An American tech company behind the NHS vaccine rollout has moved its UK security operations to Britain amid growing fears of a Russian attack on internet cables under the Atlantic. Palantir has switched its security operations for UK customers from the United States, allowing it to monitor threats and issue critical software updates from British soil. – Telegraph

Critical shipments of natural gas are being turned away from British ports because National Grid fears it will be overwhelmed by supplies intended to tackle the European energy crisis. The Grid has cut the amount of liquid natural gas it is accepting at Milford Haven terminals in Wales over fears that it is running out of storage for millions of tonnes of fossil fuel meant to replace Russian deliveries across the Continent. – Telegraph

Saudi Aramco has reported quarterly net income of nearly $40 billion, a record since it was floated in 2019, after the war in Ukraine led to a jump in global energy prices. The state-backed oil major, the world’s biggest oil exporter, unveiled an 82 per cent increase in its first-quarter net income to $39.5 billion, better than the $38.5 billion that had been forecast by analysts and up from $21.7 billion in the same period last year. – The Times

Universities have £1.4 billion available to invest in businesses spun-out from their institutions, boosting hopes of levelling up regional economies. Cambridge Innovation Capital, a venture capital fund focused on life sciences and “deep tech”, tops a study of UK universities’ financial firepower, having closed a new £225 million fund last month. – The Times

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