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Monday newspaper round-up: John Lewis, Black Friday, Bitcoin, M&S

The owner of John Lewis and Waitrose will on Monday launch a £1m fund that will channel cash into projects with the potential to end the high street’s “throwaway” culture. The John Lewis Partnership is inviting academics, charities and start-ups that have ideas with the potential to reduce the environmental impact of the food, clothing and gadgets we buy, to pitch for a share of the money. The fund is aimed at identifying “innovators” that are challenging the industry’s outdated “make … use … throw away” model. – Guardian
Police and banks have warned consumers to be vigilant when shopping in this week’s Black Friday sales, with a rise in scams expected to cost shoppers milions. Police said crime over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period last year defrauded online shoppers in Britain of £2.5m. Many never received goods they ordered from unfamiliar websites, and some were subsequently targeted by criminals using bank details given during transactions. – Guardian

The City regulator is calling in Bitcoin experts to train its staff over fears that money launderers and terrorists using cryptocurrencies are steps ahead in the fight against financial crime. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is spending £500,000 on consultants to provide access to a platform that analyses blockchain data and to coach officials about how they can spot criminals transferring money via decentralised financial networks. – Telegraph

The Treasury plans to clamp down on risky local authority borrowing by offering lower-cost public loans to councils if they pass the vetting of Britain’s new infrastructure bank. Chris Grigg, chairman of the UK Infrastructure Bank, told The Times there was “a desire to dodge some of the problems” caused by the “Spelthorne effect”, referring to the council in Surrey that borrowed £1 billion in public money to fund a commercial property buying spree for rental income. – The Times

Marks & Spencer is gearing up for Steve Rowe to step down as chief executive within the next 18 months. There have been no formal conversations with the M&S board about his departure date, but senior figures at the retailer are aware that Rowe, 54, believes that chief executives typically have a tenure of between five and eight years. – The Times

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