Thursday newspaper round-up: Amazon, Russian banks, Gatwick

Members of the Democratic-controlled House judiciary committee have referred Amazon to the Department of Justice, alleging “potentially criminal conduct” by the company and some of its senior executives. In a letter to the attorney general, Merrick Garland, lawmakers claim that Amazon had engaged in a “pattern and practice of misleading conduct that suggests” it was acting to influence the committee’s investigation into online market competition. – Guardian

A third of households in Britain were spending more than their income before the coronavirus pandemic, according to official figures that highlight the precarious financial situation millions of people were in before the cost of living crisis hit. Just under half of these households had a financial buffer that would last for less than a year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) report based on data for the two years before the pandemic. – Guardian

Russian banks are opening retail accounts dealing in yuan as China eyes a chance to dominate the country’s economy. Russia’s second largest bank VTB Bank has begun offering a Chinese yuan savings account with an interest rate of up to 8pc, hailing the currency as “one of the most affordable and promising options for investing funds” after the country was hit by Western sanctions. – Telegraph

The Ministry of Defence has handed out contracts worth billions of pounds after receiving only one bid, or without putting them to tender at all. In the nine months to December, £7.2bn worth of contracts were signed without a competitive process, up from £5.7bn for the previous financial year earlier, according to analysis by The Telegraph and consultancy Tussell. – Telegraph

Gatwick airport plans to return to 85 per cent of its full capacity this summer as airlines gear up for the holiday rush. As the industry attempts to put itself back together again after two years of lockdowns, groundings and travel restrictions, Britain’s second-largest airport says it will reopen its all-but mothballed South Terminal in time for the start of the summer season. – The Times

The boss of Legal & General has dismissed concerns that a government overhaul of insurance regulations after Brexit will backfire and fail to boost investment in British infrastructure. The government set out a plan last month to reform the European Union’s Solvency II regulations to unlock tens of billions of pounds in capital that insurers could put into long-term investments, such as green energy projects. – The Times

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