Tuesday newspaper round-up: Serco, Tesla, Brexit, Kuflink, British Airways, congestion charge

by | Apr 27, 2021

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Two former senior executives at Serco have been cleared of hiding millions in profits from electronic tagging contracts with the government after their trial collapsed following three weeks of evidence. The prosecution’s move yesterday to ditch charges against Nicholas Woods and Simon Marshall is the latest blow to the Serious Fraud Office, after eight years investigating the allegations. – The Times
Tesla announced a record quarterly profit on Monday as sales of its electric vehicles boomed in the first three months of the year. The world’s most valuable car company recorded a profit of $438m on revenues of $10.39bn despite facing supply issues and the latest in a series of safety investigations following a fatal crash in Texas. – Guardian

For the many City bosses who viewed Brexit as a mistake, the past few months will have cemented their argument that Britain’s financial services industry was going to be left in the lurch. Financial services exports are worth £56bn, according to industry body TheCityUK, yet the sector was largely excluded from the Brexit trade deal and has been stripped of its vital EU passporting rights. Banks have moved around £1.3 trillion worth of UK assets into the EU as a result of Brexit and almost 6bn of EU share trading shifted from London to the continent in the first trading day of this year. – Telegraph

The auditor of a peer-to-peer lender that has raised £121 million from investors resigned after uncovering a catalogue of issues including poor governance, weak record-keeping and accounting errors. EY stepped down as the auditor of Kuflink after it highlighted what it called “significant” deficiencies in internal controls at the business, a sponsor of Southampton FC. Kuflink, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, links retail and corporate investors with property developers seeking loans via an online platform. – The Times

Wealthy holidaymakers buying premium seats will cushion airlines from the decline in business flying, according to the boss of British Airways. The company’s chief executive, Sean Doyle, said that contrary to research suggesting the airline industry will lose much of its most lucrative clientele, he believed corporate travel would return after the coronavirus pandemic, “but exactly what shape that takes we’re not sure”. – Guardian

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has agreed to scrap the “temporary” £15 congestion charge ahead of next month’s mayoral election. The former transport minister said that he would seek to reduce the charge back to £11.50 if re-elected as London mayor. The increase to £15 last June was one of a slew of requirements imposed by the Government in return for handing Transport for London, the authority that Mr Khan chairs, a multi billion-pound bailout. – Telegraph

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