Tuesday newspaper round-up: Strikes, Klarna, small business borrowers

by | Jul 12, 2022

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Ministers have approved controversial plans to allow agency workers to replace striking workers, voting through the regulations on Monday night by 289 votes to 202. While the business minister, Jane Hunt, said the change, which was accelerated as a result of the ongoing rail strikes, was needed to remove the “outdated blanket ban” on using agency workers to cover official industrial action, critics say the measure is akin to a “scab charter”. – Guardian
Klarna, the “buy now, pay later” fintech darling that was once Europe’s most valuable private tech company, has seen its valueK slashed by 85% to less than $7bn in its latest round of fundraising. The company, which enjoyed stellar growth while also being criticised for potentially leading shoppers into unsustainable debt, announced the valuation after the conclusion of a difficult $800m funding round as investors continued to question the true worth of many tech businesses. – Guardian

A major microchip factory is to be built in France with taxpayer money as Emmanuel Macron scrambles to reduce dependence on Chinese imports. The facility is being constructed by STMicroelectronics and GlobalFoundries at an existing site in Crolles, near Grenoble, increasing its capacity from 10,000 to 22,000 wafers per week. – Telegraph

The City regulator has ordered bank boards to step in and improve the way struggling small business borrowers are handled after uncovering widespread mistreatment of companies across the banking industry. A Financial Conduct Authority review of 11 banks’ handling of borrowers who are in financial difficulty, including those struggling to repay taxpayer-backed pandemic loans, found “repeated instances of poor customer outcomes and failures to treat customers fairly”. – The Times


A pioneering workplace savings scheme for refuse collectors and other lower-paid workers in Britain has produced a remarkable level of take-up, which experts say could one day transform the way people save. Suez, the waste recovery and recycling group, has recorded a 66 times higher take-up rate compared with other employers by making its scheme opt out rather than an opt in. – The Times

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