Wednesday newspaper round-up: HSBC, fracking, Discovery

HSBC is to shut a further 69 branches, on top of the 82 it axed last year, claiming the pandemic has accelerated the shift to digital banking. It is the latest in a line of banks to announce it is reducing its network in response to changing customer habits. Consumer organisation Which? said the number of closures during the last few years was “alarming” and that millions of people were not yet ready or able to go fully digital. – Guardian
The prospect of fracking in England has been dealt another blow as only a handful of MPs for constituencies with exploration licences support the measure in their area, the Guardian can reveal. When asked if they would support fracking in their constituencies, only five of the 138 MPs said they would. Forty one said they would be against it, while the rest did not reply, or declined to comment. – Guardian

Elon Musk has blamed the soaring cost of parts for raising the price of every Tesla model. The electric car maker has increased the cost of its cars in the UK in recent days and raised them twice in the US and China over the past week. Its cheapest car in Britain, the Model 3, now costs £43,990, or £1,000 more than earlier this month. The price of the Long Range version is now £2,000 higher. – Telegraph

The boss of Discovery received a total pay package worth $246.6 million last year as the American media group prepares for its blockbuster merger with WarnerMedia. David Zaslav’s overall compensation, which includes stock options worth almost $203 million, is more than double that of any other disclosed by a S&P 500 company for 2021 so far. His base salary remained at $3 million, according to a market filing. His pay was boosted by stock awards worth $13.1 million and bonus payments of $26.4 million, on top of the vast tranche of options handed to him last spring. – Telegraph

Regulators are investigating possible conflicts of interest at America’s biggest accounting firms, such as Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into whether consulting and other non-audit services sold by the firms undermine their ability to conduct audits independently, sources confirmed to The Times. The investigation was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. – Telegraph

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