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Wednesday newspaper round-up: Petrol prices, Facebook, Jes Staley

UK petrol prices are poised to hit a record 150p a litre later this week after the worsening tension in Ukraine added fresh pressure to the cost of living crisis facing households. Crude oil prices reached more than $99 a barrel at one point on Tuesday in response to Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognise the independence of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine. Prices later slipped back after markets viewed the west’s initial sanctions response as weak. – Guardian

Facebook has launched its short video feature Reels globally, its owner Meta Platforms said on Tuesday, in a move to expand its fastest growing content format after reports that overall user numbers are down. The social media giant, which recently announced a massive pivot into virtual reality products, lost a third of its market value after a dismal earnings report in February. It has highlighted Reels as a key priority to court younger users. – Guardian

Britain’s new privacy tsar said he will end the era of “regulations for regulation’s sake” in a decisive break from EU data rules. John Edwards, the Information Commissioner, said Brussels’ GDPR regime had “imposed a drag” on growth and that he planned to only enforce regulations when it helped individuals. – Telegraph

Barclays is expected to announce today that it has frozen millions of pounds in share awards to its former chief executive as he contests the findings of a regulatory investigation into his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. Directors have decided not to allow a chunk of shares granted to Jes Staley several years ago to vest as scheduled, despite a significant rebound in the bank’s performance. – The Times

The Venue Group (TVG) Hospitality has raised $50 million with the backing of tech billionaires, financial professionals and musicians, as it goes ahead with its plans to expand in the US (Shayma Bakht writes). The music venue company was set up by a founding member of the folk- rock band Mumford & Sons, Ben Lovett, and his brother Greg Lovett, the former finance director of Soho House North America, who closed the new funding for its initial financing round yesterday. TVG was founded in 2015 and operates three venues in London – Omeara and Flat Iron Square in London Bridge and Lafayette in King’s Cross – with several under development in America. – The Times

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