The Independent on Sunday: Water watchdog spends £20m on consultants
The much-criticised water regulator has been accused of costing bill-payers nearly £20m after hiring consultants at the same time that it was pressuring utilities to reduce their prices. Ofwat is said to be badly under-resourced and has asked a team led by the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to assess the business plans of the water companies for 2015-20.
The Mail on Sunday: Co-op Bank bondholders back hedge fund move
The Co-operative Bank cleared the last major hurdle on its £1.5bn rescue plan on Friday as bondholders voted to allow hedge funds to take major stakes in the new group. The bank was close to being taken over by regulators earlier this year after suffering huge losses on commercial property loans and from its abortive bid to take over 632 branches of Lloyds.
The Sunday Times: Scandal-hit RBS to pay out £500m in bonuses
Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to pay its bankers an estimated £500m in bonuses this year, in spite of the string of scandals engulfing the taxpayer-backed lender. Although the bank is forecast to rack up losses of several billion pounds, bonuses will still be paid. The estimates come amid renewed concerns over the amount of pay and bonuses bankers receive.
The Sunday Telegraph: Barclays poised for fracking in Yorkshire
Barclays Bank is backing the search for shale gas in Yorkshire and could fund fracking in the area as early as next year. Third Energy, which is 97 per cent-owned by Barclays Natural Resource Investments, a private equity arm of the bank, took shale rock samples while drilling in Kirby Misperton, Ryedale, this summer and is now analysing their potential for development.