Business headlines: HS2 rail; Barclays; Lidl; Huawei; Hasbro


It’s vital to be aware of the latest news in the industry you’re working in or applying to. Here are some headlines you might find interesting:

HS2 rail could be scrapped following an independent review
The government has announced it is launching an independent review into the future of the HS2 rail project. The investigation will consider whether the project should still go ahead or whether any changes need to be made to it. The HS2 rail link, if finished, will connect London, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh with up to 18 trains an hour. However, the scheme has been criticised for being too expensive and environmentally damaging. The review will be chaired by former Crossrail and HS2 chairman, Douglas Oakervee, and will consider the project’s affordability, deliverability and efficiency. A final report will be written in the autumn which will be reviewed by the government to make its decision on the next steps.

Barclays revealed as the bank with most IT shutdowns
Barclays bank has topped the list of banks with the most IT shutdowns. Data analysed by the BBC has shown that Barclays reported the most problems in the past year, totalling 33 incidents. RBS/NatWest reported the highest number in the past three months with seven incidents. UK banks are required to publish details of operational and security incidents since last year, and the statistics show that major banks typically suffer over ten outages a month. Barclays stated it saw a reduction in incidents throughout the course of the last year, while RBS said it continues to work on improving its services to minimise disruption to costumers.

FTSE100 bosses still earning over 100 times more than average employee despite pay cuts
Bosses at the UK’s largest companies continue to earn over 100 times more than the average employee, even though median pay for FTSE100 chief executives went down by 13% in 2018. FTSE100 bosses were earning £3.46m on average last year, compared to the median pay of £29,574 per year earned by the average UK full-time worker. Of the 100 bosses, 43 experienced a pay rise last year. Meanwhile, female chief executives are still taking home less than their male counterparts. Research showed that the number of FTSE100 companies facing shareholder revolt over excessive executive pay fell to 7% compared to 13% the previous year. Chief executive of the CIPD, Peter Cheese, called the enduring gap in pay unacceptable and said it undermines public trust in business.

Lidl grows UK grocery market share to 5.9%
Discount supermarket chain Lidl has grown its market share to 5.9%, it’s largest to date. Sales at the supermarket were up by 7.7% in the three months to 11 August. One of the drivers behind the positive results is the wave of store openings, which saw Lidl bag 500,000 more customers. The big four supermarkets, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons, all lost market share, even though Tesco remains the market leader with a 27% share. Online supermarket Ocado witnessed the fastest growth, with sales up by 12.6%.

UK tech companies secure record £5.5bn in foreign investment
Research by the UK government’s digital economy council showed that the UK tech sector brought in a record $6.7bn (£5.5n) worth of investment in the first seven months of the year. This is more than the whole of 2018. Figures also show that the UK has overtaken the US for the amount of investment per capita. The investment figure was 43% higher than the same period last year when $4.7bn in investment was brought in. The results have been hailed as a sign of the confidence put in the UK tech sector by overseas investors, while the weakness of the pound has also likely contributed to the flourishing of investment.

The US Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, has stated that a ban on Chinese tech giant Huawei will not come into force for another ninety days after the firm was blacklisted in May because of national security concerns.

Us toy company Hasbro has made a commitment to cut plastic packaging for new products by the end of 2022, as well as stopping the use of plastic bags, elastic bands and shrink wrap in a bid to cut plastic waste.

Source: HN Global