Enterpreneur

TSB future in doubt after merger collapses

Spanish lender Banco Sabadell has said it will consider options for its UK bank TSB after it called off a planned merger with rival BBVA.

Sabadell and BBVA said they were in merger talks less than two weeks ago, but they failed to agree a price.

Sabadell said it would now seek “strategic alternatives for creating value with regard to the group’s international assets, including TSB”.

It did not specify if that would mean selling TSB, which it bought in 2015.

Separately, TSB said it had “good momentum” in its business growth as well as progress in “taking full control of our IT, delivering a right-sized modern branch network and reducing overall operating costs”.

In January, it signed a deal with US computing giant IBM to run its online banking, bank systems and cash machines, in an attempt to put a stop to the IT failures that have plagued the

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Locked down pubs cost 1,300 jobs at Mitchells & Butlers

Another 1,300 pub sector job cuts were announced today as Mitchells & Butlers became the latest operator to respond to the coronavirus crisis.

M&B, which owns brands including All Bar One and Harvester, said it had made 1,300 workers redundant and closed a small number of sites owing to reduced trade.

It said that the cuts had come “despite our best efforts to protect as many jobs as we can”, and represented only 3 per cent of its total workforce of 43,000.

News of the cuts came as Fuller, Smith & Turner confirmed its previously announced decision to cut about 350 jobs, although it said it had managed to redeploy about 250 workers whose jobs were at risk of redundancy. Most of the big pub groups have laid off staff: Greene King cutting 800 jobs, Marston’s cutting 2,150 and JD Wetherspoon losing about 550.

The M&B job cuts came as

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Netflix to spend $1bn in UK in 2020 on TV shows and films

Netflix will boost its spend on making TV shows in the UK to $1bn (£750m) this year as the streaming giant maintains the breakneck pace of its production pipeline despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Netflix, which makes shows such as The Crown and Sex Education in the UK, has increased its budget by 50% from the £500m it spent on British-made films and TV shows last year. Netflix UK had originally estimated a spend of about £400m last year, but ended up investing about £100m more.

The BBC’s total annual content budget across TV, radio and online hit £2.3bn in the year to the end of March. Within this, spend on TV content was £1.6bn. ITV spends about £1.1bn annually on content for its portfolio of channels.

Netflix’s UK budget has been invested in making more than 50 TV shows and films in 2020, against the backdrop of a UK production

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MPs accuse Rishi Sunak of snubbing calls to fix furlough scheme gaps

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has snubbed calls to support thousands of small businesses in England on the brink of collapse that would have benefited from financial help in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, according to an all-party group of MPs.

Hairdressers, cleaners and people who started self-employment before the pandemic hit are amongmore than 1 million workers who have missed out on government support in England, the Treasury select committee said.

This contrasts with efforts made in all the other countries of the UK to fill in the gaps left by the furlough scheme and the self-employment income support scheme, which only applies to those who have registered as self-employed since April 2018.

In a letter to Sunak highlighting the committee’s growing frustration with the Treasury’s stance, the committee’s chair, Mel Stride, called on the chancellor to adopt measures the MPs set out in a report published in the summer

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Cineworld secures £560m cash lifelines as Covid closes cinemas

Cineworld, the world’s second-largest movie chain operator, has secured financial lifelines worth $750m (£560m) to weather the coronavirus pandemic.

London-listed Cineworld, which shut all of its 660 movie theatres in the US and the UK in October, said the financial agreements mean it has enough liquidity to make it through next year – as long as cinemas are allowed to reopen by May.

The company has agreed financial measures with lenders including a new $450m debt facility. Other agreements include a waiver on all covenants on payments on its debt – which stands at $4.9bn – until June 2022 and an extension on its $111m revolving credit facility to 2024. In addition, Cineworld has accelerated the closure of its US tax year which will generate a $200m tax refund early next year.

“The measures we are announcing today deliver over $750m of extra liquidity to support our business,” said Mooky

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