Morning papers: Services strength ups pressure on Carney

The strongest growth for Britain’s powerhouse services industries since 2007 yesterday put more pressure on Bank of England governor Mark Carney to defend his flagship policy on forward guidance, reports the Independent.

Mr Carney has said that rate-setters will not consider raising interest rates from their current record low of 0.5 per cent until unemployment falls to 7 per cent, which the Bank does not expect to happen until 2016.

Business booming for pubs, restaurants and legal firms

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Pubs, hotels, restaurants, accountants and legal firms have enjoyed their strongest three months of trade since the beginning of the financial crisis, strengthening hopes that the UK economy is heading into a solid recovery, reports the Guardian.

A quarterly survey of the service sector by the CBI, the business lobby group, found the highest proportion of firms reporting a rise in business volumes since November 2007 and the most positive outlook on profits since February 2008.

MPs step up campaign for break-up of RBS

MPs are stepping up their campaign for a break-up of Royal Bank of Scotland amid suspicions in Westminster that RBS and Treasury officials will try to scupper a good bank-bad bank split, reports the Financial Times.

The influential Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards has said it is “important for all the options for [RBS’s] future structure to be examined as a matter of urgency”.

Banks face billion-pound fines as Brussels accuses them of squeezing out rivals

Britain’s biggest banks could be forced to pay billions of pounds in fines after being accused by Brussels of squeezing out rivals wanting a slice of a multi-trillion pound market, reports the Daily Mail.

RBS, HSBC and Barclays are among 13 banks under investigation by the European Commission in a case which has echoes of the Libor rate-rigging scandal.

UK markets supervisor rejects EU regulatory guidance

The new UK markets supervisor has for the first time rejected formal EU guidance on financial regulations this summer, adopting alternative rules that favour bankers and brokers, reports the Financial Times.

In late May, the FCA formally rejected the direction on tough new short selling rules issued by the European Securities & Markets Authority. Then on August 15, the FCA announced it had also declined to follow a European Commission interpretation of the alternative investment fund managers directive.

Greece wants another £8bn but won’t accept more austerity

Greece wants another £8.6bn bailout to stay afloat – but said it will not accept any more austerity measures, reports the Daily Mail.

Finance minister Yannis Stournaras said the country requires more help on top of the £206bn it has already received in two rescue packages.

Nationwide steps back from SME loans

Nationwide, the UK’s largest building society, has delayed its launch into the small business banking market until 2016, dealing a blow to the government’s efforts to boost lending to these customers, reports the Financial Times.

The mutual has put on hold its plans to start offering loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises as it battles to meet tougher capital requirements set out by the financial regulator earlier this year.