Morning papers: Staff turnover at regulator doubles

Staff have been quitting Britain’s financial watchdogs at nearly twice the rate since they were split into two bodies this year, data seen by Reuters shows, at a time when experts warn of a regulatory brain drain in Europe’s biggest financial hub, reports the Independent.

Britain broke its financial regulator up into two separate agencies in April to ensure stricter scrutiny of banks and markets in the wake of the 2007-09 financial crisis and a series of costly scandals involving bankers’ misdeeds.

Banks rush to secure low-cost financing

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Sales of investment grade bonds by financial institutions may surpass the $30bn (£18.8bn) mark in coming weeks as global banks attempt to raise this year’s final batch of funds at low borrowing rates, reports the Financial Times.

Last week’s stronger-than-expected US GDP report and upbeat labour market figures bolstered hopes that growth in the world’s largest economy was accelerating.

EM currencies weaken as rally hopes fade

The improvement in the US labour market has killed off hopes of an end of year rally in emerging markets currencies, as speculators factor in the possibility of an earlier start to the Federal Reserve’s withdrawal of stimulus, reports the Financial Times.

In the past week, the Brazilian real has fallen 3.7 per cent to 2.3370 against the dollar, while the South African rand has slipped 2.3 per cent and the Indonesian rupiah 1.7 per cent. All are now weaker than they were just before the FOMC meeting in September, when investors were expecting the Fed to begin ‘tapering’ immediately.

SFO ‘shredded documents’ in Tchenguiz case, court hears

Britain’s fraud-busting agency complied with a request from accountant Grant Thornton and shredded key documents allegedly relating to the arrest of the Tchenguiz brothers, a court heard on Monday, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The revelation came in statements put before the High Court relating to the Serious Fraud Office’s attempt to reduce the number of documents it is obliged to disclose to the property entrepreneurs from hundreds of thousands to just 20,000.

Regulators add ICBC to financial stability risk league table

International regulators have added Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to a list of banks that face higher capital requirements to counter the risk they pose to the financial system, reports the Financial Times.

The biggest bank in the world by market capitalisation, ICBC was the sole new entrant on the latest table of “globally systemically important banks” from the Financial Stability Board.

Public sector paid big four outsourcing firms £4bn last year, NAO reveals

More than £4bn of taxpayer funds was paid out last year to four of Britain’s largest outsourcing contractors – Serco, Capita, Atos and G4S – prompting concerns that controversial firms have become too big to fail, according to the National Audit Office, reports The Guardian.

Increasingly powerful outsourcing companies should be forced to open their books on taxpayer-funded contracts, and be subject to fines and bans from future contracts in the event that they are found to have fallen short, the NAO said.