Morning papers: RBS to pay £164m in US settlement

Royal Bank of Scotland will pay £164m in settlement of a US lawsuit over mis-selling mortgage backed securities, the Daily Mail reports.

The paper says the settlement is one of the first of several by British banks in American class actions over the toxic mortgages at the centre of the financial crisis.

RBS said it has already set money aside to cover the settlement, and has reserved a pot of £3.1bn to cover legal claims including almost £2bn for claims regarding mortgage backed securities.

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Osborne: recovery ‘not yet secure’

Chancellor George Osborne will warn that the British economy is still too dependent on consumer spending and could rely too much on the City of London, the Telegraph reports.

According to the paper, Mr Osborne will deliver a speech today (20 February) saying businesses are not “investing enough” and “not exporting enough” and that he must confront “hard truths” about the economic recovery.

Reforms could add $2,250bn to global economy

The International Monetary Fund has claimed that aggressive reforms could add $2,250bn (£1,351bn) to the global economy by 2018, the Financial Times reports.

In a report released in advance of a meeting of G20 finance ministers this weekend, the IMF says efforts to rebalance, reform product and labour markets, and boost infrastructure investment could boost global growth by half a percentage point per year and significantly improve global living standards.

Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19bn

Facebook has acquired mobile chat service WhatsApp for $19bn (£11.4bn) in its biggest deal yet, the Guardian reports.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg described the service as “incredibly valuable”, and said it was on its way to connecting 1bn people worldwide.

Strong internal support for Fed tapering

Minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s January meeting show the Fed had few doubts about slowing its asset purchases in the beginning of the year, the Financial Times reports.

The paper says this is a clear sign that tapering will continue if there is no large, sudden shift in the economy.

The Fed is also preparing to overhaul its forward guidance as unemployment approaches the 6.5 per cent threshold, the paper reports.