Morning papers: Regulator in legal action against 16 banks

The US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has filed a lawsuit against HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS and the British Bankers’ Association over the manipulation of the Libor benchmark interest rate, the Telegraph reports.

The regulator, who is suing 16 banks in total, claims Libor manipulation caused “substantial losses” to 38 US lenders that were shut down due to insolvency during and after the 2008 global financial crisis.

The FDIC said the accused institutions “cheated the closed banks in US dollar Libor-based swaps and other agreements through the manipulation of the rate between 2007 and 2011”, the Telegraph says.

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Budget: Osborne hones in on living standards

The chancellor will announce a vision of rising living standards in tomorrow’s Budget, arguing that employees are beginning to feel the “fruits of economic growth” whilst benefiting from tax cuts directed at those on modest and middle incomes, according to the Financial Times.

George Osborne’s pitch to middle-class families will be bolstered by the offering, announced today (18 March), of “enhanced support for childcare”, while announcing another £500 increase in the income tax personal allowance.

As well as providing additional support, the FT says Mr Osborne also wants to challenge the “widespread perception” that almost all families have become worse off over the past few years due to inflation squeezes.

Budget: Company bosses concerned with “political tinkering”

Business leaders have begged the chancellor to deliver “certainty and stability” in tomorrow’s Budget, warning that a raft of radical measures could backfire and damage confidence, the Telegraph reports.

Company bosses surveyed by Ernst and Young said that their big concerns were around “political tinkering” as well as legislative uncertainty. There were also fears about the government’s efforts on international tax avoidance and the general complexity of the global tax system.

Budget: OBR to revise 2014 forecast

According to the Mail, the Office for Budget Responsibility is expected to revise its 2014 figures from 2.4 per cent to around 2.7 per cent.

An EY Item Club Budget report said the forecast pointed to the government achieving a modest surplus of £5bn by 2019 - around £3bn higher than the OBR’s December forecast.

The report predicts there will be announcements on personal tax, housing and rebalancing the economy towards exports.

Bank overhaul expected

A major overhaul of the Bank of England is expected to be signalled today as the Bank of England governor give his annual Mais Lecture today, the Guardian reports.

Mark Carney is expected to use his Mais Lecture to set out how he intends to modernise the bank. Mr Carney said he wants to create “one bank” to remove the “silos” that separates officials responsible for monetary policy and financial stability.

This follows Charlie Bean, the deputy governor for monetary policy, stepping down in July.

Mr Bean is one of three BoE deputy governors, alongside Andrew Bailey for financial regulation and Sir Jon Cunliffe who looks after financial stability.

Mr Carney told MPs on the Treasury select committee last week that he wants to appoint a fourth deputy governor, with responsibility for markets and banking, he . He is expected to provide more details about this role in the lecture. The Bank also needs a new chairman of its court – the equivalent of its board of directors – to replace Sir David Lees, who wants to leave in June.