The Financial Times leads with Moody’s decision to downgrade the UK one notch to AA1 late on Friday night – “in the most serious criticque yet of the government’s economic plan”. Elsewhere in the paper, there’s comment from Adam Posen, a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee on the government’s failure to tackle structural reform of planning, taxes, or labour incentives. Posen thinks ministers are pursuing austerity too fast with too little regard for investment.
Royal Bank of Scotland will raise more than £8bn through the planned floatation of its retail bank, Citizens, says Philip Aldrick in The Daily Telegraph. The potential IPO is a response to the regulatory and political pressure on the lender to strengthen its balance sheet and focus more on the UK.
Recruitment & Employment
In The Times, Sam Coates reports Lloyds Banking Group is in talks with the government over a £1.5m incentive package for CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio, linking his bonus to the lender’s return in the private sector for the first time. The announcement of such a deal, which would see Horta-Osorio’s bonus vary according to the price the State sells its shareholding, will significantly raise hopes that some of the shares can be sold before the 2015 election. The FT says Horta-Osorio could see his bonus deferred until 2018 pointing out that the CEOs of Barclays and RBS have avoided potential disputes over pay by waiving their bonuses for 2012. Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror’s Graham Hiscott writes that HSBC will publish bonus details alongside annual results in March, and the firm’s bankers could be set to enjoy a shares bonanza. The results are expected to reveal profits of roughly £15bn, which would trigger large rewards for the bank’s staff.
The Daily Telegraph’s Ed Cummings says old warehouses and industrial buildings are some of the capital’s most fashionable homes – highlighting a split-level warehouse apartment in Maida Vale currently being marketed by Marsh & Parsons.