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Friday newspaper round-up: Bank branches, mortgages, Northern Rock

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Friday 17 May 2024

Friday newspaper round-up: Bank branches, mortgages, Northern Rock

(Sharecast News) - The number of UK bank branches that have shut their doors for good over the last nine years will pass 6,000 on Friday, and by the end of the year the pace of closures may leave 33 parliamentary constituencies - including two in London - without a single branch. The tally is being published by the consumer group Which? as it seeks to make the "avalanche" of closures and the "disastrous" impact they can have on local communities an election battleground. - Guardian
Three UK banks have announced cuts to the cost of fixed-rate mortgages, reversing some of the price rises seen in recent weeks. Barclays Bank has announced it will reduce the price of five-year fixed-rate deals for new borrowers and remortgagors by up to 0.45 percentage points from Friday. Its five-year fixed-rate for borrowers with a 40% deposit is decreasing from 4.47% to 4.34%. - Guardian

Swathes of nuclear waste are set to be buried in the English countryside after ministers agreed to dig a 650ft pit starting this decade. The facility, which has yet to be allocated a site, will hold some of the 5m tonnes of waste that was generated by nuclear power stations over the past seven decades. This will ease pressure on the 17 nuclear waste disposal plants currently in operation around the country, which consist of giant sheds and cooling ponds. - Telegraph

A group fighting for compensation for 150,000 Northern Rock shareholders whose shares were seized in the lender's 2007 collapse and nationalisation is to resuscitate its campaign. The Northern Rock Shareholder Action Group accused the government of grabbing profits of as much as £9 billion after it took control of the mortgage bank in the wake of a depositor run. - The Times

The prospect of government opposition to a proposed £3.5 billion acquisition of the Royal Mail's parent company has receded after the business secretary welcomed contractual undertakings being negotiated as part of a Czech tycoon's takeover. In a potentially politically significant moment for the deal, on Thursday Kemi Badenoch met Martin Seidenberg, the chief executive of International Distributions Services, Royal Mail's parent company, after Wednesday's 370p-per-share "non-binding" proposal from EP Group, a conglomerate controlled by Daniel Kretinsky, a billionaire investor. - The Times


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