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Thursday newspaper round-up: Overdrafts, accounting firms, Fender

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Thursday 23 Jan 2020

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - Millions of Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers will be charged overdraft interest rates of up to 49.9% from April and those with a poor credit history are likely to pay the most. Lloyds Banking Group - which owns all three brands and has 22 million current account customers - is the biggest bank so far to overhaul its overdraft costs in response to a ban on excessive fees demanded last year by the City regulator. - Guardian
The planting of 100m trees a year in the UK to tackle the climate emergency could be paid for by new carbon levies on oil companies and airlines, the government's official climate adviser has proposed. The Committee on Climate Change also recommends banning the burning of grouse moors and the sale of peat compost to protect the nation's bogs, which can store huge amounts of carbon. Voluntary measures have failed, it said. - Guardian

City regulators pledged to crack down on poor governance at fund managers on Wednesday amid concerns about the industry in the wake of the Neil Woodford scandal. A letter to chief executives at asset managers from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) listed what the regulator sees as the "key risks of harm that asset managers pose to their customers or the markets in which they operate".- Telegraph

The Big Four accounting firms are in talks with the audit regulator about a self-imposed break-up in an attempt to get ahead of any enforcement action taken by the government. Guidelines for the separation of audit and consulting operations at firms including PWC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG are being drawn up by the Financial Reporting Council. - The Times

The world's biggest guitar maker may count Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards as fans of its products, but price-fixing by the European division of Fender has struck the wrong note with the competition watchdog. The Competition and Markets Authority has fined Fender Europe 4.5 million after concluding that it had pressured online retailers to sell its guitars at or above a minimum price between 2013 and 2018, thereby stymying customers shopping around for the best deal. It is a record penalty for such behaviour. - The Times