Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday

Leaked report reveals RBS mistreated small businesses

A confidential report into Royal Bank of Scotland will be published revealing details of the bank’s treatment of thousands of struggling small businesses following the 2008 crash. The Commons Treasury select committee has given the Financial Conduct Authority, which wrote the report, until Friday to either publish it in full or share it with MPs. However, MPs are reportedly leaning towards publishing the widely leaked report which details the banks’ “endemic” mistreatment of customers.

Donald Trump will cut welfare to build the wall

The White House has predicted GDP growth to reach 3% in 2018 and rise to 3.2% next year. The forecast came as Donald Trump revealed a $ 1.5tn infrastructure spending plan that relies heavily on funding from states and the private sector. The budget revealed that the US President will slash welfare programmes to help fund his wall on the Mexican border and bolster defence spending.

SFO charges Barclays again over Qatar loan

The Serious Fraud Office has charged Barclays for a second time over a $ 3bn loan the lender made to Qatar. The charges relate to emergency fundraising made in 2008. If found guilty, Barclays could face regulatory penalties, including the withdrawal of its banking licences in the UK and other countries. The decision here would be made by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England.

Mike Ashley tightens grip on Game Digital

Game Digital will sell half its Belong esports business to Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct for £3.2m. Shares in the computer games retailer climbed as much as 13% yesterday after the deal was announced. The sportswear firm, which had already bought a 25.8% stake in Game last year, has now gained 50% of Belong’s intellectual property and is entitled to half its profits. 

Rival snaps younger users from Facebook

Facebook is losing younger users to rival Snapchat, according to a new study. EMarkerter research found that in the UK, the number of users aged between 12 and 24 who are regularly logging in to Facebook will fall by 700,000 to 6.7m this year, leaving the company with just 71% of the market share. However, 43% of British teenagers will log in to Snapchat – more than double the numbers in 2015.

Quote of the day… You can’t put a price on romance

“As is the case with all florists, we have to adjust our prices during the Valentine’s period, however we have been careful not to inflate the price which is representative of grade A+ roses.” A spokeswoman for the Orchidya London boutique on the Valentine’s Day bouquet of roses it is selling for £4,999.99 (plus £6.95 for delivery).

THE NUMBERS… AT 0716 GMT

FTSE 100: up +1.19 to 7177.06
Dow Jones: up +1.70 to 24601.27
Dax: up +1.45 to 12282.77
Cac 40: up +1.20 to 5140.06
Nikkei: down -0.65 to 21244.68
Hang Seng: up +1.26 to 29839.97
US dollar: buys €0.81180 and £0.72200
Sterling: buys $ 1.38520 and €1.12430
Oil: $ 62.68 down -0.2

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