News in Brief: Murdoch, business department closure, legal action, Tesco, FCA

News in Brief

James Murdoch takes over at Sky

Sky has reappointed James Murdoch, the youngest son of News Corp founder Rupert Murdoch, as chairman of the network.

James Murdoch resigned as chairman of British broadcasting network four years ago in the midst of the phone hacking scandal, making way for Nicholas Ferguson who has been at the helm since.

Murdoch said that he was "proud" to return to the top spot, reported The Independent.

He said in a statement: "I am proud to have been asked by the board to serve as chairman of Sky, one of the world's leading pay TV companies. Jeremy and the team at Sky have done an outstanding job in building a dynamic and successful company."

The appointment has fuelled rumours that Fox, where Murdoch serves as CEO, could be looking to buy the rest of Sky; it currently has a controlling minority stake of 39%.

Tories to close Sheffield business department

The UK business department is closing its office in Sheffield —the largest outside London — in what is likely to be seen as a blow to George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse concept.

More than 200 civil servants in the South Yorkshire city are facing an uncertain future after being told about the plans. They were told there may be compulsory redundancies and that it was “unlikely” there would be any financial support for relocation costs or travel costs.

There has been a long-term trend for governments to try to shift thousands of public sector workers out of London to boost regional economies, reported the Financial Times.

However, the civil service has become increasingly centralised in London since the Conservative party came to power in 2010, initially as part of a coalition government. The proportion of the workforce in the capital has grown from 16% to 18% in 2015, according to the Institute for Government.

Barclays faces £700m legal action

Barclays has confirmed it is being sued for more than £700m by deal-maker Amanda Staveley in connection with its emergency fundraising in 2008.

The Financial Times reported that Staveley's firm PCP Capital Partners had taken legal action against the bank in London.

The fundraising at the height of the financial crisis aimed to bolster Barclays' financial health and prevent a UK government bailout.

The bank will contest the action.

They said in a statement: "We believe the claim against Barclays is misconceived and without merit and Barclays will be vigorously defending it."

Staveley told the FT that a claim against Barclays had been filed in the High Court, but declined to comment further on the exact nature of the action.

The businesswoman is seeking damages of as much as £720m.

Tesco ends 24-hour trade in 76 stores

Retail giant Tesco is ending 24-hour shopping at 76 of its stores, around one in five of those currently open around the clock.

The company said the growth of online shopping means that certain shops had few customers during the night, reported the BBC.

Normal night time tasks such as refilling shelves will continue in the supermarkets so Tesco says the impact on employees will be "minimal".

The move is Tesco's latest effort to turn around its business which has been hit by challenges on several fronts.

The outlets affected will close between midnight and 6am and four hundred staff will be "affected".

FCA orders new inquiry into HBOS chiefs

City regulators are to investigate the role of HBOS’s senior management in the near-collapse of the bank during the 2008 financial crisis.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) will look into the bank’s former bosses, who could be barred from working in the capital, reported The Guardian.

The FCA said the investigations would decide whether the senior figures, who include the former chief executive Andy Hornby and former chairman Lord Stevenson, should face proceedings that could strike them off the FCA’s approved persons list.

The FCA declined to identify which past managers it would investigate.