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Bitesize Blighty: June 8, 2018

  • BT chief executive Gavin Patterson will step down later this year after he lost support from shareholders to lead the company through a vital restructuring of the business. Jan du Plessis, chairman of BT, had stuck by Mr Patterson and backed his chief executive a month ago when the company said it would cut 13,000 jobs and deliver huge cost savings as part of the biggest overhaul of the business in a decade. However, the shares continued to drift and support for the chief among investors faded.
  • Paul Pester’s future as chief executive of TSB has been called into question by the chair of a committee of MPs, who said it had lost confidence in his ability to deal with the catastrophic consequences of a bungled switch in IT systems. In an unusually aggressive move, Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury select committee, said in a letter to Richard Meddings, TSB chairman: “The TSB board should give serious consideration as to whether Dr Pester’s position as chief executive of TSB is sustainable.”
  • Theresa May has confirmed that the British government hopes to wrap up its main Brexit legislation before the summer holidays, setting the scene for a hectic few weeks of Parliamentary scrutiny. Until recently it was thought that the Tory government might try to delay certain bills — on customs and trade— until the autumn for fear of struggling to get them through a sceptical House of Commons. However, the prime minister told reporters en route to the G7 in Canada that both bills would be put before MPs before the “summer recess” when politicians disappear for a long break.
  • The LSE experienced a nail biting situation on Thursday when it tentatively announced it was dealing with a “technical software issue” which led to its first major trading blackout in more than seven years. The glitch stopped traders from dealing on the exchange’s pre-open auction system and delayed the market open by an hour. After an initial delay in communication, a spokesperson for the LSE said “to ensure orderly trading, the LSE decided to delay the market open while the matter was investigated and informed market participants accordingly.” The blackout follows a high-profile outage of Visa’s services in the UK which took down the payment platform’s systems in the UK last week. 

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