Global banks have been forced to trigger emergency plans to stop EU companies hitting trading problems if Britain crashes out of the bloc without a deal this month. With MPs potentially voting this week on whether to leave the EU without a deal, banks are warning that most of their large EU clients are underprepared and could be blocked from accessing trillions of pounds' worth of crucial trading services in just a few weeks. – Sunday Times
Theresa May is battling to save her premiership this weekend as cabinet ministers warned she may have to fall on her sword to save Brexit. In a final throw of the dice, Philip Hammond will [also] offer Tory MPs a £20bn Brexit “bribe” this week to finally “end austerity” if they support the prime minister's deal. – Sunday Times

Support for a no-deal Brexit is growing in the face of the EU's refusal to help salvage Theresa May's deal, according to a new poll. A survey by ComRes found that 44 per cent of the public now believe the UK should leave without a deal if Brussels refuses to make any further concessions – a six point rise from January. Less than a third (30 per cent) disagreed. – Sunday Telegraph

…[But] the majority of voters in nearly all the 632 parliamentary constituencies in England, Scotland and Wales want their MPs to reject Theresa May's Brexit deal, according to the most in-depth research into public opinion on the issue. This suggests that if any vote in parliament precisely reflected the “will of the people” then even May would have to vote against her own negotiated agreement: voters in the prime minister's Maidenhead constituency oppose it by 54% to 46%. – Sunday Times

Some 74% of people who were too young to cast a ballot in the 2016 Brexit referendum but have since reached voting age would back remain if a second public vote were called, according to a new poll. The proportion of the new voters – an estimated 2 million young people – supporting remain rises to 87% among those who say they would “definitely” take part in the referendum. – Observer

…AND MORE BREXIT

The cabinet minister in charge of Brexit has held detailed talks with Labour MPs who are championing plans for a second referendum – amid signs of mounting desperation inside Theresa May's government about what to do if the prime minister's deal suffers another crushing defeat on Tuesday. – Observer

Sir Keir Starmer risked infuriating pro-EU Labour activists as he suggested the party will not support a potential bid this week to force a second referendum. MPs will vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal on Tuesday and with just 19 days to go until the UK is due to leave the bloc the Labour frontbench is under growing pressure to call for another public vote. – Sunday Telegraph

Philip Hammond will boost public spending on genetic research and laser technology by £200m in this week's spring statement to support some of Britain's fastest-growing industries as they prepare for Brexit. The chancellor said the extra spending on projects in Cambridge, Edinburgh and Oxfordshire, would ensure the UK was “at the forefront of science and technology innovation” and maintain its reputation as a “pioneering nation as it leaves the EU”. – Observer

High street Minister Jake Berry has told MPs that the Government is considering a '2 per cent tax on online retail' – prompting experts to speculate on the possibility of a new Amazon tax. The launch of such a levy would represent a major shift from the Chancellor's position at the October Budget. – Mail on Sunday

Small businesses should be given “Brexit vouchers” for legal and professional advice to help them prepare for leaving the EU, company directors have said. Ahead of Wednesday's spring statement on public finances, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has written to Philip Hammond, asking the chancellor to emulate schemes in Ireland and Holland and offer small firms grants of £2,000-£3,000 to spend on advice. – Sunday Times

RISKS, DEBTS AND MERGERS

The US economy has seen the biggest one-month surge in recession risk in three decades as consumers start to buckle under higher credit costs, top economists have warned. The probability of a contraction in the US has jumped to 73pc from 24pc in December, a model by UBS has revealed. The sudden surge was driven by a collapse in spending on durable goods such as cars, furniture and kitchen appliances, the “strongest recession predictive power”, it said. – Sunday Telegraph

The chairman of ailing outsourcer Interserve has issued a final plea to shareholders to back the company's rescue plan, warning that it faces administration without a deal that would radically cut its giant debt pile. In an exclusive interview ahead of this week's crucial vote, Glyn Barker said: “If we lose, we run out of liquidity. To continue operating we need to raise money and we won't win any more work unless we get these debts down.” – Sunday Telegraph

Interserve's biggest shareholder has intensified its attack on the cleaning and catering giant by threatening to hold its bosses personally liable for millions of pounds of losses. Coltrane Asset Management is understood to have written to the ailing company's directors to warn them that it will take legal action for what it claims are disclosure failings and unfairly favouring lenders over shareholders. – Sunday Times

Debenhams is weeks away from securing a fresh capital injection of £110m, putting rebel shareholder Mike Ashley under pressure if he wants to seize control of the chain. The department store chain, whose future has been in doubt as credit insurers pull cover for suppliers and its share price plunges, grasped a £40m lifeline from banks and bondholders last month, giving it time to work on a deeper refinancing of its debts of more than £500m. – Sunday Times

Two of the UK's fastest-growing challenger banks are in advanced talks about a £1.6bn all-share merger. OneSavings Bank and Charter Court Financial Services confirmed the imminent deal yesterday, saying OneSavings shareholders would emerge with 55% of the enlarged group, with Andy Golding, OneSavings boss, becoming chief executive. – Sunday Times

Big banks including HSBC, Barclays and Bank of Ireland could face a bill of up to £11billion for their roles in tax avoidance schemes used by wealthy celebrities. Lawyers and tax experts last night said they were building a war chest to sue a number of banks for creating the schemes or offering loans to investors who took part. – Mail on Sunday

Half of the medium-sized companies listed on the stock market are paying less than the corporation tax rate of 19 per cent, a new analysis has found. A study of the FTSE 250 index found 89 of the 187 businesses listed have used legal methods to reduce their effective tax rate below the government's headline rate. – Mail on Sunday

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary infuriated his rivals by predicting a series of takeovers that he believes will soon leave just five main airlines operating in Europe. In a provocative interview, O'Leary suggested that London-listed Wizz Air, Norwegian Air, Alitalia and Air Portugal will all fall into the hands of larger peers in the next five years. – Mail on Sunday

INTU, WOODFORD, REVOLUT

The crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi is a tragedy that threatens to leave fresh questions hanging over the aircraft manufacturer Boeing. The Boeing 737 MAX 8, a brand new plane only registered in November, disappeared from the radar six minutes into the flight. Immediate comparisons have been drawn with Lion Air flight 610, which crashed just over four months ago, killing 189 people. – Observer

One of America's biggest airlines has waded into a row over the rescue of regional carrier Flybe. JetBlue has raised competition concerns with US authorities over Flybe's cut-price sale to a consortium led by Virgin Atlantic. – Sunday Telegraph

A private equity giant has amassed a significant stake in the troubled shopping centre owner Intu, putting it in a position to take part in any future takeover. Orion Capital Managers has built a 4.1% stake in Intu worth about £62m over the past few months, making it one of the main shareholders in the owner of the Trafford Centre. – Sunday Times

The House of Lords has called for the creation of a digital super-regulator to oversee the different bodies charged with safeguarding the internet and replace the “clearly failing” system of self-regulation by big technology companies. A new Digital Authority is the chief recommendation of the Lords' communications committee report, which warns that the patchwork quilt of more than a dozen regulators that oversee the digital realm creates gaps and overlaps. – Observer

Deutsche Bank's board has agreed to discuss merging with German rival Commerzbank, potentially creating a Teutonic titan worth €24bn (£20.7bn). Initial unofficial contacts have now taken place, according to reports from Reuters and the newspaper Welt am Sonntag. – Sunday Telegraph

Persimmon has launched a lawsuit against the telecoms giant BT over unpaid work on hundreds of its sites. The FTSE 100 housebuilder installed phone lines and internet cables on 759 of its developments between 2008 and 2016. These were to be inspected by engineers from BT, which should have also paid for the work as it is obliged to provide the services. – Sunday Times

The bosses of an Aim-listed miner controlled by property tycoon Nick Candy are set for crunch talks with lenders to avert its collapse. Metals Exploration owns the Runruno gold and molybdenum mine in the Philippines, but the firm has been hit by the country's crackdown on mining. – Mail on Sunday

The government's research and development agency is drawing up plans to claw back start-up grants if the companies go on to float or sell to foreign rivals. The proposals from Innovate UK are an attempt to help Britain reap rewards from its best early-stage businesses, which often receive public funding before being listed or bought by overseas buyers. – Sunday Times

Neil Woodford's staggering reliance on stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown was revealed last night. The Bristol-based firm, popular with small investors and boasting one millions clients, generated a third of the assets channelled to the investment manager's funds. – Mail on Sunday/Citywire.

The owner of the collapsed lender London Capital & Finance (LCF) was a shareholder in one of its client companies until shortly before the loan was agreed. Andy Thomson had a small stake – about 5% – in a business now known as London Power Management until about a month before it took out a loan from LCF in May 2017. The loan has since been repaid. – Sunday Times

Steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta is targeting a near-£3bn float of the Australian arm of his sprawling industrial empire in a move he hopes will quash speculation his business may be in trouble. Mr Gupta said that an initial public offering (IPO) of the Australian business would show his companies can “work under governance rules; [being listed] would bring transparency and shows our model is successful”. – Sunday Telegraph

Property buyers are overpaying by an average of £13,000 because of mistakes made when measuring floor space, according to an explosive report. In London, this figure soars to almost £34,000. The average property in Britain is mismeasured by 54 sq ft, according to the research by Spec, a property tech firm, meaning buyers could be overpaying by £13,090 based on the typical price per square foot of £242. – Sunday Telegraph

An Israeli designer of green energy cells is gearing up for a London listing that could value the company at up to $250m (£192m). GenCell, which is based near Tel Aviv, develops fuel cells that convert hydrogen and ammonia into hydrogen fuel, creating emission-free electricity. – Sunday Times

The fintech start-up Revolut has hired veteran fund manager Martin Gilbert as an adviser after a botched systems upgrade last year and amid accusations that it has a “toxic” work culture. Gilbert, joint chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen, has been brought in to advise Revolut chief Nikolay Storonsky on developing the business, which since its launch in 2015 has amassed more than 4m customers across Europe. – Sunday Times

Europe's most powerful telecoms bosses colluded to break competition law and force the mobile retailer Phones 4U out of business, ­according to a £1bn court claim. The collapsed chain's administrator has alleged that some of the industry's most senior executives, including ­Vittorio Colao, former Vodafone chief executive and César Alierta, the former chairman of O2's parent company ­Telefonica, secretly agreed to pull out of Phones 4U. – ­Sunday Telegraph

Sir Philip Green has sold one of BHS's old headquarters in London as he scrambles to raise cash for his sagging Arcadia Group empire. The Topshop tycoon, who has been engulfed in allegations of bullying and sexual harassment – which he denies – has agreed to sell Marylebone House to a property investment firm, Aprirose, for £44m. Green wanted £60m when he put the building on the market last autumn. – Sunday Times

Family-owned Timpson Group has recorded a record year after its chain of shoe repairers, photo shops, dry-cleaners and hairdressers hit 2,000 sites. The 154-year-old company, based in Manchester, is famous for its shoe repairs and key-cutting, but its diversification strategy means just a small part of its revenues now come from its traditional operations. – Mail on Sunday

French hotel giant Accor has incensed investors with a surprise decision to splash out more than €50m (£43m) a year to sponsor football team Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). From next season the Accor Live Limitless loyalty programme will replace Emirates as the main shirt sponsor, the hotel chain announced alongside its annual results last month. – ­Sunday Telegraph

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