Carillion collapse contributed to 21% drop in Santander UK profits

The Spanish lender reported a strong performance elsewhere
Santander said the impact of Carillion’s collapse contributed to a 21 per cent drop in UK profits in the first three months of 2018.
UK pre-tax profit fell to £414m from £525m in the same period of 2017, while interest income dropped to £906m from £940m.
The Spanish-owned reported credit impairment losses of £60m in the first quarter, compared with a loss of £13m last year, driven in part by a drawdown by Carillion, which fell into liquidation in January.
Read more Carillion: Investors smelled a rat and then ran. Why didn't ministers? Nathan Bostock, UK chief executive, said: “Our first quarter results have been impacted by ongoing competitive pressures in the UK. We have maintained our investment in business transformation and growth initiatives even though regulatory, risk and control costs stepped up, given a number of major projects are due to be implemented during 2018.
“Cost discipline remains an area of pa..

Google’s Parent Company Spends Like It’s Thinking of a Future Beyond Ads

Google’s Parent Company Spends Like It’s Thinking of a Future Beyond Ads Photo Alphabet, Google’s parent company, spent big in the first quarter on new data centers and services aimed at businesses. Credit Christie Hemm Klok for The New York Times SAN FRANCISCO — Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is spending like it is beginning to prepare for life after advertising.
Currently, Alphabet makes nearly 90 percent of its money from selling advertising on the internet, and gobbles up heaps of data about its users to help marketers target those ads more effectively.
But a close reading of Alphabet’s financial results for the first quarter of 2018, which were announced on Monday, showed that the Silicon Valley giant is accelerating its efforts to diversify into other businesses.
Alphabet has made investments in areas like self-driving cars and online computer services for businesses for years, but spending in those areas was up dramatically in the first quarter. The company’s capital expendi..

UK's worst cities for mobile phone signal ranking topped by Birmingham, Leeds and London

Network operators focus too much on data speed at the expense of reliability, research shows
Birmingham, Leeds and London have the worst mobile phone signal in the UK, according to a new study.
Research by Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) showed O2 was the best performing network, with Vodafone ranked as the worst based on testing using both Android and iOS devices in 32 cities and towns across the UK. Telefonica-owned O2 was rated the most reliable network in 17 places, while Three was most reliable in 12 – including London – and EE came out on top in three.
Meanwhile, when it comes to criteria for selecting a network consumers are twice as likely to choose reliability over network speed, according to surveys and focus groups conducted by YouGov on behalf of GWS.
More than two thirds (69 per cent) of respondents said the most important phone function is making calls, while 53 per cent selected texting as the highest priority, followed by 43 per cent who chose internet browsing. ..

Deported to Libya, Ex-Gitmo Detainees Vanish. Will Others Meet a Similar Fate?

Deported to Libya, Ex-Gitmo Detainees Vanish. Will Others Meet a Similar Fate? Photo The system set up under President Barack Obama to send low-level Guantánamo detainees to stable countries is at risk of collapsing under President Trump, current and former officials said. Credit Lucas Jackson/Reuters WASHINGTON — In President Barack Obama’s drive to close the Guantánamo prison, his administration struck deals with about three dozen nations to take in lower-risk detainees from dangerous countries. Resettling them in stable places would increase the chances they would live peacefully, officials argued, rather than face persecution or drift into Islamist militancy.
But a decision this month by Senegal to deport two former detainees to their chaotic birth country of Libya has raised the prospect that the resettlement system is starting to collapse under President Trump. After a traumatic journey, the Libyans fell into the hands of a hard-line militia leader who has been accused of prisone..

This Start-Up Says It Wants to Fight Poverty. A Food Stamp Giant Is Blocking It.

This Start-Up Says It Wants to Fight Poverty. A Food Stamp Giant Is Blocking It.
Four years ago, Jimmy Chen left a lucrative perch as a product manager at Facebook to found Propel, what he calls an “anti-poverty software company.”
In 2016, the Brooklyn start-up released a smartphone app that lets food stamp recipients easily look up how much money was left in their accounts, rather than call an 800 number or keep paper receipts. Today, one million food stamp participants use Propel’s app, and the start-up has added features like links to food coupons, healthy recipes, budgeting tools and job opportunities.
But in the last few months, the Propel app has been hobbled or become unavailable in many states, sometimes for weeks. Behind the slowdown is a big government contractor, Conduent, which runs the food stamp networks in 25 states, including New York, California and Pennsylvania. In those states, where 60 percent of Propel’s users live, Conduent maintains the database that Propel’s ap..

How Looming Privacy Regulations May Strengthen Facebook and Google

How Looming Privacy Regulations May Strengthen Facebook and Google Photo Facebook and Google may emerge stronger after Europe enacts sweeping new regulations that prioritize people’s data privacy. Credit Tomi Setala/Bloomberg SAN FRANCISCO — In Europe and the United States, the conventional wisdom is that regulation is needed to force Silicon Valley’s digital giants to respect people’s online privacy.
But new rules may instead serve to strengthen Facebook’s and Google’s hegemony and extend their lead on the internet.
That could begin playing out next month, when Europe enacts sweeping new regulations that prioritize people’s data privacy. The new laws, which require tech companies to ask for users’ consent for their data, are likely to hand Google and Facebook an advantage. That’s because wary consumers are more prone to trust recognized names with their information than unfamiliar newcomers. And the laws may deter start-ups that do not have the resources to comply with the rules from ..