UK

Newspaper review: Front pages look at future of banking

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Media captionA look at the first editions of the UK papers

Most of the newspapers move away from Libya on their front pages, instead focusing on domestic issues such as the row over the future of Britain's banks.

The banks' argument that the summer of economic and financial turmoil makes this an inappropriate time for change is given short shrift by Business Secretary Vince Cable in his interview with the Times.

He says the chaos underscores the need for change to make the banks stronger and protect taxpayers from the need for future bailouts.

Suggestions of strains within the coalition over proposals for a shake-up of the banks make the lead for the Independent.

It has the headline "Osborne and Cable at war over bank reform" and says ministers are at loggerheads over the plans, due to be published next month, to force banks to separate their retail and investment operations.

According to the paper Mr Cable wants this to happen immediately, but Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne are sympathetic to the banks' demand to be given several years to implement the change. An un-named Whitehall source is quoted as saying: "There is a battle under way now inside the coalition. It is all about timing."

The Financial Times says the banks show no sign of easing up their lobbying of the Treasury to delay any change , while the industry remains frail and the economy weak. However, it believes this is not a reason for leaving things as they are.

Secret checks

Banking also features on the front page of the Daily Mail, although it takes an entirely different look at the system, reporting that some banks are carrying out "secret credit checks on thousands of homeowners".

It claims they are phoning some customers who they believe could be at risk of defaulting on their mortgages to tell them to cut their spending on luxuries, such as gym memberships and mobile phones.

It says that while some would argue this is a sensible precaution, others will condemn it as patronising and unfairly singling people out.

Tories 'need to reassert'

Several papers urge the Conservatives to re-assert themselves in the coalition, after the Liberal Democrats recently repeated their support for the 50p tax rate and a new property tax.

The Daily Telegraph accuses the Tories of "abandoning the field of battle and failing to make the case for lower taxes".

The Daily Mail thinks the Lib Dem tail has wagged the Tory dog for long enough .

'Autumn clean'

The spring clean has become the autumn clean, according to the Express .

It says that September has replaced April as the time to spruce up the British home after weeks of children running around.

Research by Tesco shows that the biggest increase in sales of domestic cleaning products comes in the week following the August Bank Holiday.

Meanwhile, the Morning Star suggests an autumn fightback of an altogether different kind.

In its editorial it says the prospect of wider, more co-ordinated industrial action is drawing nearer, following strikes by civil servants, teachers, lecturers and now police so far this year.

"If David Cameron and his cabinet of millionaires think the summer has been a little too warm, autumn promises to be hotter," it warns.

Finally, research suggests that extra-marital affairs are no longer the main reason for divorce.

According to the Times, an annual survey has shown that the most common reason now given by couples for a marriage breakdown is that they have grown apart or are no longer in love, pushing the affair into second place for the first time.

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