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PRESS DIGEST- Financial Times - May 11

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BENGALURU, May 11 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories in the Financial Times. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

Headlines

- UK consumer spending rises above pre-pandemic levels for first time in 2021 https://on.ft.com/3y0FHrj

- UK employers lose 2 bln stg in unspent apprenticeship levy funds https://on.ft.com/3fcjyOa

- Pound hits highest level since February as election results dim risks https://on.ft.com/3y3UXnm

- Metro Bank calls for looser rules on small banks to aid UK recovery https://on.ft.com/2SIPS3N

- Boris Johnson moves ahead with reopening after election triumph https://on.ft.com/3hidZQT

Overview

- Britain's consumer spending rose above pre-pandemic levels in April for the first time this year, buoyed by many sectors reopening and older people booking holidays, according to payments card data.

- British employers have lost £2bn over the past two years in apprenticeship levy funds that they have been unable to spend, exposing weaknesses in the government's flagship training policy, according to analysis by a business group.

- The British Pound has rallied to its highest level against the dollar since February after the Conservative party tightened its grip on power and the prospects of a referendum in the near future on independence for Scotland dimmed.

- Metro Bank's chief executive has urged regulators to take advantage of a "unique moment" to boost competition by loosening rules for small banks, warning that the sector’s current weakness will hamper the Britain's recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

- Boris Johnson will cap a resounding set of election victories in England by announcing a significant reopening of the economy on May 17, but as the threat of Covid-19 eases he faces new political danger in Scotland. (Compiled by Bengaluru newsroom)