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  • Daily business and finance update 19th May 2023

Daily business and finance update 19th May 2023

BT’s AI takeover

Good morning. Today we're talking about BT's move to AI, Japan's UK investment and Disney backs out of Florida.

Big Stories

BT’s AI takeover

The country’s biggest telecoms provider announced it would slash 55,000 roles – 40% of the global workforce - by 2030 with up to 10,000 replaced by artificial intelligence. BT said a "big chunk" of the jobs lost will be in the UK at the completion of the rollout of the fibre broadband and 5G network. Roles most at risk from AI replacement include customer services call handling and network diagnostics. BT said the decision would create a leaner business with “a brighter future”. The news comes just days after rival Vodafone revealed it would cut 11,000 jobs, the largest in its history.

Japan’s UK investment

Ahead of the G7 leaders summit in Japan, Rishi Sunak announced that the country will invest £18bn in the UK. The prime minister said the investment is a "massive vote of confidence" in the British economy and will create hundreds of highly skilled and well paid jobs. The agreement will see funding for offshore wind, low carbon hydrogen and other clean energy projects. The UK and Japan will also sign an accord for greater co-operation between the armed forces, cyber agencies and semiconductor companies. The announcements are part of a wider government strategy to emphasise the economic opportunity for the UK post-Brexit, as well as working with Japan and Australia to counter the strategic threat from China.

Disney's $1bn cancellation

The entertainment giant is ditching plans to relocate 2,000 jobs to Florida and invest $864m in part because of “changing business conditions” in the state. It comes amid Disney's long running feud with the Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over LGBTQ laws. The company had planned to build the campus in Lake Nona, around 20 miles from the giant Walt Disney World theme park resort in Orlando. The Lake Nona campus would have been the new base for employees at the firm's secretive theme park research and development arm, known as Imagineers, who were asked to move from California to Florida.


Royal Mail in the red: Royal Mail has reported a £1bn loss, with bosses blaming strike action by workers and a failure to increase productivity for its poor performance during a year in which it cut 10,000 jobs.

Flying high: Budget airline Easyjet says British holidaymakers are cutting back on takeaways, meals out and new clothes to pay for trips abroad.

Cost of child living: Pocket money appears to be immune to the cost-of-living crisis, as new data shows children’s earnings are rising more quickly than inflation.

Party over: The online party goods supplier founded by the Princess of Wales's parents has been sold after it failed to avoid collapsing into administration.

Back to the office: Lloyds Banking Group has been criticised by unions over plans to move away from remote working, accusing the bank of discriminating against working parents, women and carers.

Disconnected: Up to one million people cancelled their broadband during the last 12 months because the cost-of-living crisis left them unable to afford it, according to a new survey.

Cutting back: Supermarket chain Asda is considering whether to cut the pay of 7,000 staff in the south east of England to bring it in line with its other stores.

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Number Of The Day

£162 million

How much Queen Elizabeth II’s lying in state and funeral cost.

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