What's gone wrong at Metro Bank? AI vs Lawyers & M&S's farming revolution

Another Metro Bank exec has stepped down, and other news you may have missed this week.

Last Updated: 06 Dec 2019

The UK is europe’s lawtech hotspot

According to a report published by TheCityUK, 44 per cent of all European "lawtech" startups are based in Britain.

Lawtech companies (like Caselines) often use technology including AI to automate routine legal work, and have seen increased investment over recent years as firms like Linklaters seek to streamline their services. A network of university-led tech hubs have also been established. 

In 2018, UK legal startups received £61m in investment, up from £2.5m in 2016. Worth an estimated £26.4bn (in 2017), the UK legal sector is second globally to the US. 

(Source: FT)

M&S to grow produce in stores

Marks & Spencer has launched vertical farms in seven London stores, giving customers the chance to buy herbs and greens grown on site. 

It's the first phase of a partnership with Infarm, which uses cloud-connected vertical farming systems to grow plants.  

The developing technology is seen as a greener alternative to traditional agricultural methods - using 95 per cent less water and 75 per cent less fertiliser per unit - and has been popular among investors including Jeff Bezos, Softbank and Google. 

(Source: Retail Gazette)

What’s gone wrong at Metro Bank?

Metro Bank’s chief executive is stepping down just months after its long-term chairman. Craig Donaldson will leave the firm at the end of December to end a troubling year for the high street challenger bank. 

In October founder and chairman Vernon Hill announced his departure several months early, and the bank is still undergoing investigation by City regulators after it emerged that up to £900m worth of loans had been erroneously listed as less risky than they were.

Donaldson, who offered to resign in the wake of the discovery and waived his bonus, will be replaced by interim chief executive Dan Frumkin.  

(Source: The Guardian)

Image credit: Peter Dazeley via Getty Images


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