HUNDREDS more UK bank workers are expected to lose their jobs after US giant Citigroup announced plans to cut 11,000 jobs worldwide.

Citi, which employs 9,400 staff in Britain, said the majority of jobs will go at its institutional clients group and global consumer banking divisions.

The job losses are the latest in a spate of redundancies in the financial sector as it battles against the weak economy and increasing regulation.

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Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC have all announced job cuts this year.

Citi declined to give a specific figure for UK job losses but it is thought to be in the hundreds.

VIRGIN REPRIEVE: A deal to allow Sir Richard Branson's train company, Virgin Rail, to temporarily carry on running trains on the West Coast Main Line is expected to be announced by the Government tomorrow (December 6).

And it is believed that Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin may also publish the independent report he commissioned into the scrapped West Coast franchise bidding process.

Virgin has run the line, which takes passengers from London to Scotland, since 1997.

But in August, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that a new 13-year West Coast franchise had been awarded not to Virgin but to rival transport company FirstGroup.

It was only after Sir Richard, who had branded the bidding process "insane", had mounted a legal challenge to the decision that Mr McLoughlin scrapped the bidding process, saying there had been mistakes by the DfT.

SALES RALLY: House of Fraser said like-for-like sales improved 5.4% in the 13 weeks to October 27 and by 4% in the first five weeks of its current quarter. Chief executive John Coleman said he was pleased with the performance, including the 56% growth in online sales over the year to date.

PING DISPOSAL: Banking giant HSBC has sold its 15.6% stake in China's Ping An Insurance to a Thailand-based investment group in a deal worth around £5.8 billion.

EXTENDED DEAL: Newspaper and magazine wholesaler Smiths News is to extend its agreement with Marketforce and IPC Media until the end of 2019, equating to 27.5% of the market with titles such as What's on TV, Ideal Home, Marie Claire and Look.

FESTIVE BOOST: Discount retailer Poundland said Christmas sales were up 6% compared with the company's expectations, with tree decorations among areas performing well. The business has 420 stores.