FINANCIAL watchdogs need to be involved in the shake-up of the pensions industry proposed in George Osborne's Budget speech industry leaders have claimed.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that the chief executives of some of the country's biggest life insurers have lobbied the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority about the Chancellor's plans. These could pose big challenges for the £12 billion-a-year annuity market.

Rodney Cook, chief executive of Just Retirement, told the newspaper: "The FCA must be the Government's arm in this and must make sure that what is being proposed is fit for business."

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A prominent Scottish economist has said Mr Osborne should have used the Budget to provide a boost for small and medium-sized businesses by cutting their Corporation Tax rates, the Sunday Herald reported.

Professor David Bell of Stirling University said such a tax cut would have been more welcome than the freeze in whisky duty the Chancellor announced.

The spirits giant Diageo, a big producer of Scotch, may be planning to axe a layer of middle management.

The Sunday Times said the new chief executive of the company, Ivan Menezes, intends to push through changes in areas such as legal and human resources that are expected to lead to jobs losses. The changes form part of his plans for Diageo to cut costs by £200 million annually by 2017.

Yo Sushi's owners are thought to be hoping to double their money in a possible £120m sale of the Japanese restaurant business. The Sunday Telegraph said the Quilvest private equity business has appointed bankers to explore interest in the business, which it acquired for £55m in 2008.

At the other end of the scale the Mail on Sunday reported that BorrowMyDoggy has raised a six-figure investment. The company's website links people who may be too busy to walk their dogs with people who would like to borrow them.