The UK business of Santander took a major hit from the PPI mis-selling scandal as profits dipped in the first nine months of the year.

Pre-tax profits at Santander UK fell 43% to £785 million, as the bank took a £169 million charge from PPI.

Meanwhile, economic uncertainty as Brexit and a trade war continue to weigh on the global economy also hit its bottom line.

"Our profitability for the first nine months of 2019 has been impacted by ongoing competitive income pressure, additional PPI costs as well as transformation programme investment," said chief executive Nathan Bostock.

READ MORE: Walkers Shortbread jobs fear after 25% US tariffs hit

A £127 million transformation charge helped the bank to reorganise its branch network, which is starting to result in improved efficiency. The impact will become clear in 2020, Santander said.

High street chain Next said sales picked up in October thanks to the falling temperatures driving customers into stores and to its website.

Sales in the three months to October 26 rose 2% compared with the same period a year ago, with online sales up 9.7% although sales in stores fell 6.3%.

READ MORE: Hurricane hits profits at oil and gas giant BP

Next, which is known for providing month-by-month details of sales, revealed that August was particularly weak - up just 0.2% - due to a strong July when sales grew 6.8%.

September was also a struggle, Next revealed, with sales growth of 1%. However, this was offset by a 5% surge in October.

The company said: "We believe the improved sales growth in October recouped some of the lost sales in September and we do not expect sales growth for the rest of the year to be as strong as October."

For the year to date, Next added that stores sales have fallen 4.8% but online is up 11.1% - meaning total sales were up 3.5%.

Italian-American firm Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has confirmed that it is in talks with French rival PSA Peugeot over a tie-up to create one of the world's biggest car makers.

This is Fiat Chrysler's second bid this year to reshape the global car industry as it faces huge challenges with the transition to electric and autonomous vehicles.

READ MORE: First round of school music fees challenge gets started

A statement said the discussions were ongoing "aimed at creating one of the world's leading mobility groups," but did not specify whether the goal was a full merger or a looser alliance.

Fiat Chrysler has long been looking for a partner to help shoulder investments in the capital-heavy industry, under the outlook that failure to consolidate will inevitably lead some companies to fail.

Talks this year with another French car maker, Renault, failed over French government concerns over the role of the Japanese partner Nissan.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was formed in 2014 out of a merger of Italian car maker Fiat and the American company Chrysler, which Fiat brought back from the brink of bankruptcy.