Today’s top news: Pandemic-hit US consumers pay down credit card debts, leaving banks fretting over profits. The NHS plans to open 40 clinics in England for ‘long Covid’ patients. MIT chemists determine the molecular structure of a key protein found in the vi…

US consumers are paying down their credit cards as the pandemic crimps spending opportunities, leaving banks fretting over their profits. Total card loans stood at $755bn in the last week of October, according to the Federal Reserve — $100bn lower than when the pandemic took hold.
The head of Donald Trump’s flagship vaccine project has called on the White House to make contact with Joe Biden’s transition team. Moncef Slaoui, a veteran pharmaceuticals executive heading Operation Warp Speed, said he wanted to make sure his project continued operating during the transfer of power.
Zambia is set to be the first African country to default on its debt since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, after Bwalya Ng’andu, the finance minister, signalled that it would miss a deadline at the end of Friday to pay $42m interest on about $3bn of US dollar bonds.
The UK government failed to properly implement EU law by not extending health and safety protections to “gig economy” workers, including the provision of personal protective equipment, the High Court ruled on Friday. The court said two EU health and safety directives were not properly transposed into UK law.
Soaring demand during the pandemic allowed food delivery app DoorDash to post revenues of $1.9bn for the first nine months of 2020, helping narrow its losses. During the pandemic, DoorDash’s revenues increased more than 200 per cent, up from $587m in the same period in 2019.
Boeing has logged 516 net cancellations for its troubled 737 Max aircraft to the end of October. While the pandemic has hit both Boeing and rival Airbus, the US company has suffered an unprecedented number of cancelled orders from airlines and lessors who can do so without penalty.
Tata Steel is in talks with Swedish rival SSAB over the potential sale of its Dutch business, a move likely to cast uncertainty over the future of Britain’s Port Talbot steelworks. The industry has taken a battering from the Covid-19 pandemic, suffering from excess capacity and high import levels.
The compiler of Hong Kong’s Hang Seng stock index said on Friday it had dropped the colonial-era trading company Swire Pacific from its list of constituents and would add Chinese food delivery app Meituan Dianping, highlighting the growing financial footprint of China’s technology giants.