Business news in brief: Archer| Goals| Cineworld| Citizens

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Oilfield services firm Archer is to create 220 jobs by the end of this year to support its operations in the North Sea.

The company unveiled the expansion drive as work began on its new base at Blackburn, to the north-west of Aberdeen, which will replace four existing sites around the city. The site is being developed by a joint venture between Morrison Construction and Ninth Avenue.

UK managing director Kenny Dey said: “This new integrated Aberdeen base will help to further endorse our standing in the marketplace and will support business growth across each of our service areas.”

Focus on cash helps Goals tackle debts

Five-a-side football pitch operator Goals Soccer Centres has told investors that a focus on strong cash generation has helped trim its debt pile to about £48.8 million, from £50.2m at the start of the year.

Outgoing chairman Sir Rodney Walker said trading at the firm’s 43 centres in the UK and sole site in the US has been in line with expectations.

East Kilbride-based Goals agreed to a £73.1m takeover by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan last year, but the deal fell through after failing to muster enough support from shareholders.

Competition body to probe Cineworld

THE Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has referred Cineworld’s takeover of City Screen to the Competition Commission.

The OFT is worried the deal “reduces competition and could restrict choice and increase prices for cinema-goers” in five cities, including Aberdeen.

Cineworld lifted the curtain in December on a £47.3 million deal to buy the 21 art-house sites, which mainly trade under the Picturehouse brand and which include Edinburgh’s Cameo cinema and the Belmont in Aberdeen. The commission’s investigation will be concluded by 14 October.

US regulators hit Citizens with fine

United States bank regulators have ordered RBS Citizens and an affiliate bank to pay a total of $13.9 million (£8.9m) to resolve allegations that they misled customers with their overdraft and rewards programmes.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a $5m penalty against RBS Citizens, a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Scotland, and ordered it to pay $2.5m in restitution to 265,000 customers. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp entered into a related settlement with Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania, ordering it to pay a separate $5m penalty and $1.4m in restitution.

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