Lloyds fined £28m over high pressure selling

Lloyds Banking Group has been fined a record £28 million for “serious failings” over incentives for sales staff which encouraged them to sell products to customers which they did not want. It is the largest fine imposed on a bank by the Financial Conduct Authority and will be split between Lloyds and Bank of Scotland, […]

Mary Barra in the driving seat as new GM boss

For as long as anyone can remember, motor manufacturers have been dominated by “car guys” — industry lifers with petrol in their veins — but that changed yesterday when General Motors named Mary Barra as its new chief executive. She is the first woman to head a big automotive group. The ultimate “car gal”, Ms […]

Informa set for return to Britain

The owner of Lloyd’s List plans to move back to Britain four years after it headed to Switzerland, giving a boost to George Osborne. Informa, the FTSE 250 media group, said that it was awaiting shareholder approval to return to Britain next year. A move would follow the example of WPP, the advertising group, Shire, […]

Bailed-out Monarch flies back to black

The parent company of Monarch Airlines has returned to the black two years after a bailout by its Swiss owners and has vowed to lure holidaymakers away from Europe’s budget airlines by offering a less “stressful” travelling experience. Monarch Group, which owns Cosmos Holidays and an aircraft engineering business as well as its eponymous airline, […]

Barclays applies brakes to Boris bikes as it ends association early

The light blue Barclays branding on Boris bikes has become synonymous to Londoners but the bank that famously has its logo splashed on thousands of bicycles in the capital is to stop sponsoring the scheme from 2015. Barclays was expected to continue its association with the London Mayor’s bicycle hire scheme, which was introduced in […]

Inditex is in fashion for the Christmas rush

Sales at Inditex jumped by 10 per cent in the six weeks since November 1 as the Zara owner reported flat profits today. The final quarter, which takes in the Christmas spending rush, is crucial for retailers and companies which are hoping to benefit from Europe’s economic recovery, especially in Inditex’s home country of Spain. […]

Stagecoach pushes on with East Coast rail bid

Stagecoach will hold a 90 per cent stake in the entity set up with Virgin Rail to bid for the right to run services on the East Coast main line from London to Edinburgh. Sir Brian Souter, chairman of Stagecoach, said today that the company had a 90 per cent holding in a new entity […]

Closing Heathrow ‘would cost 250,000 jobs’

The closure of Heathrow in favour of a new hub airport to the east of London would cost up to 250,000 jobs and turn the most prosperous region outside the capital into an economic wasteland, a report claims today. Clusters of high-tech industry in the Thames Valley, including information technology and telecoms companies, may chose […]

Pensioners put increasing strain on the public purse

The motivation behind the Chancellor’s announcement last week of plans to raise the state pension age was laid bare yesterday when it emerged that, 50 years from now, the Government will have to spend four times as much as it does at present to support pensioners. Illustrating the havoc that an ageing population is wreaking […]

Wood Wharf sets its sights on high-tech future

Sharp-suited bankers and lawyers will soon be rubbing shoulders with more casual, fashion-conscious types as Canary Wharf Group sets out to lure technology, media and telecoms workers to a vast Silicon Valley-style hub. The developer submitted a revised planning application yesterday for the 4.8 million sq ft Wood Wharf riverside site directly east of the financial […]