Feb 22, 2018

HSBC caps back-office bonuses for thousands despite profit bounce

Announcement follows decision to pay ex-CEO Stuart Gulliver $8.5m

Feb 22, 2018

Barclays takes £127m hit from Carillion collapse

The bank reports a 10% rise in profits helped by a stronger dollar and cost cuts.

Feb 22, 2018

British Gas owner Centrica to cut 4,000 jobs after 'weak' year

Centrica, which owns British Gas, is cutting 4,000 jobs as it continues to lose customers. The energy supplier, which has operations in North America and Ireland as well as its main UK market, said group profits fell 17% to £1.25bn. Chief executive Iain Conn said the firm had a "Weak" second half of 2017, and it was not helped by political and regulatory intervention in the UK. British Gas shed 9% of its UK domestic customers in 2017.

Feb 22, 2018

Barclays swings to net loss of almost £2bn

UK bank hit by one-off charges as it tries to cheer investors with promises on dividend

Feb 22, 2018

Opening Quote: Barclays takes conduct hit and orchestrates loss

Barclays' full-year results would be several pages briefer, its pre-tax profits £1.2bn higher, and its chief executive arguably 100 per cent safer if you exclude the time and money it still has to spend on conduct and litigation costs. The trouble is, investors still can't, which is one reason why Barclays shares were the worst performing of FTSE 100 banks in 2017, falling 9 per cent in the year. During 2017, Barclays' litigation and conduct costs hit £1.2bn, which included £0.7bn of charges...

Feb 22, 2018

Barclays shares jump 6% after earnings report

Shares in Barclays have leapt by 6 per cent at the open as the bank's latest results were warmly received, despite a hit to profits from the sale of African operations and US tax reforms. They added: "We think the market will focus on Barclays attractive valuation and improving return profile". The Swiss bank has a buy recommendation on the stock. Investors appear to be taking a brighter view of Britain's banking stalwarts. Shares in Lloyds Bank also climbed on Wednesday despite the lender...

Feb 22, 2018

KFC shortage: How much do we spend on fried chicken?

The fried chicken chain switched its delivery contract last week to DHL, which blamed "Operational issues" for the disruption. How much money do we spend on fried chicken in the UK and who is spending it? Nearly half of Britons had bought a takeaway from a chicken restaurant between April and June 2017, according to a survey of 2,000 adults by Mintel. Burgers are more popular with UK customers - 60% of Britons had eaten at a burger restaurant in the three months to June 2017, 17% more than at...

Feb 22, 2018

More KFC outlets reopen as chicken chaos eases

Almost 700 of KFC's 900 UK outlets have reopened following a chicken supply fiasco that began about a week ago and forced many stores to shut their doors. The fast food chain has not said how many are serving a full menu. KFC said on Wednesday that some would remain closed for the rest of the week, while others will have shortened hours. The closures followed KFC's decision to switch suppliers from Bidvest to DHL, which is using a single warehouse near Rugby for deliveries nationwide.

Feb 22, 2018

Centrica to shed another 4,000 jobs as profits fall 17%

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, on Thursday singled out the government's impending price cap on energy bills as one of the main reasons for its move to cut another 4,000 jobs, as it reported a 17 per cent drop in group profits. Mr Conn said that by 2020 Centrica will have shed around 9,500 jobs, representing as much as a quarter of the group's workforce at the end of 2014. Centrica, said Mr Conn, was "Halfway through a six-year re-positioning of the company" that would refocus the group...

Feb 22, 2018

White nationalist Jared Taylor sues Twitter over ban

White nationalist Jared Taylor is suing Twitter after the social network banned his account as part of a crackdown on abusive content. Mr Taylor's lawyer says the suspension of his account is a form of censorship, accusing Twitter of discrimination. He had his account suspended in December, with Twitter explaining that it prohibited accounts affiliated with the promotion of violence, something Mr Taylor denies applied to him. "Our lawsuit is not about whether Taylor is right or wrong. It's...

Feb 22, 2018

Brexit blamed by Stockport smart meter firm intending to axe 288 staff

Landis+Gyr told the GMB union it could move production from Stockport to Romania and Asia because costs have risen 20% since the referendum in 2016. "GMB will be working tirelessly to secure the best possible deal for affected members during consultation." Landis+Gyr said the consultation process would "Examine means of optimising the production costs" of its UK smart meters. A spokeswoman said: "We place great value on our staff and are committed to conducting the consultation process in an...

Feb 22, 2018

Unilever HQ decision fraught with risk and complexity

Why is Unilever reviewing the future of its HQ? The shock of Kraft Heinz's $143bn takeover bid last year brought home to Unilever the fact that the world of consumer goods has changed and that size can no longer protect companies, however long and venerable their history, from ruthless predators. At the moment, Unilever operates as two separate legal companies, one based in Rotterdam, the other in London. Unilever has not yet made a final decision but the Netherlands does have a prime...

Feb 22, 2018

Women earn up to 43% less at Barclays

Female employees earn 43.5% less at Barclays than men on average, according to gender pay gap figures it has submitted to the government. Barclays chief executive Jes Staley said it had "More work to do" so women could progress in financial services. Mr Staley said: "Although female representation is growing at Barclays, we still have high proportions of women in more junior, lower paid roles and high proportions of men in senior, highly paid roles," he said. Women earn 38.4% less at Virgin...

Feb 22, 2018

Unilever HQ move would be motivated by more than Brexit

Unilever has been considering alterations to its share listing and corporate home base. What gives Unilever's move added edge is the imminence of Brexit. Should Unilever uproot and move its head office to Rotterdam, as has been suggested, the case for "Global Britain" will be diminished as a result. True, Unilever may be swayed by a wish to keep its headquarters within the EU, which accounts for a third of its sales. Moving to a single company not only achieves that; it also makes it easier...

Feb 22, 2018

Disney loses in Redbox copyright row

Disney has lost a bid to stop movie rental company Redbox from reselling download codes for its films. Redbox bought Disney movies on DVD to offer for rental in its kiosks. Disney requested an injunction to stop the practice, saying that Redbox had no business arrangement with it. It purchases retail copies of Disney movies that include a piece of paper printed with a digital download code, which Redbox then removes to resell in its own packaging. Disney said this constituted copyright...

Feb 22, 2018

Barclays looks to change the script for new season of stock drama

Chief Jes Staley senses a plot twist, or at least a turning point in lender’s fortunes

Feb 21, 2018

Homebase owner Wesfarmers sees profits down 86.6%

The costs of overhauling UK DIY business Homebase contributed to a huge slump in profits for its Australian owner in the second half of last year. The "Rapid repositioning" hurt the bottom line, with profits down 86.6%. Earlier this month Wesfarmers said 40 Homebase stores could be closed, putting up to 2,000 jobs at risk. Wesfarmers confirmed that five loss-making Homebase branches were closed between July and December. The conglomerate, which also owns Australian supermarket giant Coles,...

Feb 21, 2018

BP says world's oil consumption will peak in late 2030s

Global oil consumption is likely to peak in the late 2030s according to a forecast published by BP. The world currently consumes around 100 million barrels per day and BP estimates that number will go up by another 10% before levelling off. It expects renewable energy to be the fastest growing fuel source, increasing five-fold by 2040. BP forecasts that more than 40% of the overall increase in energy demand will be met by renewable forms of power. The oil company also said that greater...

Feb 21, 2018

'Don't call police over KFC crisis'

KFC lovers are being urged not to call the police over the fried chicken "Crisis". The fast food chain closed half its 900 UK outlets after "Operational issues" with its new delivery firm DHL. "For those who contacted the police about KFC being out of chicken...please STOP" officers in Manchester pleaded. Police in London joined them in tweeting the chicken shortage was "Not a police matter" but neither force could confirm if it had received calls. KFC tweeted that more than half its...

Feb 21, 2018

Disruption continues at KFC amid delivery problems

More KFC outlets have reopened amid disruption caused by delivery problems. Some KFC outlets will remain closed for the rest of the week, while others will have a reduced menu or shortened hours. Last week the fried chicken chain switched its delivery contract to DHL, which has blamed "Operational issues" for the supply disruption. KFC has set up a web page where customers can find their nearest outlet that is open. "For those who contacted the police about KFC being out of chicken...please...

Feb 21, 2018

Meet Cora, your local bank avatar

Next time you contact your bank, you may be served by a digital avatar instead of a human being. Cora is a prototype virtual bank teller developed by NatWest.

Feb 21, 2018

Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphone images leaked by MWC app

Pictures of Samsung's latest flagship phone have been disclosed by an app released by the firm itself. The images of a computer-generated model of the phone were apparently created to provide an augmented reality experience at Samsung's Mobile World Congress press event, according to the news site XDA Developers. Claimed leaks about forthcoming Lenovo, Nokia, Asus and Sony phones have also been published online ahead of MWC - but none have been tied to the manufacturers in the way Samsung's...

Feb 21, 2018

May braced for Unilever decision on headquarters

Anglo-Dutch group looks to consolidate in the Netherlands amid Brexit pressure

Feb 21, 2018

Twitter bot purge prompts backlash

Right-wing users claim their beliefs have been discriminated against by the crackdown.

Feb 21, 2018

Ford executive leaves over inappropriate behaviour

The head of Ford's US operations is leaving the company immediately following an internal investigation into inappropriate behaviour. Ford President and Chief Executive Jim Hackett said in a statement: "We made this decision after a thorough review and careful consideration. Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold these values." In August, Ford agreed a multi-million-dollar settlement after an investigation...

Feb 20, 2018

HSBC profits jump to $17.2bn on Asia growth

HSBC has posted a pre-tax profit of $17.2bn in 2017, saying its focus on Asia was driving its growth. The results represent a 142% jump on the $7.1bn profit of the previous year. That comparison is flattering, given 2016 saw the bank incur a string of one-off costs including the sale of its Brazil business. Though it is well known on the UK High Street, HSBC makes most of its money outside of Britain with Asia accounting for the bulk of its global profits. HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, is on...

Feb 20, 2018

Daisy prepares for £1bn sale as early as March

Daisy Group will put itself up for sale as soon as March with a price tag of more than £1bn, as the UK telecoms company plots a path to doubling in size as its attempts to take the fight to BT in the small and medium-sized business market. The company appointed UBS and Oakley Advisers late last year, leading to reports that the company being lined up for a sale or possibly a return to the public markets. Daisy had been built by acquiring smaller rivals, racking up 46 deals before it accepted...

Feb 20, 2018

William Hill fined £6.2m by Gambling Commission for lax controls

Betting firm William Hill has been hit with a £6.2m penalty package for breaching anti-money laundering and social responsibility regulations. As a result 10 customers were able to deposit money linked to criminal offences and William Hill gained £1.2m. The company was found to have not done enough to determine the source of the money or if they were problem gamblers. William Hill will pay more than £5m for breaching the regulations and "Divest themselves of the £1.2m they earned from...

Feb 20, 2018

William Hill to pay £6.2m over money laundering failures

The UK's gambling regulator has issued a £6.2m penalty to William Hill for "Systemic" failures to prevent money laundering and problem gambling in its online business. William Hill agreed to pay £5m to charitable causes and set aside £1.2m to reimburse victims after the Gambling Commission identified at least 10 occasions where the bookmaker profited from customers who may have been using the proceeds of crime to gamble. The Gambling Commission said "Systemic senior management failure" meant...

Feb 20, 2018

Exposed Amazon cloud storage clients get tip-off alerts

Security researchers have posted "Friendly warnings" to users of Amazon's cloud data storage service whose private content has been made public, the BBC has learned. Some just told the owners that their settings exposed data and others were more explicit in their warnings about what could happen. Security researcher Robbie Wiggins, who regularly seeks out insecure cloud systems, said he had received a range of reactions when telling an organisation that their data was wide open. Over the last...