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Archive for November, 2016

Christmas 2016 may be the cheapest ever

November 30, 2016

While many like to moan that the cost of Christmas seems to go up every year, the truth may be exactly the opposite. According to an index that tracks seasonal food, the price of Christmas dinner is now at its lowest since it started in 2009. A separate calculation suggests that Christmas trees, too, are […]

Bank governor Mark Carney warns on household debt

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has given a warning about the high level of debt in UK households. In particular he said that consumers were borrowing more on their credit cards and other unsecured debt. Figures from the Bank this week showed that credit card lending is at a record level, […]

RBS biggest failure in Bank of England stress test

RBS is the worst prepared of the UK’s biggest lenders to cope with another financial crisis, Bank of England (BoE) stress tests have found. The results forced RBS to devise plans to bolster its balance sheet by £2bn through cost cuts and shedding assets. Under the “very severe” tests, banks had to be able to […]

Economic forecasts are not ‘lunatic’

November 29, 2016

One of Britain’s most highly respected economists has hit back at criticisms of economic forecasts. Critics have described them as little better than astrology or soothsaying. Martin Weale, a former member of the Bank of England’s interest-rate setting Monetary Policy Committee, said that forecasts had to deal with uncertainty. They could not be expected to […]

BT ordered to legally split from Openreach by Ofcom

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has ordered BT to legally separate from its Openreach division, which runs the UK’s broadband infrastructure. Openreach should become a distinct company within the BT group, the regulator said. BT had not voluntarily addressed competition concerns Ofcom laid out in July, it said. However, BT said its proposals were “fair and sustainable”, […]

Tata Steel announces buyer for specialist business

November 28, 2016

Tata Steel has announced its preferred bidder for the £100m sale of its Speciality Steels division based in South Yorkshire. The firm said it had signed a Letter of Intent to enter into exclusive negotiations with Liberty House Group. More than 1,700 people are employed in the division, which has factories in Rotherham and Stocksbridge. […]

WTO rules Boeing’s state subsidies illegal

In a landmark trade ruling, the World Trade Organization will this afternoon find Boeing has illegally benefitted from billions of dollars from the most anti-competitive type of subsidy. These so-called “prohibited” subsidies are considered the most serious form of anti-competitive practice as they require an undertaking from the company in receipt of them to promise […]

Iceland launches legal challenge over supermarket name

November 25, 2016

The Icelandic government is taking legal action against the supermarket chain Iceland in a trademark dispute over using the name, it has confirmed. The store, which specialises in frozen food and has its head office in Deeside, Flintshire, has been trading under the name for 46 years. It owns the European trademark for using the […]

EU leaders ‘not bluffing’ over Brexit terms, warns Malta’s PM

EU leaders are not “bluffing” when they say the UK will be left without access to the single market when it leaves the bloc if there is no free movement of people, Malta’s prime minister says. Joseph Muscat, whose country assumes the EU’s presidency in January, told the BBC “this is really and truly our […]

Heathrow third runway ‘to breach climate change laws’

Plans to expand Heathrow Airport are set to breach the government’s climate change laws, advisers have warned. The Committee on Climate Change says the business plan for Heathrow projects a 15% increase in aviation emissions by 2050. If that increase is allowed, members say, ministers will have to squeeze even deeper emissions cuts from other […]

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