• From The BBC:

    Proposals to slash the cost of using mobile phones abroad, for text, data and voice calls, could become law next July following a vote in Brussels.
    The European Parliament is to vote on whether roaming costs for text messages should be capped.
    The cost of sending a message is expected to eventually fall by 60% from an average of 23 pence to 9 pence.
    Voice calls would fall from 36 to 27 pence a minute and customers would be able to set limits on data downloads.
    A reluctant mobile phone industry first had limits on its roaming charges imposed by the EU in September 2007.
    However, those applied only to voice calls, not those for texting or browsing the internet.
    Mobile phone companies were limited to charging a maximum of around 34 pence a minute for making calls, and 17 pence to receive a call.
    This is now set to be cut again, if EU Commissioner for telecommunications Viviane Reding’s plans go through.
    Customers downloading data would then be able to set a maximum cost level befo…

    Click to read the full article »

  • From The BBC:

    A challenge against employers’ rights to make people retire at 65 has reached a key stage in the European courts.
    An Advocate-general – a senior legal adviser to the European Court of Justice – is due to give recommendations in the case.
    Age Concern has challenged British law, which since 2006 has allowed employers to compel retirement after age 65.
    Some 260 people in Britain have cases at employment tribunals which depend on the court’s ultimate decision.
    Many believe they have been unfairly treated and are worse off because they had to retire at 65.
    Campaigners, who believe that setting an age limit is discriminatory, stressed that the case would run for some time – even if the Advocate-General made recommendations in their favour.
    Timescale
    The Advocate-General’s view could influence the judges who are expected to give their ruling in the case just before Christmas.
    If they found in the campaigners’ favour, the case would then return for a final hearing in a British court….

    Click to read the full article »

  • From The BBC:

    The latest bank to find itself the focus of attention from speculators is the Bradford & Bingley.
    Several newspapers report that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) is so worried about the bank that it has been trying to line up a potential buyer to rescue it.
    The bank denies it and the FSA is being very coy.
    But there is no doubt the B&B is in a very awkward spot.
    The former building society is heavily exposed to the now shrinking UK property market and last year was the UK’s 8th largest lender of new mortgages.
    Last month, it reported a loss of £27m for the first six months of the year, blaming this on a rise in bad debts and losses on its own investments in dud mortgage-related derivatives.
    Doubts
    Investors in the B&B have had reasons to worry for many months.
    The share price has collapsed from £3.00 a year ago, to 184 pence at the start of May and just 25p last week.
    It had terrible problems earlier this year raising an extra £400m from its shareholders to boost i…

    Click to read the full article »

  • From The BBC:

    The price of oil has jumped by more than to 0.92 a barrel, the biggest one-day gain on record.
    There is uncertainty about how the government’s financial bail-out plan will work, causing investors to switch to perceived safe havens such as oil.
    Others believe that the US government’s bail-out plan will help the economy, increasing demand for oil.
    Concerns also persist about supply as production in the Gulf of Mexico is still affected by Hurricane Ike.
    However, analysts said the US rescue package was key.
    “[It] has changed sentiment in the oil market,” said analyst Paul Harris from Bank of Ireland.
    At one point during trading, the price of oil rose by more than . The volatility in the price has been exacerbated by the fact that the contract for the supply of oil in October expires on Monday.
    The contract for oil to be delivered in November was not up as sharply. It rose by .62 to 9.37 in New York.
    Last week oil traded as low as a barrel. It had fallen from the…

    Click to read the full article »

  • From The BBC:

    Politicians and business leaders have united in a bid to make sure Scotland gets the “best possible deal” in the wake of the proposed takeover of HBOS.
    The meeting of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry reached a broad measure of agreement.
    Alex Salmond, who hosted the summit, won the backing of those attending to demand that Lloyds TSB retain jobs and decision-making in Scotland.
    Mr Salmond will hold a private meeting with Lloyds TSB bosses on Tuesday.
    Lloyds TSB announced last week it had agreed a £12.2bn takeover after shares in Edinburgh-based HBOS plummeted.

    Mr Salmond said it was important that the “broad consensus of viewpoint” which emerged at Holyrood in the wake of the Lloyds TSB deal was given a chance to continue.
    Speaking about the importance of HBOS to the Scottish economy, Mr Salmond said: “The loss of our oldest institution and independent bank is a serious matter that touches every corner of business and fabric of the country.
    “Therefore it’s on…

    Click to read the full article »

  • From The BBC:

    Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.
    Lord Adair Turner on city bonuses and possible penalties
    The new chairman of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has said it could penalise banks who pay bonuses that encourage excessive risk-taking.
    Lord Adair Turner told BBC News that the FSA would not regulate how much was paid, but would ask banks to explain their bonus structures.
    Banks found to encourage risky actions could be compelled to hold more capital, raising their costs.
    Some believe bonuses should be based on longer-term results.
    “What we are now doing is saying to banks, explain to us what your structure of bonuses are,” said Lord Turner.
    “If we think they are in danger of encouraging people through that bonus structure to take risky actions which appear to look good at the time, but which create toxic assets for the future, then we have the power to say if you want to do that, you’ve got to hold a bit more capital because we think you’re a more risk…

    Click to read the full article »

  • From The BBC:

    Shares in Bradford & Bingley (B&B) climbed strongly in early trading on Monday, amid reports that it could be the next bank in line for a takeover.
    Several reports suggested that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has been holding talks with potential buyers, should B&B hit difficulties.
    However, The Times said there was no firm interest so far, despite the overtures of the City watchdog.
    The HBOS takeover by Lloyds TSB was given FSA and Treasury encouragement.
    B&B shares were up as much as 10%, but ended the day 1.7% higher at 28.25 pence.
    Royal Bank of Scotland shares were also up- which analysts said was on the back of plans for the US Treasury to create a ‘super-bank’ to buy mortgage-related debts from financial institutions.
    Banks eligible to dump their toxic investments into this Treasury-backed bank would include RBS, which has a big retail business in the US.

    ‘Bad sign’
    According to the Sunday Telegraph, the FSA has been in contact with Abbey’s Spanish owner Santa…

    Click to read the full article »

  • From The BBC:

    Regulator Ofcom has suggested that contracts to provide phone services from prisons in England, Wales and Scotland should be renegotiated.
    The view comes in response to an official complaint that telephone calls from prison cost seven times normal payphone rates.
    The National Consumer Council said that calls were important for prisoners to maintain a link with their families.
    Ofcom found that calls made from privately-run prisons were cheaper.
    Investigation
    The super-complaint from the NCC said that half the calls made from jail lasted less than three minutes because of the high costs involved.
    The NCC and the Prison Reform Trust said that the cost of calls “appear unrelated to the cost of provision”, costing the equivalent of 11p a minute.
    This prompted the Ofcom investigation into the contracts between BT and the prison services in England and Wales, and Siemens in Scotland.

    “The evidence we have reviewed indicates that the price of telephone calls made by prisoners appears…

    Click to read the full article »

  • From The BBC:

    A “greedy scheming” insurance industry is plotting to deny asbestos victims their rightful compensation, according to the building industry union, UCATT.
    UCATT’s head told the Labour Conference that 40 people a week die of lung cancer, triggered by asbestos exposure.
    However, because the disease can take 30 years to develop, many people have retired by the time they fall ill, and thus do not have a current insurer.
    Insurers rejected the claim, saying they were neither greedy nor scheming.
    Legal row
    Earlier this summer the insurance industry took a case to the High Court, to establish whether an insurer at the time a person was exposed to asbestos should be responsible for paying compensation for any resulting illness.

    UCATT said that if the industry was successful with its case, then hundreds of asbestos victims would no longer receive compensation, saving itself billions in reduced claims.
    The victims suffer incurable cancer of the lining of lungs, called mesothelioma.
    “Vict…

    Click to read the full article »

  • From The BBC:

    Pensioners should only consider unlocking equity from their home as a last resort, a UK consumer group says.
    Equity release schemes could be expensive, inflexible and leave people with little equity, according to Which?
    And any money people released from their property could also affect the level of means-tested benefits which they were entitled to, Which? adds.
    Equity release allows retired homeowners to obtain money from their property without having to move out.
    People can be given a lump sum or regular payments in return for taking out a mortgage on their home, which does not have to be repaid until they die or sell their property. Interest is added to the amount owed until such time as a payment is made.
    Alternatively, people who own their home outright can sell a portion of their property to a home reversion company.
    But Which? is warning that problems could arise if the borrower’s circumstances change.
    An individual who wanted to move into sheltered housing or a retirement…

    Click to read the full article »

« Previous Entries   Next Entries »

Recent Comments

  • This deal really help a lot of people to work and earn. Ni...