Business

Santander to shut 140 branches

[ad_1] Image copyright NurPhoto / Getty Images Spanish-owned bank Santander is slashing its branch network by almost a fifth, putting 1,270 jobs at risk.The bank blamed the closures on "changes in how customers are choosing to carry out their banking".It said branch transactions have fallen 23% in the last three years, while digital transactions have soared 99%."We have had to take some very difficult decisions over our less visited branches,"
Business

Wetherspoons warns on labour costs

[ad_1] Image copyright AFP Wetherspoons has warned that pre-tax profits for the first half of its financial year will be down on 2018.This is despite a 7.2% rise in like-for-like sales during the 12 weeks to 20 January 2019.The pub chain said labour costs increased by £30m for the period, along with the cost of interest, utilities, repairs and depreciation.But Wetherspoons chairman Tim Martin said its full year results were
Business

Patisserie Valerie faces legal action

[ad_1] Image copyright Getty Images The company that owns Patisserie Valerie could be facing legal action from investors over the collapse of the cafe chain.Chris Boxall, co-founder of Fundamental Asset Management, said he was "flabbergasted" by the situationHe told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme he was considering legal action as he had a "moral duty, a fiduciary duty" to clients.Administrators KPMG are closing 70 stores, and seeking buyers for others.
Business

Sony to move Europe headquarters to avoid Brexit disruption

[ad_1] Image copyright Getty Images Sony will move its European headquarters from the UK to the Netherlands to avoid disruptions caused by Brexit. The company said the move would help it avoid customs issues tied to Britain's exit from the EU, according to AFP. Despite the move, Sony won't shift personnel and operations from the existing UK operations. It is the latest Japanese company to flag a move to the
Business

Davos 2019: The man who thinks he can make us love kale

[ad_1] Image copyright Plenty Image caption Matt Barnard says food can taste better grown indoors Matt Barnard's favourite memory of the recent Christmas holiday period was receiving a thank you letter from the 10-year-old daughter of a friend who'd been over for a meal. "I'm stunned you got me to like kale. I never knew I could like salad," she wrote. The products had come directly from Mr Barnard's South
Business

Christmas failed to revive flagging toy market

[ad_1] Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Uncertainty has left some retailers up in the air The UK toy market's year went from bad to worse in 2018, figures show, despite parents continuing to spend hundreds of pounds on gifts for their children.Sales had dipped by 5% before the vital Christmas period and ended the year 7% down on 2017, analysts NPD said.The year started with the collapse of Toys
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Battle to save remote cash machines

[ad_1] Image copyright Getty Images Link is increasing the fee it pays cash machine operators to keep remote free-to-use machines available.Operators will be offered up to £2.75 per withdrawal to persuade them to keep at-risk machines free."It is vital we continue to provide free access to cash to those who need it," said Link chief John Howells.But Jenni Allen of Which? said: "Boosting premiums for remote machines has so far
Business

Barclays trial: What lies behind the prosecution?

[ad_1] Image copyright Getty Images Image caption John Varley was Barclays' chief executive at the time of the financial crisis The trial of four former Barclays executives starting in January 2019 is a unique legal landmark. Bank chief executives have been prosecuted before, in Iceland and Ireland, but never in the United States or the United Kingdom. This is the only time in living memory that a chief executive of
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Trial of former Barclays bosses to start

[ad_1] Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Former chief executive of Barclays John Varley The first criminal trial of senior UK banking executives in the wake of the financial crisis is due to begin on Wednesday.The case against four former executives has been filed by the Serious Fraud Office over Barclays' £11.8bn rescue.The bank avoided a UK bailout in 2008 by raising funds from Middle Eastern investors.The executives are charged
Business

Personal travel agents boost holiday bookings

[ad_1] Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Customers are opting for luxury destinations like Mauritius as well as those closer to home The British holidaymaker is back in fine fettle with a January jump in bookings for the summer.Helping sales is a growing army of 2,000 personal travel agents who work from home and visit clients whenever convenient.Worries about a Brexit effect on travel and the economy caused a lull
Business

Sale of Grenfell cladding firm collapses

[ad_1] Image copyright Arconic A multi-billon-dollar sale of the US company that made external cladding on Grenfell Tower has fallen through.Arconic had been in talks with several US private equity firms about a takeover worth $10bn-plus (£7.7bn).The company, whose shares tumbled on the news, said in a statement that it did not receive an offer that was in the interests of shareholders.A key issue had been protecting any buyer from
Business

Sir James Dyson: From barrows to billions

[ad_1] Image copyright Getty Images Today he is one of the UK's richest men and a well-known supporter of Brexit, but how did Sir James Dyson make his fortune?Sir James Dyson's most profitable idea began with some humble cardboard and sticky tape.One day, in the late 1970s, it struck him that the industrial dust extractor at his factory could perhaps be scaled down for use in the home.The machine in
Business

Dyson to move head office to Singapore

[ad_1] Image copyright Getty Images Dyson has announced that it is moving its headquarters to Singapore, from Malmesbury in Wiltshire.The move by the appliance maker means two executives will relocate - chief financial officer Jorn Jensen and chief technical officer Martin Bowen.Other work at Malmesbury will not be affected and no jobs will be lost.Chief executive Jim Rowan said it was not to do with Brexit or tax but added:
Business

Four more House of Fraser stores saved

[ad_1] Image copyright Getty Images House of Fraser stores in four shopping centres owned by Intu have been saved following talks with the department store chain's owners, Sports Direct.The stores at Chapelfield in Norwich, Lakeside in Thurrock, Metrocentre in Gateshead and Victoria Centre in Nottingham had been earmarked to close.An Intu spokesperson said there had been "constructive discussions" and "an interim agreement" had been reached.Sports Direct bought House of Fraser
Business

Dixons Carphone’s mobile sales continue to fall

[ad_1] Image copyright Getty Images Dixons Carphone has reported a fall in mobile phone sales over the Christmas trading period, as fewer people signed up to two-year contracts.The electrical goods retailer said sales of mobiles were down 7% in the 10 weeks to 5 January.The news reflects a growing trend in the phones market after Apple cut its sales forecast earlier this month.However, Dixons was booming in other areas, with
Business

Davos 2019: ‘I’m the boss, he’s the spouse’

[ad_1] Image copyright Alex Rumford/Mastercard Image caption Ann Cairns is a rarity: a female senior executive of a global company When Ann Cairns' husband was introduced to Joe Biden at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, the former US vice president assumed that he was the executive he was meant to be meeting.But Mrs Cairns is the vice chairman at financial services giant Mastercard, not her husband. She laughs
Business

Donna Hay whips up her next venture

[ad_1] If you like making quick, healthy and gorgeous meals, there is a good chance you have used one of Donna Hay's recipes. Widely known as "Australia's culinary queen", she's created a sprawling business that includes television shows and cooking books.After publishing the 100th and final issue of the Donna Hay magazine last year, she is now mulling her next move.Filmed by: Matt Leiper, Gordon Parker; produced by: Pamela Parker.
Business

HMRC error hits early-filing taxpayers

[ad_1] Image copyright Getty Images Red-faced tax officials have been forced to apologise today for two embarrassing mistakes over late-payment fines.Last weekend HM Revenue and Customs denied fining taxpayers for failing to submit their self-assessment returns online - even though the deadline is still almost two weeks away.But on Monday HMRC admitted that some people have been wrongly charged.It has promised to cancel the penalty charges and apologised for the
Business

BAE Systems sells control of vehicles arm to Rheinmetall

[ad_1] Image copyright Ben Birchall Image caption BAE Systems upgrades and maintains the Challenger 2 tank British defence giant BAE Systems has sold a majority stake in its Land UK tank and combat vehicle division to German rival Rheinmetall for £28.6m.The new joint venture gives Rheinmetall a 55% stake, with BAE owning the rest, and will be based at the UK firm's factory in Telford, Shropshire.Called Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land,