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The Business Matrix: Monday 4 November 2013

Lineker’s firm in discount drive

An insurance company backed by former England football star Gary Lineker is planning to move into the over-25s market next year by offering discounts to safe drivers. Ingenie, which fits cars with a telematics black box to monitor driving habits, currently targets drivers in the 17 to 25 age brackets. But it now hopes to lure older drivers with discounts of up to 20 per cent.

Suspicious deals increase by 250%

The number of suspicious transactions reported to the financial services watchdog has rocketed by 250 per cent over the past five years, according to Pinsent Masons. Data obtained from the Financial Conduct Authority by the firm shows that the number of suspicious transaction reports – often linked to insider dealing – increased from 339 in 2008-09 to 1199 in 2012-13.

What the Sunday papers said

Marks faces anger over sliding sales

Marks & Spencer is expected to reveal a ninth consecutive quarter of falling sales in its clothes and homeware division this week in a move likely to heap further pressure on its struggling boss Marc Bolland. The 54-year-old Dutchman hopes to convince investors that the retailer’s autumn/winter collection will mark a turning point.

Independent on Sunday

Osborne’s deal to cut energy bills

George Osborne is finalising a plan to cut household energy bills by up to £75 a year by removing charges to support green power projects and home insulation schemes. The changes will be announced in the Chancellor’s autumn statement on 4 December. Subsidies for green schemes will in future be paid out of taxes.

Sunday Times

MPs warn energy firms over bills

The Energy and Climate Change Committee has demanded that energy firms give precise figures for the price they pay for their gas on the wholesale market, the exact costs for distributing gas and electricity through the National Grid, and the total cost of green and social levies imposed by the Government.

Mail on Sunday

Billionaire backs M&S chief’s plan

The biggest private investor in Marks & Spencer, has given his backing to chief executive Marc Bolland despite the company’s clothing business continuing to struggle. Bill Adderley, who holds a 3 per cent stake in M&S, said that “too big a deal” has been made of the retailer’s underperformance.

Sunday Telegraph

Hiscox has fresh storm to weather

The damage caused by St Jude last week wasn’t as bad as many had feared – which is good news for insurers. But storms aside, investors in Hiscox may be disappointed by the lack of dividend, when the firm today reveals plans to reinvest cash into its retail operations and IT systems over the next four years.

Primark to stay smart for ABF

Analysts think results tomorrow will prove Primark can still do no wrong, as Associated British Foods reveals it is still all about its cheap clothes retailing business. It has plans to conquer Europe with France and Germany top of the list. It has five French shops planned and has 10 in Germany.

Payout hopes  at Persimmon

The housing boom is much talked-about, and builders’ share prices have been soaring. As Government schemes such as Help-to-Buy assist, Persimmon is expected to deliver a strong trading update on Wednesday, with the market looking for evidence it will speed up payouts to shareholders.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam