The Business Matrix: Saturday 5th July 2014


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The Independent Online

Serco loses DLR contract

Serco has lost a £125m-a-year contract to run London’s Docklands Light Railway to a joint venture partly controlled by the French government. The outsourcing giant had been operating the DLR since 1997 but lost out to Keolis and Amey Rail in the tendering process. Keolis’s main shareholder is France’s state rail operator, SNCF.

Renzi calls for  end to austerity

The Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi insisted yesterday that Europe belonged to “citizens, not bankers” and said the only way for the EU to restore the flagging confidence of voters was to move away from the austerity measures of the past and focus on economic growth. Italy took over the EU presidency this week.

British Gas to pay £1m for mis-selling

Ofgem has ordered British Gas to pay £1m in compensation for mis-selling to customers through Sainsbury’s stores and at the Westfield shopping centre in London. Some 4,300 customers will receive an average £130, and £434,000 will go into a fund to help vulnerable customers.

Gambling ads to display warnings

The European Commission is expected to urge EU states to demand that online gambling advertisements display warning messages in the same way that cigarette packets have to, according to draft documents seen by Reuters.

Topping bows out with £6m package

William Hill’s chief executive, Ralph Topping, is standing down at the end of this month after 44 years at the bookmaker and handing over to James Henderson, the operations director. Mr Topping, 63, will walk away with a pay, perks and share package worth almost £6m assuming the firm hits tough performance targets.

BT insures £47bn pension scheme

Telecoms giant BT today bought an insurance policy that will pay out if workers in its £47bn pension scheme live longer than expected. The deal with US firm Prudential Financial covers 25 per cent of the scheme’s exposure to the so-called longevity risk. Paul Spencer, trustee chairman, said: “This is groundbreaking.”

Ad boss warning on independence

Miles Young, one of the world’s top advertising bosses, warned “the huge constitutional muddle” over Scottish independence and Britain’s possible exit from the European Union was “nightmarish” for the UK economy. Mr Young is the New York-based chief executive of Ogilvy & Mather.

EU wants to stop virtual accounts

Banks in the European Union should stop offering their customers accounts in virtual currencies such as bitcoins until regulatory safeguards are in place, the bloc’s banking watchdog said yesterday.