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The Business Matrix:Monday 5 November 2012

HSBC ups home lending by a fifth

HSBC yesterday said it had increased lending to homebuyers by a fifth, and to first-time buyers by a third, so far this year. The bank, Europe's largest, is expected to report a healthy 80 per cent rise in profits today but will also set aside hundreds of millions more pounds for mis-selling payment-protection insurance on top of the £1.1bn it has already earmarked.

Professions are relying on temps

Banks, lawyers and accountants are increasingly relying on temporary staff as jobs for the major professions continue to decline. The number of available professional jobs in the year to October was 2 per cent down on 2011, according to figures released today by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies.

Bank to ponder new QE round

Bank of England rate-setters will pore over the health of the UK's dominant services sector today as they face a critical decision over whether to pump billions more into the nation's struggling recovery. The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply's activity index is set to slow marginally in October.

UK's high earners taxed to the hilt

Britain imposes some of the highest taxes in the world on top earners, according to accountants UHY. Out of 26 major countries analysed by UHY, the UK has the 9th highest tax burden on those earning more than £125,000 and £160,000 a year, and the 6th highest for those earning £950,000 pear year.

Apple pares back its overseas tax

Apple paid less than 2 per cent tax on its overseas profits after slashing the amount foreign taxmen receive. The iPad and iPhone giant paid $713m (£445m) in corporation tax outside the US in the year to 29 September, despite its foreign pre-tax earnings surging more than 50 per cent to $36.8bn

Nando's tucks into a tasty profit leap

Nando's enjoyed a leap in profits last year as the peri-peri chicken restaurant avoided the impact of the economic downturn. Profits jumped £31.5m to £52.9 m on turnover of £374m in the year to February.

The chain increased the number of stores from 241 to 260

Go Compare's founder set to sell

The founder of Go Compare, the price comparison website, has appointed financial advisers to look at selling the business, which could be valued at £500m. Hayley Parsons launched the website in 2006, and is looking at her options ahead of the flotation of motor insurer Esure, which holds a 49 per cent stake in Go Compare.

Independent On Sunday

Banks to be told to raise more capital

British banks will be forced to raise 10s of billions of fresh capital under new accounting rules set to be announced early next year. The banks, which have already raised more than £100bn to strengthen their balance sheets as a result of the financial crisis, will be told to provide more cash against loans on which they expect to make losses.

Sunday Telegraph

Comet backers in line for millions

The US backers of Comet, which went into administration last week threatening more than 6,000 jobs, could still walk away with millions of pounds. OpCapita, which bought Comet for £2 just over a year ago, is reported to be keeping the profitable warranties business, Triptycht.

Mail On Sunday

Lloyds eyes £1bn St James's sale

Lloyds Banking Group plans to raise £1bn through a sale of its 60 per cent stake in wealth management group St James's Place. The sell-off could improve the bank's chances of being permitted to restart dividend payments' which have so far been blocked by the Financial Services Authority.

Sunday Times

Career Services

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?