City People column

THE EUROSCEPTICS were handed more ammunition for their cause yesterday when the European Central Bank (ECB) was forced to apologise after its decision on interest rates was posted on the bank's website five minutes early - because an employee's watch was wrong.

Wim Duisenberg, president of the ECB, said the decision to leave rates unchanged appeared on the site at 1.40pm, ahead of the scheduled time of 1.45pm. The dour Dutchman said: "The member of staff who put it on the website had his watch wrong. I apologise for that."

The cock-up follows a similar publicity disaster two weeks ago when a council member is understood to have revealed a decision on rates to journalists ahead of the official announcement. But Mr Duisenberg insisted that the bank's image had not been damaged by what he described as a "mishap".

BRADFORD & BINGLEY Building Society embarked on a pounds 5m rebranding exercise in February, just before its members voted to demutualise in favour of plc status.

Some eagle-eyed critics have noticed that the rebranding, as well as ditching the famous logo with two bowler hats (below), involves having the words "building society" more prominently featured on its branch facades.

Knowing the vote was coming up, wouldn't B&B be better off keeping the building society references a bit more, shall we say, disposable?

Not at all, says a spokeswoman. "We will be a building society for at least the next 20 months, so it would be wrong to change the wording now."

When the next rebranding - to plc status - takes place, the costs will be included in the demutualisation costs, which B&B expect to be a thumping pounds 50m. This includes a number of mailings to the society's 3.1 million members. The cost of eliminating the words "building society" will, in contrast, be a drop in the proverbial ocean.

SAINSBURY'S JUST isn't the same, now that the last member of the dynasty, Sir Tim Sainsbury, has resigned from the board.

Granted the family still owns 35 per cent of the benighted stores group, most of that held in a blind trust due to Lord David Sainsbury's position as a science minister in the present Government.

But David Sainsbury was the last family member to be an executive director. Lord MacClaurin, the former Tesco boss, wrote in his recently published memoirs that if he had produced the kind of results at Tesco that David Sainsbury did at Sainsbury's, the institutions would have had him sacked. Anyway, Sir Tim Sainsbury, 67, is leaving after 43 years with the group, on and off.

He joined in 1956, the same year as the invasion of Suez, and took over responsibility for the group's buildings and engineering division in 1959. He joined the board in 1962 as a non-exec, and remained on the board when he was elected as MP for Hove in 1973, although he had to stand down in 1983 when he was made Tory Whip.

Sir Tim Sainsbury reached his peak as a Minister for Trade and Industry before retiring from politics in 1995. He got a knighthood in the same year.

As the saying goes, we shall not see his like again.

SIMON HERSH is a happy man. The 35-year-old rugby- playing Mancunian saw shares in his Internet recruitment business, RexOnline, double from 50p to 120p yesterday following the flotation on AIM on Tuesday.

As chief executive of RexOnline Mr Hersh has over 300,000 shares himself. He trained with Marks & Spencer for 12 months before establishing Goldsmith's Fine Foods in 1986, a food and drinks distributor. Goldsmith's has the franchise for distributing the soft drink Snapple in the north of England, and Mr Hersh's wife Judy is managing director.

Mr Hersh came into Rex a few years ago before it went on-line, something which has helped it undercut traditional headhunters.

More impressively, Mr Hersh still plays competitive rugby with his home club Salians RFC (he lives in Sale) in Division One of the Cheshire county league.

As for the game with the round-shaped balls, Mr Hersh says he was delighted when Manchester United won the "Treble", but even more pleased when Manchester City won promotion to the First Division - as most true local Mancunians would be. (A lot of Man U fans come from odd parts of the country like Ross-on-Wye and Croydon.)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Adviser - OTE £30,000

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy