Business Dairy: The man from the Bank shocks MPs

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The Independent Online

Paul Tucker, the Bank of England's deputy governor, is a pretty polite sort of a chap, but sometimes, when you're keen to get your point across, it's easy to forget yourself. Testifying to the Treasury Select Committee yesterday, Mr Tucker was eager to get MPs' attention. "When the shit hits the fan," he began.

Razzmatazz as the ONS says recession is over

To Church House in Westminster for the Office for National Statistics' fourth-quarter GDP data. The beancounters got themselves a little over-excited about being at the centre of attention for once. "Two minutes to go... one minute to go," the ONS's press officer announced in a breathless warm-up to the figures. He even went into the full countdown for the final 10 seconds.

Romance in the aisles of your local Asda

The romantics at Asda have come up with a novel idea for a prize draw. The winners get their wedding, reception and honeymoon paid for by the supermarket. Very generous. The one downside is that you have to tie the knot in one of its stores. Asda doesn't say which aisle the bride will walk down, or whether "Here Comes The Bride" is being replaced by its advertising jingle.

HSBC bosses at odds over bonuses

Interviewed in The Financial Times, HSBC's chairman Stephen Green was less than flattering about bankers' desire for big bonuses. Still, not all at HSBC think that way. Less than a week ago, the chief executive, Mike Geoghegan, criticised the Government's approach to the City, warning that policies such as the windfall tax would drive bankers out of the country (he is relocating to Hong Kong for strategic reasons).

One company hoping for a double dip

Bad news for Begbies Traynor, which has had to warn that its profits are going to come in below expectations. The accountancy firm had been hoping for a windfall from soaring insolvencies during the recession, but rather inconveniently, the Government has given struggling businesses extra time to pay their tax bills – and Begbies says it has suffered accordingly.

Number of the day: 216

The number of volunteers that the trade union Unite claims British Airways has had to work during a possible strike.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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