Business Diary: 08/08/2009

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The Independent Online

A chill wind blows as RBS unveils results

The lunch held for Royal Bank of Scotland's results day was an altogether more frugal affair this year now that the British taxpayer is footing the bill.

Out went the fine claret and full dining service favoured by its former boss Sir Fred Goodwin, who would enjoy a quick tipple while glowering at the assembled hacks. Instead, the throng was treated to a finger buffet and orange juice. The Diary does not disapprove of cost cutting, given that we now all have a stake in the bank, but if RBS is really keen on saving, how about turning down the glacial air conditioning? That would be good for shareholders and the planet.

StanChart look to avoid sponsorship own goal

Reports that the Danish brewer Carlsberg is unlikely to extend its 17-year sponsorship of Liverpool Football Club have put Standard Chartered as the favourite to replace it. The bank should be warned about the curse that accompanies financial sponsoring Premier League teams, however. The Asia-focused group has chartered the choppy waters of the downturn relatively well, but as a Premiership sponsor it would follow in the eminent steps of Northern Rock's financial backing of Newcastle United and AIG's sponsorhip of Manchester United.

Fund managers head up the creek for charity

Many financial institutions have been left up the creek by the credit crunch, so it is particularly brave for a few fund managers to head there willingly – perhaps because they will be bringing their own paddles. Trustees of the Julian Baring Scholarship, including managers from gold fund JB Baring and Blackrock, are setting off on a canoe trip to raise money to send African children to university. They will be paddling for 33 hours through 77 locks and covering 107 miles of inland waterways, from Devizes, Wiltshire, to Teddington, Middlesex. Let's hope they don't take a bath in the way many of their rivals have in the past few years.

Businesses get all fired up for the summer

An insurer warned businesses yesterday to protect themselves against arson – which rises in the summer – in a desperate bid to drum up trade. Given our recent awful weather, flood insurance may be better.

Number of the day: 159

Number of years after Paul Julius Reuter set up in London that the company's investors approved delisting from the London Stock Exchange

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