Business Diary: 09/01/2010

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The true meaning of personal banking

Knock, knock, who's this at the door? Why it's Sir Richard Branson, come to deliver your bank statement. An unlikely scenario, we know, but Church House, the Yeovil-based bank that Sir Richard's Virgin Money has just bought, is so small that it offers a to-the-door service. Probably best to check who's there before you open up in future.

Let's have a clean fight please, gentlemen

Back by popular demand – bank bosses in front of the Treasury Select Committee. Northern Rock's Gary Hoffman and Lloyds Banking Group's Eric Daniels provide the support acts for Tuesday morning's show, but the star turn should be Stephen Hester,boss of the Royal Bank of Scotland. How long will it take the MPs to ask him about his plans for bonuses?

Where to sell your secondhand flat packs

Got an unwanted Christmas present from Ikea? If so, maybe you could sell it on billyandfriends.co.uk, a cute little website set up to "match buyers and sellers of used Ikea goods". Act quickly, though. The site has already had one run-in with the Swedish retailer, which forced it to change its name from the original iloveikea.co.uk (the new moniker is a reference to the popular Billy bookcase range) and is still swapping legal letters with Ikea.

Google's appetite for power is insatiable

Google has become so powerful that it has applied to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an energy trading licence. It wants to be able to buy a different kind of power, you see, so hungry for energy are its enormous data centres.

No escaping Twitter, even in the fast lane

Twitter's march towards global domination continues. the Ford boss Alan Mulally, pictured left, was in Las Vegas yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show to unveil new in-car technology that enables motorists to pick up Twitter updates as they drive. The kit will one day enable drivers to send their own tweets, Mr Mulally reports, but Ford is for now a little concerned about the safety implications.

Number of the day: 75%

The increase in car insurance claims this week, according to Swiftcover, as drivers slipped in the snow and ice

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