Business Diary: Banking gets blue blood transfusion

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Another former Conservative cabinet minister arrives in the banking sector. Angela Knight is already doing sterling work for the banks in her role as chief executive of the British Bankers Association. Now she has been joined by Lord Hunt – who was plain old David Hunt when he served as a minister under John Major – who is taking over at the top of the Lending Standards Board. It monitors the banks' compliance with the promises they have made about lending and fair conduct.

Men and women equal at last

A new survey published ahead of International Women's Day on Tuesday makes depressing reading. Britain's senior executives say they welcome female colleagues but do not want to work for them, because "women bosses are ball breakers, lacking empathy with their workforce". The research doesn't offer much good news for the blokes either – apparently many male bosses are seen as mediocre role models who fail to inspire their teams. Everyone is rubbish in other words.

Aviva's premium line disconnected

The Diary would like to be able to tell you more about the 2010 full-year results unveiled by insurer Aviva yesterday. Sadly, when we dialled in to listen to Andrew Moss, the insurer's boss, present them on a conference call yesterday, it took 10 minutes to get past the muzak. Then, on connecting half-way through Mr Moss's faint but perfectly audible talk, the operator interrupted to say the call would end due to the poor quality of the line. After a terse "please disconnect your telephones", that was it. Financial services... all about communication skills.

It's an ill wind that blows nobody...

How much would you pay for the company behind the iPhone app that turns your phone into a sort of mobile whoopee cushion? Well, the owners of iFart, the makers of the "hilarious" app that produces the sound of someone breaking wind on your iPhone, reckon $1m is a fair price. To be fair, the company did have sales of $400,000 last year, so maybe the price tag is not so high. It reckons new owners will be able to take iFart to a "new level", whatever that might be.