Business Diary: Hester holds Lloyds boss dear


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The Independent Online

Competition in Britain's banking industry may be a cut-throat business, but it is heart-warming to note that there is still a sense of brotherhood.

Witness the good wishes expressed publicly yesterday by Stephen Hester, above, the chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, for his rival Antonio Horta-Osario, who has taken a leave of absence from Lloyds Banking Group while he recuperates from exhaustion. "He's a fantastic guy," says Hester of his opposite number, to whom he has already sent get-well-soon messages.

BBC Dragon Jones gets own show

One television programme isn't enough for Peter Jones one of the panellists on the BBC's Dragon's Den. He's now got his very own gig – Peter Jones: How we made our Millions, which airs next week. In it he details the lives of Michelle Mone, the lingerie tycoon, and Richard Reed, founder of Innocent Drinks. Suffice to say that his fellow Dragon's Den judges don't get a look in.

Draghi's very bankable family

There has been sniping this week about the way in which Morgan Stanley was so on the money with its forecast that the European Central Bank would cut interest rates by 0.25 percentage points on Thursday. Less generous souls pointed out that new ECB President Mario Draghi's son, Giacomo, works at Morgan Stanley. Such cynicism is unfair – anyone could have come up with such a forecast – like Mr Draghi's nephew, say, who also works at the bank.

Humphrys' slip of the tongue

What is it about presenters on the Today programme, who can't seem to avoid giving away their private thoughts? After the Jeremy Huntaffair, the clangers keep dropping. John Humphrys finished hisinterview with Barclays boss Bob Diamond yesterday with some comments about "bad vampires" (he'd meant to say "bad bankers"). Cue sniggers from the studio.