Business Diary: HSBC keeps Britain waiting

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The Independent Online

With the banks taking so much flak for not doing enough to help Britain's ailing recovery, it was interesting to note HSBC's priorities yesterday. Britain's biggest bank by far didn't get round to doing briefings in London until lunchtime, with management having spent the morning talking to audiences in the Far East. Still, what do people expect? Chief executive, Michael Geoghegan, is now based in Hong Kong.

God's banker for Oprah?

Though Goldman Sachs hopes it's through the worst of its bad times, with that nasty SEC case finished, the investment bank is keen to learn from its woes and improve its image, Fiona Laffan, head of media in Europe, has been telling colleagues in the communications world. That may mean more TV appearances for CEO Lloyd Blankfein, despite his discomfort during the televised Congressional hearings into the SEC case – some in the bank have even been pushing for a date on Oprah, Laffan adds.

Cadbury trades on its history

When Cadbury signed up to sponsor the Olympics in 2008, it seemed curious that a company in business to sell people more choccies should be so closely linked to an event many hope will encourage Britons to make healthier lifestyle choices, but the company was keen to stress its British credentials. That's less true these days, given the Kraft takeover, so it will be interesting to see how it presents the advertising campaign linked to the sponsorship, which begins this week. "The thinking behind the campaign is that Cadbury has a rich history as a pioneering and philanthropic brand," says its media buyer. History is very much the word.

Greek villas on the cheap

Every cloud and all that. The price of top-end property in the Greek islands is being slashed, reports Bloomberg. If you've got a few quid and a liking for tavernas, there's never been a better time to buy. Pick up an eight-bedroom villa on Mykonos for $5.3m (£3.3m), for example, down from the original asking price of $7.2m.