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Business News

Business Diary: Leigh-Pemberton runs the gauntlet

Not all bankers think they're too grand to mix with the hoi polloi. Spotted yesterday on the Central Line on the London Underground: James Leigh-Pemberton, the chief executive of Credit Suisse'sbusiness in the UK. The Diary's spy knew it was him on account of the fact that he'd forgotten to take the name badge off his suit from whatever function he had just been attending. Leigh-Pemberton realised his mistake after a couple of stops and hastily removed the badge before the rest of the carriage realised one of the masters of the universe was among them. Luckily, it was a bit early in the morning for banker-bashing.

Making money from moobs

It's a growth business – or, rather, it's not. Investors in BMI Healthcare, the plasticsurgery specialist, will no doubt be cheered to hear that demand for one of its procedures is booming. BMI says that during the first three months of this year, inquiries from patients considering gynaecomastia are up by just over 200 per cent. For those of you unfamiliar with medical jargon – the procedure means getting rid of man boobs.

The deserted City dealing room

All publicity is good publicity, of course, but presumably the financial spread-betting company IG Index hoped to project a certain sort of image when it invited Sky News to present Budget coverage live from its dealing floor. But while its logos were prominently on display, there wasn't much sign of the sort of frenetic buzz normally to be found in such places. Indeed, the dealing room was half empty, with rows of desks completely unoccupied.

Richards lost for words, for once

Ed Richards, the youthful boss of the telecoms regulator Ofcom, is generally regarded as articulate – some would go as far as saying he has a way with words. Still, asked yesterday why the watchdog had not been tougher on mobile phonecompanies in recent times, Mr Richards wasn't quite on soundbite alert. "You can only wield the sticks in your, erm, stickbag," he replied. Maybe he was tired out – we hear that Ofcom officials were getting calls at 4am on Monday from eager beavers keen to find out about its plans for an auction of 4G mobile phone licences.