Business Diary: Lloyds offers Sir Victor a blank cheque

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The Independent Online

Sir Victor Blank has now stepped down as chairman of Lloyds Banking Group, in part to appease shareholders angry about the bank's reversal of fortunes since its management agreed to a merger with HBOS last year. Someone seems to have forgotten to tell HR about Sir Victor's departure, however. The bank is paying for private office facilities and secretarial support for its former chairman until January.



Still grateful for Mr Murdoch's support

Payback time continues for the Tories. Having promised to abolish Ofcom, the media regulator that so annoys Rupert Murdoch – and then seen The Sun switch its backing to the Conservatives – you can understand why the party might want to cosy up to the mogul further. So it is that Jeremy Hunt, the Tories' culture spokesman, keeps giving interviews bashing the BBC – particular its online activities, which stand in the way of Mr Murdoch's ambitions to earn more online revenue.



When love knows no borders

Global Personals bills itself as the "largest provider of online personals content" – dating sites to you and me – in the UK. Many of its clients, however, are more interested in international statistics, with 15 per cent of online "love matches" coming from abroad, the company says. Aren't they called mail order brides?



Has Schwartz spoken a bit too soon?

Stock market historian David Schwartz got terribly excited by the fact that in the third quarter of this year, the FTSE 100 produced its best ever three month performance. "'I think this market... has further to go," he added. Just days later, market observers groaned as the Footsie crashed back below 5,000.



Head for heights needed at Mace

Well done to Mace Group, the quoted engineer, which has almost finished rebuilding the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford. The latest part of the refurb saw its engineers lift a 20-tonne steel viewing platform to the top of a 32m-high tower. Scary stuff.

Number of the day: £10,200

The new individual savings account limit for the over-50s, which takes effect from tomorrow

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