Business Diary: Lloyds parties right under the Bank's nose

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The Independent Online

Given that syndicated loans bankers have had little to do in the past year (after all, you'd be mad to lend to dodgy companies in a recession, no? regardless of what the Government says), why not have a party? On Wednesday night, the 43 per cent taxpayer-owned Lloyds Banking Group treated the loan market's glitterati to a fabulous evening of champagne and oysters. The venue? The City's Royal Exchange, just across the road from the Bank of England. In a week when we all learnt of HBOS's top secret £25.4bn loan before it joined Lloyds, was the lender of last resort invited to join in the fun and celebrate its repayment?

Belgium brings new life for Sir Tom McKillop

Sir Tom McKillop's UK boardroom career is over – as chairman of RBS he presided over its near collapse. They're more forgiving in Belgium where the veteran chemist is now a director of drugs group UCB, joining his old mate Peter Fellner, chairman of biotech group Vernalis. It has worked closely with Sir Tom's old employer, AstraZeneca.

A €50 bung if you dare to wear Henry shirt

The boss of Currys in Ireland came up with a cheeky way to capitalise on the anger felt towards Thierry Henry after his blatant handball that dumped Ireland out of the World Cup qualifiers this month. He offered customers who came in with a T-shirt bearing a picture of Mr Henry €50 off a range of goods. A Currys spokesman described the offer as "our own version of the scrappage scheme". It probably didn't cost the company a lot, we think.

Goodwill to all men? Not at Harrods, Dixons

Talking of Currys, owner DSGi will next week launch an ad campaign to drive traffic to Dixons.co.uk. The group's last tongue-in-cheek campaign targeted Harrods (among others), advising shoppers to research products there, then buy online from Dixons. Asked if Harrods got "shirty", DSGi's chief executive, John Browett, said "yes", but added that despite "huffing and puffing" from the department store's legal team it came to nothing. "The next ad is more about Christmas than targeting someone specific," said Mr Browett. Diary expects Harrods' legal eagles will still be watching developments closely.

Number of the day: 100k

HSBC shares gifted to Christian charity the Bishop Radford Trust by a trustee, HSBC chairman Stephen Green.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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