Business diary: Northern Rock tells it like it is

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The Independent Online

One has to hand it to Northern Rock: it really doesn't miss a trick. After commissioning what it describes as "extensive research", the bank is launching a new brand campaign, to be headlined "Northern Rock. Works for Me." Isn't that simply a statement of the obvious? Having been forced to dip into our pockets to save Rock from collapse three years ago, this is one of several banks that works for us all – in theory, at least. After all, as taxpayers, we own the bank and employ its staff.

StanChart brings Liverpool to town

Well done Standard Chartered Bank, the emerging markets specialist, which is this Sunday staging an event a little closer to home. As part of its sponsorship deal with Liverpool FC, the bank has arranged for Ian Rush to run a football clinic forvisually impaired kids at the London Soccer Dome. They'll also get a session on "banking literacy" over lunch, butpresumably that's a small price to pay for some coaching from the Anfield legend.

The weird habits of a 'horker'

Brickbats to Nectar, the loyalty scheme people, for creating yet another ghastly bit of officejargon: "horkers", which is apparently shorthand for homeworkers. But some bouquets too for their wonderfully daft survey of the habits of Britain's so-calledhorkers. Nectar claims, for example, that 27 per cent of them take business calls while in the bath or shower – really, the shower? And 10 per cent of men who work from home apparently put on a suit and tie in order to recreate the office environment. Stick to the loyalty cards, guys.

Killjoys strike at royal wedding

A big boo too to Interfloor, and any other company taking the view that staff are not entitled to a day off for the RoyalWedding on 29 April, let alone any extra pay for working. The GMB union is angry that 400 staff at the flooring specialist have been told they need to book the day off if they do not want to work, even though the Government has declared an extrapublic holiday to celebrate the nuptials of Kate and Wills. Many employers are doing the same, the GMB warns. The law is apparently on their side, though the moral right very definitely is not.