Business Diary: Please don't leave, begs HSBC

HSBC clearly doesn't appear have much regard for the work ethic of the City's banking analysts, or journalists for that matter. Concerned that its announcement of senior management changes, made quite late in the day on Friday, might be missed by those cutting off early for the weekend, it felt obliged to make an early announcement that a statement would be forthcoming. But even that didn't hit analysts' screens until 5.17pm, so the less committed may still have missed it.

How the nice decade turned dire

Howard Archer, the irrepressible economist from IHS Global Insight, reckons it is time for a modern take on the famous Mervyn King remark about the "Nice" decade that preceded the recession. The Bank of England Governor explained he meant the economy during that period could be described as "non-inflationary, consistently expansionary". Mr Archer suggests the new version might be "disappointing inflation, rotten expansion" – or "Dire".

Bets mount up on Beale for Lloyds

Nationwide Building Society's chief executive, Graham Beale, has never known such excitement. Paddy Power, the bookmaker with a penchant for unusual wagers, has installed him as favourite in the race to succeed Eric Daniels as chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group (at odds of 5/2). Paddy Power's backing is no guarantee of success, of course, and it's only fair to say the smart money is being laid elsewhere, but after all these years hiding away in building society offices, let's allow Mr Beale his fun.