Business Diary: Time is cheap for Bank's Tucker

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The Independent Online

Paul Tucker, the Bank of England's Deputy Governor, was sporting what appeared to be a newish Swatch timepiece at yesterday's big bash on banking regulation. Until recently he could be seen wearing something a bit chunkier and more expensive-looking. Is he following in the footsteps of Standard Chartered boss Peter Sands, who has worn his trademark Swatch for years? And could understatement now be making a belated comeback in the City?

Eurozone spies an opportunity

Christine Lagarde may not be ruling herself either in or out of the running for the top job at the International Monetary Fund, but William Hill for one thinks she's a slam dunk. The bookmaker has slashed the odds on her candidacy being successful from 20/1 to 6/4, admitting that "we were taken by surprise by the flood of bets". Have the Greeks, Irish and Portuguese spotted a quick opportunity for making a dent in their deficits, we wonder?

Parker pinches top spot from Rudd

Someone might be about to get a phone call. PRWeek magazine's annual survey of the most powerful people in public relations has just been published and there has been a small but significant changing of the guard in the world of City spinners. Alan Parker, the founder of Brunswick, has jumped ahead of his rival Roland Rudd, the co-founder of Finsbury. Rudd, renowned for his fine eye for detail – as well as his influential relationships in both the City and Westminster – is unlikely to have failed to spot this slight.

The plumber is not impressed

One surmises that Charlie Mullins, the entrepreneur behind Pimlico Plumbers, is not entirely impressed with the Government's new Business Growth Fund, a venture financed by the banks that invests in growing businesses in return for a stake and board representation. "Fool's Gold," he brands the fund. "There is no chance in hell I would ever hand over part of my company to a bunch of bankers in exchange for some of their tainted cash," Mullins adds. "Why would any sane businessperson allow a bank to have shares in their operation and a seat on the board?"