Credit crisis diary: Lloyds treads on Barclays' toes

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The Independent Online

Barclays and Lloyds still can't get their acts together. Having gone cap-in-hand to the Middle East and the UK government last year, the two banks have plenty to make amends for, both in the City and with their shareholders. But yesterday's first-quarter updates were not a great start. Lloyds had initially been expected to publish its statement next week, forcing Barclays to reschedule meetings with key analysts at the last minute when it discovered its rival's change of plans.

Rolls-Royce is quick off the mark

When Alistair Darling announced his £750m Strategic Investment Fund in last month's Budget, he stressed its low carbon credentials. So the very first applicant to the fund may take people by surprise – step forward Rolls-Royce, a champion of British industry for sure, but hardly renowned for its green credentials.

Coming soon to a runway near you

The latest thing in advertising is not hi-tech or even online, but a throwback to the glory days of the billboard. Flightpath Media makes ads in fields around airports, which passengers see as they come into land. One such ad, for OuncesPounds, apparently took eight people three days to produce in white and gold biodegradable paint. You'll spy it on landing at Gatwick.

Bankers have to fill their time somehow

Another winner emerges from the credit crunch. Illicit Encounters, which rather shamelessly styles itself as "the UK's largest extramarital dating site", claims it has seen an unprecedented rise in members since the onset of the credit crunch. The explanation, it reckons, is that bored City workers have finally found a bit of time to explore – how shall we put it? – other opportunities.

We'd never have thought of that

Wise words from the Financial Services Authority, the watchdog responsible for consumer education. Its latest wheeze is to publish some helpful advice for people worried about saving in a low interest rate environment. Its tips include: "Shop around", "Get ahead of inflation" and "avoid too good to be true offers". What invaluable pearls of wisdom.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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