Pembroke: Shorter year for TSB pensioners

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TSB PENSIONERS might be feeling hard done by at the moment. For 15 years they have received a pocket diary at Christmas. Not much, but a little annual recognition of services rendered. This year, they got nothing. Nothing, complains one pensioner, until a Christmas card arrived on 28 December. Stingy behaviour this, when you consider that just a few weeks later, chairman Sir Nicholas Goodison announced profits of pounds 305m.

Nothing has changed, TSB says. 'There has been a delay with the diaries because of a printing problem but they should be out by the end of the week,' a bank spokesman said.

Not that the pensioners would know this, of course, because no one at the bank had bothered to tell them. Tut tut.

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THINGS ARE going rather well at Lock & Co, the 17th century hatter that has won a NatWest award for exports. Not only are sales pushing ahead in countries such as Italy and Japan, but the tills are tinkling away happily in the quaint store on St James's Street.

Export manager Michael Sydney, who is currently over-seeing the store's third sale in 300 years, says he has noticed a number of young men from the worlds of advertising and PR purchasing up-market rabbit fur trilbys. 'I think they have become what I believe is described as a fashion item,' he says.

A SMALL victory for 'Tiny' Rowland in his intriguing battle with Dieter Bock at Lonrho. Mr Bock had hoped to hold a press conference at this week's results announcement, all part of his attempts to make Lonrho's behaviour more closely resemble that of other large quoted companies. No joy, it seems. No meeting will take place.

YOU HAD to admire the chutzpah of the young lad asking for money at Old Street tube station the other night. Not for him any of this forlorn patter about 10p for the price of a cup of coffee. 'Spare change for a night at the Hilton or I'll start playing my harmonica,' he threatened.

One can't help but feel that the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland is over-egging its pudding somewhat by describing its shin-dig in March as a 'festival of accounting'. Festival and accounting are not words that usually appear so closely related.

But the number-crunchers north of the border seem keen to keep the two-day get-together as light and bright as possible. The invitation to the presidential dinner, which will be held in South Queensferry, near Edinburgh, comes tagged with what is presumably meant to be a come-on. 'No speeches.'

BUSINESS must be becoming more competitive amongst m'learn'd friends.

Last week, Coral, the Bass-owned bookmaker, announced its plans to open the first betting shop at an airport following its successful licence application for a site at Gatwick.

A few days later, Coral's lawyers in the application for the site, Richards Butler, issued their own statement trumpeting their involvement in the licence deal. 'We don't issue press releases willy-nilly,' said a spokesman for the law firm. 'But we felt that as this was a milestone event it was worth a bit of a show not least because it was a woman licensing partner, Liz Southorn, who acted in the application.'