Business Connections

David Prosser: EU cash on the Horizon for innovators

The wheels of the European Commission sometimes grind slowly, but the Horizon 2020 project seems set to deliver valuable benefits to innovative small businesses in the technology and manufacturing sectors.

David Prosser: German lessons for British firms

Britain’s failure to build sufficient numbers of mid-sized businesses capable of matching Germany’s famous Mittelstand companies has been a long-held frustration for policymakers of all persuasions – it’s encouraging, therefore, to see them doing something about it.

David Prosser: The booming FinTech 50 businesses are exploring the use of new technologies – and many are British

Has Britain found its niche in the dotcom 2.0 boom? The growing number of financial technology businesses that are based in the UK but successful in the global marketplace suggests it just might have done – and rightly so, given its importance as a financial services hub.

SMEs ‘still not getting help’ on loan schemes

Lawrence Tomlinson’s report on RBS lending found there was evidence it had let some small businesses default

Small Talk: We need venture capitalists or a brave Business Bank to put up the money if Britain wants to have a Twitter of its very own

Last week’s Twitter IPO is yet another reminder that Britain isn’t producing technology businesses that are capable of reaching the same dizzying heights as the social media giants of California.

Small Talk: RBS let companies down on lending but so did most banks

The biggest lie is that lending at the bank disappointed as small firms didn’t want to borrow

Small Talk: We mustn’t let the FCA crowd out this new form of lending

‘It isn’t their job to tell people what they should or shouldn’t invest their money in’

Small Talk: Auto-enrolment could be a ticking timebomb for SMEs

Pension providers... have become  increasingly picky about whom they want to accept

Market Report: Red pen for RBS on profitability fears

The City withdrew funds from Royal Bank of Scotland yesterday on concerns it isn’t as profitable as some had hoped.Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch took the red pen to the taxpayer-owned bank on fears of falling margins on mortgages, dividend anxiety in relation to capital-ratio requirements, plus the possible issues of its government-enforced bad bank, US housing claims looming and EU Libor settlements.

Small Talk: Come on, banks – it’s time to start doing right by SMEs

There is reason to believe that demand for credit will once again begin to increase

Small Talk: Chance for small firms to win support on a special Saturday

Initiatives like these can sometimes feel gimmicky, but in  the US... the results have been tangible

Small Talk: Labour’s small-firm backing stokes job creation hopes

‘‘If we want to tackle unemployment, we should promote policies that favour small businesses’’

Market Report: Healthy result as Ixico takes over Phytopharm

The drug company that gave up on a failed new treatment for Parkinson’s, having raised millions from the likes of the Michael J Fox Foundation, has received a clean bill of health after a reverse take- over yesterday.

Small Talk: It’s time to relieve little firms of the business rate millstone

Don’t be surprised if small businesses dismiss Chancellor Osborne’s support as two-faced

Small Talk: Firms must start to switch banks now it’s much easier

No bank is  launching an  introductory deal to entice small  business customers

News
Tax on a typical North Sea oil field is now 50 per cent – as it was in 2010
Financial markets have generally assumed lower oil prices are good for asset prices, resulting from the positive effect on growth and lower inflation which extends the period of low interest rates. In reality, the large movement in oil prices has the potential to create significant financial instability, especially in debt markets, says Satyajit Das
News
Philip Smith quit RSA in November 2013, calling the internal investigation ‘fundamentally flawed’
The former chief executive, Philip Smith, is taking the insurer to a Dublin employment tribunal for constructive dismissal. Joe Brennan reports on the scandal that triggered the biggest sell-off in the company’s shares for almost a decade.
News
‘Too much delay’: Louise Ellman, chair of the Commons Transport Committee
Holey Corporate Governance! is how one law firm describes professional services outfit Quindell, in a nod to the classic 1960s Batman TV-show, writes James Moore
News
The Louis Vuitton store in Austria had its windows smashed by protesters last year
If there is any lesson to be learnt from the high-profile arrest of the billionaire gas tycoon Dmitry Firtash, it is this: watch where you do your luxury shopping in Vienna, says Jim Armitage
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
There has been progress in boosting female entrepreneurship in recent years, but nowhere near enough, says David Prosser
News
Ben Bernanke said deflation was usually caused by a collapse in demand
It seems likely the UK will become the 23rd European country to catch the deflation disease, says David Blanchflower
News
A piece of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Donetsk
Last year was more expensive for air disasters than any year since 2001. Jamie Dunkley examines the cost to the underwriters of aviation risk
News
The rise in the number of whistleblowers is impressive whichever way you look at it, says James Moore
News
The institution is now controlled not by a co-operative but by hedge funds, where these sort of payments are par for the course, says James Moore
News
The Treasury Select Committee will today take one of its last chances before Parliament’s dissolution to bowl another bouncer at the chest of the Financial Conduct Authority. James Moore on why we must watch over our watchmen
News
Princess Anne talks to Anthony Constantinou at the London Boat Show
Anthony Constantinou’s infancy was shattered by tragedy, but he went on to build a multimillion-pound City of London  business. Yet now the shadow of the law hangs over the boss of Capital World Markets, reports Jim Armitage
News
USC was put into administration by Sports Direct and was bought back immediately also by Sports Direct, with its £15.3m debts to staff, suppliers and landlords wiped clear
We’ve known for a while that Sports Direct sails close to the wind in terms of its business practices. After the performance of its chairman, James Moore says a more apt metaphor might be that it has been dancing with a hurricane
News
Ben Chu has the answers
News
MP Stella Creasy
Picking a team is fun, says Mark Leftly
News
The law on annuities will be changed from April 2016
History has shown that if you propose even a modest reform to the UK’s pension market you’re guaranteed a migraine from the bellyaching, notes James Moore
News
Ticket signs at Victoria Station on January 2, 2015 in London, England. Increased rail fares averaging 2.5% come into effect today, pushing the cost of some commuters annual rail fares to more than �5,000. Earlier this week, Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said that he would not be receiving his annual bonus because of the major rail disruption passengers faced over the Christmas period, which was caused by engineering works that overran.
Far from relieving the pressure on trains, the 16 per cent increase in seats might not even be enough to cope with the growth in passenger numbers, says James Moore
News
The story of Georgiou’s alleged fraud snugly fits the victim narrative so beloved of the country’s government, says Jim Armitage
News
The law on annuities will be changed from April 2016
Could pension providers’ loss be small businesses’ gain? David Prosser finds out
News
George Osborne was accused of a ‘roller-coaster’ approach to public spending
No ifs or buts, says David Blanchflower: last week’s mean-spirited heartless roller-coaster Budget was designed to smash the state and make the poor poorer.
News
What a shame that Next doesn’t do more to share that success with its employees, says James Moore
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Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor