hei-fi

No time should be wasted asking them to reform – just do it

John Shepherd-Barron: Inventor of the hole-in-the-wall cash dispenser

John Shepherd-Barron's invention of the automatic cash dispenser – now ubiquitous, but in the 1960s a mysterious contrivance – owed something to his technological grasp, his business sense and his ingenuity. It also owed something to his annoyance with a bank branch when he turned up at 12.31 on a Saturday to find to his irritation that it had closed one minute earlier, which meant he could not cash a cheque.

Business Diary: Relishing round two of Branson versus Cable

Is Sir Richard Branson's Virgin group still in the running for Northern Rock, the nationalised bank that the Government hopes in the not-too-distant future to sell back to the private sector? If so, the bearded one is going to need to get past Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, with whom he has a little form. Only two years ago, the first time Sir Richard had a tilt at buying Northern Rock, Cable questioned in the Commons whether he was a "fit and proper person" to run the bank.

Business Diary: 24/04/2010

The 7,500 lost souls who didn't read small print

David Prosser: Balancing riches with relevance

Outlook What does Lord Mandelson think about the pay of Bart Becht, the chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser, who took home benefits worth a little over £90m last year? In the good old days of new Labour, the business secretary famously pronounced the party "intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich" (though the second half of the quote – "as long as they pay their taxes" – is often forgotten). A decade or so on, however, Lord Mandelson seems a little more uptight about boardroom largesse, laying into Barclays Bank's Bob Diamond at the weekend for his earnings.

Footwear chain Faith battles to secure management buyout deal

The women's footwear retailer Faith was in advanced negotiations with two bidders over a management buyout to safeguard the future of the chain yesterday.

Rock's chief Hoffman given £1.4m despite loss of £383m

Gary Hoffman, the chief executive of the nationalised bank Northern Rock, was paid nearly £1.4m last year – more than he was previously receiving at Barclays Bank, it emerged yesterday.

Barclays cashier jailed over £1m accounts con

The key player in a group of Barclays bank workers who tried to steal more than £1 million from wealthy account holders was jailed for five years today.

Business Diary: 20/02/2010

Three Nobel winners better than two

Well done to the organisers of two letters to the FT, where 60 economists rejected calls for cuts to public spending.

Letters: Peace in Israel

Israel will find peace by talking, not assassination

David Prosser: Are the banks over the worst of bad debts?

Outlook As this paper reported yesterday on its front page "Credit card rates [have] hit a 12-year high". If you want to know why, look no further than the results of Barclays Bank. At its Barclaycard division, bad debts rose from £1.1bn to £1.8bn last year. That has to be paid for somehow and higher credit card rates are one answer.

Andreas Whittam Smith: Obama's Wall Street reforms aren't nearly radical enough

Tinkering with rules on liquidity and capital won't limit systemic risk

Bankers fight back against Obama

Davos became the forum for a chorus of attacks on plans to restrict financial institutions yesterday as governments were accused of electioneering

2020 vision: While the big beasts of the Square Mile and Wall Street go east in a hurry, the euro goes nowhere fast

It was the most gripping opening to a most exciting second decade of the 21st century. Just days into January 2010, Barclays bank stunned the world's stock markets by moving its HQ, and 5,000 of its investment banking staff, to Hong Kong. Another 2,000 Barclays bankers and traders were transferred to Mumbai, where India's National Stock Exchange is still the fastest growing exchange in the world; 2,000 staff decamped to Singapore, now the world's epicentre for energy technologies and the first producer of hydrogen cell cars; and another 500 traders were moved to Rio de Janeiro, South American's busiest stock market.

2020 vision: Our team of futurologists peers into mists of time

Britain's first black prime minister is settling into Number 10, Sir Alexander McQueen has given King Charles a makeover and the City's carbon traders are coining it. Welcome to the future – but what other surprises are around the corner? Our experts reflect on the biggest events of the next 10 years

Barclays pays dividend again as HSBC says worst is over

Profits continue to flow at banks that avoided bailouts
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