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Some Bank of England regulators wanted lenders to be forced to raise even more fresh capital than the £25 billion they were told to produce last week, minutes from the latest meeting of the financial policy committee indicate.

Investment: Lenders find a silver lining in the gloom

CATTLES, the personal loans provider, could be one of few companies to benefit if Martin Taylor, the chief executive of Barclays, is right about a global credit crunch. In a recession, high street banks usually tighten their personal lending criteria, and other providers of consumer credit can then meet the frustrated demand.

Barclays boss to woo rivals

MARTIN TAYLOR, chief executive of Barclays, is preparing to step up pressure on rivals and regulators for further wide-scale consolidation in the UK banking sector.

Barclays shares slip 3% as results disappoint the City

A LACKLUSTRE set of first-half results from Barclays Bank caused its shares to slip by 3 per cent yesterday.

Outlook: An implausible merger driven by executive ego

ON the Travelers-Citicorp deal and the problems facing the coal industry

Barclays owns up on BZW pay

Head of former investment banking subsidiary did receive pounds 5m for 13 months' work

Shake-up of NICs could drive engineers abroad

ENGINEERING companies are seriously considering leaving the country because of the Government's shake-up of National Insurance, announced in the Budget on Tuesday.

Brown to tell Britain: it's good to work

The Budget aims to help the low-paid, writes Paul Routledge

MPs warn of purse-to-wallet pitfall in new tax credit

MPS WARNED the Government that it must ensure plans to replace Family Credit with a new tax credit in next week's Budget do not switch cash from women to men in low-income households.

Barclays shares slide as merger plans stay vague

Shares in Barclays, the banking group, sank 6 per cent yesterday as the City expressed its disappointment at a lacklustre set of full-year results and the absence of positive news on merger plans.

Politics: New family tax credit can go in mothers' purses

The Government will launch a national advertising campaign to boost the take-up of its planned working families tax credit when it replaces family credit next year.

Investment column: Barclays spells out the damage

Normally when a chief executive tells the market that, because of a strategic error, profits are going to be pounds 688m lower then normal, all hell breaks loose. Unless, of course, you are Barclays. Then the City pats you on the back and your shares rise by 41p to 1886p.

Outlook: Swiss merger is no blueprint for Britain

Martin Taylor, chief executive of Barclays, is not quite a Eurosceptic, but he is a leading business opponent of the single currency, which he thinks could prove economically disastrous for Europe. That doesn't seem to have stopped him and his allies marshalling the arguments of monetary union in favour of allowing Barclays to takeover National Westminster Bank. He'll be at it afresh now that Union Bank of Switzerland has agreed merger terms with Swiss Bank Corporation to create what on most measures is the world's second-largest bank. If the Swiss are allowed to do it, why not us, he'll be asking government ministers.

Jazz: The art of trio control

The Betty Carter system of man-management is simple but effective. Firstly, you choose employees (in Betty's case, the musicians for her trio) who are above all young and malleable. Secondly, you intimidate them to within an inch of their lives. Thirdly, you offer the occasional sexual come-on - delivered in the full public glare of on-stage performance - to act as both a carrot and a stick. As a method of team-building, it might not work for accountancy, but it sure as hell does the trick in jazz. Faced with the terrifying presence of their employer, Carter's trios - which seem to be getting younger as she gets older - begin to develop almost paranormal powers of inter-group communication. True, they may not look very happy, but they sound magnificent. Not, of course, that they have much say in how they sound at all.

Outlook: Is the CBI the voice of business?

Is the CBI the voice of business?

WH Smith backs down and agrees to meet Waterstone

The embattled retailer WH Smith has agreed to sit down with Tim Waterstone early this week to discuss his revised proposals for its restructuring, probably tomorrow. Tom Stevenson reports on the change of heart at Smiths.
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