Credit crisis diary: Vans stand at the ready as City predicts a riot

Sunday 08 December 2013 05:17
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Workers in the City are putting up the barricades as they prepare for today's expected G20 riots. As protesters descend on London, bankers are donning their civvies and muttering darkly about loading their hunting rifles. As shop owners around the Royal Exchange board up their windows, several clean-up firms are on red alert. The property emergency group HomeServe has stationed 40 vans in Bermondsey, ready to sweep up the glass should things get out of hand. Judging by the way van men drive in general, the protesters themselves should probably watch out for their safety.

Security fears drive bankers to Popemobile

Hyundai, meanwhile, has gone one better. As a promotional tie-in with the G20, the South Korean group has launched a new car to protect bankers fearing for their safety. The i10 model has previously been favoured by religious leaders, following the success of the Popemobile. However, the fears over riots in the City this week have led Hyundai to announce the vehicle on limited release in London today, believing the timing is right for selling, given the feeling towards bankers. The car-maker hasn't skimped on comfort, either. It has put in special upholstery woven by monks from the Indian city of Utta Bullacks. The cloth was nicknamed "holy sheet" by Hyundai's specialist trimmers. First come, first served.

Credit crunch leaves Sir Stuart needing a drink

Marks & Sparks has suffered since the onset of the financial market crisis. It seems to have taken a toll on the chief executive, Sir Stuart Rose, who was recently seen leaving Annabel's a little the worse for wear. It seems his thirst had not abated yesterday, despite M&S's results pleasing the market. "We all need a drink in these tough times. I certainly do," he said.

iShares appoints new ship-shape skipper

Barclays looks set to hand control of iShares over to CVC this week, but can the PE group live up to the success of iShares' other appointment this week? The double gold medallist Shirley Robertson is to skipper the iShares boat for an extreme sailing series. Her success might well leave CVC green with envy. Just don't tell anyone she's sponsored by Aegon.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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