LLOYDS SET TO EASE PRESSURE ON CHIEF
Lloyds Banking Group is exploring ways to reduce the workload on António Horta-Osório, its chief executive, as it attempts to convince investors he will be able to make a successful comeback from a period of medical leave. The state-backed bank is considering fortifying the support around Mr Horta-Osório to ease the pressures of the top job, according to people familiar with its thinking.
SEAT PAGINE DISPUTE TRIGGERS TEST CASE FOR CORPORATE CDS MARKET
The effectiveness of derivatives to insure against companies defaulting on debt is to be tested in a benchmark case involving the Italian directory company Seat Pagine Gialle. The industry body overseeing the multi-trillion dollar market for credit default swaps has been forced to refer a decision on whether the firm had defaulted to external review after heated complaints from hedge-fund investors.
WATCHDOG SUGGESTS PWC FINE OF UP TO £34M
The disciplinary arm of the UK’s accounting regulator has suggested that PwC should receive a fine of as much as £34m for auditing failures relating to JPMorgan’s securities business. At a disciplinary hearing yesterday, the lawyers representing the Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board said that the penalty on PwC should not be “vastly disproportionate” to the £33.3m fine imposed on JPMorgan last year.
UNILEVER WORKERS VOTE FOR STRIKE ACTION OVER PENSIONS
Workers at Unilever in the UK have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action over the closure of the Anglo-Dutch multinational’s final salary pension scheme.
POOR WILL PAY IF TESCO IS KEPT OUT OF INDIA, ECONOMIST CLAIMS
Hundreds of millions of India’s poorest people will be forced to pay higher prices for basic food staples including rice and vegetables if government proposals to allow foreign supermarkets to open in India fail, Kaushik Basu, the country’s chief economic adviser has told The Times.
COMPUTER ATTACKS SOAR WITH UK PLC UNPROTECTED
Cyberattacks are fast replacing quick-fingered employees and crooked beancounters as the biggest criminal threats to British businesses, research shows. More than a quarter of British companies were victims of some form of computer-related crime, such as hacking or intellectual property theft, in the past year, according to the latest economic crime survey by PwC.
The Daily Telegraph
ICELAND COULD START SELLING TVS AND LINGERIE
Iceland could start selling TVs, lingerie, pots, pans and toys, according to an "alternative business plan" sent to potential buyers of the frozen supermarket chain. According to strategy consultants OC&C, Iceland's new owner could boost growth by expanding into non-grocery sales. This could include things such as electrical goods, homewares, clothing and video games.
SMALL FIRMS WIN ONE IN THREE BANK APPEALS
More than one in three small businesses using an appeals process set up following the Project Merlin agreement have successfully challenged a bank’s decision to reject a loan application, according to Russel Griggs, who leads the appeals system’s team of independent reviewers.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
KINDLE CATCHES FIRE
After more than a year of missteps by Apple’s tablet rivals, at least one viable competitor appears to have surfaced for the popular iPad. Amazon.com yesterday trumpeted the success of its recently launched Kindle Fire table, part of a family of Kindle products. The company said it sold more than four times as many Kindle products on Black Friday last week as the same day in 2010.
YEN FORCES TOYOTA TO RETHINK JAPAN-BASED PRODUCTION
Toyota president Akio Toyoda said yesterday the auto maker would consider shifting more of its compact-car production from Japan and shake up its supplier base to stay competitive if the yen remains at record highs against the US dollar. He said it “doesn't make sense” at the current yen rate to export compact cars.