Category Archives: Business

O2 signal loss: Outcry from users as business secretary tells company to ‘sort it out’

Business secretary urges phone provider to “sort it out” after people in Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Glasgow and parts of Northern Ireland go without service

The business secretary, Sajid Javid, has urged phone provider O2 to “sort it out” after a flood of complaints from people who had lost the signal on their mobile telephones. He tweeted “No signal O2. Please sort it out” as annoyed customers went online to claim they have had no service for up to five hours.

People in Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Glasgow and parts of Northern Ireland and London have reported problems. The phone provider, which had suggested that people reboot their handsets and turn their phones on and off again, said there were aware of “some issues” and “isolated instances”.

Related: O2 locks customers into higher prices after changing contract terms

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Posted in Business, Mobile phones, O2, Technology, Telecommunications industry, Telecoms, UK news, World news | Comments Off

Germany and France agree closer eurozone ties without treaty change

Proposals to be tabled at EU summit in June will come as a blow to David Cameron who will table British pre-referendum demands at same meeting Continue reading…
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Posted in Angela Merkel, Business, David Cameron, EU referendum, Europe, European Union, eurozone, Foreign policy, François Hollande, Politics, UK news, World news | Comments Off

How to turn a liberal hipster into a capitalist tyrant in one evening

A new play, World Factory, asks the audience to run a clothing factory in China – and even the creators have been surprised at how people have behaved

The choices were stark: sack a third of our workforce or cut their wages by a third. After a short board meeting we cut their wages, assured they would survive and that, with a bit of cajoling, they would return to our sweatshop in Shenzhen after their two-week break.

But that was only the start. In Zoe Svendsen’s play World Factory at the Young Vic, the audience becomes the cast. Sixteen teams sit around factory desks playing out a carefully constructed game that requires you to run a clothing factory in China. How to deal with a troublemaker? How to dupe the buyers from ethical retail brands? What to do about the ever-present problem of clients that do not pay? Because the choices are binary they are rarely palatable. But what shocked me – and has surprised the theatre – is the capacity of perfectly decent, liberal hipsters on London’s south bank to become ruthless capitalists when seated at the boardroom table.

Related: World Factory review – interactive play smartly unravels fashion industry

Related: Chinese factory activity slumps to lowest for a year as demand slows

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Posted in Business, China, Ethical business, Globalisation, Theatre, World news | Comments Off

Giles Fraser: my hopes for the Occupy St Paul’s drama that puts me on the stage

When anti-capitalist protesters set up camp on the steps of St Paul’s in London, its canon chancellor found himself at the heart of a crisis that shook the church even more than the City. As a new play, Temple, explores the affair, he questions the very existence of the cathedral itself

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Posted in Anglicanism, Banking, Banking reform, Business, Christianity, Corporation of London, Culture, Donmar Warehouse, Economic policy, Economics, Financial sector, Giles Fraser, Justin Welby, London, Occupy London, Occupy movement, Politics, Protest, Religion, Society, Stage, Theatre, UK news, World news | Comments Off

Greek minister says Athens cannot make IMF debt repayments

Interior minister Nikos Voutsis makes most explicit remarks yet that if talks with creditors fail, Greece will default next month Continue reading…
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Posted in austerity, Business, Economics, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, European monetary union, European Union, Eurozone crisis, Financial crisis, Financial sector, Greece, International Monetary Fund (IMF), syriza, Top News, World news | Comments Off

Why putting bank bosses behind bars is still nigh on impossible

Bankers are known to have been ‘brazen’ in their illegal behaviour, but apart from in Iceland, few top directors have been jailed – for reasons that may start with fear of an Arthur Andersen outrage

US attorney general Loretta Lynch declared last week that five major banks had engaged in “brazenly illegal behaviour” on a “near-daily basis” in rigging foreign exchange markets. But no sooner had she imposed record £2.6bn fines on the banks and extracted guilty pleas from four of them – including Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays – than she was facing questions about why no charges were brought against individuals.

This is a familiar refrain ever since the 2008 banking crisis led to multibillion-pound bailouts. Some bankers have ended up behind bars: Iceland currently has four former bank bosses in jail, while in the US a few junior bankers have been convicted. Ireland convicted two former executives of Anglo Irish Bank, but did not jail them.

If bank bosses knew about wrongdoing on their watch, they are complicit. If they did not know, they are incompetent

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Labour urges Osborne to reveal what he knew about Bank’s ‘Brexit’ taskforce

Labour asks whether chancellor was ‘in on the secret’ of Bank of England’s ‘Project Bookend’ which is assessing economic risks of UK leaving EU

The shadow chancellor has called on George Osborne to reveal what he knew about the Bank of England’s secret project to assess the economic risks if Britain votes to leave the European Union.

Chris Leslie questioned why the Bank had been trying to keep the project under wraps.

Related: Secret Bank of England taskforce investigates financial fallout of Brexit

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General Motors faces huge fine over ‘criminal’ ignition defects – reports

US justice department has identified criminal wrongdoing over the company’s failure to disclose the fault, the New York Times says

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Amazon to begin paying corporation tax on UK retail sales

From the start of this month the online retailer has started booking its sales through the UK, meaning resulting profits will be taxed by HMRCAmazon has become the first technology company to abandon controversial corporate structures that divert sales…
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UK mortgage deals jump by nearly a fifth as competition heats up

Returning confidence in the housing market, combined with stimulus schemes such as Help to Buy, have encouraged lenders to offer more dealsThe number of mortgage deals on the market has jumped by nearly a fifth in a year to its highest level since the …
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