Record UK government surplus in January

Image copyright Getty Images Britain’s public finances have received a big boost ahead of the chancellor’s Spring Statement next month. Income from taxes beat public spending by £14.9bn in January, the largest monthly surplus since records began in 1993, official figures showed. The bumper surplus beat economists’ forecasts of £10bn, and was £5.6bn greater than […]

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Purplebricks shares dive on sales outlook shock

Image copyright Getty Images Shares in estate agents Purplebricks plunged after it slashed its sales forecast and announced the departure of two senior executives. The company expects sales for the current financial year of between £130m and £140m. Its previous forecast was between £165m and £175m. Purplebricks blamed a “challenging” UK housing market and “headwinds” […]

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City centres ‘could become ghost towns’

Image copyright Getty Images City centres are in danger of becoming ghost towns as shopping habits change, a committee of MPs has warned. To combat this, the government should “level the playing field” for High Street retailers by raising taxes on online giants such as Amazon, it said. The MPs also called for lower business […]

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Standard Chartered puts aside $900m for potential fines

Image copyright Getty Images Standard Chartered is putting aside $900m (£690m) for potential fines involving investigations in Britain and the US. The money will cover separate investigations into breaches of US sanctions and foreign exchange trading issues. It also covers a £102.2m fine from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority related to financial crime controls. The […]

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Asda sales growth slows amid ‘challenging’ trade

Image copyright Reuters Supermarket chain Asda has reported a slowdown in sales growth amid another “challenging year” for retailers. In the final three months of 2018, like-for-like sales grew 1%, compared with a 2% rise in the previous quarter. Asda chief executive Roger Burnley said that Brexit uncertainties were “playing on our customers’ minds”. Asda […]

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Estonia orders Danske Bank branch to shut

Image copyright ReutersImage caption The Tallinn branch must close by 19 October Estonia has told Danske Bank to close its branch in Tallinn before the end of 2019 after a money-laundering scandal. Chief executive Thomas Borgen resigned last year after an investigation into payments of about €200bn (£174bn) which were made through the branch. The […]

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UK employment hits another record high

Image copyright Getty Images The number of people in work in the UK has continued to climb, with a record 32.6 million employed between October and December, the latest Office for National Statistics figures show. Unemployment was little-changed in the three-month period at 1.36 million. The jobless rate, remaining at 4%, is at its lowest […]

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Honda confirms Swindon car plant closure

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionHonda Europe boss Ian Howells says the decision was driven by big changes in the industry Honda has confirmed it will close its Swindon car plant in 2021, with the loss of about 3,500 jobs. The Japanese company builds 160,000 Honda Civics a year in Swindon, its […]

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HSBC profits hit by China slowdown

Image copyright Reuters HSBC has reported a lower-than-expected 15.9% rise in pre-tax profits for 2018, partly because of an economic slowdown in China and Hong Kong. Europe’s largest bank made $19.9bn (£15.4bn) before tax last year, compared with $17.2bn in 2017. Reported revenue was $53.8bn, a rise of 5% from the previous year. HSBC makes […]

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