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  • Royal Mail missing postal targets, says Ofcom

    November 22, 2013 9:14 AM 25

    Ofcom has told Royal Mail it must improve "important aspects" of the service it provides to postal users after missing key performance targets. The regulator said Royal Mail had failed to deliver 93% of all first class letters the day after they were posted, only achieving a 91.7% rate. However, it added that the recently-privatised Royal Mail was on a "stronger

  • Domestic-led Q3 growth bolsters Germany in showdown over trade

    November 22, 2013 7:52 AM 29

    BERLIN (Reuters) - A robust rise in domestic demand overshadowed weak exports to drive a 0.3 percent expansion in the German economy in the third quarter, giving the government ammunition in its showdown with Brussels over euro zone trade imbalances. The European Commission is investigating Germany's persistently high current account surplus amid criticism

  • Paul Flowers arrested over drugs allegations

    November 22, 2013 6:51 AM 24

    The former chairman of the Co-op Bank has been arrested in Merseyside in connection with a "drugs supply investigation", the BBC understands. Paul Flowers, 63, was filmed handing over £300 apparently for cocaine and other illegal drugs. Following the revelations he was suspended from both the Methodist Church, where he was a minister in Bradford, and the Labour

  • Ryanair spreads its wings at Stansted

    November 21, 2013 11:10 PM 28

    Business travellers are to be offered flexible tickets by Ryanair as the Irish airline tries to shake off a reputation for rigid rules and uncompromising customer service. Announcing a dozen new European and North African routes from London’s Stansted Airport yesterday, Michael O’Leary, chief executive, offered a rare admission that his airline needed

  • Co-op Bank crisis: David Davis says ministers should have seen it coming

    November 21, 2013 10:01 PM 21

    Senior backbench Conservative MP David Davis has described the problems at the Co-op Bank as a "spectacular failure" that "should have been seen coming". In an interview with BBC Radio 4's World at One, he said the Financial Services Authority had warned about the bank's problems in April 2012. The Treasury and the Bank of England should therefore have been aware

  • Cows fall through roof into Lamorna artist's workshop

    November 21, 2013 4:43 PM 29

    An artist "miraculously" avoided injury when two cows dropped through the roof of her workshop. The cows fell through a skylight after breaking through fencing in a field that overlooks the building in Lamorna, Cornwall. Sue Marshall, 77, was vacuuming in an adjoining kitchen when the cows landed next to a loom where she works. Both cows, which were unharmed

  • George Osborne’s Stamp Duty Bonanza

    November 21, 2013 3:50 PM 199

    Figures from the taxman add more weight to the suggestion that the UK's housing market is now in a fully fledged boom. Stamp duty revenues - one of the most reliable measures of property market activity - are back to the same level they were just before the economic crisis in 2008, in the latest evidence of the housing boom. Last month homebuyers paid £852m in stamp

  • Help to Buy: Thousands use scheme to buy new homes

    November 21, 2013 2:16 PM 31

    Some 5,375 new homes were bought in six months in England using the initial phase of the government's flagship Help to Buy scheme, figures show. Of these, 92% were sold to first-time buyers, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said. Help to Buy was launched in April, initially helping those buying newly-built homes with a shared

  • UK public finances improve in October as economy grows

    November 21, 2013 12:09 PM 37

    The UK's public finances improved in October, as a recovering economy and housing market boosted tax revenues. Borrowing, excluding the cost of interventions such as bank bailouts, fell to £8.08bn in October, down from £8.24bn in the same month last year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. The fall came despite the £2bn of shares sold in the flotation

  • FTSE steady as solid earnings offset Fed stimulus concerns

    November 21, 2013 12:00 PM 33

    LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's top shares traded flat on Thursday as solid earnings from companies including Johnson Matthey offset concerns over the outlook for U.S. monetary policy prompted by the minutes of last month's Federal Reserve meeting. Johnson Matthey, the world's largest maker of catalysts to control car emissions, rose 2.8 percent, the top FTSE 100 riser