The next step: British prime minister Theresa May prepares to make her statement outside number 10 Downing Street, calling for a general election on June 8th. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

London Briefing: The British prime minister’s gamble could pay off nicely for the UK

London Briefing: Punishment needed if Threadneedle Street codes to be enforced

A battle with a company with pockets as deep as Apple’s is a daunting prospect. Phtograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

London letter: Unless it can compromise with Apple, it may have to call in the lawyers

British annual inflation jumped in February to the highest level in almost three and a half years, driven by increasing fuel costs. Photograph:  Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Treasury acknowledges families are increasingly worried about rising bills

Deputy governor of the Bank of England Charlotte Hogg:   has admitted breaching   guidelines. Photograph: PA

Deputy governor of the Bank of England fails to declare her brother’s role at Barclays

 Liz Truss: the lord chancellor’s  shock ruling saw shares in insurance companies tumble. Photograph: PA

London Briefing: Liz Truss’s shock ruling means personal injury payouts will rise

 Royal Bank of Scotland: A plan to separate 300 branches from the bailed out bank’s network has proved almost impossible, largely because of technical difficulties with   antiquated IT systems. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

Alternative to Brussels-imposed sell off of 300 branches starting to look cheap

 Underlying profits at Rolls Royce tumbled by 49 per cent to £813 million but this was better than the City had expected. Photograph: Rolls-Royce/PA Wire

£4.6bn loss-making group maintains final dividend payment at last year’s 7.1p a share

British prime minister Theresa May: “Our broken housing market is one of the greatest barriers to progress.” Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

London Briefing: Sajid Javid’s proposals acknowledge crisis but are short on new ideas

Traffic in  Times Square during a massive power outage  on August 14th, 2003. The blackout hit US and Canadian cities Thursday, closing nuclear power plants in Ohio and New York state, driving workers in New York City and Toronto into the streets, and shutting subways in blistering heat. Photograph: AP Photo/Gregory Bull

London Briefing: Insurers test industry’s ability to withstand cascading catastrophes

 Gavin Patterson: The chief executive of  the BT Group said he was  disappointed by BT Italia’s falsified accounts, which he called a  “very complex set of manipulations”. Photograph: EPA/Gian Ehrenzeller

London Briefing: Shares already fallen before hole in BT Italia accounts rocketed from £145m to £530m

Rolls-Royce said it had undergone “a fundamental change” since the corruption was uncovered. Photograph: Paul Ellis/Reuters

London Briefing: End to uncertainty cheers market, despite firm’s £671 million penalty

The leader of Britain’s  Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn speaks at Paston Farm Centre, near Peterborough,  January 10th. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Other measures to reduce inequality include bosses’ pay based on multiple of workers’ pay

Philip Green: One  Labour MP wants parliament to bring in a “nuclear deterrent” to prevent the likes of Green from walking away from his pension responsibilities. Photograph: Reuters/Bobby Yip

London Briefing: Exactly zero has been done since disgraced tycoon promised to ‘sort’ BHS pension mess

A customer uses an ATM machine outside Lloyds Bank in Camberwell, London. The cost of the deal could mean investors will miss out on any special dividends they might have expected. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Concerns raised over timing of bailed-out bank’s first major acquisition since crisis

Rail services across the Southern Rail franchise have been affected by a strike by the Aslef drivers union in a dispute over driver-only trains. Photograph: WILL OLIVER

Drivers’ union Aslef and the RMT protesting over plans to operate driver-only trains

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is putting forward plans to clamp down on firms selling contract for difference (CFD) products to retail customers. Photograph:  John Stillwell/PA Wire

Financial Conduct Authority’s report shows 82% of customers lose money trading in CDFs

Martin Sorrell, head  of  WPP: last year his pay package was £70.4 million, paid in cash and shares, taking the total he has earned at the advertising group since 2009 to £190 million. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

WPP chief adds to €190m earnings as government publishes proposals for crackdown

Theresa May: “Just about managing” remark seen as patronising. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Chancellor Philip Hammond will struggle to find sweeteners in his autumn statement

Bank of England governor Mark Carney giving evidence to the British parliament’s treasury committee in London on Tuesday. Photograph: Getty Images

Bank of England governor says politicians have to address gap between rich and poor

Marks & Spencer in Paris: the company is withdrawing from France, including its flagship store in the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Company to shut flagship shop on the Champs-Elysées

 Bank of England governor Mark Carney: grin on his face  as he left 10 Downing Street on Monday “left little doubt, in his view at least, that he had the upper hand”. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

London Briefing: Critics claim win as Bank of England governor extends term by one year

An Airbus A380 preparing to land at Heathrow airport. The British government approved a third runway at the London airport on Tuesday, a decision that follows decades of debate. Photograph: AFP Photo/Justin Tallis

Green light has been given for construction of third runway at London airport

London estate agency Jackson-Stops predicts that homes in the lowest-price bracket “will go the way of the black rhino” in the city this year. Photograph: PA

Quite what they thought would happen to cost of imports with pound worth a fifth less is something of a mystery

Outsourcing group Mitie’s chief executive to leave weeks after issuing profit warning

IMF chief Christine Lagarde: “we have done our homework, and we haven’t found anything positive to say about a Brexit vote”

London Briefing: In May the IMF predicted a vote to leave the EU would precipitate a UK stock market crash

Mike Ashley: shocking disclosures saw him hauled before MPs to answer questions and sparked widespread public anger. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Showdown with the beleaguered board of UK’s biggest sports retailer set to begin

SoftBank Group Corp chairman and chief executive  Masayoshi Son.  Photograph: Reuters

Decisions on the business will now be made in Tokyo rather than Cambridge

City fund manager Neil Woodford  abolished annual bonuses and will instead increase rates of basic pay and benefits for his employees. Photograph: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

London Briefing: Bigger City firms unlikely to follow Woodford example

Former BHS owner Sir Philip Green (left) and British MP Frank Field: Mr Field recently blasted the billionaire for the “evil” he had done in destroying the BHS business, its  jobs and the pension scheme. Photograph: PA

Philip Green under scrutiny as British Home Stores to cease trading by end of August

 A man passes a Lloyds building in the City of London: bank boss Antonio Horta-Osorio’s trysts with a  mistress on a company trip to Singapore hit the headlines. Photograph:  Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

As competition authority report into banking comes out so does news of bank boss’s tryst

The great escape: It took Andy from the Shawshank Redemption 20 years to break out. BoE’s Andy Haldane doesn’t have the same  luxury of time

Bank of England expected to act to cut rates rather than delay

There are fears that the ARM deal could be the first in a new wave of foreign takeovers as overseas buyers capitalise on the strength of their currencies against the battered pound. Photograph: ARM Holdings/PA Wire

Despite Theresa May’s enthusiasm, the sale of the chip designer hints at UK weakness

Britain’s central bank governor Mark Carney:  “If we view something as the biggest risk to financial stability we have an obligation to parliament and to the people of the UK to make that clear,” he told the UK treasury committee. Photograph:  PA Wire

UK central bank governor rebuts claims of ‘phoney forecasts’ in favour of Remain

Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Commercial property trading suspended amid Brexit vote jitters

Working on a Rolls-Royce  engine:  the company reaffirmed its commitment to the UK in the wake of the decision to exit the European Union, but warned that longer term assurances would depend on a post-Brexit deal. Photograph: Gary Marshall/Rolls-Royce/PA Wire

Bosses of several leading firms issue statements to reassure investors

Two years ago, when the inquiry was launched amid widespread public anger over energy charges, MPs from all sides welcomed the probe. Photograph:  Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Claim energy providers overcharged customers by £1.7bn a year will likely be dropped

Sir Philip Green is expected to express regret over selling BHS to a former bankrupt with no retail experience when he faces MPs today. Photograph: Ian West/PA Wire

Retailer backs down and will go before MPs to account for his actions over BHS

Mike Ashley: Said Sports Direct’s policy of docking 15 minutes pay if a worker was just one minute late for their shift was “unacceptable”. Photograph: Reuters

Investors sure to be alarmed after tycoon makes astonishing Westminster admission

Austin Reed is to close its doors by the end of June after administrators failed to find a buyer for the business. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images

Outfitters Austin Reed the latest famous name set to disappear

Bank of England governor Mark Carney: Prominent Vote Leave supporter, Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg accused the governor of damaging the bank’s reputation by “taking sides” in the increasingly ill-tempered debate over Britain’s future in Europe. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Warning of ‘technical recession’ after exit from EU enraged Vote Leave camp

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, vocal in criticising City bonuses but may need to look closer to home. Photograph:  Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Company one of a large number of multinationals accused of tax avoidance

Marble Arch in London: BHS employees also projected images on   Blackfriars Bridge and Wellington Arch as well as the 88-year-old company’s headquarters. Photograph:  BHS/PA Wire

Former owner of major retailer to attend Commons inquiry into £571m pension deficit

The average sum given by parents to their “generation rent” offspring is £17,500, or 7 per cent of purchase price

‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ will lend a €6.3bn this year, according to Legal & General

Sir Philip Green: There are calls to strip him of his knighthood unless he volunteers to help plug the £571m black hole in British Home Stores’ pension scheme.   Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Billionaire knight facing storm over appointment of administrators to retail group

Martin Sorrell: said he had spent more than three decades building WPP from a £1m company into one capitalised at £21bn

Boss of advertising giant WPP gets his retaliation in early over £70m pay

Tesco: profits for the year are likely to come in at about £450 million – a huge turnaround on the £6.4 billion loss of the previous year. Photograph:   Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Retailer expected to report first increase in quarterly sales in more than three years

Steve Rowe takes charge at M&S at a difficult time for the retail industry. Photogreaph: Toby Melville/Reuters

City keen to hear chief executive’s strategy to revive store’s core clothing business

Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley in the picking warehouse during a tour of the Sports Direct headquarters in Shirebrook, Derbyshire. Ashley dismissed much of what has been written about the group as “stupid”

Mike Ashley defends company, attacks detractors but lets slip business woes

 Mike Ashley: there have been revelations  about onerous working conditions at Sports Direct’s huge warehouse in Derbyshire and the company’s widespread use of zero-hours contracts. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

The company boss is to appear before MPs to answer questions on working conditions

Artist’s impression   of the how the proposed Hinkley Point C station: Former Électricité de France money man Thomas Piquemal’s fears over Hinkley Point – that it could threaten the future of the entire EDF group – are now widely shared. Photograph: EDF/PA

French utility’s Hinkley Point project described by analyst as ‘verging on insanity’

Mark Carney gives evidence to the Treasury Select Committee in the House of Commons, London. Photograph: PA Wire

Governor admits continued volatility for sterling likely as poll draws nearer

Model company: Hornby chief executive Richard Ames’s exit was greeted by a surge   in the famous toy train company’s    shares of  almost 40 per cent. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Oil enthusiasm bubbles to the surface again as ‘Gatwick Gusher’ starts producing

 Rolls-Royce’s new chief executive Warren East: He was forced to issue a profits warning on only his second day in the job and later in the year shocked the market when he admitted that he could not rule out another warning.  Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Analysts fear new boss will not pay dividend until financial position improves

The Sainsbury’s-Argos combination will have some 25 million customers, operating a chain of about 2,000 stores. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Meanwhile EasyJet founder takes on Aldi and Lidl with easyFoodstore in London

Tesco group chief executive Dave Lewis: uncovered scandal in his first few weeks in the job. Photograph:  in the job  Reuters

London briefing: Abuses appeared to be ‘more prevalent towards the end of trading periods

 Bank of England governor Mark Carney delivers a speech on the UK economy at the Queen Mary University in London on Tuesday. Mr Carney said that there would be no interest rate rise for now. Photograph: EPA

Bank governor Mark Carney’s speech has made rate hikes a distant prospect

The figures from Debenhams are all the more surprising given the lacklustre performance of rivals Next and Marks & Spencer. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Debenhams and Morrisons defy the odds, while German discounters push on

Sainsbury’s  has made a £1 billion bid approach for Home Retail Group, owner of the Argos and Homebase chains. While shares in its target soared by a third, Sainsbury’s went into reverse. Photograph: PA/PA Wire

Supermarket’s lurch out of groceries sends it to arena of FTSE-fallers alongside Next

Mike Ashley (left, with Joe Kinnear) own Newcastle United Football Club as well as Sports Direct International. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Questionable working practices within Sports Direct International have caused a public outcry

Do the economics of a deal that would have created a business valued at more than £200 billion still add up?

As the price of oil slides, investors are getting nervous about prospects

Shoppers on Oxford Street, London, on Black Friday: the overall value of goods sold, including contributions from new stores, was ahead by a lacklustre 0.7 per cent, well down on the 1.7 per cent average growth rate over the past 12 months. Photograph: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Despite hype surrounding Black Friday, November sales down on the previous year

While Tuesday was Jes Staley’s first official day in the office at Barclays , the veteran American investment banker is understood to have arrived at the bank some weeks ago

Barclays passes ‘stress tests’ in better style than had been expected

Radical restructuring will be required to restore Rolls Royce plc to its former glory, said new boss Warren East.

Warren East warns radical restructuring required to restore Rolls to former glory

Bank of England regulators will publish a 500-page report into what went wrong at HBOS. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

Nobody will face fines for wrongdoing as statute of limitations has expired

People walk past a shopfront on in London advertising Black Friday discounts last year. Originating in the US, Black Friday is becoming an increasingly popular shopping day in the UK. (Photograph:  Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

Vodafone boss launches bitter attack on BT and Deutsche Telekom

Last year’s spectacular, a two-minute ad featuring Monty the Penguin, cost the retailer some £7 million to make, but the media frenzy surrounding it generated millions more pounds of free publicity. Photograph:   Yui Mok/PA

Chains spare no expense in wooing customers in the lucrative gift market

Results for the third quarter showed an unexpectedly sharp slow down in growth

 Chinese President Xi Jinping and China’s First Lady Peng Liyuan  with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth   and Prince Philip  view a display of Chinese items from the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace. Photograph: Getty Images

Beijing’s dumping of cheap steel on the market is linked to the latest layoffs

James “Jes” Staley: is a Wall Street veteran, having spent more than 30 years at JP Morgan Chase. Photograph: Bloomberg

Fiona Walsh: Bank looks set to hire another US investment banker, James “Jes” Staley, as chief executive

UK chancellor George Osborne has described the sale ofLloyds Banking Group  as “the biggest privatisation in over 20 years”. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Hyped privatisation will secure votes of thousands of grateful investors

Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg: he repeatedly insisted Glencore had no need of restructuring but, after  shares more than halved this year, he unveiled a debt-reduction and cash-raising plan a few weeks ago. Photograph: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters/Files TPX

Close eye on analysts as mining group’s shares suffer 30% collapse at start of week

RSA boss Stephen Hester was  widely tipped as a potential new boss for Barclays before the reversal. Photograph: Bloomberg

Stephen Hester misses out on £8.5m bonus

Customers shop at a Primark store on Oxford Street in London. After Thursday’s opening in Boston the company will open  another store in Philadelphia before Christmas and a further half dozen or so are planned next year. Photograph: Reuters

Cut-price fashion chain’s success in a notoriously treacherous market America is not assured but if anyone can do it the Dublin-b(...)

AGA is at the centre of a takeover tussle after revealing US electronic appliances giant Whirlpool was considering a bid to rival Middleby’s £129 million offer. Photograph: PA

News of potential takeover battle sent shares surging by another 11 per cent

Tony Pidgley: left home at the age of 15, barely able to read or write, bought a lorry and went into business for himself. Now Pidgley looks set to enter the City record books by sharing in one of the biggest- ever boardroom bonanzas – a bonus scheme by housebuilder Berkeley Group

London Briefing: Pidgley’s life story reads like a feel-good film script, but is the latest bonus scheme going too far?

George Osborne: accused by the opposition of a “cavalier” attitude towards taxpayers’ money. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

Disposal of £2.1bn of the bank’s shares marks the start of what will be the UK’s biggest ever privatisation

 Land Rover   manufacturing plant in Solihull, UK : Manufacturing in Britain shrank by 0.3 per cent in the second quarter, the sector’s worst performance since early 2013. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

New figures show that the GDP per head of population is at pre-crisis levels

M&S executive John Dixon: the  26-year M&S veteran was widely seen as a potential successor to chief executive Marc Bolland. He has quit to take on the role of chief executive at another company. Photograph:  M&S/PA Wire

Online white goods retailer AO World says expansion plans in Germany on track

 Tony Hayward: “I’m 58 years old and I want a slightly less full-on life.” Photograph: Reuters

Five years after Gulf of Mexico disaster, the former BP boss is causing controversy

Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne: his second budget in four months and the first without having to worry about his Lib Dem coalition partners. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

At centre of budget statement will be £12bn in welfare cuts, details of which were noticeably absent in Tory election manifesto(...)

Thorntons has become something of a joke in the City for its repeated profit warnings, its failure to sell eggs at Easter or boxed chocolates at Christmas and its constant complaints about the weather being too hot or too cold – or sometimes both. Photograph: EPA

Purchase of struggling firm by Italian group widely welcomed

Chancellor George Osborne, never one to let some good data pass unremarked, yesterday welcomed what he called a “powerful mix” of low prices and rising wages

Call it deflation or negative inflation – falling prices result in frenzied headlines

HSBC  logo: firm is to eliminate up to 50,000 jobs by 2017 by shrinking its global reach as chief executive Stuart Gulliver seeks to cut annual costs by about $5 billion to restore profit growth. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Birmingham location of retail head office fuels speculation about rebadging

Morrisons is almost certain to be demoted from the prestigious FTSE 100 index following a near-15 per cent slide in its share price over the past 12 months. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

London Briefing: Potts meets shareholders with good and bad news for food retailer

Former Thomas Cook chief executive Harriet Green: due to collect a £10 million-plus bonus when her gardening leave comes to an end next month. Photograph: RLM Finsbury/PA Wire

Globetrotting executive tweets as anger mounts over deaths of children in Corfu

Marc Bolland has pushed through a number of much-needed changes at the retailer, including revamping the stores and improving its fashion ranges. Photograph: Getty Images

Too early to tell if Marc Bolland’s costly recovery plan finally working

Bank of England governor Mark Carney: expected to be questioned on what impact the new government’s austerity programme might have on the UK’s fragile economic recovery. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

London Briefing: Bank of England quarterly inflation report follows strong industrial output figures

Analysts expect Sainsbury’s to report its first loss in a decade after being hammered by hefty property writedowns

Bizarre case of Mike Coupe criminal conviction in Egyptian court – and two-year prison sentence – emerged out of the blue

David Cameron admitted the economy was performing in a “less exciting way”. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg/File photo

Prime minister put a brave face on Britain’s latest GDP data

Marks & Spencer:  while other retailers may struggle, shoppers have been clamouring for a 1970s-inspired beige suede skirt from its Limited Edition range. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The rag trade is subject to the whims of demand and margins can be low

British Gas stands accused of not passing on the full benefits of cheaper oil prices

Insurance veteran Mark Hodges appointed to tough high-profile job

The over-55s’ dilemma: Lamborghini or Caribbean cruise? Retirees now have access to their pension pots rather than forcing them to use the cash to buy an annuity

Rise of ‘granlords’ as retirees are given access to their entire pension pots

Pedestrians in  Oxford Street  on Tuesday. The prospect of the return of deflation after over 50 years had economists and journalists thumbing through the history books. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Official government figures show inflation slumped to zero

The 2015 inflation basket owes more than a little to the influence of the hipster – in come craft beer, ecigarettes, headphones and music subscription services such as Spotify.

Out go yoghurt drinks and sat navs and in come supplements and Spotify subscriptions

 John Lewis on Oxford Street,  London. Retail analyst Nick Bubb is forecasting an 8 per cent fall in pre-exceptional profits to around £350 million, reflecting a 20 per cent slump in operating profits at Waitrose.

Reduction reflects a fall in profits at the group, particularly in its food retail arm

Barclays’  chief executive  Antony Jenkins: “We have made very good progress. The bonus is recognition of that and I decided to accept it on this occasion.” Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Deciding ‘he’s worth it’ means a £1.1m bonus for chief executive at loss-making bank

António Horta-Osório, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group. He stands to collect a bonus of £7 million on Friday. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Long-suffering shareholders in Lloyds Banking Group expect a token dividend this Friday

HSBC maintained, in full page adverts taken out in papers at the weekend,  that its Swiss banking operations had been “completely overhauled”. Photograph: Harold Cunningham/Getty

Fallout from tax evasion activities of bank’s Swiss operations not abating

Analysts caution that the road to recovery at Tesco will be a long one

Impact of the supermarket’s new boss already being felt on bottom line

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