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

The BP chief warned it would be “a long time” before we saw $100 a barrel oil again

Oil giant has entered ‘challenging’ phase of low prices, warns chief executive

 Li Ka-shing: a week before his interest in O2 was revealed, his Hutchison Whampoa conglomerate added to its portfolio of UK holdings with a £2.5 billion takeover of Eversholt Rail.  Photograph: Alex Hofford/EPA

Consumers fear that fewer phone operators in UK will result in higher bills

Terry Leahy: stepped down as chief executive of Tesco three years ago after a glorious 14-year reign

Until now Terry Leahy had appeared happy to maintain a dignified silence on Tesco’s travails

Shares in the supermarket chain jumped more than 4 per cent after news of Dalton Philips’s departure, a brutal verdict from the City on the Irish man’s time at the top. Photograph: PA

Ousting of Irish man inevitable after worst performance among major British supermarket chains

Retailers are counting the cost of Black Friday as they survey the damage the discounts have done to their profit margins over the Christmas season. Photograph: Rob Stothard/Getty Images

London Briefing: Spending splurge dents Christmas profits

The Bank of England sign on the wall of its headquarters in London. A power cut at the bank added to the drama of banking stress tests yesterday

Bailed-out Bank of Scotland and Lloyds scrape through while inflation remains low

Tesco chief executive: Dave Lewis stunned investors by issuing the retailer’s fifth warning on profits this year. Photograph: Tesco/PA Wire

London Briefing: chief executive Dave Lewis declines to put timetable on recovery plan

 Tesco   chief executive hopes every little helps as he takes the reins and shakes up management. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Stocks of capable leaders look to be running low at the supermarket chain

The 800,000 sq ft Amazon  fulfilment centre   in Swansea, Wales. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Britain’s retailers are gearing up for their busiest-ever online shopping day at the end of this week with huge discounts on a wid(...)

Still Britain’s biggest retailer by market share, M&S’s performance over Christmas will clearly be key to how much longer Marc Bolland can hold on to his job at the group.

Weir not only woman seeking a top job with retailer

The Daily Mail front page from Monday

Irish food group Greencore raises the ire of Daily Mail by looking to hire Hungarian workers

A statue of Henry Royce stands outside the Rolls-Royce plant in Derby. The engineering group revealed plans to cut 2,600 jobs in its aerospace division, with the threat of more cuts to come.
Photograph: Reuters

But bad news at Rolls-Royce as it will lay off more than 2,500 employees

Lloyds: bill for mis-selling payment protection insurance pushed over £11 billion. Photograph: Peter MacDiarmid/Getty Images

Branches scheduled for closure represent almost 10 per cent of retail network

The Bank of England, which said the system it uses to transfer payments between commercial banks was affected by a technical outage. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

London Briefing: chaos in City as part of automated system crashes

British luxury handbag maker Mulberry cut its profit forecast for the third time this year. Photograph: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Accessories group hit by fall in demand for luxury goods and bad strategies

“Sclerotic, hopeless and downbeat” France was “finished”, John Lewis Partnership managing director Andy Street   told an audience of entrepreneurs in London. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

London Briefing: gaffe by shows chief executives should leave jokes to comedians

“Fifty Pence Challenge” poster had been intended to motivate staff but ended up displayed in the window of a Sainsbury’s store in east London.

Focus shifts from Tesco to Sainsbury’s as it updates the market

A Phones 4U shop in central London with its shutters down as more than 500 of its stores were shut after the retail chain went into administration. Photograph: Philip Toscano/PA

Phones4U’s loss is the gain of other phone retailers but for how long?

Two women wave from a window on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Warnings of dire consequences have induced leaders to take action

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis: “The bit that is interesting is that that I have never run a shop in my life.” Photograph: EPA

Retailer’s new chief executive has battle ahead to get business ready for Christmas

Bank of England  governor  Mark Carney: has gone from rock-star banker to City’s ‘unreliable boyfriend’. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/PA Wire

London Briefing: Bank of England governor flip-flops on timing of higher rates

Tesco shares fell to a 10-year low last week as ratings agency S&P cut its credit rating from BBB+ to BBB.

Retailer’s incoming chief faces the stark possibility of cutting dividends

HSBC chairman Douglas Flint launched a tirade against the reforms being imposed on the banking sector. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

London Briefing: banks have much more to do before the time for remorse ends

Lloyds Banking Group has been hit with penalties totalling £226 million  for rate-rigging. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA

A threat of jail would be better than an oath to ensure good conduct by bankers

Royal Mail shares yesterday tumbled more than 3 per cent on chief executive Moya Greene’s downbeat assessment of prospects for its crucial parcels business. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

London Briefing: disappointing trading update has taken glow off Royal Mail’s shares

Dublin’s Merrion Hotel is to be the setting for the latest shareholder revolt. Photograph: Alan Betson

Merrion Hotel will be arena for Irish-domiciled FTSE 100 company’s AGM

 Marks & Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland addresses the retailer’s AGM at Wembley stadium yesterday. Photograph:  Oliver Dixon/Imagewise/PA Wire

London Briefing: retailer’s board tackled by shareholders at agm in London stadium

Online grocery group Ocado is set to make its first annual profit since being set up by three former Goldman Sachs bankers in 2000.

Grocery price war take shine off earnings

Ross McEwan, chief executive officer RBS,  will take the flak over bankers’ bonuses  at the annual meeting. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

It’s time to look at how much bosses get and whether they are worth it

TopShop retail billionaire Philip Green, backer of MySale Group. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

London Briefing: many newly floated companies are trading below their IPO prices

Mike Ashley founded Sports Direct in 1982 and has built it into Britain’s biggest and most successful sports retailing chain. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Shareholders due to decide on proposals in July

London mayor Boris Johnson: always defended  Barclays bicycle sponsorship deal. Photograph: Ben A Pruchnie/Getty Images

London Briefing: Barclays link with bike scheme was dogged by accusations of stitch-up

People walk past a sign outside of a branch of TSB bank in London. Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

Lloyds Banking Group to confirm Trustee Savings Bank to be spun off

British pharma group may have seen off Pfizer but unsettled investors will require delivery on challenging targets it set itself (...)

Ian Read, chairman and chief executive of Pfizer leaves Portcullis House after attending a parliamentary business and enterprise committee hearing on the possible takeover of AstraZeneca, in London.

Westminster not happy with Ian Reid’s pledges on takeover of AstraZeneca

The furore created by Pfizer’s  £63 billion (€77 billion) bid for AstraZeneca  neared fever pitch yesterday. Photographer: Bloomberg

Everyone from union officials to London’s mayor has an opinion on the offer

 Hugh “Skip” McGee: one of Barclay’s highest paid employees last year.

Hugh ‘Skip’ McGee’s departure comes amid a furore over bonuses at the bank

AstraZeneca shares surged by 8 per cent at one stage amid frenzied speculation that US rival Pfizer was preparing a mega-bid. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

London Briefing: major drug shares in UK soar on talk of mergers, acquisitions and asset swaps

 Barclays headquarters in Canary Wharf, London. The bank can expect a rough ride at its meeting next week after paying out £2.4 billion in bonuses last year.   Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Barclays Bank faces bonus backlash while Tesco reports second year of decline

It’s far from clear what Mike Ashley’s plans are for the 11 per cent stake he now owns in House of Fraser

Boss of UK’s biggest sports retailer often says one thing and then does another

Martin Wheatley, head of the Financial Conduct Authority, has admitted it was “not the FCA’s finest hour” but is resisting calls for his resignation. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

London briefing: Martin Wheatley is under fire over the handling of a leak of an insurance inquiry

Britain’s J Sainsbury has ended a nine-year run of quarterly sales growth.

Bank of England bucks trend with appointment of Nemat Shafik as deputy to governor Mark Carney

Euan Sutherland: said one or more directors were “determined to undermine me personally” as Co-operative Group chief executive. Photograph: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

Euan Sutherland describes organisation as ‘ungovernable’

Thus a £1.5 million London apartment today (which compares with an average UK price of £250,000) will have climbed to over £6 million by 2030

With 9 per cent annual rises, plush pads will go through the roof by 2050

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