Lloyds was hit by up to 800,000 requests for information a week in the final month for claims. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA

London Briefing: ‘We’re not counting the complaints any more, we’re weighing them’

In recent years M&S’s self-inflicted problems – poor clothing ranges, sub-standard online operation and shabby stores – have been compounded by the malaise afflicting the wider retail sector.

London Briefing: Being bumped off prestigious index does matter, whatever Norman says

BA chief Alex Cruz  appeared to be more concerned about celebrating the group’s centenary. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Airline passengers furious as emails sent in error about cancelled flights

On the FTSE 350, it's just two property companies – Daejan Holdings and TR Property Investments – and Belfast-based Kainos that operate female-free boardrooms.

London Briefing: UK rail commuters facing more pain

John Flint: ‘The understated Flint had become increasingly isolated in recent months.’ Photograph:  Stefan Rousseau, Getty

Coast, Karen Millen, Spudulike, Tesco – busy week for grim retail news

Centrica chief executive Iain Conn: failed to act swiftly enough to reshape the business. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Centrica sheds few tears over CEO while vegan sausage roll fuels Greggs

Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley has expanded his empire with a flurry of deals, from House of Fraser and a disastrous investment in Debenhams to Evans Cycles, Sofa.com and Game Digital. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The sportswear-cum-retail giant has failed to publish its results, sending shares tumbling

Willie Walsh, CEO, IAG, said he ‘will defend the airline’s position vigorously’. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

London Briefing: BA has dubious distinction of first to be fined under new GDPR rules

Aston Martin: dismal share price performance

London Briefing Aston Martin and Funding Circle in race for dubious distinction

‘I don’t get up in the morning hoping that people will love me,’ Andrew Bailey replied when asked whether it was better to be feared than liked or loved. Photograph: Reuters

Andrew Bailey may be the bookies’ favourite but he is not the only well-qualified candidate

Animatronic head of Arnold Schwarzenegger  in a hydraulic press during an advert to remind people they have just over two months left to complain about PPI. Photograph: Financial Conduct Authority/PA

Schwarzenegger and Mr Motivator drive last-minute redress scheme

Other shares in Woodford’s portfolio have turned in poor performances, such as online estate agent Purplebricks. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty

As ‘City kingmaker’ loses Midas touch, investors must take responsibility for decisions

Arcadia’s Sir  Philip Green: fears mount for the future of his Topshop to Burton and Miss Selfridge conglomerate and the 18,000 it employs. Photograph:  Chris J Ratcliffe

London Briefing: Sir Philip Green faces tough battle as Mike Ashley offloads football club

Finance firm Greybull Capital is begging the government to stump up £30 million in emergency loans to match the £30 million pledged by Greybull and British Steel’s lenders. Photograph: Darren Staples/Bloomberg

London Briefing: Bailout not on menu as Jamie Oliver restaurant empire collapses

As its shares soared  after flotation in  2015, Purplebricks was valued at more than £1 billion at one stage

London Briefing: Market worth slithers to less than £400m as shares tumble 12%

The regulator was adamant  a combination of Sainsbury’s and Asda would lead to increased prices. Photograph: Reuters/Phil Noble/File Photo

London Briefing: Mike Coupe under pressure after failed Asda deal

Pete Redfern, chief executive of Taylor Wimpey: scrapped plans to buy  a discounted £2.04 million apartment due to “a personal decision”.  Photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

London Briefing: Shareholders dislike ‘gratuitous bonus’ for Redfern, while Welsh statistics don’t add up

JD Sports has benefitted from its growing overseas presence, as well as its online operation. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Data from Office of National Statistics just may help predict next UK recession earlier

Mike Ashley: widely admired for his retail expertise but his reputation as a deal-maker has been dealt a serious blow. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

London Briefing: Headline grabbing shenanigans not so amusing when jobs involved

Superdry co-founder Julian Dunkerton: he   is to rejoin the company’s board, triggering a mass exodus of the current management. Photograph: : Superdry/PA Wire

London Briefing: the wholesale exodus from the company’s boardroom underlines the scale of the disarray at the group

Ocado plant in Hampshire. A recent blaze had a big impact on Ocado’s UK sales but it has not deterred customers from signing up for  automated delivery expertise. Photograph:  Peter Nicholls/Reuters

William Hill gambles on its landlords being scared into agreeing cuts for shop rentals

Employment is a lagging indicator of economic wellbeing but there are some good reasons the labour market is proving so resilient to Britain’s wider Brexit woes. Photograph: Philip Toscano/PA

London Briefing: Key indicator is strong for an economy slowing on most other measures

A Persimmon development in Coventry. Photograph: Darren Staples/File photo/Reuters

London Briefing: Persimmon could run into trouble after getting rich on back of scheme

Declaring himself “devastated” at the “deeply disappointing” closure announcement, UK business secretary Greg Clark said Swindon’s fate highlighted the urgent need for agreement on Brexit. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Fiona Walsh: It is hard to accept that Brexit not at least partly behind the decision

Debenhams gave no update on current trading as it announced the cash injection but there was some relief it was not accompanied by another profits warning. Photograph: Reuters

London Briefing: Three figures for UK inflation depending on method used

HMV’s flagship store on Oxford Street in London, which is among those to have closed after the chain was bought by Putman. Photograph: Kirsty O’Connor/PA Wire

Doug Putman rescued HMV in Canada, but will his approach work this side of the pond?

Recent research found one in five British adults would find it “somewhat difficult, very difficult or impossible” to immediately pay an unexpected bill of just £20 without help

London Briefing: fears that any increase in short-term interest rates will send insolvency numbers ‘through the roof’

Workers pick orders at the PC World and Carphone Warehouse distribution centre in Newark, Britain. Parent company Dixons Carphone has outlined plans to keep its shelves stocked in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Photograph: Reuters/Darren Staples

London Briefing: Almost 3,000 jobs at risk at Patisserie Valerie as it is placed into administration

Marks & Spencer in Huddersfield, Yorkshire: over 1,000 jobs   are at risk as the retailer announced its latest round of store closures as part of a drastic transformation plan. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Group’s continued underperformance underlines need for radical action

The filling in Greggs’ new vegan sausage roll is made out of the company’s own bespoke Quorn filling. Photograph:  Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Consumer confidence crumbles and Piers Morgan puts a vegan sausage on the menu

British prime minister Theresa May insists delivering the deal agreed with Brussels remains top priority but her government has decreed emergency no-deal plans must now be implemented. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Prime minister accused of psychological warfare for ramping up pressure over Brexit

Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister who died five years ago. In the 1940s, the then Margaret Hilda Roberts gained a degree in chemistry from Oxford University.  Photograph: PA Wire

Stephen Hawking also in running to appear on banknote marking UK’s contribution to science

Sales of pianos were the most searched for item on the John Lewis website after their  ad featuring Elton John launched, the group said. Photograph: John Lewis & Partners/PA

London Briefing: John Lewis sells 100 pianos and keboards after £5m Elton John ad airs

Westminster council is taking action to make property more affordable by imposing a ban on new “super-size” properties

London Briefing: Global ultra-rich have poured their cash into central London property

The Marks & Spencer’s store on Grafton Street, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

M&S results will be in sharp contrast to Primark, which recorded a ‘significant’ increase in its UK market share

 UK chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond holds the red Budget box  on Monday. Photograph: EPA/Andy Rain

London Briefing: S&P says no-deal Brexit would pitch UK into lengthy recession

Philip Hammond has broken with the tradition of delivering the autumn statement on a Wednesday – October 31st, also known as Halloween. Photograph:  Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Chancellor’s task of delivering budget against backdrop of Brexit a perfect nightmare

Many postal workers have now decided to hang on to their shares in the hope the price will recover. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Profit warning batters value of free shares and executive pay adds salt to the wounds

Departing Aviva chief executive Mark Wilson. Goodness knows how much they’d pay him if he were the right man for the job. Photograph: Reuters

London Briefing: Shares in FTSE 100 group promptly gain 2%

 Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in 2002 next to an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish, as seen in Die Another Day. File photograph: PA Wire.

Cachet of James Bond’s favourite carmaker should attract enthusiastic early onlookers

Next has upgraded its full-year profit expectations. Photograph: Andrew Winning/File Photo/Reuters

Firm produces a more detailed, fact-based paper than UK leaders have managed

A new shop sign is covered up at Tesco’s mothballed store in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, prior to the opening today of Tesco’s first discount store trading under the new name Jack’s. Photograph: Chris Radburn

Huge interest as pilot store opens in Britain

Debenhams on Oxford Street: the retailer’s board was forced to rush out a statement to reassure investors. Photograph:  Hannah McKay

London Briefing: Question marks hang over Debenhams amid talk of major restructuring

Outgoing TSB chief executive Paul Pester leaves the bank with £1.7 million made up of a year’s salary of £1.2 million plus a “historical” bonus of £480,000. Photograph: Andrew Winning/Reuters

London Briefing: ‘Unreliable boyfriend’ Carney set to extend Bank of England term

James Keany of CBRE and Eleanor Dalley, general manager of House of Fraser’s Oxford Street store, following the announcement that CBRE had agreed terms for the retailer to remain in the flagship London store. Photograph: CBRE/PA

London Briefing: Oxford Street store saved but 30 others face closure following takeover

Bank of England governor Mark Carney at the Hampshire town of Farnborough: “In the event of a no-deal scenario . . . we might have a lot of idle bankers.”

London Briefing: Glitches foil live feed grilling as Brexit chaos clouds aviation sector

Artist’s impression of the  Tidal Lagoon Power  project at Swansea Bay, south Wales.

London Briefing: ‘Crushing blow to Wales’ as groundbreaking tidal project is scrapped

Shoppers walk past a Debenhams shop in Oxford Street,  London.  The group’s poor performance has been blamed on increased discounting by rival high street retailers. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty

Third profit warning from Debenhams catches analysts on the hop and sends shares tumbling

TSB branch in London: Paul Pester appeared to inhabit some alternative reality where the bank’s systems weren’t really broken and where more than one million customers were not locked out of their accounts. Photograph: Neil Hall

Angry treasury select committee to drag back CEO over bank’s dire IT failure

M&S has revealed the locations of a further 14 stores that are to be closed over the next 12 months. Photograph:  AFP

The Royal wedding may have helped the Windsor store, but another 14 face closure

A Carillion sign is removed from a crane in London after the UK construction and outsourcing group announced its liquidation in January 2017. Photograph: Daniel Sorabji/AFP/Getty Images

Brutal assessment of ‘delusional’ directors, timid regulators and bonus-obsessed board

Martin Sorrell: gets to keep some £20m of bonus shares. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Company will be rushing to reassure clients that all will be well in wake of founder’s exit

Sir Martin Sorrell, the world’s most powerful ad man, “unreservedly” denies any wrongdoing. File photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

London Briefing: The head of global group WPP is being investigated for ‘misconduct’

Flags outside  GKN HQ in Redditch, UK. Phtotgraph: Reuters

London Briefing: As Thursday deadline looms, fears of Melrose short-termism persist

Hammerson owns or has stakes in some of the biggest shopping centres in Britain. In Ireland its portfolio includes Dundrum Town Centre, Swords Pavilions, the Ilac centre and Kildare Village, above

London briefing: Before Hammerson can seal its shopping-centre deal, the property company risks being eaten by a bigger fish

Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond: Often referred to as Eeyore, after the depressed donkey in Winnie-the-Pooh, but on Tuesday said he felt more like the irrepressible Tigger. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

The UK chancellor’s upbeat spring statement was in defiance of dire economic forecasts

Former Co-op Bank boss Paul Flowers, dubbed the “Crystal Methodist” because of his predilection for illegal drugs. Flowers presided over the near-collapse of the ethical bank, once one of Britain’s most respected institutions. Photograph: PA

‘Crystal Methodist’ called sex chatlines in breach of bank’s expenses policy

William Hill: the UK Gambling Commission has fined the bookmaker at least €7 million for failing to protect customers and prevent money laundering. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

London Briefing: Philip Green denies his Arcadia empire is up for sale

So far Tesco has concentrated the fight-back agaInst Lidl and AldI on cutting prices in its core stores chain. Photograph: PA

The giant is meeting the challenge head on with its own cut-price chain

The catalogue of errors at Homebase would almost be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that up to 2,000 jobs are now at risk. Photograph: PA Wire

Australian owners write down almost £600m after totally misjudging market

In provisionally blocking Rupert Murdoch’s bid to acquire Sky, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority highlighted “media plurality concerns” – in other words, how much power the Murdoch family would wield over the British media world after the takeover. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Provisional blocking of £11.7bn deal suggests ‘remedies’ that could yet get it across the line

Ahead of results from Tesco, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, winners have so far outnumbered the losers.

Shops selling mid-market clothing and other discretionary purchases feel the squeeze

The UK arm of Toys R Us is attempting to push through a restructuring plan that will see one in four of its 105 stores closed, with the loss of up to 800 jobs. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

London Briefing: Regulator takes tough stance following criticism of past actions

The Bank of England released results of latest, and toughest,  stress tests on Britain’s banks. Photograph: EPA

Mark Carney insists banking sector capable of withstanding disorderly EU departure

Britain’s finance minister Philip Hammond. Photograph: Reuters/Christopher Furlong

London Briefing: Gaffe prone chancellor set to woo politically aware youth vote

Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney. Photograph: Epa/Armando Babani

Inflation now running at 3% in UK, less than had been predicted just two weeks ago

John Lewis launched its first Christmas ad in 2007 and then, as now, its primary purpose was to drive sales in the run-up to December 25th. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Persuading shoppers to part with their cash will be tougher than ever in Brexit Britain

Christopher Bailey stepping down  as Burberry creative chief. Photograph: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

London Briefing: Bookies wonder how tough will clampdown on betting terminals really be?

College Green branch in Dublin of Costa Coffee. Photograph: Frank Miller

London Briefing: Sales of Costa Coffee have ground to a halt after years of frothy growth

OECD secretary-general Ángel Gurría and Britain’s chancellor   Philip Hammond: the Paris-based think tank was accused of being “a leading advocate of Brexit pessimism”. Photograph: Matt Dunham/PA Wire

OECD report paints bleak picture for Britain but idea of second referendum is shot down

Royal Mint: the new pound coins are almost impossible to forge. Photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

London Briefing: Tesco and Poundland to defy deadline for recall of 500m coins

Founded 50 years ago by the Swiss-Italian Mantegazza family, Monarch   started with just two planes flying out of Luton airport. Photograph: Getty Images

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority steps in to bring them home

One of the possible reasons behind the nation’s growing good cheer is that the employment rate in the UK is at its highest level since comparable records began in 1971, while the unemployment rate is at its joint lowest since 1975. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

London Briefing: Despite Brexit and falling pound, Britain’s happiness index is going up

 Ineos ceo Jim Ratcliffe, worth £6 billion. Photograph: Ineos/PA

London Briefing: Ineos founder says ‘Projekt Grenadier’ can fill Land Rover gap

Run on the Rock: when queues of panicked savers formed outside Northern Rock branches in 2007 it was the first run on a British bank since the collapse of Overend & Gurney, in 1866. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty

London Briefing: The UK banking system is an ‘accident waiting to happen’

 Timothy Bell, Dr Liam Fox MP and guest attend a Bell Pottinger Summer Party Photograph: Getty

London Briefing: Revelations of role in South African elections ruin top firm’s reputation

Arnold Schwarzenegger: the Terminator actor’s bizarre PPI ad could be one of the worst of the year

London Briefing: UK consumers have two years to claim against mis-selling banks

Peter Crook, who has quit as Provident Financial’s chief executive, warned of heavy losses following a period of “substantial under-performance”. Photograph: Provident Financial/PA Wire

So do we have another Northern Rock on our hands? Probably not

Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport protest outside Kings Cross station on Tuesday. Commuters are facing an increase in rail fares by 3.6 per cent next year. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

London Briefing: News sparked angry reactions from rail unions and consumer groups

Spain remains by far the most popular destination for British holidaymakers.

London Briefing: Figures show Ireland in eighth place while Turkey and Belgium out of favour

 British Gas offices in Staines: the looming 12.5 per cent increase is almost five times the rate of inflation. Photograph: Toby Melville

London Briefing: website error alerts of price jump and Bank of England warns on debt

Marks & Spencer chief executive Steve Rowe, who is under pressure from the City following lacklustre sales. Photograph:  Toby Melville/Reuters

Taylor report on UK gig economy fails to win support from unions or employers

The central bank is facing the first ever strike at its Threadneedle Street headquarters, with members of the Unite union scheduled to walk out for four days, from July 31st to August 3rd, in a dispute over pay. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA

London Briefing: August could be cruellest month with walkout at Threadneedle Street

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England. Photograph: Alan Betson

London Briefing: Debt is rocketing so Carney wants banks and borrowers to rein it in

A Barclays branch being renovated in London, June 20th, 2017. Four of the most senior former executives at Barclays  - and Barclays itself - have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud in relation to the 2008 credit crunch fund-raising that allowed the bank to avoid having to succumb to a government bailout.  Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

London Briefing: Dramatic action follows five-year inquiry into credit crunch fund-raising

British inflation soared close to a four-year high in May. Photograph:  AFP

London Briefing: Cost of living in Britain at four-year high and earnings are down

Passengers queuing at Heathrow Airport after British Airways cancelled all flights from Gatwick and Heathrow. Photograph: Emily Wilson/PA

Plus: ‘Fred the Shred’ to avoid court appearance over RBS stewardship

 British Airways passengers  endured three day of delays following a IT meltdown. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

London Briefing: Chief executive Alex Cruz’s handling of crisis made situation worse

Bank of England governor Mark Carney: “I will drink the martini and order another two.” Photograph: Frank Augstein/PA Wire

London Briefing: Bank of England governor closes down prankster as penny drops

The UK treasury’s remaining 0.25 per cent of Lloyds bank shares was offloaded through the market on Tuesday. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

London Letter: Treasury books profit of about €580 million on share sales

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May says that her price cap plan will save some 17 million customers up to £100 a year. But switching to a cheaper supplier typically offers far bigger savings. Photograph:  Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

London Briefing: Prime minister’s bright idea likely to leave voters out of pocket

Jes Staley, CEO  Barclays bank. Photograph: Reuters

London Letter: Scourge of bankers Andrew Tyrie steps down after ‘exhilarating’ career

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

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