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

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

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