Bank of England puts global recession at heart of doomsday scenario

  • 30 March 2015
  • From the section Business
US trader looking shocked
Economic shock - Britain's banks are to be tested for a global economic downturn

The Bank of England has outlined its annual "stress test" - the exam Britain's major banks must go through to ensure they have enough available capital to withstand a global downturn.

After last year's test which focused on a collapse in house prices in the UK, this year's test will have a more international flavour.

Under the scenario, global growth will fall, the Chinese economy slow markedly and the UK and the eurozone will face a new bout of recession with rising unemployment and falling property prices.

In Britain, the economy will contract by 2.3%.

As the Bank grapples with the new crisis, interest rates in the UK are cut to zero.

Read full article Bank of England puts global recession at heart of doomsday scenario

Labour's big offer to business - Europe

  • 30 March 2015
  • From the section Business
Ed Miliband, Leader of Britain"s Labour Party

I am often asked what the business community wants from politicians.

A period of silence, is an answer many chief executives would give with a smile and a roll of the eyes.

Read full article Labour's big offer to business - Europe

Treasury to announce tax evasion clampdown

  • 19 March 2015
  • From the section Business
Tax dodging protestors

Details are starting to come out about Government plans to overhaul the law on tax evasion.

I am told that an announcement will be made in Parliament this morning about a two pronged attack on the issue.

Read full article Treasury to announce tax evasion clampdown

Budget 2015: Happy oil workers, angry bankers

  • 18 March 2015
  • From the section Business
Oil platform, Bank Street sign

If you work in the North Sea oil and gas sector today was a good day.

The 10% tax cut - first revealed in my Business Blog on Monday - was welcomed by the sector.

Read full article Budget 2015: Happy oil workers, angry bankers

Budget 2015: The four things business will be looking out for

  • 18 March 2015
  • From the section Business
George Osborne

At 12.30 today, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will rise to his feet for the final Budget of this government.

Of course, much of what will follow over the next hour will focus on the politics and economics of the occasion, and my colleague Robert Peston has blogged on that.

Read full article Budget 2015: The four things business will be looking out for

Treasury paves way for major tax cut for North Sea

  • 16 March 2015
  • From the section Business
Oil platforms in the North Sea

With the Budget just 48 hours away, the North Sea oil and gas industry is eagerly awaiting details of major tax cuts I am told are being prepared by the Treasury.

At the moment, the sector pays high levels of tax compared to other industries. It pays a corporation tax rate of 30% and an additional "supplementary tax" of 30%. For older fields, the rate can rise as high as 80%, according to Mike Tholen, economics director at Oil and Gas UK, the main industry body.

Read full article Treasury paves way for major tax cut for North Sea

Treasury paves way for major tax cut for North Sea

  • 16 March 2015
  • From the section Business
Oil platforms in the North Sea

With the Budget just 48 hours away, the North Sea oil and gas industry is eagerly awaiting details of major tax cuts I am told are being prepared by the Treasury.

At the moment, the sector pays high levels of tax compared to other industries.

Read full article Treasury paves way for major tax cut for North Sea

Can the new owners re-invent BHS?

  • 12 March 2015
  • From the section Business
Man walks past BHS

The question for the new owners of BHS - and they are a pretty obscure bunch for the moment - is whether they can breathe new life into what has become a pretty dowdy constituent of the high street.

Unlike Top Shop, Top Man and Miss Selfridge, BHS has lacked the full beam of Sir Philip Green's attention.

Read full article Can the new owners re-invent BHS?

HSBC - where does responsibility lie?

  • 9 March 2015
  • From the section Business

Today we may get a little closer to understanding where responsibility lies for HSBC's ownership of a Swiss private banking business that helped customers evade taxes between 2005 and 2007.

At 3.15pm, the chief executive of the bank, Stuart Gulliver, will appear before members of the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament which is investigating tax avoidance and evasion.

Read full article HSBC - where does responsibility lie?

Barclays boss backs criminal charges for market manipulation

  • 3 March 2015
  • From the section Business

One of the most remarkable factors to emerge in all the mess of bankers manipulating markets for their own gain, is how little oversight there is - or was - of the major global markets in interest rates, currencies or precious metals.

The traders themselves largely oversaw the rules, such as they were, and policed the system which dealt in markets often worth trillions of pounds.

Read full article Barclays boss backs criminal charges for market manipulation