Kamal Ahmed

Kamal Ahmed Business editor

Welcome to the Business Blog – my latest take on the major business stories and analysis of the facts behind the headlines

Will BT’s move mean cheaper mobile phone calls for all?

  • 24 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Mobile phone

Gavin Patterson, the chief executive of BT, is eyeing two big market developments in mobile over the next two years which he wants his business to lead.

Cheaper mobile delivery via BT's 5 million wifi hotspots and "quad play" - where a provider offers customers television, broadband, landline and mobile all in one package.

BT could offer these in partnership with a mobile operator - as it does at present with EE.

Or, as is now becoming clear, buy a mobile company outright and deliver the service direct. That could allow it to make more from its investment in high-speed fibre optic broadband and offer better prices to customers.

The fact that BT is now also a major player in content, spending £1.6bn buying up sports rights to Premier League and Champions League football for example, makes such a move even more attractive.

Read full article Will BT’s move mean cheaper mobile phone calls for all?

RBS struggles against never-ending fines

  • 20 November 2014
  • From the section Business
RBS logos

The Royal Bank of Scotland is in the process of looking for a new chairman. Whoever it is will need a strong stomach.

Thursday's £56m fine from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England over the spectacular 2012 computer blow-up is the latest in a series of punishments for failure and misconduct stretching back years.

Read full article RBS struggles against never-ending fines

RBS may curtail former chief Stephen Hester's pay-outs

  • 17 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Stephen Hester

The Royal Bank of Scotland is acting to head off another toxic row over pay - this time involving its former chief executive Stephen Hester.

I am told that Mr Hester's long term incentive plan (the share options that pay out over a number of years, known as LTIPs) is to be part of the "major accountability review" being undertaken by the bank following the £406m foreign exchange manipulation fine RBS received last week.

Read full article RBS may curtail former chief Stephen Hester's pay-outs

Carney puts bankers' pay in spotlight after misconduct shockwaves

  • 17 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Mark Carney speaking in Singapore
Bank of England governor Mark Carney says it is time to think about tougher sanctions on bankers who cheat the system

In a speech in Singapore in the early hours of this morning, the Governor of the Bank of England has said it is time to look at clawing back the overall pay of bankers in the event of wrong-doing, not just the bonus element.

In his first major intervention since the revelations about the fixing of foreign exchange markets last week, Mark Carney argued that new mechanisms were needed to "help re-build trust in financial institutions".

Read full article Carney puts bankers' pay in spotlight after misconduct shockwaves

RBS boss admits – I cringed when I read forex chat room messages

  • 12 November 2014
  • From the section Business

The chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has told me that he "cringed" when he saw copies of the chat room messages which talk of "making free money" and "keeping numpties out of the market".

Groups of bankers who went by the exotic names of The A Team, The 3 Musketeers and The Players colluded to fix foreign exchange rates for the advantage of their banks.

Read full article RBS boss admits – I cringed when I read forex chat room messages

Is 'too big to fail' for banks really coming to an end?

  • 10 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Mark Carney

Interviewing Alistair Darling in 2011, three years after the financial crisis during which he was chancellor, his most striking answer to me was not about the fear that Britain's economic system was on the point of collapse.

It wasn't even his worry that ATMs up and down the country might simply stop functioning.

Read full article Is 'too big to fail' for banks really coming to an end?

Fixing Marks & Spencer

  • 4 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Marc Bolland

The story of the plain, black ballet pump is forever etched on Marc Bolland's memory.

In 2012 the chief executive of one of Britain's oldest High Street retailers admitted that Marks & Spencer could have sold more of the fashion item of the moment, if only if it had more supply.

Read full article Fixing Marks & Spencer

High Street branches are still important for Lloyds

  • 28 October 2014
  • From the section Business
Lloyds sign outside bank branch

Lloyds has announced that it is closing up to 7% of its bank branch network. With figures showing that transactions in branches across the sector are down as much as 30% since 2010, many judge that is a relatively low number.

The reason the number is not higher is simple. With threats approaching from digital payment systems such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet, traditional banks know that a presence in bricks-and-mortar is one advantage they have over their future internet rivals.

Read full article High Street branches are still important for Lloyds

Asda faces mass legal action over equal pay for women

  • 24 October 2014
  • From the section Business
shopping trolley in front of Asda

Asda, the UK's second largest retailer, is facing a mass legal action by women who work in their stores.

The women claim they are not paid the same as male workers in the distribution warehouses - despite their jobs being of "equivalent value".

Read full article Asda faces mass legal action over equal pay for women

Tesco, what went wrong?

  • 22 October 2014
  • From the section Business
tesco

Apologies, but this is going to be a longer blog. Maybe "mega-blog" would be a better description.

I have spent the last few weeks speaking to many people who are closely involved in Tesco - or were.

Read full article Tesco, what went wrong?

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About Kamal

Kamal joined the BBC after four and a half years as business editor of the Sunday Telegraph's award-winning team. He also helped launch the Telegraph's annual festival of business, the major conference for small and medium sized enterprises. Before that, Kamal worked at The Observer as head of news and earlier, as its political editor.

His love of journalism started at Leeds Student, Leeds University's student newspaper, where he first tasted life as a reporter in a basement office with no windows. Essential workplace furniture included half-drunk pints of beer with cigarettes stubbed out in them. In those days, you needed a strong constitution to be a volunteer hack.

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