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  1. Lloyds confirms job losses and branch closures
  2. BP reports decline in third-quarter profit
  3. National Grid in winter power warning
  4. The morning's main business programmes are available on the Live Coverage tab

Live Reporting

By Joe Miller and Edwin Lane

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's all from us for today. Thanks to all who emailed in. We're here at the same time tomorrow with all the main business headlines.


Bill Bullen, managing director of energy supplier Utilita, emails the Live page with an interesting idea for avoiding blackouts: "Replacing just one incandescent light bulb for the equivalent LED bulb will reduce demand by 50W. If we do that in 25,000,000 households that is a combined reduction of 1,250 GW (about the same as building one nuclear power station)."

Via Twitter


World Service

tweets a link to the roundup of its latest world business news: "IBM says its technology can help to halt the spread of ebola in West Africa. Plus the rest of today's business news:…"

Via Email


Ian Kemmish from Biggleswade in Bedforshire emails the Live page with a suggestion on reducing the risk of a blackout in the UK: "Subsidise either the installation of domestic battery systems or the electricity stored by them," he says. "The technology involved in these is maturing rapidly."


World Service

RLJ Companies

The US' first black billionaire, Bob Johnson, explains on

Business Daily why he wants a "Rooney Rule" to ensure more people from ethnic minorities are considered for senior management roles. But presenter Tanya Beckett also hears the passionately opposed view of lawyer Horace Cooper from Project 21, a national network for black conservatives.


Things are still looking up on the main European indexes.

  • In London, the
    FTSE 100 is up 0.6% at 6402.21
  • In Frankfurt, the
    Dax is up 1.6% at 9042.36
  • In Germany, the
    Cac 40 is up 0.6% at 4120.85

Among the movers and shakers,

Lloyds shares are down 2.5%, while
Standard Chartered continues to perform badly, down more than 9%.


Martin Letts, a member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, emails to lament the lack of expertise behind UK energy policy: "Compared to France our politicians are unqualified to make logical technical decisions because they do not understand technical risk. (Yes, I know they have many "advisers".) I believe we have one UK MP in parliament who is an engineer compared with many French politicians who have technological skills."

Via Blog


Kamal Ahmed

BBC Business editor

blogs: "[Lloyds] doesn't want to get out of branch banking. It wants a new type of branch, complete with iPads and facilitated internet discussion screens, enabling chats with staff who may not be physically in the same branch as the customer."


Jack Ma

Jack Ma, the charismatic founder of internet retail giant Alibaba, has been named

China's richest person by Forbes. It estimates his personal fortune at $19.5bn (£12bn). The total number of billionaires in China rose to 242 this year from 168 in 2013, the Forbes annual ranking showed.


Hargreaves Lansdown says changes to the pension rules, which allow people to withdraw money from their pension pots without an annuity, could land the Treasury a tax windfall of up to £1.6bn. "A lot of investors are going to paying unnecessarily large amounts of tax to the government," says pensions expert Tom McPhail. "The chancellor has effectively engineered a tax windfall for the government from unsuspecting pension investors."


200,000 people will "blow" their pensions next year, according to the headline on the front page of The Times. The paper says research suggests 12% of those eligible will cash in their entire pension pot when new rules come into effect next April. Of those planning to withdraw all of their money, 23 per cent said they would save it, while 21 per cent said they would spend at least some of it on a holiday.


House prices in England and Wales fell 0.2% in September

according to the Land Registry. Even prices in London fell - down 0.7%. But the average house in London still costs more than £460,000. Compare that to north-east England, where the average house will set you back about £100,000.

Via Email

Live page reader Norman writes in: "Still have candles left from the 1970's blackouts :-)"



Cadbury is to stop making gold-wrapped milk chocolate coins,

reports the Daily Mail. According to the Independent, the company has faced competition from discount supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi, where shoppers are heading to buy cheaper currency confectionery.


Electric car

Philip Haile helpfully emails a reply to Keith's question on electric cars (see 09:46). "In the long term electric cars might be the solution to reducing blackouts on the grid," he says. "With a Smart Grid energy from car batteries could be used to power the grid at peak times." Philip adds: "There is almost enough excess overnight grid capacity to switch all cars to electric (greater than 10 GW)".


Lloyds is currently one of the biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 this morning, after confirming job cuts, branch closures and lower profits. It is down 2%.

  • Standard Chartered is down a hefty 9.3%
  • The FTSE 100 is up 0.5% overall
  • The Dax in Frankfurt and Cac 40 in Paris are both higher


Getty Images

The Land Registry's September data shows the average price of a house in England and Wales is now £177,299, compared with a peak of £181,324 in November 2007. London experienced the highest annual increase in property value with a movement of 18.4%.

Read the full report on the government's website.


Keith emails the Live page: "Can someone please answer why it is that we are being encouraged to buy and use electric powered cars, whilst at the same time being told that we are vulnerable to power cuts because we have insufficient capacity? Or am I missing something?"


Lloyds isn't the only bank with bad news to report this morning. Swiss bank UBS says it saw a 32% increase in net income in the three months to September,

but has set aside $1.9bn (£1.2bn) in legal costs related to alleged currency-rigging. UBS is in talks with authorities to settle allegations that it colluded in manipulating key rates in the $5.3tn-a-day foreign exchange market.


BBC News Channel


Malcolm Grimston, a senior research fellow in energy policy at Imperial College, tells BBC News that although power cuts are unlikely, "in the last 15 years we've kind of lived on the fact that things looked alright for the moment", and the UK needs to start building more power stations, or it will be "dependent on whether Mr Putin or Mr Rouhani are in a good mood when they wake up in the morning".

Via Twitter

Jonty Bloom

Business correspondent, BBC News

tweets: Pensions are not "all your own hard earned savings", they include massive tax breaks, given to encourage pensions not Lamborghini buying


The Cardsharps

A painting sold by Sotheby's in London for £42,000

could actually be the work of Italian baroque master Caravaggio - and worth up to £11m. Former owner Bill Thwaytes has accused the auction house of "professional negligence" for attributing to a follower of the artist. Sotheby's says the claim is "preposterous".

Via Twitter


Joe Lynam

BBC Business Reporter

tweets: "Swedish central bank #Riksbank cuts interest rate to zero to fight deflation risk. Non-eurozone BoE watching closely"


It's largely good news on the main European indexes this morning.

  • In London, the
    FTSE 100 is up 0.7% at 6,405.34
  • In Frankfurt, the
    Dax is up 1.4% at 9,024.99
  • In Germany, the
    Cac 40 is up 0.61% at 4,121.82

Among the movers and shakers, Lloyds shares are down 1.9%, while Standard Chartered continues to perform badly, down 6%.


Goldman Sachs has forecast that the price of brent crude oil could drop to $80 a barrel next year thanks to a global supply glut,

the Guardian reports. "Non-Opec production has been delivering consistent record growth since May 2013, allowing the market to cope with an almost complete shutdown of production in Libya, sanctions on Iran, and slowing production growth in Iraq," the investment bank said. A barrel is currently at
just over $85 a barrel.


It's worth noting that Lloyds says it's actually going to open 50 branches at the same time it's closing 200 - so that's a net closure of 150 branches. The BBC's Simon Gompertz says many of the new branches will be new Halifax outlets in Scotland.


BBC Breakfast

Dominic Laurie on Breakfast points out that Lloyds has already cut 43,000 jobs since it was bailed out by the government at the height of the financial crisis. The 9,000 jobs that are going to be cut represent around 10% of the current workforce.


Shares in

Standard Chartered have dropped 6% in early trading. The UK bank - which does most of its business in Asia - reported falling profits earlier.



Plasma is dead. At least at South Korea's LG. The firm says it will stop producing plasma TVs from the end of next month, instead focusing on liquid crystal display and OLED screens.

Via Twitter


Adam Parsons

Business Correspondent

tweets: "António Horta-Osório: Lloyds "has absolutely no intention" of ending free banking.."customers value does not inhibit competition""


Our colleague Mark Broad has been listening in on the Lloyds conference call. Lloyds is ending its commitment not to close any branch that is the last branch in a town. It hasn't identified which branches to shut yet, but will be looking at urban areas where there are two branches serving the same area. Job losses will come from across the group.


Lloyds says its job cuts and branch closures are part of its plan to become a "simpler and more efficient" bank over the next three years, saving £1bn per year by 2017. "We need to adapt to the changes in financial services brought about by technology, changing customer behaviour and increasing regulatory requirements,"

the statement says.


Deepwater Horizon

BP confirms that compensation payouts for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, have reached $20bn. But, it warns, "the total amounts that will ultimately be paid by BP... are subject to significant uncertainty and the ultimate exposure and cost to BP will be dependent on many factors", and that "these could have a material impact on our consolidated financial position, results and cash flows".

Via Twitter

Mark Broad

Economics reporter, BBC News

tweets: "Lloyds have scrapped their commitment to not close a branch that is the last bank in town"



Worse news for BP's Russian interests. Pre-tax profit on the 20% stake it owns in the state-run Rosneft shrank from $836m in the third quarter of 2013 to just $87m in the same period this year. Much of this is down to the depreciation of the rouble.


The extra £900m Lloyds has set aside for PPI brings its total bill to more than £11bn.


BBC Radio 4

The BBC's business editor Kamal Ahmed tells the Today programme that the government is unlikely to sell its remaining 25% stake in Lloyds before the next election. The share price took a hammering yesterday after the European "stress test" results.


Lloyds reports pre-tax profits of £1.6m for the first nine months of the year, down slightly on the same period of 2013. It also says it set aside an additional £900m for Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) payouts in the three months to September.


BP's third quarter "replacement cost profits", which strip out volatility in oil prices, was $2,385m, down from $3,178m in the same period last year. The oil firm blames higher costs and a higher tax rate.