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Live Reporting

Joe Miller and Edwin Lane

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    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)."

  3. 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:…"

  4. 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


    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."

  8. 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."

  9. JACK MA

    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.

  13. 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
  17. Post update



    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?"

  19. UBS

    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".

  21. 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".

  23. 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.

  30. 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".

  34. 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.

  40. BreakingBreaking News


    Lloyds Banking Group confirms 9,000 job cuts over three years, and the closure of 150 branches - around 6% of its network.

  41. FORMULA 1

    Radio 5 live

    Formula 1 teams Marussia and Caterham went out of business because they weren't being run well enough. That is according to Mark Gallagher, former F1 executive and formerly part of the management team of Jordan Red Bull Racing. He tells Radio 5 live racing teams need revenues and customers like any business. Yesterday former FIA boss Max Mosley said high costs could force more teams out of the sport.

  42. Via Twitter

    Joe Lynam

    BBC Business Reporter

    tweets: "I learned a new phrase while interviewing @ZWillenberg on #R4Today: 'White space' i.e. get into areas where you're currently not doing biz"


    Bad Apples

    Comments by a senior Bank of England official - suggesting that the City has more than a "few bad apples" - are featured in several of the papers. The Independent reports that Minouche Shaflik said "perhaps there is also something wrong with the barrel", while the Financial Times says the deputy governor delivered a "blistering speech" in which she criticised a "long tail of outrageous conduct cases" and hinted that the authorities are considering imposing more regulation.

  44. WEATHER 2.0

    Met Office

    The Met Office has been given the green light to build one of the world's fastest supercomputers to predict Britain's weather. The £97m machine will make more accurate forecasts and climate change projections.


    Radio 5 live

    Banking analyst Jonathan Charley tells Wake Up to Money the public's demand for free banking services is making it harder for new banks to get into the market. But he says allowing banks to start charging for things like current accounts will "require political will" and is bound to be hugely unpopular.


    BBC World News


    The BBC's Samira Hussain in New York says Twitter has failed to impress investors after publishing its latest results last night. It says it doubled sales and its users grew by 25%. But Twitter hasn't changed much since 2006, says Samira, and that's what is worrying investors who want to see it generate new reasons to attract users.


    Standard Chartered, the UK bank that does most of its business in Asia, has reported falling profits. It says trading conditions are "subdued". It has already lost some 20% of its share price so far this year compared with a 5% fall in the London market overall.


    Radio 5 live


    Lloyds is expected to announce more job cuts and branch closures alongside their latest results in about an hour. Banking analyst and former Lloyds executive Jonathan Charley tells Wake Up to Money the bank has far more branches (2,250) than any other bank, and the move to online banking means it could get away with about 800 for the whole country.


    Before you go and stock up on candles, bear in mind that National Grid issued a similar warning last year. We're putting in a call to the company, to find out how many blackouts have occurred in the UK in recent years. Have you experienced one in your area? Get in touch with the location and date by emailing or tweeting @BBCBusiness.


    National Grid

    National Grid is expected to confirm this morning that the risk of blackouts in the UK this winter has increased significantly from last year. It's thought the operator of the national power network will say that spare capacity has fallen to a seven-year low, but that emergency measures will ensure the lights stay on.

  51. Post update

    Edwin Lane

    Business reporter, BBC News

    We're also expecting results from BP, a warning on blackouts from National Grid, and we'll be discussing the fortunes of Twitter, which is failing to impress investors. Get in touch on or tweet us @BBCBusiness.

  52. Post update

    Joe Miller

    Business Reporter

    Good morning. Today, Lloyds is expected to announce plans to cut thousands of jobs. It's thought the bank could also begin shutting some of its branches from early next year. We'll bring you more on that as it happens, and the rest of the business news.