Morrisons’ former head of tax and group treasurer has been charged with insider dealing over snide trades in Ocado shares which were made last year. It just so happens that this all went down when the supermarket was getting into a partnership with the online grocer.
Paul Coyle was arrested at the start of the year and now has to appear at Harrogate Magistrates Court with two charges levelled at him, announced by the Financial Conduct Authority, relating to trades made when Ocado shares rocketed by 150% and a 36% spike on the day the deal with Morrisons was confirmed.
Of course, Morrisons are distancing themselves from all this, with their management saying that they are completely satisfied that they followed proper procedures. They said: “Morrisons is satisfied with its governance and procedures concerning the handling of market sensitive data in this case and found that the company’s procedures had been properly followed.”
“These accusations, if proven, would be the result of an individual acting alone.”
Meanwhile, over at the Lloyds Banking Group, they have sacked eight members of staff for their part in manipulating Libor and fraudulently reducing the cost of access to the Government’s Special Liquidity Scheme, say reports. The bank has also held back £3m in bonus payments to the individuals too.
Lloyds chairman Lord Blackwell has described the actions of the employees as “completely unacceptable”, but surely, not at all surprising?
In addition to fiddling Libor, Lloyds have also been hit with a penalty for rigging the ‘repo rate’, which is used to calculate the level of fees it had to pay for access to the Bank of England’s liquidity scheme, which helped to lower the cost of funding during the credit crunch.
Thus far, Lloyds have been fined £218m for their part in all this, and Lloyds Banking Group chief executive Antonio Horta-Osario says: “Having now taken disciplinary action against those individuals responsible for the totally unacceptable behaviour identified by the regulators’ investigations, the board and the group management team are committed to preventing this type of behaviour happening again.”
Sick of watching YouTube videos on your stupid phone? Tired of having to hold a tablet while watching Vine compilations? Well, you can send things from your devices to your telly thanks to Google’s Chromecast, which is great if you have the BT Sport app, or indeed, you want to watching funny YouTube videos without putting up with the awful RudeTube and Alex Zane.
The Chromecast was pretty cheap as it was, but the Wuaki Chromecast offer is back, which means that, when you buy a TV series for £19.99, you get a Chromecast for free! Have a look at the offer here and see what tickles your pickle.
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That’s because this was some kind of social experiment where researchers set up a WiFi hotspot in London which had a lengthy t&c section.
The terms contained a “deliberately ridiculous” term which, if you’d read, said that in return for the free access to the internet, the individual using the service was prepared to “render up their eldest child for the duration of eternity”.
The report is called ‘Tainted Love: How Wi-Fi Betrays Us’ by security and privacy company F-Secure. It states that, regarding people allowing their children to be given up for eternity: ”Despite this, six people decided that it was a fair exchange and signed up.”
Hopefully, the researchers will see the clause out in scenes akin to the baby being fought for in Ghostbusters 2. Hopefully they’ll have a massive magic oil painting too.
The report concluded: “Our results illustrate the very real problem of the modern world which is that – while massively dependent on the technology – the population is unaware of its capabilities for surveillance and intrusion into their lives. The problem is that people implicitly trust their technology and are not aware of the implications of that trust.”
“There is an insatiable pursuit of bandwidth, driven mainly by the desire to have video, data-rich apps and super-fast website performance on the move.”
“This appetite for bandwidth has blinded consumers to the risks that they are taking. In pursuit of free bandwidth, people are prepared to do anything as our experiment showed with its draconian terms and conditions.”
In fairness, the six people involved might have really quite horrible children. You just don’t know do you? Have you met some of them? They can be infuriating.
TL;DR – Breaking news: People don’t read terms and conditions on anything, ever.
Window displays can be works of art, but mostly, they’re a load of cobblers. However, Sainsbury’s have taken it next level thanks to whacking a poster that was clearly meant for staff only in the front of one of their stores.
Where a nice offer or charity drive should be, instead, some berk has put a poster up which says ‘Hey! Staff! Lets try and rinse people for a bit more money! Right guys? Right!‘
The poster, as you can see, regards the Fifty pence challenge (no, not a thing where you place a 50p between your buttocks and try and drop the coin in a glass) where the staff have been challenged.
“Let’s encourage every customer to spend an additional 50p during each shopping trip between now and the year-end,” says the poster THAT THEY HAVE STUCK IN THE FRONT WINDOW.
It’s a petrol WAR! No, not like the war for oil or the war on drugs. This is a lot more brutal than those.
Sainsbury’s announced it would cut petrol and diesel prices by up to 5p per litre.
Not to be outdone, Asda responded by unveiling reductions of 1p and up to 2p per litre for petrol and diesel respectively at its stores.
Apparently price cuts are likely to be larger in heavily populated areas where prices are already lower due to greater competition from the likes of Asda.
A man from the AA, who is known as Luke Bosdet, said: “The real value will be in places, often small market towns, suffering from the postcode pump price lottery – having to pay at least 3p a litre more than in neighbouring, more competitive towns. If that pulls down the price among other retailers, that will be a big benefit.”
In more heavily populated areas a 5p cut, amounting to £2.50 off the average tank of fuel, would only bring Sainsbury’s in line with cheaper rivals, he added. Although industry insiders questioned the timing of the announcement by Sainsbury’s, who are heavily tipped to unveil a dismal set of trading results later this week.
Brian Madderson, of the Petrol Retailers’ Association, said: “My initial cynical reaction is that this is an attempt to divert the press and the public away from some pretty bad news on their store sales.”
“Five pence per litre, in terms of an at-the-pump price rather than a loyalty card, is probably one of the biggest if not the biggest potential cut I have come across in the last five years so the cynic in me says there is much more to this than meets the eye.”
Grab petrol cheap anyway! Pay with your lives later!
The supermarket has seen sales grow from £3.9 billion to £5.3 billion since 2013.
This is a combination of market share increasing, a summer of offers and competition and people generally fed up of Tesco and the like.
The supermarket has also rejigged it’s fresh food areas and brought in upmarket vibes with new ranges.
Aldi UK’s pre-tax profit rose 65% according to the Financial Times, to £260.9 million in the year to December 31 2013.
Tesco meanwhile has announced their third profit warning in as many months after Britain’s biggest retailer overstated its first-half profit by £250 milion.
It’s not looking too good for Sainsbury as they’re about to announce a grim tale of decline and sales later this week.
Roman Heidi, group managing director of Aldi UK, said: “We keep prices constantly low while keeping product quality consistently high, which is exactly what shoppers want.
“They had become used to thinking you have to pay more for better products. We’ve shown them this doesn’t have to be the case.”
Savings accounts are so 2007. Even if you disregard all the ridiculous criteria and penalty withdrawal clauses , the simple fact of the matter is that, much of the time, current accounts pay more interest than savings accounts. This means that smart people will save their money in current accounts rather than savings accounts, after all, it’s just a name right?
Unfortunately it’s not just a name though, and in order to get the best interest rates on current accounts, there are normally minimum monthly pay-in requirements, and some accounts also make you transfer a minimum number of direct debits. Still, if you have sufficient income, you could turn cash balances earning pitiful rates of interest into balances earning up to 5%.
Our helpful friends over at Which!!! have even come up with a whizzo wheeze that lets you circulate money between accounts in order to get as much interest as possible. It also assumes that you have £6,500 burning a not-very-high-interest hole in your pocket and that you have a further £1000 spare to ‘circulate’ round your accounts. Doesn’t everyone?
This does get quite complicated, so make sure you have a darkened room and a wet flannel handy. We’re calling it the Which!!! current account roundabout, but you can call it what you like.
Setting up the roundabout.
Step 1: Check the interest rates and cash limits for the accounts you are thinking of including on your roundabout. The table below shows you the best rates available on current accounts. Some banks will limit the number of accounts you can open, so check the rules (remembering that you could also open joint accounts in some cases in addition to the maximum number of sole-name accounts). Also check you have £6,500 in your pocket as otherwise this scheme won’t work properly (although you could set up a mini-roundabout using fewer accounts, and therefore require less money on your roundabout)
Step 2: Check the key monthly account requirements – such as fees, minimum monthly deposits and direct debits – needed to qualify for interest or to avoid paying a monthly fee on the account. And then make sure you can comply with those requirements or pick a different account. For example, the roundabout does not include the highly-popular Santander 123 account (which pays cashback as well as interest) nor the Lloyds Club account as both require two direct debits which would interfere with the money flow around this roundabout plan.
Another warning for those attempting to roundabout with less cash- watch out for accounts with tiered interest as you may not be able to earn the top rate of interest..
Step 3: Start by making a Halifax Reward current account your main account. The eagle-eyed among you will notice that this account isn’t even included on the high interest account list. This is because it doesn’t pay credit interest. However, it does pay you £5 a month, which is still money into your account, so this makes it the best starting point, apparently. Note that the £5 per month reward is dependent on you paying in at least £750 a month. The roundabout starts with you sticking £1,000 in this account that will drive around through your high interest current accounts and return to the Halifax each month.
Step 4: Now you need to get your £6,500 out. Stick £2,500 in a Nationwide Flexdirect account (hereafter referred to as the Nationwide account), and another £4,000 split equally between two further TSB Classic Plus Accounts. That’s £2,000 each. Now you have a mobile £1,000 in Halifax, £2,500 in Nationwide and £4,000 in TSB. Now we can start roundabouting.
Step 5: Transfer the £1,000 from your Halifax Reward account into your Nationwide account. This account pays 5% on deposits up to £2,500 but you must make a minimum £1,000 deposit per month. Ta dah! Your transfer-in of £1,000 ensures you will comply with this condition and achieve 5% on your £2,500 deposit. Now you have £3,500 in your Nationwide account.
Step 6: Next transfer £500 from your Nationwide account to each of your TSB accounts (totalling £1,000, meaning your Nationwide account balance falls back to £2,500). These also pay 5% interest on deposits up to £2000 with a minimum monthly deposit of £500 a month. After your transfer, you have not only met the minimum pay in requirement, the balance in each of your accounts stands at £2,500 each. But only £2,000 of this will earn the 5% interest, so what do you do?…
Step 7: You transfer £500 from each of your TSB accounts back into your main Halifax account, along with any interest you have earned. You have now paid over the minimum £750 per month into Halifax to get your £5 reward and you have earned 5% interest on a total savings pot of £6,500.
Step 8: Repeat steps 5 to 7 each month, ensuring you met the requirements of all the accounts and earn the most interest possible on the whole £6,500. Simple. Ish.
While the roundabout sounds complicated, assuming you do have the requisite funds available, and you don’t mind the hassle of setting up four new current accounts, the remaining steps could be easily achieved using standing orders, so you don’t have to actually do anything every month. The other advantage is that the roundabout merely circulates money around itself, so you could set up another current account (eg the Santander 123 if the cashback would be worth your while) that actually receives your income and pays out your direct debits.
Worth a punt?
The annual wage growth is likely to remain well below the 4.5%-to-5% rises seen before the financial crisis struck in 2008, according to a EY Item Club survey.
Median pay in real-terms is forecast to fall from £18,852 in 2008 to £17,827 by 2017, the survey suggests.
The Item club, a non-governmental forecaster that uses HM Treasury’s model of the UK economy, believes that record numbers of people in work – currently 30.6 million – will act as a brake on wage rises.
Their report expects the gradual pace of consumer spending to be around 2% in the next two years, as opposed to the 3.7% it was last decade, pre-all the hassle.
Martin Beck, the EY Item Club’s senior economic adviser said “Total household incomes have strengthened because more people are in work, but individuals do not have extra money in their pockets,”
“Real wages are being held back by strong growth in the supply of workers and the fact that firms are facing increased non-wage costs, such as new pension schemes,” he added.
Mr Beck also believes the so-called “squeezed middle” – the charming name awarded to households containing neither highly-skilled nor low paid workers – will continue to see limited growth in disposable income as pay rises remain below the rate of inflation – currently 1.5% – and competition for jobs remains strong.
The new move will allow thousands of pensioners to leave more money to their families, or cat homes.
Next April, coincidentally a month before the election, the Chancellor will scrap the “punitive” 55% on drawdown pension funds due when the holder dies.
More than 400,000 have drawdown pensions, which are invested in the stock market. When they retire, they draw an annual income.
Drawdown pensions are seen as more attractive than annuities, which lock people into a fixed annual income.
The move is to be announced at the Tory Party conference this week, which is jizzing all over Birmingham.
It is hoped that elderly people will take more advantage of these measures, which is pretty much designed with driving them to vote Conservative at the next election. George Osborne blahed out that these moves will help those who “worked and saved all their lives will be able to pass on their hard-earned pensions to their families tax free”.
That bloody ‘hard-earned’
Currently pension pots are taxed at 55% when someone aged 75 or over dies. But they are taxed at the marginal rate in the case of those who die aged under 75. In future, when someone older than 75 dies, their relations will have to pay income tax at only the marginal rate — normally 20%. No tax will apply to the relations of people who die aged under 75.
Him again: “Freedom for people’s pensions, a pension tax abolished, passing on your pension tax free. Not a promise for the next Conservative government, but put in place by Conservatives in Government now.”
Now, Europeans can livetweet annoying crying children on flights and immediately share Vines where they’re mid crash!
The EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) has lifted the restriction, meaning phones can be used even during take off and landing, which was previously limited to Airplane Mode only. Amazing scenes.
In a statement, the EASA said “The new guidance allows airlines to permit personal electronic devices to stay switched on, without the need to be in airplane mode,”
“This is the latest regulatory step toward enabling the ability to offer ‘gate-to-gate’ telecommunication or Wifi services.”
Passengers won’t be allowed to use their devices fully just yet, as each airline must undergo and assessment to check that their aircraft communications will not be affected by the move.
But the EASA is hoping that the airlines will have the rules in place in the next eight months.
Initially, Phones4u said that they would be offering a refund to any customer who had pre-ordered an iPhone 6. However, they’ve gone back on that claim saying that it is very unlikely that you’ll see your money again.
We Deathwatched Phones4u as they vanished into an administration hole, which of course, led to thousands of staff losing their jobs and over 500 stores closing.
The phone vendor originally said: “Any orders that have not already been dispatched will be cancelled and any payments refunded to customers.” Now, administrators PwC said that they don’t have any phones to give out and that they have contacted over 130 people to tell them that they “cannot process a refund.”
“Customers who have paid using credit cards should contact their credit card company to try and seek resolution to this matter,” they concluded. While your credit card may reimburse you, this is a swift kick in the balls to customers who have paid over £600 for their new iPhone. If you’re unsure of what to do, get in touch with your credit card supplier and if they are being difficult, tell them you have protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
PwC continued: “If you are unable to obtain a refund through your credit card company and wish to register a claim, your claim (to the extent you have one) will rank as an unsecured claim in the Administration. Please note, given the level of secured liabilities, if there is a dividend to unsecured creditors, any payment if made at all, would not be for many months and is likely to be negligible.”
If you’d like to know about Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, click here.
You can get your dirty paws on a Google cardboard 3D VR headset for just £2.30. Once you strap them on… well… what you’ll do is entirely your business. Remember though, the secret services of the world are watching. Have a look here.
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Trolling, done properly, is an artform. People mistake simply abusing someone as trolling. Trolling is when you get someone apoplectic with frustration without them knowing you were just getting a rise out of them.
Well, LG in France thought they’d mock Apple during the awfully named ‘Bendgate’*, but they dropped a clanger.
While LG were chuckling to themselves at their very modern marketing jape, everyone pointed out that they’d mocked Apple while using Twitter on an iPhone.
The company said in their tweet, while talking about the LG G Flex smartphone: “Our phone doesn’t bend, it flexes…on purpose. #bendgate”
But the bloody idiots forgot to send the tweet from their desktop or, indeed, the LG G Flex which would’ve been a secure, tight trolling. Not only were they failing to mock Apple, but they were also inadvertently saying; ‘Hey! Buy our phones, even though our social media team doesn’t believe in them and would rather own a handset from a rival!’
The tweet was removed once LG had discovered the “issue”, but alas, everyone had already got a screengrab. Still, LG will be happy enough that they’re getting any coverage at all during the current Apple-fest, even if it does make them look like thundering bozos.
*As an aside, why do we add ‘gate’ on the end of things? If that was the correct procedure, Nixon would’ve been embroiled in Watergategate.
After a routine quality control assessment in their plants in Germany and Spain, the company spotted issues with some of the models registered since May.
The car company quickly issued a warning to customers – approximately 3000 of the possibly hooky models are said to have been sold – that they should not drive the cars until they have been inspected.
“Vauxhall puts the safety and convenience of its customers first and, as this condition concerns their safety, the company is taking immediate action” Vauxhall has said in \ statement.
They’ve also told owners to head to the Vauxhall website to see if their vehicle is one of the ones affected by the issues raised.
Vauxhall said: “As a precaution, these vehicles should not be driven prior to inspection. Vauxhall puts the safety and convenience of its customers first and as this condition concerns their safety, the company is taking immediate action.”
“Customers can call the Vauxhall customer assistance centre for advice on 0800 026 0034 between 9am and 5.30pm.”
Ever wondered why there wasn’t a bar that was ideal for pregnant women? Well, someone in New York had the same thought and went and set the thing up and called it ‘Gestations’.
Now you’ll be able to breathe out your beer gut because it won’t look nearly as large next to a women who is resting a craft ale on her 7 month pregnancy belly.
Gestations at Fifth Street and Avenue A proclaims: “All you mothers-to-be should come check out our trimester specials and our 9-month happy hour because now you’re drinking for two!”
On Gestations Facebook page, the bar claims that expectant mums are perfect patrons because they can fit more booze in: “The bigger the belly, the more you can drink. True for men and pregnant women #gestationsny.”
The bar even got a billboard up in Times Sqaure.
Of course, not many are happy about this.
One disgruntled sort said on the bar’s FB page: “this is really sick, a real disparate, how would you entice a pregnant woman to drink alcohol which will take effects on the unborn, this is really ridiculous. I would call on the Dept of Health, to close this stupid peoples door business that are endangering the health of the unborn. umbelievable ..!!!!!!”
That comment may have been made under the influence – we just don’t know. Another said: “It’s insane . . . I think it portrays a poor image.”
The bar also said online: “#gestationsny will have free pregnancy test kits when you buy a pitcher. Check out our profile on #BARTRENDr to see what else we’ll carry.”
However, the bar haven’t actually applied for a liquor licence, so this might be some sort of Earth Mother’s Juice Bar or something, who just have some novelty adverts to drum up attention.