William Hill fined £6.2m over money laundering failures by Gambling Commission


Ian Sutton/Flickr

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Tue, 20 Feb, 2018) London, Uk – –

Ten customers were allowed to deposit large sums of money linked to criminal offences, the Gambling Commission said.

William Hill has been fined £6.2m by regulators over money laundering and problem gambling failures.

It is the second biggest penalty ever levied by the Gambling Commission and the largest in relation to money laundering.

The regulator said 10 customers were allowed to deposit large sums of money linked to criminal offences.

It said William Hill did not seek information about the source of the funds or establish whether they were problem gamblers.

The commission said senior management at William Hill “failed to mitigate risks and have sufficient numbers of staff to ensure their anti-money laundering and social responsibility processes were effective”.

Gambling Commission executive director Neil McArthur said: “This was a systemic failing at William Hill which went on for nearly two years and today’s penalty package reflects the seriousness of the breaches.

“Gambling businesses have a responsibility to ensure that they keep crime out of gambling and tackle problem gambling – and as part of that they must be constantly curious about where the money they are taking is coming from.”

The regulator identified failures taking place between November 2014 and August 2016.

On one occasion, a customer who was funding his gambling habit by stealing from his employer was allowed to deposit £541,000 over 14 months.

An operator had made the assumption, after a chat with the customer, that he was earning as much as £365,000 a year – when in fact he was on a salary of £30,000, the commission said.

In another instance, a customer deposited £653,000 over 18 months, during which he triggered an “amber risk” alert which should have seen his file passed to managers for review.

This did not occur due to a “systems failure” and the customer was allowed to gamble for a further six months despite continuing to activate financial alerts, the regulator said.

William Hill will pay a penalty of £5m plus return £1.2m – the amount it gained through the rule breaches – to people affected by crime linked to the breaches.

Chief executive Philip Bowcock said the company had fully cooperated with the commission and introduced “new and improved policies and increased levels of resourcing” as well as launching an independent review of its processes.

He added: “We are fully committed to operating a sustainable business that properly identifies risk and better protects customers.”

Online gambling firm 888 was handed a £7.8m penalty last year for “significant flaws” in its safeguarding of customers.

By John-Paul Ford Rojas, Business Reporter

 

 

The Wisdom of Old School Self-Made Billionaires

 

Billionaire advice motivational video on the wisdom of old school self-made billionaires; rare and priceless advice that can change your life and the way you do your business! Very informative video!

Sheldon Gary Adelson (Net worth: 34.6 billion USD) is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corporation.

Steve Ballmer (Net worth: 32.8 billion USD) is an American chief executive who was the former chief executive officer of Microsoft from January 2000 to February 2014, and is the current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Charles Koch (Net worth: 48.6 billion USD) is an American businessman, political donor and philanthropist. He is co-owner, chairman of the board, and chief executive officer of Koch Industries.

 

 

 

Laura Ashley shares fall on profit warning

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(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Thur, 15 Feb 2018) London, Uk – –

Weaker pound also blamed for steep fall in profits at fashion and home furnishings firm

Laura Ashley has warned profits will fall short of City forecasts after taking a hit from the weak pound and slumping demand for furniture and wallpaper in the UK.

The home furnishings and womenswear firm, known for its floral prints, reported a steep drop in pretax profits to £4.3m in its first half to 31 December from £7.8m a year earlier. It warned full-year profits would miss market expectations of £9m and ditched its interim dividend. Last year it made a profit of £8.4m.

The shares plunged 18% in early trading and were later flat at 6p, giving the firm a market value of £44m.

Seán Anglim, Laura Ashley’s finance director, talked of an “overall toughening of the market” with like-for-like sales declines of 4.4% in furniture and 3.9% in decorating products such as fabrics, curtains and wallpaper.

This was partially offset by 4% growth in home accessories including lights, bed linen and rugs and a 1.2% rise in fashion sales. Clothing makes up 17% of the business.

The company pointed to the decline in the pound as the most significant single factor behind the fall in profits. It has also been hit by the closure of 22 Homebase stores that had Laura Ashley concessions.

Other furniture retailers are also struggling, as the housing market has almost ground to a halt. The bedmaker Warren Evans has just gone into administration and will close if a buyer cannot be found. Another furniture maker, Multiyork, filed for administration in November

Laura Ashley has 161 stores in the UK and has ventured into hotels and tearooms. It owns a hotel in Elstree and has licensed its brand to the Belsfield hotel in the Lake District

 

London Park Lane & Oxford Street completely ultra luxurious home

 

Completely unique and ultra luxurious home interior designed by 1.61 London showcasing Roberto Cavalli Home Interiors.

The home includes the very latest stunning finishes on offer from around the world to create the ultimate London home. The finishes installed are from Lalique, Roberto Cavalli, Grohe, Hacker, Sonos, Kef, Atelier and many other top luxury brands. The home is controlled through out by speaking to Amazons Alexa.

 

The company keeping alive the tradition of building wooden surfboards

 

Grain Surfboards are built through an additive process that has much in common with traditional wooden ship-building. Planks of wood are cut and glued onto an internal wood frame before being sanded down to their final shape.

Video by Brian Schildhorn, David Nicholson

 

 

 

 

Elon Musk tech billionaire announces Tesla biggest quarterly loss ever

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Thur, 8 Feb 2018) London, Uk – –

Loss of $675.4m announced day after Musk’s car sent into space in test of SpaceX rocket

The tech billionaire Elon Musk sent one of his Tesla electric cars into space yesterday, a day before the company that built it announced its biggest ever quarterly loss.

Musk’s Tesla electric car and energy storage company lost $675.4m in the three months ending 31 December, the company announced on Thursday, compared with a loss of $121m for the same period last year.

The company has been spending heavily as it rolls out the next generation of electric cars, the Model 3 sedan, a semi truck and other products.

The company has struggled to keep up with is production targets for the Model 3 but said it would probably build about 2,500 Model 3s per week by the end of the first quarter and that it plans to reach its goal of 5,000 vehicles per week by the end of the second quarter.

On Wednesday Musk’s private aerospace company, SpaceX, blasted a cherry red Tesla Roadster sports car into space in a successful test of its Falcon Heavy rocket.

The car and its dummy driver are now heading towards the asteroid belt.

Tesla delivered 101,312 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs last year, up 33% over 2016 and ahead of its targets, according to preliminary figures released last month. But it fell woefully short on the Model 3, which went into production in July.

Tesla made just 2,425 Model 3s in the fourth quarter, and has pushed back production targets multiple times. At one point, Tesla had 500,000 people on a waiting list for the Model 3, but it’s not clear if all of them are continuing to wait.

On a call with analysts Musk said production was getting back on track. “If we can send a Roadster to the asteroid belt we can probably solve Model 3 production,” he said.

Musk is set to collect a $55.8bn (£40bn) bonus – probably be the largest ever – if he can build Tesla into a $650bn company over the next decade. In the meantime the 46-year-old has agreed to work unpaid for the next 10 years.

By Domonic Rush

 

 

 

Debenhams store management shake-up to cut 320 jobs

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(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Thur, 8 Feb 2018) London, Uk – –

The group said it was reviewing its retail structure as it set out cost-cutting plans in the wake of a profits alert last month.

Department store chain Debenhams is planning to axe around 320 roles in a store management shake-up.

The retailer said it was part of a £10m cost-cutting plan announced last month – when it issued a profits warning after a weak performance over the Christmas period.

It aims to redeploy staff affected by the cuts and the changes will not mean any store closures.

Debenhams said last year that ten stores were under review for closure if they became unprofitable.

Two stores – in Eltham and Farnborough – closed at the end of January under that review, affecting a total of 87 workers.

Announcing the latest cuts on Thursday, a spokesperson said the company had “undertaken a review of our store structure”.

“The review has identified significant cost savings by reducing the complexity of management roles in stores as well as processes to optimise and standardise ways of working.

“The effect is that potentially 320 positions are at risk of redundancy – approximately 25% of store management roles.”

“We are currently consulting with individuals affected and will seek redeployment opportunities where possible. We envisage our new structure being fully in place by the end of March.”

The move follows a round of managerial roles going in the supermarket sector, with thousands of posts facing the axe at Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

Meanwhile, M&S has been rolling out plans to close unprofitable stores, with its latest announcement last month putting 468 jobs at risk.

Debenhams said in its Christmas trading update last month that it had been forced to slash prices to boost flagging sales – describing business as “highly competitive and volatile”.

UK retailers have seen tough trading over recent months as consumers are squeezed by higher prices – partly because of the Brexit-induced weakness of the pound – at the same time as weak wage growth.

By John-Paul Ford Rojas

 

 

Lloyds Banking Group bans customers buying crypto-currencies on their credit cards

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(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 5 Feb 2018) London, Uk – –

Lloyds Banking Group has banned its customers from buying Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies on their credit cards.

The ban, starting on Monday, applies to Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA customers.

It will not apply to debit cards, only to the banking group’s eight million credit card customers.

The move follows a sharp fall in the value of digital currencies, prompting fears about people running up debts.

Lloyds is concerned it could end up footing the bill for unpaid debts should the price continue to fall.

Explaining the ban, a Lloyds spokeswoman said: “We continually review our products and procedures and this is part of that.”

Bitcoin ended last week down 30% at $8,291.87 – its worst week since April 2013 and far below the $19,000 it reached last November.

However, the cryptocurrency is still ahead of the $1,000 it was trading at this time last year.

Police have warned that digital currencies remain popular among criminals as they can use them to evade traditional money laundering checks and other regulations.

Prime Minister Theresa May recently said that action against digital currencies may be required “precisely because of the way they are used, particularly by criminals”.

She told Bloomberg: “In areas like cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, we should be looking at these very seriously.”

The Treasury said that it intends to update regulation to bring virtual currency platforms into anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation.

Facebook recently announcedit would block any advertising that promotes cryptocurrency products and services.

 

 

Will Smith shares his success philosophy

 

He’s the only actor to have eight consecutive films gross over $100 million in the domestic box office. He has been ranked as the most bankable star worldwide by Forbes. As of 2016, his films have grossed $7.5 billion at the global box office. For his performances in Ali, and in The Pursuit of Happyness, Smith received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor. He has won four Grammy Awards. He turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix in favor of Wild Wild West. In 2005, Smith was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for attending three premieres in a 24-hour time span.

 

 

 

The Range Rover Velar 2018 instantly recognisable descendant of the original luxury SUV family

 

In Norway, minimalist design reigns. Clean lines and unfussy surfacing abounds, from the weather-beaten farmhouses and modern commercial buildings that dot the landscape, to the Scandinavian furniture and clothing carefully curated inside them. It’s all form-follows-function, it’s all gorgeous, and it’s no accident that none of it distracts from the country’s omnipresent scenic vistas. The same is true inside the Velar’s beautifully appointed cabin, where a brand-new infotainment interface, Touch Pro Duo, takes up residence in the center stack. The Intel-quad-core based system features twin 10-inch touchscreen TFT displays, one in the traditional mid-dash location, and the other canted just ahead of the drive selector, with a pair of ringed knobs poking through. The setup looks impressively simple — almost worryingly so. Land Rover has greatly reduced the amount of switchgear in the cabin, a practice that has become something of a car-designer obsession these days. The result of such approaches always seems to look pleasing, but too often comes with a heavy toll on ergonomics and usability. Fortunately, I’d have a couple of days behind the wheel to suss out whether that’s the case with the Velar.

 

 

The London restaurant transformed into a cherry blossom landscape

A restaurant in London has been transformed with a cherry blossom installation to honour the annual Japanese tradition.

The Shochu bar also introduced bespoke cocktails for the occasion.

Watch the video above to see the intricate design which hangs from the ceiling and is only in place for a limited time only.

Filming for this shoot took place at the cherry blossom installation at Shochu, the basement bar below ROKA Charlotte Street.

 

 

Ikea Swedish furniture founder Ingvar Kamprad has died at the age of 91

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 29 Jan 2018) London, Uk – –

The Swedish founder of the Ikea furniture chain, Ingvar Kamprad, has died at the age of 91, the company has announced.

Mr Kamprad – who pioneered flat-pack furniture – died at his home in Småland, Ikea confirmed in a statement.

The company said that Mr Kamprad was “one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century”.

The billionaire, who was born in 1926 in Småland, founded Ikea at the age of 17.

He used some money his father had given him as a gift for performing well at school despite his dyslexia.

In the later years of his life, Mr Kamprad faced questions over his past links to fascist groups – something he admitted, but said was a “mistake”.

In a statement on Sunday, Ikea said that Mr Kamprad had “peacefully passed away at his home”.

“He worked until the very end of his life, staying true to his own motto that most things remain to be done,” it added. Mr Kamprad eventually stepped down from the company’s board in 2013, at the age of 87.

“Ingvar Kamprad was a great entrepreneur of the typical southern Swedish kind – hardworking and stubborn, with a lot of warmth and a playful twinkle in his eye,” the company said.

His company’s designs became popular in part because of their simplicity and value.

Mr Kamprad is reported to have come up with the idea of flat-pack furniture after watching an employee remove the legs from a table in order to fit it into a customer’s car.

Furniture designer Jeff Banks said that Mr Kamprad’s creations radically changed how people made and designed products for the home.

“People have tried to reproduce and copy that, but unsuccessfully,” he said.

Mr Banks added that the designs produced and sold through the retailer made good use of recyclable products, adding that Mr Kamprad was “head and shoulders above the rest”.

Mr Kamprad was renowned for his devotion to frugality, reportedly driving an old Volvo and travelling by economy class.

In a 2016 interview with Swedish television channel TV4, Mr Kamprad said that it was “in the nature of Småland to be thrifty”.

“If you look at me now, I don’t think I’m wearing anything that wasn’t bought at a flea market,” he said.

He told the channel that he built his business on a “local ethos”.

“We have Småland in the blood, and we know what a krona is – even though it is not as much as it was when we bought candy and went to elementary school,” he said, referring to the Swedish currency.

People took to social media on Sunday to pay their respects to the “greatest Swedish entrepreneur to have ever lived”.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom tweeted her condolences, saying that Mr Kamprad had “put Sweden on the world map”.

Ikea: Key facts

  • Ikea started in 1943 and now has 389 stores worldwide
  • The name comes from Mr Kamprad’s initials (IK), together with the name of the farm he grew up on – Elmtaryd (E) – and the nearby village Agunnaryd (A)
  • The company’s retail sales totalled 36.4bn euros ($43bn, £30bn) in 2016
  • Its flat-pack furniture became iconic both for its affordability and for its picture-based assembly instructions

Ikea has remained privately-owned under a Dutch trust operated by the Kamprad family. Its complex business structure has drawn controversy and the European Commission said last year that it had launched an investigation into Ikea’s tax arrangements.

The European Green Party said that the arrangement had allowed the company to avoid paying some €1bn in tax between 2009 and 2014.

A spokesman for Dutch-based Inter Ikea, one of the company’s two divisions, said that the company had been taxed “in accordance with EU rules”.

In an interview in the 1980s, Mr Kamprad said that his vision for Ikea was that it would be a company that would make life easier for its customers.

In more recent years, Mr Kamprad had faced scrutiny over his past links to Nazi groups.

The tycoon revealed some elements of his past in a book in 1988, admitting that he was a close friend of the Swedish fascist activist Per Engdahl, and a member of his New Swedish Movement between 1942 and 1945.

He said that his involvement was youthful “stupidity” and the “greatest mistake” of his life.

But a 2011 book by Elisabeth Asbrink alleged details beyond what Mr Kamprad had previously admitted. She wrote that he was an active recruiter for a Swedish Nazi group, and stayed close to sympathisers well after World War Two.

At the time a spokesman for Mr Kamprad said he had long admitted flirting with fascism, but that there were now “no Nazi-sympathising thoughts in Ingvar’s head whatsoever”.

 

 

 

 

Marcus Lemonis’s Top 10 Rules For Success

 

He’s an businessman, inventor, television personality and philanthropist. He is currently the chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises, and the star of The Profit, a CNBC reality show about saving small businesses. He leads close to 6,000 employees in over 100 cities across the US. He’s Marcus Lemonis and here are his Top 10 Rules for Success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manchester United undisputed world’s richest top earning football club

 

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Tue,23 Jan, 2018) London, Uk – –

An annual money league sees Jose Mourinho’s United side being chased down for the top spot by Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Manchester United have retained their crown as the word’s leading football club for revenue generation, according to an annual league table.

According to the Money League, compiled by Deloitte, the club is being chased down by the two richest sides in Spain – with Real Madrid overtaking Barcelona in the chasing pack in the 2016/17 rankings.

The league is determined by revenue generation, with United netting £581.2m over the 12 months compared to £515.3m in the previous season.

The report said winning European football’s second-tier club championship, the Europa League, was “critical” to Jose Mourinho’s side coming out on top for a second year as they picked up €44.5m from UEFA in the process.

Real won both the Champions League and La Liga titles in the season – helping them leapfrog rivals Barca to achieve revenues of £579.7m and £557.1m respectively.

All the top 20 clubs are European but Premier League sides dominate – largely a result of broadcast revenues from the three-year £5.1bn TV rights deal with Sky, the owner of Sky News, and BT.

Manchester City and Arsenal were 5th and 6th while Chelsea and Liverpool also featured. The are 10 Premier League sides in the top 20.

Deloitte said the gulf of just £1.5m between the top two clubs was the smallest recorded by its team.

Combined revenue for the top 20 sides grew 6% to a new record sum of €7.9bn (£6.94bn).

Dan Jones, a partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business group, said: “European football continues to flourish financially, with almost half a billion euro of revenue growth for the top 20 Money League clubs.

“United’s ability to retain first position is all the more impressive against the backdrop of the weakened pound against the euro, and with both Real Madrid and FC Barcelona forecasting further revenue growth in 2017/18, the battle at the top will likely come down to on-pitch performance again next year.

“With all three clubs through to the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League, it may be as simple as the club that goes furthest in the competition will have the best chance of topping the Money League next year.”

:: The top 20 clubs as determined by revenue in 2016/17:

:: 1 Manchester United £581.2m
:: 2 Real Madrid 579.7m
:: 3 FC Barcelona £557.1m
:: 4 Bayern Munich £505.1m
:: 5 Manchester City £453.5m
:: 6 Arsenal £419m
:: 7 Paris Saint-Germain £417.8m
:: 8 Chelsea £367.8m
:: 9 Liverpool £364.5m
:: 10 Juventus £348.6m
:: 11 Tottenham Hotspur £305.6m
:: 12 Borussia Dortmund £285.8m
:: 13 Atletico de Madrid £234.2m
:: 14 Leicester City £233m
:: 15 Internazionale £225.2m
:: 16 Schalke 04 £197.8m
:: 17 West Ham United £183.3m
:: 18 Southampton £182.3m
:: 19 Napoli £172.5m
:: 20 Everton £171.2m

By James Sillars, Business Reporter

‘World’s richest 1% accumulate 82% of the wealth’, says Oxfam

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Tue, 23 Jan 2018) London, Uk – –

The gap between the super rich and the rest of the world widened last year as wealth continued to be owned by a small minority, Oxfam has claimed.

Some 82% of money generated last year went to the richest 1% of the global population while the poorest half saw no increase at all, the charity said.

Oxfam said its figures – which critics have queried – showed a failing system.

It blamed tax evasion, firms’ influence on policy, erosion of workers’ rights, and cost cutting for the widening gap.

Oxfam has produced similar reports for the past five years. In 2017 it calculated that the world’s eight richest individuals had as much wealth as the poorest half of the world.

This year, it said 42 people now had as much wealth as the poorest half, but it revised last year’s figure to 61. Oxfam said the revision was due to improved data and said the trend of “widening inequality” remained.

‘Unacceptable’

Oxfam chief executive Mark Goldring said its constant readjustment of the figures reflected the fact that the report was based “on the best data available at the time”.

“However you look at it, this is an unacceptable level of inequality,” he said.

Oxfam’s report coincides with the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, a Swiss ski resort. The annual conference attracts many of the world’s top political and business leaders.

Inequality typically features high on the agenda, but Mr Goldring said that too often “tough talk fades away at the first resistance”.

Analysis by Anthony Reuben, BBC Reality Check

It’s really hard working out how much wealth the super-rich and the very poor have.

The super-rich tend not to publicise their worth and many of the world’s poorest countries keep poor statistics.

To illustrate that, this time last year, Oxfam told us that eight individuals have as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population. Now it has revised that figure to 61 people for last year, falling to 42 people this year – that’s a pretty big revision.

And there are other caveats around the data on which all this is based, such as that the people on the list with the lowest wealth are not necessarily poor at all – they may be highly qualified professionals with large amounts of student debt, for example, or people with high incomes but enormous mortgages.

But whether it’s eight people, 42 people or 61 people who have the same wealth as half of the world, there is still great wealth inequality around the world, which is the message Oxfam is taking to Davos.


The charity is urging a rethink of business models, arguing their focus on maximising shareholder returns over broader social impact is wrong.

It said there was “huge support” for action with two thirds (72%) of 70,000 people it surveyed in ten countries saying they wanted their governments to “urgently address the income gap between rich and poor”.

But Mark Littlewood, director general at free market think tank The Institute of Economic Affairs, said Oxfam was becoming “obsessed with the rich rather than the poor”.

“Higher taxes and redistribution will do nothing to help the poor; wealth is not a fixed pie. Richer people are also highly taxed people – reducing their wealth won’t lead to redistribution, it will destroy it to the benefit of no one,” he added.

It was a criticism echoed by Sam Dumitriu, head of research at another free market think tank – the Adam Smith Institute – who said the charity’s inequality stats “always paint the wrong picture”.

“In reality, global inequality has fallen massively over the past few decades.

“As China, India and Vietnam embraced neoliberal reforms that enforce property rights, reduce regulations and increase competition, the world’s poorest have received a massive pay rise leading to a more equal global income distribution.”

How does Oxfam work out the figures?

Oxfam’s report is based on data from Forbes and the annual Credit Suisse Global Wealth databook, which gives the distribution of global wealth going back to 2000.

The survey uses the value of an individual’s assets, mainly property and land, minus debts, to determine what he or she “owns”. The data excludes wages or income.

The methodology has been criticised as it means that a student with high debts, but with high future earning potential, for example, would be considered poor under the criteria used.

But Oxfam said even if the wealth of the poorest half of the world was recalculated to exclude people in net debt their combined wealth was still equal to that of just 128 billionaires.

By Katie Hope

Richard Branson : Take a look at a day in the life of the Billionaire

 

Want to see what a day in my life is like? View this video for a busy day in London with Richard Branson. Watch as he goes from filming adverts to doing to Mobot,  turning on Christmas lights, agreeing Virgin Trains’ franchise extension to premiering Breaking The Taboo.