UK Watchdog Fine PWC £1.5m Over Auditing Misconduct

( via – – Wed, 16 Aug 2017) London, Uk – –

Britain’s accounting watchdog has fined audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP a record £5.1 million (€5.6 million) and given it a severe reprimand after it admitted misconduct when auditing collapsed accounting firm RSM Tenon.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said PwC and senior audit partner Nicholas Boden admitted a series of failures when they signed off RSM Tenon’s accounts for the year to June 2011.

“The admitted acts of misconduct include failures to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence and failures to exercise sufficient professional scepticism,” it said in a statement.

The FRC warned last month that accountants should challenge information provided by clients.

RSM Tenon, which had been listed on the London stock market, collapsed in 2013 and its assets were taken over by Baker Tilly.

The FRC said PwC’s misconduct was extensive, comprising five separate admitted acts in relation to the accrual of bonus payments, the accounting for a lease, the assessment of goodwill impairment and other aspects of the audit.

The FRC said PwC had to pay a fine of £6 million, reduced to £5.1 million after a settlement discount as well as a 500,000 pound contribution to the watchdog’s costs.

Boden, who was PwC’s senior audit partner for RSM Tenon, was fined £114,750 and given a severe reprimand.

PwC, one of the world’s top four accounting firms, said it accepted the FRC’s findings and was sorry that aspects of the audit carried out in 2011 fell short of professional standards.

“We continually review and update our audit processes in response to both internal reviews and external inspection findings. Audit quality is of paramount importance and our annual Audit Quality Reviews show year-on-year improvements,” PwC said in a statement.

In May, PwC was fined a then record £5 million over the way it checked the books of collapsed social housing maintenance company Connaugh

ALDI takes on Amazon by Launching US Online Grocery Delivery Service

( via – – Mon, 14 Aug, 2017) London, Uk – –

Aldi is ramping up its ambitions in the US and taking on retail giant Amazon in the process with a new venture into online grocery delivery.

The German discounter has partnered with Instacart, the US venture-backed same-day delivery startup, to get its products into customers’ hands.

Not content with giving the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s a run for their money in the UK, Aldi outlined its ambitions to become the third biggest grocery chain in the US in June.

And now, the Instacart partnership will bring groceries – including fresh fruit and veg – to customers in three US cities (Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas), in as little as an hour in an initial trial “with potential for future expansion”.

Five-year-old Instacart rivals Amazon Fresh and serves more than 30 states and cities in the US. The deal comes after Amazon’s blockbuster $14bn takeover of Whole Foods.

Aldi launched home delivery in the UK for the first time last year for wine, furniture and other items, but not groceries.

By Lynsey Barber

Walmart Heirs buy British Cycling Brand Rapha for £200m

( via – – Tue, 8 Aug, 2017) London, Uk – –

Founder Simon Mottram to remain chief executive after private equity firm RZC wins race for upmarket sportswear label

British upmarket cycling brand Rapha has been sold to two heirs of the Walmart dynasty for £200m.

Rapha, founded by branding consultant and lifelong cyclist Simon Mottram in 2004, announced on Monday that it had been sold to RZC Investments, a private equity firm run by Steuart and Tom Walton. They are grandchildren of Sam Walton, founder of Walmart.

Cycling fashion outfit Rapha plots route into the fast lane
Read more
The sale values Mottram’s stake in the business at £25m, although the company said he would retain a “significant part” of his shareholding and would remain chief executive of the business. Many of Mottram’s friends and family are also shareholders.

“This is an exciting day for Rapha,” Mottram said. “The arrival of RZC Investments as a shareholder means we can pursue our mission to elevate cycling as a global sport and recruit more participants by engaging them and enabling them to ride with us at all levels.”

Mottram said the cash injection from RZC would be spent on its global expansion, with plans for 100 stores or “clubhouses” around the world. The company, named after a defunct French cycling team from the late 1950s, has stores as far afield as Seoul and Chicago.

Steuart Walton, co-founder of RZC, said: “Rapha represents the very best in the world of cycling. Our investment demonstrates our enthusiasm for its quality products, amazing community of cyclists and customers and its strong future. Rapha’s strategic vision has set the company on a path of tremendous growth and opportunity.”

The company, which employs 450 people, recorded sales of £63m last year, a 30% increase on the previous year, as it tapped demand for its high-end gear.

While Rapha may not be a household name, in the tribal cycling community it is seen as a “Marmite” brand, at the centre of fierce forum debates where detractors see it as the fiefdom of wealthy metrosexuals or the “Raphia”.

Its sells everything from £20 embrocation cream – which redirects blood back into your lower extremities by stimulating blood vessels – to bespoke holidays in the Alps. It even has its own riding club with 9,000 members paying £135 a year for perks including free coffee in its clubhouses.

“We are totally in love with the sport,” Mottram said in a recent Guardian interview. “We love the product and think the product should be as good as the sport. I care about how I look and perhaps that makes me a shallow person but why on a bike should you not?”

By Rupert Neate

Gender inequality manifesto memo by Google employee creates backlash


An internal memo to Google employees questioning Google diversity initiatives has taken the internet by storm. In the memo, the unnamed author challenges the companies practices of favoring women and minorities just for being women and minorities. He’s got a point. Google’s hiring and promotion practices look to be discriminatory but they can get away with it because they are discriminating in a way society is accepting of. The memo also points out that some people in the company are afraid to share their views because they fear being fired, seemingly with good reason.

Danielle Brown, Google’s new VP of diversity has responded to the memo and basically, tells Google employees it’s ok to share their opinions as long as they have the right opinions.

Car Makers Hold ‘Diesel Summit’ in Germany



German carmakers are meeting the government on Wednesday seeking solutions for the diesel sector damaged by scandals over emissions test cheating.

The aim is to find ways to cut emissions and head off moves by some large cities to ban diesel vehicles.

The government has been accused of not doing enough to crack down on pollution, and of being too close to the car industry.

HSBC Profits up 5% in the first half of 2017

Chris Beckett/Flickr

( via – Mon, 31 July 2017 2017) London, Uk – –

HSBC’s profits rose 5% in the first half of the year after a turbulent 2016.

The results were better than expected with Europe’s largest bank reporting that its pre-tax profit for the first six months to June came in at $10.2bn (£7.8bn), compared with $9.7bn (£7.4bn) for the same period last year.

The bank’s operating profits dropped 12% to $16.4bn (£12.5bn), partly down to a sell-off of its Brazil operations.

HSBC also announced a share buyback of up to $2bn, which it said it expected complete by the end of 2017, raising the amount of total stock it has pledged to buy since the second half of 2016 to $5.5bn.

The figures come after the bank warned in February of the challenges posed by Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidency in the US as it reported a 62% fall in earnings for 2016.

The London-based global lender has been on a recovery drive during the last two years to streamline the business and reduce costs.

In the midst of a revamp it has laid off tens of thousands of staff and shifted more of its focus towards Asia.

HSBC chairman Douglas Flint struck a positive tone in his response to the half year results, describing them as “extremely pleasing”.

He also attributed the bank’s performance to several factors: “Markets-based revenues benefited from market share advances, commercial banking customer activity was robust, wealth management and insurance revenues were notably stronger in Hong Kong, and credit experience globally remained remarkably sound.”

Mr Flint said there were still “uncertainties arising from increasing geopolitical tensions and ambiguous predictions around the shape of transition to, and final form of, the UK’s future relationship with its major trading partners in the EU” post-Brexit, but described HSBC’s performance as “resilient”.

HSBC confirmed earlier this year that it may have to move 1,000 roles from London to Paris due to Brexit over the next couple of years.

By By Sunita Patel-Carstairs



The New Phantom will be the first of a new generation of Rolls-Royces to benefit from the creation of the Architecture of Luxury. This new architecture serves as the foundation on which this eighth generation of Phantom reaffirms its position as ‘The Best Car in the World’ by taking the best fundamentals and making them better.

Inspirational Last Words Spoken by Steve Jobs


-Wise and Inspirational Words Of Steve Jobs Before He Died.
-Please listen all the way through and take what wisdom you can from these words.
-Take them in deeply and let them inspire you to live your life to the fullest!

-This video was put together to share with more people these inspirational and wise words of Steve Jobs just before he died so they may benefit from them in any way they can.

Floyd Mayweather could pocket up to $400 million in his upcoming fight, here how he spends his millions


Floyd Mayweather’s upcoming fight against Conor McGregor could pocket him up to $400 million, according to Forbes. His current net worth is upwards of $340 million. Here’s how he makes and spends that cash.

Trade Secretary Liam Fox to start talks on post-Brexit trade deal with the US

Chatham House/Flickr

( via – – Mon, 24 July 2017) London, Uk – –

The UK is to hold its first talks with the US to try to sketch out the details of a potential post-Brexit trade deal.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox will spend two days in Washington with US counterpart Robert Lighthizer.
EU rules mean the UK cannot sign a trade deal until it has left the bloc.

EU rules mean the UK cannot sign a trade deal until it has left the bloc.
Mr Fox said it was too early to say exactly what would be covered in a potential deal. Firms and trade unions have both warned of the risks of trying to secure an agreement too quickly.

The Department for International Trade said discussions were expected to focus on “providing certainty, continuity and increasing confidence for UK and US businesses as the UK leaves the EU”.

Mr Fox added: “The [UK-US trade and investment] working group is the means to ensure we get to know each other’s issues and identify areas where we can work together to strengthen trade and investment ties.”
‘Small practical things’

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) director general Adam Marshall said the US’s experience at such negotiations would make it difficult for the UK to secure a good deal.

“We’re just getting back into the game of doing this sort of thing after 40 years of doing it via the EU,” he told the BBC’s Today programme.

“So I think early on in the process, it would be concerning if the UK were to go up against the US on a complex and difficult negotiation.”

Mr Marshall said while the BCC’s business group’s members would welcome the US and the UK talking about how to increase trade between them, the focus should be on improving “small practical things” such as custom procedures rather than a comprehensive trade deal.

Trade unions the TUC and Unite have also expressed disquiet over a rushed US trade deal.

“Ministers should be focused on getting the best possible deal with the EU, rather than leaping into bed with

Donald Trump,” TUC boss Frances O’Grady told the Guardian.
US President Donald Trump and UK PM Theresa May at the G20

But independent economist Michael Hughes told the BBC’s World Business Report that talking to the US at this stage was important.

“To have some preliminary ideas and get some basic principles out is a sensible thing to do,” he said.
He said currently talks were expected to focus on financial services and farming.

“In both cases it is likely that the UK would have to water down some of the standards it currently has, either in terms of genetically modified food or in terms of regulation of financial services firms operating in the UK, in order to get a deal, so it’s a delicate one,” he added.

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump said he expected a “powerful” trade deal with the UK to be completed “very quickly”.

At the time, a UK government official said Mr Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May had agreed to prioritise work on a post-Brexit trade deal.

Trade between the two countries is already worth over $200bn (£150bn) a year
In 2015, US exports of goods and services to the UK were $123.5bn, up by 4% from 2014, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis

The US is the single biggest source of inward investment into the UK
Together the UK and US have around $1 trillion invested in each other’s economies
The trading relationship between the UK and the US supports over a millions jobs in both countries

QLM Business News and Market Analyses Now Available Digitally


QLM Business News Digital Media Channel for offering the latest business news as well as market analyses. Thanks to the fast-paced life people lead, most busy business people prefer to browse the Net on the go in order to keep up with the latest business news.

IMF downgrades Uk and US economic growth projections


Both the US and the UK are to have a slower economic growth than previously predicted according to the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF shaved its forecasts for U.S. growth to 2.1 percent for 2017 and 2018, slightly down from projections of 2.3 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, just three months ago. The Fund reversed previous assumptions that the Trump administration’s planned stimulus measures would boost U.S. growth, largely because no details have materialised.