The CEO offering a monthly clothing subscription box for men

 

Andres Izquieta is the CEO of Five-Four Club, a monthly clothing subscription box for men. Andres says entrepreneurs have ideas and find out how to go out and execute that idea. Andres talks about how he always knew he wanted to become an entrepreneur and start his own business. He talks about their first round of funding, and how they use Instagram as a tool for their business.

Uber denied renewal of operating licence in London

 

Wikimedia

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 22 Sept, 2017) London, Uk – –

Uber will not be is sued a new private hire licence, Transport for London (TfL) has said.

TfL has concluded the ride-hailing app firm was not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence.

Uber's approach and conduct demonstrated a lack of corporate responsibility which could have potential public safety and security implications, it said.

Uber has 21 days to appeal, during which it can continue to operate.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said in a statement: “I fully support TfL's decision – it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners' safety and security.”

Millions of bank and building society accounts to be subjected to illegal migrants checks

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Fri, 22 Sept 2017) London, Uk – –

Millions of bank and building society accounts will be subjected to checks to ensure services are not being provided to illegal migrants, it is reported.

The checks form part of a three-pronged attack announced by Home Secretary Amber Rudd at the Conservative party conference last year, which also included actions against landlords and employers.

Financial institutions will be tasked with checking the details of account holders against a list of illegal migrants who are liable for removal or deportation.

The Guardian reported this will see 70 million accounts checked quarterly and will begin in January.

Satbir Singh, the chief executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, told the paper: “The government's own record shows that it cannot be trusted even to implement this system properly.

“Immigration status is very complex, and the Home Office consistently gives out incorrect information and guidance.

“Migrants and ethnic minorities with every right to be here will be affected by the imposition of these new checks.”

Announcing the plans last year, Ms Rudd said: “Landlords that knowingly rent out property to people who have no right to be here will be committing a criminal offence. They could go to prison.

“Furthermore, from December, immigration checks will be a mandatory requirement for those wanting to get a licence to drive a taxi.

“And from next autumn, banks will have to do regular checks to ensure they are not providing essential banking services to illegal migrants.

“Money drives behaviour, and cutting off its supply will have an impact.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “We are developing an immigration system which is fair to people who are here legally, but firm with those who break the rules. Everyone in society can play their part in tackling illegal migration.

“As approved by Parliament in December 2016, from January banks and building societies will be required to carry out regular checks on the immigration status of all current account holders against the details of known illegal migrants to establish whether their customers are known to be in the UK unlawfully.

“This is part of our ongoing work to tackle illegal migration. People who are here legally will be unaffected.”

 

Google buys part of HTC in $1.1bn expansion smartphone deal

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com- – Thur, 21 Sept 2017) London, Uk – –

Google has bought part of Taiwanese technology company HTC in an effort to further expand its smartphone business.

The Silicon Valley tech giant announced that it is spending $1.1bn (£820m) to acquire the team that developed its Pixel smartphone, released in 2016.

About 2,000 employees, which represent half of HTC's existing smartphone development workforce, will move to Google as a result of the acquisition.

The deal is a cash transaction and won't see Google take a stake in HTC, as had been speculated earlier in the week.

Shares in HTC were suspended on Wednesday as rumours of an all-out buyout deal by Google's parent company Alphabet abounded.

Google has been pushing its new Pixel phone as an increasing number of people are using its services with mobile devices.

The technology giant has announced it will host a live event at the beginning of October, where new versions of the firm's Pixel and Pixel XL will be unveiled.

Thursday's announcement is another sign of how serious Google is about carving out a bigger space for itself in the already competitive smartphone market.

It also highlights Google's commitment to developing more of its own hardware, rather than relying on other technology companies' devices to host its Android software.

HTC's shares remained suspended on Thursday following the announcement.

If approved by regulators the deal is expected to be completed by early next year.

 By Clare Downey

Co-op Group enjoys sales boost as remaining 1% stake in Co-op Bank is sold off

The Co-op Group has enjoyed a rise in sales on the back of its British-sourced food, as it reported it had sold off its remaining 1pc stake in the troubled Co-op Bank.

The retailer recorded a 3.5pc rise in like-for-like food sales in the 26 weeks to July 1, helped by a 6pc rise in comparable sales of British meat.

The Co-op says it is the only UK supermarket to use British meat in all of its sandwiches and pork pies, and sells only British-reared bacon and lamb. It also reported a 22pc rise in sales of its premium ‘Irresistible’ range.

The strong performance helped the group achieve its 14th consecutive quarter of like-for-like growth in food sales. These sales only compare shops open for more than a year; on a total basis, food sales fell 1.2pc to £3.48bn after accounting for the disposal of 298 stores to rival chain McColl's.

At group level, including the Co-op’s funeralcare and insurance divisions, the company reported flat revenues of £4.6bn in the first half.

Pre-tax profits climbed to £25m from £17m last year. The Co-op said it had been helped by one-off gains as well as a strong comparison with the prior year, when it took a heavy writedown on its stake in the Co-op Bank. On an underlying basis, profits fell 48pc to £14m.

 Since the half year's end, the Co-op has received a £5m boost from the sale of its remaining stake in the Co-op Bank. Its ownership had plummeted to around 20pc in 2013 after the bank was rescued by a group of hedge funds following the discovery of a £1.5bn hole in its accounts. Another recapitalisation earlier this year meant that the Co-op’s stake dropped to just 1pc.

The Co-op said its deal with the Bank to promote its services to its members would “naturally fall away and come to a formal end in 2020”. Nonetheless the Co-op Bank is expected to retain its name and wants to continue to promote ethical banking policies.

Steve Murrells, who became Co-op chief executive earlier this year, said the company’s businesses had continued to perform in the face of “challenging markets”.

“Since we launched our member reward scheme in September 2016 more than 1.1m people have signed up to join the Co-op,” he said. “As a result we've been able to give £35m back to our members and their communities over the first half of this year, a conscious decision to share our success with our members and the 4,000 good causes which mean so much to them.”

 Last month the Co-op confirmed it was in exclusive talks to take over wholesale and convenience group Nisa for £140m.
By 

Tata Steel merger with ThyssenKrupp creates Europe’s second largest steel group

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Wed,  20 Sept 2017) London, Uk – –

Creation of Europe’s second largest steel group likely to lead to about 4,000 job losses but helps safeguard Port Talbot site

India’s Tata Steel has paved the way for a merger of its European operations with the German steel manufacturer ThyssenKrupp, creating Europe’s second largest steel group after ArcelorMittal.

Tata said the two companies had signed a “memorandum of understanding” to create a 50/50 joint venture based in Amsterdam, with an annual turnover of about €15bn (£13.3bn), 48,000 employees, and annual shipments of about 21m tonnes of flat steel.

The two companies have been in talks to combine their European operations since Tata abandoned plans to sell its UK steel business last year, safeguarding the immediate future of the Port Talbot steelworks in south Wales.

The tie-up is expected to result in about 4,000 job losses, split between the two companies and affecting both administrative and manufacturing roles. Tata and ThyssenKrupp expect to make annual cost savings of between €400m and €600m by combining their sales and administrative functions, research and development, and procurement and logistics.

Roy Rickhuss, chairman of the coordinating committee representing the Unite, GMB and Community unions, said: “The steel trade unions cautiously welcome this news and recognise the industrial logic of such a partnership. This would create the second biggest steel business in Europe, which could deliver significant benefits for the UK.

“As always, the devil will be in the detail and we are seeking further assurances on jobs, investment and future production across the UK operations. As a priority, we will be pressing Tata to demonstrate their long-term commitment to steelmaking in the UK by confirming they will invest in the reline of Port Talbot’s Blast Furnace No 5.”

The business secretary, Greg Clark, said it was an “important step” for the future of Port Talbot.

“The government has been working hard with the unions to secure a sustainable future for Tata Steel in the UK, its 4,000 employees at the Port Talbot site and its supply chain.

“Today’s agreement between Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp is an important next step in establishing their shared ambition for Port Talbot as a world-class steel manufacturer, with a focus on quality, technology and innovation.”

The joint venture will be named ThyssenKrupp Tata Steel and is expected to be up and running in late 2018, following further negotiations, due diligence, and subject to approval from relevant authorities and shareholders.

“Under the planned joint venture, we are giving the European steel activities of ThyssenKrupp and Tata a lasting future. We are tackling the structural challenges of the European steel industry and creating a strong No 2,” said Heinrich Hiesinger, chief executive of ThyssenKrupp.

ThyssenKrupp said the combined companies would start to review its production network in 2020, to identify further savings and integration opportunities. The German company added that the outcome of the Brexit negotiations would have a bearing on decisions. “The scope for optimisation also depends on numerous external factors such as the outcome of the Brexit negotiations and the implications that follow,” it said.

By Angela Monaghan

Entrepreneurs looking to exit at a rate not seen in years

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 20 Sept 2017) London, Uk – –

Entrepreneurs are looking to downsize, sell or close their firms at a rate not seen in years, a survey has suggested.

The Federation of Small Business (FSB) found that 13% of respondents were looking for ways out of their business, the highest percentage since it began measuring in 2012.

The survey also indicated that optimism among small firms had tumbled.

The FSB blamed the fall in optimism on rising costs and a weaker UK economy.

“A record proportion of business owners currently expect to downsize, sell or shut up shop, while rent and taxation are frequently mentioned as causes of increased costs. We need to see more support in this space – that includes ending enforcement of the ridiculous ‘staircase tax',” said Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman.

The term “staircase tax” emerged when some firms found they were paying extra business rates because they had an office divided by a staircase.

The FSB's Small Business Index is based on a survey of 1,230 of its members and was last conducted in July – the responses were used to create a weighted index.

In July, the confidence index fell to 1 from 15 in the previous quarter. The lowest levels of confidence were seen in retail and entertainment firms, according to the FSB.

Exporting happiness

However, the FSB noted that confidence has been rising among exporters, with 40% reporting an increase in overseas sales.

Exporters have been boosted by the weakened pound, which helps make their products more competitively priced overseas.

The report also indicated that, overall, small firms are looking to increase their workforce.

“Employment intentions are up, but so too are labour costs. This is causing significant problems in a number of sectors, not least hospitality and retail,” Mr Cherry said.

“With conference season and the Autumn Budget approaching, policymakers have an opportunity to restore optimism.”

Toys R Us files for bankruptcy in the United States and Canada

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Tue, 19 Sept 2017) London, Uk – –

Toy giant Toys R Us has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States and Canada as the retailer struggles under its heavy debt load and a shift towards online shopping.

The retailer said it was beginning a court-supervised process that allows it to restructure its finances while remaining open for business.

It said operations in Europe, Asia and Australia are not included in the Chapter 11 filing, which is often referred to as a “reorganisation” bankruptcy.

Toys R Us has a debt pile of more than £3.5bn, which is largely a result of a leveraged buyout in 2005, when it was taken private by  Bain Capital, KKR, and Vornado Realty Trust.

The company has around 1,600 stores worldwide, employing more than 60,000 staff.

“We are confident that we are taking the right steps to ensure that the iconic Toys R Us and Babies R Us brands live on for many generations,” said chief executive Dave Brandon.

“Our customers around the world can continue to count on an outstanding shopping experience and excellent service whenever, wherever and however they choose to shop with us.

“As the holiday season approaches, our global team members are ready to serve the millions of kids and families who will be shopping with us.”

By Sam Dean

The number of people on zero hours contracts in the UK falls

Tim Tabor/flickr

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Tue, 19 Sept 2017) London, Uk – –

The number of people on zero hours contracts in the UK has fallen slightly, according to the latest official figures.

Between April and June 2017, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that 883,000 people were on contracts that do not guarantee work.

This is 2.2% lower than the figure from the same period in 2016.

However, the proportion of British workers on zero-hours contracts remained broadly flat at 2.8%.

In July, a government review of employment practices said too many employers and businesses were relying on zero-hours, short-hours or agency contracts, when they could be more forward-thinking in their scheduling.

It did not call for a ban, but did suggest reforms such as reclassifying workers for platform-based firms such as Uber as “dependent contractors” and improving in-work training.

The prime minister said the government would take the report's recommendations seriously.

PwC revealed Black and Asian employees payed less

(qlmbusinessnews.com via independent.co.uk – – Mon, 18 Sept 2017) London, Uk – –

Global professional services firm PwC has revealed that it pays its Black, Asian and minority-ethnic staff almost 13 per cent less than other employees.

In a report on Monday, the company said that it had published the figures in an effort to “shine the spotlight on ethnicity in the workplace and encourage organisations to take action”.

“We need to start looking beyond the narrow lense of gender, otherwise true workplace diversity won’t be achieved,” said Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner at PwC.

From April next year, companies across the UK employing more than 250 people will have to publish their gender pay gap figures on their websites.

They must provide the mean and median gender pay gap in hourly pay as well as the mean and median bonus gap, the proportion of males and females receiving a bonus and the proportion of males and females in each pay quartile.

PwC said that it had calculated its BAME pay and bonus gaps using the same methodology as the Government requires for the gender pay gap, based on the data the firm has available from employees.

Its BAME pay gap is currently 12.8 per cent and the BAME bonus gap is 35.4 per cent. The pay gap, it said, is entirely driven by the fact that there are more non-BAME staff in senior higher-paid roles and more BAME staff in junior administrative roles.

“Our priority is to do all we can to retain our junior BAME talent and improve rates of progression to senior management levels,” Mr Ellis said.

“We’re aiming to achieve this through stronger accountability across our business to deliver our gender and ethnicity targets, monitoring our pipelines on a more regular basis and making sure that all of our people can benefit from the most stretching of client engagements,” he said.

“We are also talking to our BAME employees to understand their sense of working at PwC to see if there are any barriers we can address.”

In July, a study conducted by the Chartered Management Institute– a professional management body—in collaboration with the British Academy of Management, showed that fewer than one in 10 management jobs in the UK are currently held BAME employees.

It also showed that only 21 per cent of FTSE 100 leaders publish their current diversity levels and only 54 per cent are seen to be actively championing greater diversity in their companies

By Josie Cox

London suffer the highest level of business fraud in Britain

Michael Duxbury/flickr.com

(qlmbusinessnews.com via cityam.com – – Mon, 18 Sept 2017) London, Uk – –

British businesses lost at least £40m last year from frauds perpetrated by their own employees, with London accounting for the largest chunk by far, new data published today has revealed.

Losses from employee fraud were highest in the Greater London area covered by the Metropolitan Police, at £7m in 2016/17, according to government figures obtained by accountants RSM.

City of London businesses suffered the second-largest losses, at £4.7m, meaning London as a whole accounted for 29 per cent of the total losses from employee fraud reported to ActionFraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre.

Meanwhile the average size of the frauds reported in the City of London was the second-highest in the UK, at £338,380, with only Gloucestershire experiencing a higher rate of losses.

Essex businesses were hit by the third-highest losses, at £4.4m.

The number of cases of fraud has risen steadily over the last decade, according to Cifas, a fraud prevention body.

Staff simply stealing cash from their company is the most common reported internal fraud, accounting for more than a fifth of fraud cases. The second most common employee fraud is the manipulation of third-party accounts held by friends or families, Cifas reported earlier this year.

The true extent of losses is thought to be significantly higher: the Office for National Statistics reports that crime surveys of England and Wales show a “substantially higher” incidence of fraud than official reporting.

Akhlaq Ahmed, forensic partner at RSM, said: “The levels of reported employee fraud and the resulting losses are already high, but this is likely to be the tip of the iceberg. Sadly, a great deal of employee fraud goes unnoticed and unreported, and businesses are simply not doing enough to prevent losses.”

He added: “In our experience, fraud is often carried out by employees who may have been in post for some time and who know where the weak points are. They can often be motivated by greed, lifestyle aspirations, debts or addictions.”

By Jasper Jolly

The steepest funicular railway in Europe has a 106% incline

 

Gelmerbahn in the canton of Bern, Switzerland, is the steepest funicular in Europe.

It has an inclination of up to 106% and a 1,028m (3,373ft) long track.

It takes you to the Gelmer Valley 1860m (6,102ft) above sea level, where you can enjoy some spectacular views.

The funicular was originally built to transport heavy construction materials.

Equifax’s victim attempt to set up credit monitoring and freeze on her account

 

143 million people were affected by the Equifax hack and CNNMoney's Personal Finance Reporter Katie Lobosco was one of the victims. Watch Katie attempt to set up Equifax's credit monitoring service and place a freeze on her credit.

JD Wetherspoon shares jumped 9% after reported rise in full year sales and profits.

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 15 Sept 2017) London, Uk – –

Shares in JD Wetherspoon have jumped 9% after the pub group reported a rise in full-year sales and profits.

In the year to 30 July, profits before exceptional items rose 27.6% to £102.8m with total sales up 4.1% to £1.66bn.

Like-for-like sales – which strip out the impact of pub openings and closures – rose 4%, and are up 6.1% since the start of August.

However, Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said the recent pace of sales growth would not continue.

“Comparisons will become more stretching – and sales, which were very strong in the summer holidays, are likely to return to more modest levels,” he said.

Wetherspoon was the biggest riser on the FTSE 250 index, although the index was down 78.91 points at 19,445.03.

The benchmark FTSE 100 index dropped 32.19 points to 7,263.20. Cruise firm Carnival was the biggest faller on the index, down 3.4%, after Credit Suisse cut its rating in the company to “neutral”.

On the currency markets, the pound hit a year-high against the dollar as traders continued to react to Thursday's comments from the Bank of England which suggested interest rates could rise later this year.

In early trade the pound was up a further 0.25% against the dollar at $1.3432, and was 0.2% higher against the euro at 1.1264 euros.

 

Ryanair loses legal battle with European Court on Cabin Crew Contracts

 

Low cost carrier, Ryanair has insisted that a ruling by the European Court of Justice will not change the current status of employment contracts for thousands of its staff.

The Luxembourg based ECJ said on Thursday that the airline was wrong to force cabin crew based outside Ireland to take their disputes with the company to Irish courts.

Despite losing the case, Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary remained defiant following the decision.

John Lewis profits slides to 53% over the past six months

Roberto Herrett/flickr

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Thu, 14 Sept 2017) London, Uk – –

Profits at John Lewis Partnership have more than halved in the past six months as the group behind the department store chain and Waitrose has been hit by costs associated with overhauling the business and weakened customer demand from inflationary pressures and political uncertainty.

Pre-tax profits tumbled by 53.3pc to £26.6m during the six months to 29 July after it had to absorb £56.4m of costs from making a number of redundancies related to restructuring staff roles at Waitrose and John Lewis as it adapts to changing shopping behaviours.

At John Lewis, total sales grew by 2.3pc, helped by the launch of its new exclusive brand AND/OR, while like-for-like sales edged 0.1pc higher. Operating profits before the exceptional items jumped by 38.7pc to £50.2m.

Meanwhile, at Waitrose, total sales grew by 2.3pc to £3.2bn while like-for-like sales inched 0.7pc higher. Waitrose’s operating profits before exceptional items fell by 17.4pc to £100.8m after the upmarket grocer absorbed the higher costs associated with the weaker pound, rather than passing it on to customers in the ongoing intensely competitive supermarket price war.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman, said: “As we anticipated in our full year results in March, the first half of the year has seen inflationary pressures driven by exchange rates and political uncertainty. These have dampened consumer demand, especially in categories connected to the housing market.”

By  Ashley Armstrong

BoE governor Mark Carney unveils the new plastic £10 note at Winchester Cathedral

 

The new plastic £10 note has been unveiled by Bank of England governor Mark Carney at Winchester Cathedral.

The note, which follows the polymer £5, will be issued on 14 September and has a portrait of Jane Austen on the 200th anniversary of the author's death.

It is also the first Bank of England note to include a tactile feature to help visually impaired people.

Meanwhile, a limited supply of a new £2 coin honouring Jane Austen has been put into circulation by the Royal Mint.

The coin will initially only be available in tills at key locations in the Winchester and Basingstoke areas that have connections with Austen, including Winchester Cathedral and the Jane Austen House Museum.
It will be circulated more widely across the UK later this year.