Kylie Jenner: On track to become a cosmetics Billionaire

 

Youtube/Forbes

 

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Sat, 14 July 2018) London, Uk – –

Kylie Jenner was just 10 years old when she made her debut on her family's reality television series Keeping up with the Kardashians. A decade on, the show is still going strong and its youngest star is now the famous family's highest earner.

It emerged this week just how vast a chunk of the family's wealth belongs to the 20-year-old. Despite Kim's initial eclipsing fame, Forbes magazine says Kylie is now worth almost three times as much as her sister at an estimated $900m (£680m).

The magazine lauded her for heading towards becoming one of the youngest “self-made” billionaires ever. Given her background, many online scoffed at the title, but the impressiveness of the speed of her business success is harder to mock.

Kylie Cosmetics is by far her biggest earner. It's not sold in stores and does not advertise traditionally, because unlike other competitors it doesn't seem to need it.

After all, Kylie is a social media powerhouse. When she tweeted that she was “sooo over” Snapchat earlier this year, its shares tumbled.

The vast majority of her 110 million-strong Instagram following are young and female, fitting firmly within the brand's target market.

Her success can be viewed squarely within larger trends in the global beauty industry, which has undergone a huge shift as social media influencers and vloggers become more important to a brand's success.

Kylie launched her first set of own-brand lip kits in November 2015. The product choice was not incidental, as the internet had spent much of the previous two years speculating on the teen's noticeably larger lips.

At first the reality star alleged the change was achieved using clever make-up tricks (over-lining the lips and filling in with a natural-looking matte base).

Some mocked and sparked a viral, and painful, challenge to plump their own lips, but beauty bloggers avidly recreated her look. The products she was rumoured to use sold out at MAC outlets across the world.

Kylie and “momager” Kris saw an opportunity to go it alone. She spent months trailing an initial three-shade launch of lip kits – a combination of nude lip liner and matte lip cream combos – on Instagram and Snapchat.

The initial stock launch sold out in less than a minute, crashing the website.

Bloggers offered suggestions of “dupe” options for those not lucky enough to grab their own, and the $29 (£22) dollar sets were bootlegged online for hundreds of dollars.

After launching the debut kits, she relabelled her business Kylie Cosmetics and sales continue to soar, making a reported $19m in one day in late 2016.

In just a couple of years she has amassed a reported $630m (£470m) in sales, diversifying from lip kit duos to other products such as glosses, highlighters and eye-shadows.

The brand has kept people hooked by maintaining the initial FOMO (fear of missing out) exclusivity – using countdowns to reveal products and selling them on limited release, often in collaboration with her famous siblings.

Kylie Cosmetics is not alone; a host of grassroots brands such as Huda beauty and Anastasia Beverley Hills have soared in popularity in recent years. YouTube endorsements in particular have the power to make a product a “must have”.

 

 

A seismic change
Stephanie Saltzman, beauty editor at Fashionista, says it cannot be overstated how significant influencers and online marketing have been.

She describes the recent change as a “democratisation” within an industry that she believed had gone stale in its approach.

“Maybe historically consumers would use what their Mom used, or would go explore a beauty counter in a department store. Now it's in the palm of their hands through social media,” she says.

“It feels more authentic coming from a person and Kylie Jenner is a person as opposed to a blanket, faceless corporation.”

Traditional make-up brands are adjusting, though. Some have collaborated with influencers and beauty vloggers on limited-edition lines or have enlisted to use Generation Z celebrities such as Lily-Rose Depp to be their public face.

Charlotte Libby, a colour cosmetics expert at analyst group Mintel, says young consumers are rejecting traditional advertising, instead being drawn to brand transparency, and especially “personality, belief and ethics”.

“Crowdfunding campaigns and social media have brought down some of the barriers for new brands and levelled the playing field,” she tells the BBC.

“Social media and the success of influencers has proved that personality sells, and partnering with real people, rather than traditional media, offers brand the opportunity to show more personality.”

The Forbes cover profile points out that the overhead size of Kylie's company is exceptionally small.

It has only 12 employees, and only seven are full-time. Most of the company's operations and production needs are outsourced to specialist firms.

“As ultra light start ups go, Jenner's operation is essentially air. And because of those miniscule overhead and marketing costs, the profits are outsize and go right into Jenner's pocket,” journalist Natalie Robehmed writes.

Kylie's self-driven success and huge profits haven't been lost on sister Kim, who has followed suit by launching a new beauty line of her own and a range of new fragrances.

After a social-media-heavy marketing campaign that involved sending elaborately packaged perfumes to celebrities and influencers, Kim's initial fragrance offering sold out rapidly, raking in $10m (£7.5m) before a single paying customer had even smelt the products.

“I think that was definitely a wake-up call for a lot of others in the industry, and the same can be said with Kylie and everything she has accomplished,” says Fashionista editor Saltzman.

“I think they feel threatened and also feel inspired. I interviewed Kim right after that fragrance launch and she was saying some big corporations had come to her for advice.”

In the beauty industry in particular then, it seems that the Kardashians might actually be the ones to keep up with.

By Kelly-Leigh Cooper

 

 

Tesla sales hits 200,000 milestone as it loses US subsidies

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Fri, 13th July, 2018) London, Uk – –

Tesla has hit a speed bump that will cut subsidies for customers buying its electric vehicles in the US, after Elon Musk’s carmaker hit a milestone of 200,000 sales.

The US government subsidises purchases of electric cars with tax credits of up to $7,500 (£5,700), which apply to all of Tesla’s cars.

However, under changes to subsidies for electric cars introduced last year, the support is gradually phased out after a company has sold 200,000 vehicles. As of next January, subsidies will be cut in half before being phased out completely a year later.

Tesla is the first car manufacturer to hit the threshold in the US, and the end of subsidies could slow sales as the company ramps up production of the Model 3, its mass-market vehicle.

The company still has a backlog of hundreds of thousands of Model 3 orders, having struggled to hit production targets since the car went on sale a year ago. However, the company losing subsidies will make electric cars from rivals cheaper, at least until they hit the 200,000 mark.

US subsidies for electric cars were introduced in 2009 but limited by the government last year, amid predictions that electric vehicles will become more cost efficient and not need intervention to support.

Tesla has recently boosted production of its Model 3 car, managing to finally hit a target of 5,000 vehicles a week at the end of June.

Bloomberg reported that the company had gone to extreme lengths to hit manufacturing targets, including handing out free Red Bull energy drinks to workers and keeping production going even when raw sewage was spilled on the factory floor.

A Tesla spokesman said that any plumbing issues had been resolved quickly.

By James Titcomb

 

 

Take a look Inside London’s New £15bn Elizabeth Line Upgrade

 

Business Insider UK got an inside look at the progress works of London's new Elizabeth Line. The entire upgrade costs £14.8 billion and has taken nine years to build. We visited Farringdon—one of 41 new stations for the new service—to see what to expect once the line officially opens in Dec 2018.

 

Uber begin appeal over London licence at Westminster Magistrates’ Court

Wikimedia

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 25 June, 2018) London, Uk – –

A London court will consider later today if Uber is “fit and proper” to hold an operator licence in the capital.

The taxi app company will make its case at Westminster Magistrates' Court in a hearing expected to last several days.

Last September, Transport for London refused to renew Uber's licence on grounds of public safety and security.

Uber said it has since made significant changes, such as improving procedures for reporting criminal actions.

Various media outlets have quoted a memo reportedly sent by Uber to Transport for London, in which it said that as many as 1,148 London-licensed Uber drivers had been accused of “category A” offences such as sexual incidents, stalking and dangerous driving.

The court will take the changes made by Uber into account and decide whether it is now fit to hold an operator licence.

The original reasons for the refusal were outlined in a 21-page document.

Uber has been allowed to carry on operating in London while awaiting to appeal.

“I know we got things wrong and that we have more work to do. But I promise Londoners we will keep listening and improving as Uber moves forward in a new direction,” Uber's UK general manager, Tom Elvidge, said in May.

Analysis by Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC technology correspondent

A kinder, gentler and humbler Uber – that is the image the taxi app company hopes to project in court this week as it battles for its future in what is one of its most important markets.

It will stress that a lot has changed at a business that once prided itself on confronting local regulators in a whirlwind of creative disruption.

A new boss Dara Khosrowshahi came to London and actually said sorry, and in February new measures were announced to cooperate with the police over allegations of driver misconduct – Transport for London's main concern when it refused a new licence.

The fact that Uber is seeking a new licence for just eighteen months rather than the full five years it expected last autumn – and that it appears to have been agreeing with TfL a list of conditions it will have to meet – shows that it accepts it is still on probation.

Justin Bowden, national secretary at GMB, the union for taxi drivers, said: “Uber lost its licence in London because it refused to play by London's rules, particularly on the crucial issue of passenger safety, and it won't get it back until it accepts that an ‘Uber's way, or no way' attitude to safety and its drivers will not prevail.”

He added: “Uber's licence will not be returned by legal action, but by genuine contrition and real change, which can only come about from engagement with Transport for London as the licensing authority and drivers' representatives like GMB.”

According to the firm, 3.6 million passengers regularly use its app in London and it has 45,000 drivers in the city.

Since being denied a licence to operate in London, Uber has implemented a number of changes.

Uber now reports crimes directly to the police – previously it had logged criminal complaints with Transport for London, which caused delays.

Drivers are now only allowed to use the app in the region they hold a private hire licence.

The working hours of its drivers are also more tightly regulated. A licensed driver on its app must take an uninterrupted six-hour break after 10 hours of driving with a passenger or travelling to a pick up.

Drivers who do not take a long enough break will not be able to log in to the app and take trips.

The company has also revamped its leadership. Three independent non-executives have been appointed to its UK board.

Uber has also had difficulties getting licences in Brighton, York and Sheffield.

In a separate case in 2016, Uber lost a legal battle over the status of its drivers.

A London employment tribunal ruled that its drivers were workers, rather than self-employed.

It meant drivers would be entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the national minimum wage.

 

Microsoft staff pressure company to ends ‘inhumane’ contract with US border patrol agency

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Wed, 20 June 2018) London, Uk – –

Microsoft staff have demanded the company end its contract with the US’s border patrol agency, adding to pressure on the company after controversy over the separation of migrant parents and their children at the border with Mexico.

In an open letter posted to Microsoft’s internal message board, more than 100 employees protested the company’s work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The contract includes providing software processing and artificial intelligence for ICE, and Microsoft has insisted it has nothing to do with implementing a recent policy that has seen around 2,000 children being removed from their migrant parents.

The letter, addressed to Microsoft’s chief executive Satya Nadella, states: “We believe that Microsoft must take an ethical stand, and put children and families above profits.

“As the people who build the technologies that Microsoft profits from, we refuse to be complicit.”

“We are part of a growing movement, comprised of many across the industry who recognize the grave responsibility that those creating powerful technology have to ensure what they build is used for good, and not for harm.”

Satya Nadella responded to his staff demands on Wednesday with an email saying it is an “incredibly important topic and one I care deeply about”.

He said: “Like many of you, I am appalled at the abhorrent policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the southern border of the US As both a parent and an immigrant, this issue touches me personally.

Despite deeming the new policy as “simply cruel and abusive”, the Microsoft boss did not hint that the business would be ending its contract with the agency. He added that Microsoft was not working with the federal government on any projects to separate families, and the contract focuses on is supporting the agency's legacy mail, calendar, messaging and document management workloads.

The employee’s letter is part of a wave of recent protests from the tech industry against President Trump’s new “zero tolerance” border policy, that prosecutes all immigrants arrested crossing the border without permission.

Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, tweeted that he was a “top donor” to the American Civil Liberties Union and said that “if there is some way for me to help these kids I will do so.”

Sundar Pichai of Google, Dara Khosrowshahi of Uber and Chuck Robbins of Cisco also tweeted their opposition to the policy.

Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, in an interview with The Irish Times, called the immigration policy “heartbreaking.”

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said he found the policy “gut-wrenching” and urged the government to find a “better, more humane way that is reflective of our values as a nation”.

By Joseph Archer

 

 

Rolls-Royce jet engine maker to cut 4,600 jobs

 

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Thur, 14 June, 2018) London, Uk – –

The engineering firm, which has struggled to come to terms with problems with its Trent 1000 engine, hopes to save £400m a year.

Rolls-Royce is to cut 4,600 managerial and support jobs as the jet engine maker introduces its latest restructuring plan.

Most of the jobs will be axed in the UK, where the FTSE 100 company employs 23,000 out of a global workforce of 50,000.

A third of the jobs are expected to go by the end of this year and the rest by the middle of 2020.

Rolls-Royce chief executive Warren East signalled the move in March as the company battled to keep to its financial targets as it struggles to get on top of problems with its Trent 1000 engines.

It has replaced the fan blades on turbines powering Boeing 787 airplanes after cracks and corrosion were found on jets operated by Japan's ANA airline.

Mr East said: “It is never an easy decision to reduce our workforce, but we must create a commercial organisation that is as world-leading as our technologies. To do this we are fundamentally changing how we work.”

“These changes will help us deliver over the mid and longer-term a level of free cash flow well beyond our near-term ambition of around £1bn by around 2020,” he added.

The latest restructuring plan will cost the company £500m and is expected to save it as much as £400m a year by the end of 2020.

Rolls-Royce has already seen around 600 managers leave since 2015 under a previous cost-cutting programme initiated by Mr East. But this is the biggest cull since 2001, when 5,000 jobs were cut, including 1,000 contractors.

Unions said the job losses were likely to hit communities where the firm operates hardest.

Rolls-Royce's UK bases are in Derby, Bristol, Barnoldswick (Lancashire), Ansty (Warwickshire), Hucknall (Nottinghamshire), Inchinnan (Renfrewshire) and Sunderland, as well as London.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “This announcement will be deeply unsettling for Rolls-Royce workers and their families and could have a dire economic impact on local communities reliant on Roll-Royce jobs.

“There is a real danger that Rolls-Royce will cut too deep and too fast with these jobs cuts, which could ultimately damage the smooth running of the company and see vital skills and experience lost.

“Over the coming days Unite will be working with Rolls-Royce, relevant agencies and other employers to find people affected alternative employment and to retain skills in the aerospace sector.”

Earlier this week, the company said it had identified more “durability issues” with some engines and it would “incur some additional costs.”

Before the latest issues, it had expected a £340m hit for this year to cover the cost of carrying out repairs on existing engines. The company is also compensating airlines for the repairs and leasing replacement aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is the civil aviation watchdog in the United States, warned operators of the 787 to fly within 60 minutes of an airport in case of an emergency.

Shares in Rolls-Royce rose 3.5%, or 27p, to 855p in early trading.

“Reducing costs is typically applauded by shareholders as it tends, in the short-term at least, to boost the profit and cash flow of which they are part owners,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said.

“Although it will be little compensation to those affected, it would be inaccurate to describe this as a slash and burn exercise by Rolls-Royce management.”

“Chief executive Warren East has been arguing for some time that there is duplication of roles within the business and the company's cash generation has consistently disappointed.

By Abid Ali

 

 

Dixons Carphone reveal unauthorised data breach of 5.9 million customers

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Wed, 13 June 2018) London, Uk – –

Dixons Carphone has revealed a major breach of data involving unauthorised access to 5.9 million customers cards and 1.2 million personal records.

The consumer electronics retailer said it was investigating an attempt to compromise the cards in a processing system at Currys PC World and Dixons Travel, but said there was no evidence of fraud as a result of the incident.

In a second breach, personal data such as name, address or email addresses, have been accessed. Again, Dixons said there was no evidence that it had resulted in fraud.

Alex Baldock, the company’s new chief executive, apologised for the data breach and admitted the firm had failed its customers.

“We are extremely disappointed and sorry for any upset this may cause. The protection of our data has to be at the heart of our business, and we’ve fallen short here.

“We’ve taken action to close off this unauthorised access and though we have currently no evidence of fraud as a result of these incidents, we are taking this extremely seriously.”

Baldock said the company had engaged cyber security experts to handle the matter and had added extra security measures to its systems.

The retailer will be writing over the coming days to those customers whose personal data was breached, “to inform them, to apologise, and to give them advice on any protective steps they should take”.

Of the 5.9 million cards that were accessed illegally, 5.8 million were chip and pin protected, and no pin codes, card verification values (CVV) or authentication data were accessed, meaning purchases could not be made.

However, about 105,000 payment cards from outside the EU and without chip and pin protection were accessed. The retailer said it had notified the banks concerned and they had not detected any fraudulent purchases on customer accounts.

Shares in Dixons Carphone fell 5.5% after the data breach was announced, as investors factored in a potential fine facing the firm.

The retailer said the data breach was discovered over the past week as part of a review of its systems and data. Although the breach occurred within the last year, it was before 25 May when the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules came into force.

As the data breach pre-dated GDPR, any financial penalty on Dixons Carphone would be imposed under the previous data protection act rules, where the maximum fine imposed would be £500,000.

Under the new rules, firms could faces fines of up to €20m (£17.6m) for a major data breach.

Dixons Carphone said the investigation into the cyber attack was ongoing and that the culprit or culprits had not been identified. The retailer has informed the relevant authorities, including the police, the Information Commissioner’s Office, and the Financial Conduct Authority.

A spokesman for the ICO said: “An incident involving Dixons Carphone has been reported to us and we are liaising with the National Cyber Security Centre, the Financial Conduct Authority and other relevant agencies to ascertain the details and impact on customers.

“Anyone concerned about lost data and how it may be used should follow the advice of Action Fraud.”

By Angela Monaghan

 

 

The Wave-free Electric Surfboard

 

 

The Carver by Oneon is an electric jet board that lets you surf without waves. Riders can use a wireless remote to control the speed, which maxes out at 21mph. At full speed, the battery can last for 20 minutes and then takes two hours to recharge. The starting price for the board is $5,595.

 

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson to step down later this year

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Fri, 8 June 2018) London, Uk – –

Move comes amid growing shareholder dissatisfaction with his performance

The BT chief executive, Gavin Patterson, is to leave the telecoms giant later this year after investors made it clear they had lost confidence in his ability to lead the company through an ambitious turnaround plan.

In a surprise move, the company said it had already started the process of looking for his successor and expects to appoint a new chief executive in the second half of the year.

Jan du Plessis, the chairman of BT, thanked Patterson for his contribution over the last 14 years but said the company needed a change in leadership.

He said: “The board is fully supportive of the strategy recently set out by Gavin and his team. The broader reaction to our recent results announcement has, though, demonstrated to Gavin and me that there is a need for a change of leadership to deliver this strategy.”

Investors welcomed the news, with shares initially rising 2.5% to 208p. When Patterson was appointed chief executive in September 2013, shares were trading at about 340p, before hitting a high of almost 500p in early 2016.

Neil Wilson, the chief analyst at markets.com, said investors had “finally lost patience and driven him out”.

Wilson added: “There’s been more wrong than right for BT since he took over five year ago. It’s been a disappointing time for BT and for its shareholders.”

The departure comes after a backlash from shareholders over BT’s recent results and concerns that Patterson was not the right person to lead the company through an ambitious restructuring plan.

The strategy includes 13,000 job cuts and a move out of BT’s central London headquarters after almost 150 years as it attempts to slash costs amid growing competition and falling revenues. BT missed profit and revenue targets in the year to the end of March, sending shares in the company to a six-year low.

Days after the news of the job cuts, BT revealed Patterson was paid about £2.3m last year, including a £1.3m bonus on top of his basic salary of £997,000.

At time of the strategy update last month, Du Plessis publicly endorsed Patterson as the person to steer the company through the changes but the position changed after the BT chairman held a series of conversations with shareholders.

Patterson, who has been at BT for more than 14 years and was appointed chief executive in September 2013, will stay on in the top role until a replacement is found.

He will continue to be paid his usual monthly salary until his successor is appointed, after which point he will be entitled to up to 12 monthly payments covering his basic salary, benefits and bonus. Based on current projections that means he could walk away with about £2.3m, in line with his salary and bonus last year.

Patterson has led the company through a troubled 18 months that included an accounting scandal in Italy and a record £42m fine from Ofcom.

Patterson said: “It’s been an honour to lead BT since 2013 and serve as a member of the board for the last 10 years. Throughout that time I’ve been immensely proud of what we’ve achieved; in particular the transformation of the business in recent years, with the launch of BT Sport, the purchase and integration of EE and the agreement to create greater independence for Openreach.

“BT is a great business and with the new management team I’ve recently put in place, is, I believe, very well-positioned to thrive in the future.”

George Salmon, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the first half of Patterson’s tenure as chief executive had been positive, with the rise of BT Sport bringing some good times for investors.

“However, it’s been a different story over the last two years. Since 2016, BT’s share price graph resembles something of a black run; pretty much always on a downward trend and with a few nasty cliffs here and there.

“Ultimately, this is what’s behind the change. Shareholder confidence has followed the share price down and with BT embarking on a crucial restructure, the board has decided it’s time for a change.”

By Angela Monaghan

 

 

TSB chief receives sharp criticism on bank’s IT failure from City watchdog

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Wed, 6 June 2018) London, Uk – –

Bank failed to be ‘open and transparent’ over IT meltdown affecting 1.9m customers, says FCA

The City regulator has launched a stinging attack on the chief executive of TSB over the bank’s failure to be open and transparent with customers when an IT upgrade went badly wrong, locking as many as 1.9 million customers out of their accounts.

The Financial Conduct Authority accused Paul Pester of “portraying an optimistic view” of services after the botched operation in April that is still causing disruption for customers more than a month on.

“The FCA has been dissatisfied with TSB’s communications with its customers and we have had concerns that TSB was not being open and transparent about the issues experienced,” Andrew Bailey, the FCA’s chief executive, said in a letter to the Commons Treasury committee.

“The current communications were perceived as poor, and could reduce trust in TSB and in the banking sector as a whole.”

The City regulator’s damning assessment increased the pressure on Pester as he prepared to make a second appearance in front of the Treasury committee on Wednesday.

In a critical assessment of Pester’s personal handling of the IT meltdown, Bailey also suggested that the TSB boss might have been more forthcoming with MPs on the Treasury Committee when he gave evidence on 2 May. Bailey said at the time of the hearing Pester may have had information from tech experts at IBM who had been drafted in to help cope with the meltdown.

“We are … concerned that at the time of the committee hearing, the CEO may have been in possession of an initial set of slides by IBM which provided initial views on the incident, and could therefore have shared more detail on this with the committee.”

Bailey highlighted TSB’s claim that “the vast majority” of customers were able to access their online accounts at a time when there was a successful first-time login rate of only 50%.

The FCA has the power to fine TSB over the incident and said it was investigating the crisis jointly with the Prudential Regulation Authority. The system failure happened when TSB transferred customer records to a new IT platform.

Noting the extraordinary nature of the situation, Bailey said: “We do not normally make this information public, but given the level of public interest, I want to be clear that we will be conducting this work.” He said Pester and the TSB board were accountable for the decision to press ahead with the systems upgrade.

Responding to Bailey’s comments, Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury committee, said she was deeply concerned by TSB’s failings.

“The regulator does not make such criticisms lightly. I am deeply concerned by TSB’s poor communications about the scale and nature of the problems it has faced; by its response to customer fraud; and by the quality and accuracy of the oral and written evidence provided by Dr Pester to the committee.

“The committee will discuss Mr Bailey’s letter, and the ongoing problems faced by TSB customers, when it sees Dr Pester and other TSB board members, as well as the FCA, on Wednesday.”

A spokeswoman for TSB said the bank continued to keep customers updated on its latest service status. She added: “We will be updating the Treasury select committee [on Wednesday] and will continue to fully support its inquiry.

“In the meantime, we continue to focus on doing whatever it takes to put things right for our customers, and ensuring that no customer will be left out of pocket as a result of the recent IT issues.”

During his first encounter with MPs, Pester was accused by Morgan of being “extraordinarily complacent” after he said the bank’s move to the new IT system had mostly run smoothly.

Up to 1.9 million online and mobile banking customers at TSB began experiencing problems with their accounts on Monday 23 April after the bank – now owned by Spanish lender Sabadell – migrated from an IT system inherited from the previous owner, Lloyds Banking Group.

However, some TSB customers are still facing disruption to services more than a month after the IT chaos began. The FCA said as recently as 30 May, when Bailey wrote to Morgan, phone customers were still being forced to wait more than 30 minutes to be connected to an agent, while customers were hanging up or being disconnected on more than 40% of calls.

Bailey also said that the risk and scale of customer fraud had increased since the migration, and that TSB had failed to meet regulatory requirements of refunding all affected customers “as soon as practicable and in any event by the end of the business day after the day which it became aware of the fraud”.

The FCA said “operational challenges” still persisted in some TSB bank branches.

By Angela Monaghan

 

 

Rolls Royce Cullinan SUV – 2019 FULL REVIEW!!

 

The most anticipated car of 2018 and, quite possibly, the most anticipated Rolls-Royce of all time.
Named after the largest diamond ever discovered which now resides in the British Crown Jewels.
An all-terrain high-bodied car that makes the idea of authentic, luxury off-road travel a reality for the first time. Luxury travel is now Effortless, Everywhere.
Contemporary and functional design ensures Cullinan gains iconic status in the face of increasingly bland SUV designs.
The first “three-box” car in the SUV-sector. Cullinan’s rear partition wall creates a distinct environment for passengers, separated from the luggage compartment.
The most practical of Rolls-Royces. Cullinan is the most versatile, family oriented, fun-to-drive super-luxury SUV available today.
The second new Rolls-Royce to sit on the all-new aluminium ‘Architecture of Luxury’, Cullinan is the most technologically advanced, and only purpose-built, luxury SUV in the world.

 

Nuisance calls: Company owners could be personally liable for £500,000 fines

Jorge Quinteros/Flickr.com

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Wed ,30 May 2018) London, Uk – –

Directors could face financial penalty on top of fine directly imposed on company

Business directors could be personally fined up to £500,000 if they fail to prevent nuisance calls, under a government consultation on the issue.

While there has been a big recent increase in the fines issued to companies – last year one was fined £400,000 for making almost 100m automated calls in 18 months – there is concern this has not been a sufficient deterrent.

The data protection watchdog said that in several cases directors had escaped fines by declaring their companies bankrupt and starting again under a different name.

The company fined £400,000 in 2017 was placed in voluntary liquidation, leaving the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to recover the fine through liquidators and insolvency practitioners.

ICO figures show that of the £17.8m in fines issued for nuisance calls since 2010, it has recovered just 54% of this, as companies went into liquidation.

A plan mooted by the government 18 months ago to increase the deterrent by making directors personally responsible for fines of up to £500,000 is being consulted on, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said.

The new fines could be levied on top of a fine directly imposed on a company, bringing a theoretical maximum penalty of £1m for the worst offenders in an area regularly shown to cause annoyance and distress to householders, especially older people.

The consultation closes in August. If the measure goes ahead, it would involve a proposed amendment to the privacy and electronic communications regulations guidelines.

Margot James, the junior DCMS minister, said: “Nuisance calls are a blight on society and we are determined to stamp them out. For too long a minority of company directors have escaped justice by liquidating their firms and opening up again under a different name.

“We want to make sure the information commissioner has the powers she needs to hold rogue bosses to account and put an end to these unwanted calls.”

Steve Wood, the deputy information commissioner, said the organisation had sought a change to the law. “These changes will increase the tools we have to protect the public,” he said.

Ofcom, the telecommunications regulator, has estimated that Britons were subjected to 3.9bn nuisance phone calls and texts last year. However, the number of complaints about the issue has fallen in recent years amid other changes to regulations, such as forcing companies to display their number when calling customers.

In 2015, a law change made it easier for the ICO to fine miscreant companies, removing a clause obliging the office to prove a company caused “substantial damage or substantial distress” through their conduct before action could be taken.

In the first year since the change was made, the total amount of fines issued by the ICO increased to £2m, from £360,000 seen in the previous year.

The fines range from a £5,000 penalty issued to the Labour MP David Lammy, who made recorded calls as part of an election campaign, to a £350,000 fine for a company that made 40m illegal calls trying to sell payment protection insurance.

By Peter Walker

 

Comparing Mainstream, Premium Also Luxury Cruise Ships and How They Work

 

cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, when the voyage itself, the ship's amenities, and sometimes the different destinations along the way (i.e., ports of call), are part of the experience. Transportation is not the only purpose of cruising, particularly on cruises that return passengers to their originating port (known as “closed-loop cruises”). On “cruises to nowhere” or “nowhere voyages”, the ship makes 2–3 night round trips without any ports of call

 

 

Apple awarded $539 million in Samsung patent retrial

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Fri, 25 May 2018) London, UK —

(Reuters) – After nearly five days of deliberations, a U.S. jury on Thursday said Samsung Electronics Co Ltd should pay $539 million (£403.26 million) to Apple Inc for copying patented smartphone features, according to court documents, bringing a years-long feud between the technology companies into its final stages.

The world’s top smartphone rivals have been in court over patents since 2011, when Apple filed a lawsuit alleging Samsung’s smartphones and tablets “slavishly” copied its products. Samsung was found liable in a 2012 trial, but a disagreement over the amount to be paid led to the current retrial over damages where arguments ended on May 18.

Samsung previously paid Apple $399 million to compensate Apple for infringement of some of the patents at issue in the case. The jury has been deliberating the case since last week.

Because of that credit, if the verdict is upheld on appeal it will result in Samsung making an additional payment to Apple of nearly $140 million.

In a statement, Apple said it was pleased that the members of the jury “agree that Samsung should pay for copying our products.”

“We believe deeply in the value of design,” Apple said in its statement. “This case has always been about more than money.”

Samsung did not immediately say whether it planned to appeal the verdict but said it was retaining “all options” to contest it.

“Today’s decision flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favour of Samsung on the scope of design patent damages,” Samsung said in a statement. “We will consider all options to obtain an outcome that does not hinder creativity and fair competition for all companies and consumers.”

The new jury verdict followed a trial in San Jose, California, before Judge Lucy Koh that focused on how much Samsung should pay for infringing Apple patents covering aspects of the iPhone’s design. The jury awarded Apple $533.3 million for Samsung’s violation of so-called design patents and $5.3 million for the violation of so-called utility patents.

Apple this year told jurors it was entitled to $1 billion in profits Samsung made from selling infringing phones, saying the iPhone’s design was crucial to their success.

Samsung sought to limit damages to about $28 million, saying it should only pay for profits attributable to the components of its phones that infringed Apple patents.

Jurors in the earlier trial awarded $1.05 billion to Apple, which was later reduced.

Samsung paid $548 million to Apple in December 2015, including $399 million for infringement of some of the patents at issue in this week’s trial.

Apple’s case against Samsung raised the question of whether the total profits from a product that infringes a design patent should be awarded if the patent applies only to a component of the product, said Sarah Burstein, a professor of patent law at the University of Oklahoma.

The verdict appears to be a compromise between Apple and Samsung’s positions and does not offer much clarity on that question, said Burstein, who predicted Samsung would appeal it to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

“This decision just means we are going to have more uncertainty,” Burstein said. “Smart tech industry players are waiting to see what the Federal Circuit does. This is just one jury applying one test.”

By Stephen Nellis and Jan Wolfe

 

 

GDPR comes into force posing major challenges for developers and businesses

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Fri, 25 May 2018) London, Uk – –

Some companies push new onerous terms of service on users as GDPR rules come into force on Friday

Dozens of websites shut down their activities completely, others forced users to agree to new terms of service, and inboxes have been flooded with emails begging customers to remain on mailing lists as the GDPR rules come into force on Friday.

The biggest update in data protection laws since the 1990s is posing major challenges for developers and businesses – while giving substantial new powers to consumers.

Margot James, the digital minister, told the Guardian: “Of the eight guiding principles that governed the use of personal information under the old act, we have made an important addition – accountability. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, UK citizens more than ever need reassurances their data is as safe as it can be and that organisations are accountable for it.”

Businesses resort to desperate emailing as GDPR deadline looms
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She said businesses would now have to prove they had been given permission to use a individual’s information, including contact details.

“Except in certain, limited instances, organisations now must demonstrate they have our explicit consent to process our sensitive personal data. Generally, we’ve also given greater control to the British public over how their data is used. No doubt like me you’ll have received a flurry of emails in recent weeks from the organisations currently holding your data, and perhaps some you weren’t even aware did, asking for you to re-submit this consent.”

The cascade of emails from businesses has become the most visible consumer-facing effect of the new regulation, sent by firms who want users to actively give their consent to remain on a mailing list. But, according to the Information Commissioner’s Office, such emails aren’t necessary to comply with the law.

“Some of the myths we’ve heard are, ‘GDPR means I won’t be able to send my newsletter out anymore’ or ‘GDPR says I’ll need to get fresh consent for everything I do’,” Steve Wood, the deputy information commissioner, wrote on the organisation’s website earlier this month. “I can say categorically that these are wrong … You do not need to automatically refresh all existing consents in preparation for the new law.”

Campaign groups and political parties who have come to rely on large email mailing lists to contact supporters could find they lose one of their main ways of communicating with the public. It has been suggested that businesses could be forced turn to more traditional methods – such as targeting customers with direct mail through the postal system – to reach customers.

As the GDPR deadline neared, some websites and services started to push users to agree to onerous new terms of service before they could continue on to their destination.

Websites run by Oath, the media firm formed through the merger of Yahoo! and AOL, received a blanket request on Thursday morning, asking users for consent “to use your … data to understand your interests and personalise and measure ads”. Users could click OK to move on, or follow a chain of further links to discover that the consent granted involved sharing data with more than a hundred ad networks.

Another Oath site, Tumblr, placed a similar clickthrough before users. The blogging platform did offer some links to understand “how our partners use this data”. However, even this background information was hosted on Tumblr blogs, meaning users had to accept the terms in order to read information about the terms they were accepting.

The US media network NPR took a simpler approach. Users could either agree to the new terms, or decline and be taken to a plain-text version of the site, looking for all the world like it had last been updated in 1996.

It wasn’t just websites. PC hardware maker Razer issued an update to one of its computer mice, warning that users may find their devices weren’t working if they didn’t update; Chinese smart-home manufacturer Yeelight disabled inter-connected lightbulbs because of the data protection regulation.

And a growing number of companies are taking the nuclear option to ensure compliance: blocking all European users from their servers.

Instapaper, a service owned by the US firm Pinterest which enables users to save articles to read at a later date, became the latest to disconnect European customers on Thursday. It said the cutoff was temporary while it made the required changes, and told users: “We apologise for any inconvenience, and we intend to restore access as soon as possible.” Pinterest did not respond to a request for comment.

Other companies have taken a more permanent approach. Unroll.me, an inbox management firm, announced it was completely withdrawing services for EU companies due to an inability to offer its product – which is monetised by selling insights gleaned from reading users’ emails – in a way that was compatible with EU law. “We are truly sorry that we are unable to offer our service to you,” the company told EU users.

American media network A+E has blocked EU visitors from all its websites, including History.com, and some multiplayer online games, including Ragnarok Online, have switched off their EU servers.

Other firms have not gone so far as to blame the new regulation but have closed EU operations with convenient timing. Crowdpac, a political fundraising organisation set up by David Cameron’s former advisor Steve Hilton, announced it was closing its UK wing “for business reasons” until further notice. The company, which was still raising funds in the UK as recently as Sunday, now says it “hopes one day to be back”.

Klout, a social media analytics service, and Super Monday Night Combat, an online game, will shut down on Friday. Lithium, the owner of Klout, said: “Klout no longer made sense as a standalone service. The upcoming deadline for GDPR implementation simply expedited our plans to sunset Klout.”

Brian Honan, a data protection expert, said he viewed the shutdowns as a reasonable consequence of the new law. “The GDPR’s primary goal is to enhance the protections around the gathering and processing of the personal data belonging to individuals residing within the European Union,” he said.

“Companies have had well over two years to prepare for the enforcement date and to be ready.”

Unfortunately, even going to the extremes of blocking every user based in the EU might not be enough to inure companies from the consequences of GDPR: the law applies to data processed on EU citizens wherever they are based in the world.

By Alex Hern and Jim Waterson

 

 

 

Mobile app banking ‘to overtake online by 2019’ according to forecasts


(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 21 May 2018) London, Uk – –

More consumers will use apps on their smartphone than a computer to do their banking by as early as next year, according to forecasts.

Last year, 22 million people managed their current account on their phone, industry analyst CACI said.

It has predicted that 35 million people – or 72% of the UK adult population – will bank via a phone app by 2023.

By then, customers would typically visit a branch only twice a year, it said.

CACI added that rural areas and smaller coastal towns would see the biggest increase in mobile users between now and 2023, owing in part to frustration over broadband access pushing customers towards mobile networks.

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“With so much more functionality, mobile is rapidly becoming the digital channel of choice, and replacing traditional online banking for many customers,” said report author Jamie Morawiec.

“Whilst the number of internet log-ons is decreasing, so are the numbers of users. In fact, CACI predicts that 2019 will be the year in which mobile banking overtakes internet banking in terms of users.”

It would also mean banks might again review the location and number of branches.

Major UK banks have been closing hundreds of branches in recent years, with more plans announced recently.

Earlier this month, Royal Bank of Scotland announced it was to close 162 branches across England and Wales. Some 109 branches will close in late July and August 2018, while a further 53 branches will close in November 2018.

These branch closures follow existing plans to close 52 bank branches in Scotland that serve rural communities, and 197 NatWest branches.

Lloyds also announced recently that it was planning to close 49 branches.

By Kevin Peachey

 

 

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao Steps down as company swings into profit

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Tue, 15 May 2018) London, Uk – –

Chief executive announces decision to leave as Vodafone swings into profit.

Vodafone's chief executive Vittorio Colao will step down on October 1 after more than 10 years in charge of the world's second-largest mobile phone company.

Nick Read, group chief financial officer, who will become chief executive designate from July 27, will replace Mr Colao.

Under Mr Colao's tenure, Vodafone sold its joint venture with Verizon for $130bn and merged its business in India with Idea Cellular.

Last week, Vodafone agreed to buy Liberty Global's cable operations in four European countries for £16.1bn as the mobile phone operator extends its reach to 110 million homes and businesses by offering fixed-line and TV services.

Vodafone group chairman Gerard Kleisterlee said: “I would like to express our gratitude to Vittorio for an outstanding tenure.

“He has been an exemplary leader and strategic visionary who has overseen a dramatic transformation of Vodafone into a global pacesetter in converged communications, ready for the Gigabit future.

Colao's decision to step down from the top job came as the company reported a profit of 2.8bn euros (£2.5bn) for the year to March 31.

A year ago, it made a loss of 6.1bn euros (£5.4bn) after taking a 4.5 bn euro charge for merging its India operations with Idea.

Mr Colao said: “We have made good progress in securing approvals for the merger with Idea Cellular in India – which is expected to close imminently – and appointed the new management team, who will focus immediately on capturing the sizeable cost synergies.

“In addition, we agreed the merger of Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel, allowing Vodafone to own a significant cocontrolling stake in India's largest listed tower company. ”

He added: “And we announced last week the acquisition of Liberty Global's cable assets in Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, transforming the Group into Europe's leading next generation network owner and a truly converged challenger to dominant incumbents.”

Following the announcement, Vodafone's stock fell 3.2% in early London trading.

“Standing down after a decade at the helm, Vodafone's chief executive Vittorio Colao has struggled to do much for the share price under his leadership,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said.

“For all the tributes from the mobile telecoms firm for his ‘outstanding tenure' the share price is up just 23% over that time against a 45.2% advance for the FTSE 100.”

Mr. Mould added: “Of course, this ignores the significant sums returned to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks and the performance of the shares under Colao may not reflect any failings on his part.

“After all, Vodafone is an established player in a mature market and has few levers to pull for growth. This is reflected in the guidance alongside full-year results for low-to-mid single digit organic growth for the year ahead.

“Ultimately Colao's successor, current chief financial officer Nick Read, could also be running to stand still.”