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12:56pm Friday 13th December 2013
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Porta Verde Financial Services Limited has been fined £25,000 by the Financial Conduct Authority after two of its appointed representatives mis-sold insurance, often to elderly and vulnerable customers, between October 2010 and June 2012.
12:06pm Friday 13th December 2013
Business confidence has increased for the tenth consecutive month, and suggests the economic recovery will gather pace in the first half of 2014, according to the latest Business Trends report by Bristol-based accountants and business advisers BDO LLP.
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11:55am Thursday 12th December 2013
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Christopher Willford, the former finance director of Bradford & Bingley (B&B) £30,000 for failing to provide the board with up-to-date information about B&B’s financial position, including profits, mortgage arrears and re-possessions, ahead of its 2008 rights issue.
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4:42pm Wednesday 11th December 2013
The most successful year ever for the farm agency team at property consultancy Carter Jonas has seen the firm offer more than 18,000 acres of land nationally with an asking value in excess of £185m. These 2013 figures are a reflection of the continued strength of the farmland market and the high regard in which land is held by existing farmers, entrepreneurs and investors, says rural partner Kit Harding.
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Swindon firm KE Consulting has received another Silver Award from Microsoft, ensuring that they maintain their status as a top provider of software and services for enterprise resource planning well into 2014.
11:43am Wednesday 11th December 2013
Help John Lewis support Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day this Friday 13th December. Visit John Lewis at home Swindon on Christmas Jumper Day and for every jumper that a customer donates John Lewis will give £10 to Save the Children. In addition, if you buy one of their special edition Christmas jumpers, online or in a John Lewis fashion department, they will donate £25 to Save the Children, thereby helping children in the poorest parts of the UK to fulfill their potential. Upload photos of yourself in your Christmas Jumper to Instagram #XmasJumperDay with the most original Jumper winning a prize. For more information please visit http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/
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9:47am Wednesday 11th December 2013
Linear Guidance Illumination-based in Devizes, Wiltshire was crowned Business West’s Born Global Business 2013 in front of an audience of leading international business experts, mentors and investment angels at Leigh Court in Bristol.
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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Lloyds TSB Bank plc and Bank of Scotland plc, both part of Lloyds Banking Group (LBG), £28,038,844 for serious failings in their controls over sales incentive schemes. The failings affected branches of Lloyds TSB, Bank of Scotland and Halifax (which is part of Bank of Scotland).
9:17am Wednesday 11th December 2013
After five years of rigid austerity, 2013 was the year when consumers loosened their purse strings slightly and spent more on treats and entertainment, said Barclaycard. A review of the year’s consumer spending by Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of all credit and debit card transactions in the UK, indicates that improving consumer confidence has pushed spending up +3.3% so far this year. Over the course of the economic downturn consumers demonstrated strong fiscal responsibility – paying down debt, seeking greater value for money for everything they bought, and reducing their debt levels and increasing savings. In 2013, they increased their spending above inflation for the first time in three years. The entertainment and travel sectors experienced the highest year-on-year spend growth, up by +9.3% and +4.9% respectively, as extra spending went mainly on enjoying ourselves and treating the family. A much lower increase in general household spend (+3.4%) and clothing (+1.6%), suggesting that households are continuing to count the pennies and that having a good time needs to be off-set against spending elsewhere, for example by not updating their wardrobes.
7:00am Wednesday 11th December 2013
Santa’s team of helpers at Royal Mail have carried out the most authoritative survey of children’s wishes for Christmas gifts. Unlike most toy surveys in the run up to Christmas, the Royal Mail findings come directly from the children themselves. We have analysed 200,000 letters sent to Santa via Royal Mail this year – to established the most accurate guide to what children REALLY want. The results show that the most popular toy is also one of the most traditional – Lego, while the newly-released XBox One only makes it into ninth place. The new Playstation 4, meanwhile, is not placed. The man in charge of Santa’s massive mailbag, Alex McConnell said: “Santa allowed us to take a peek at what children are asking for this year and it seems that children clearly still love making and building things with timeless Lego taking top place as this year’s most wanted Christmas present.” The top ten list revealed that while more traditional gifts like teddy bears and bikes are still popular, they didn’t make it into the top ten. Dolls remain a firm favourite for girls with Monster High and Sofia Talking Doll coming in at number five and six in the top ten.
4:20pm Tuesday 10th December 2013
11:55am Tuesday 10th December 2013
With energy price hikes starting to take effect and salaries failing to keep up, 65% of consumers will be having Christmas on the cheap this year, with one in ten even cancelling their turkey, according to new research from uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service.
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5:03pm Monday 9th December 2013
The proportion of high-growth companies in the South West grew by 33% from 2011 to 2012 – the third highest increase nationally, the latest Barclays and BGF Entrepreneurs Index report reveals. The report, released today, found there has been a 0.3% rise in the number of enterprises in the past 12 months, making the South West now home to 201,150 enterprises – this was one of the lowest increases in any UK region. However, the proportion of the South West’s high-growth companies – mid-sized SMEs recording a turnover of at least 33% in the past three years, as well as 10% year on year growth for a minimum of two of these years – showed an impressive increase of 33% from 2011 to 2012, the third highest increase nationally, just behind the Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside. As a result, over one in five (22%) mid-sized SMEs in the South West can be defined as high-growth. This Entrepreneurs Index is the third in an ongoing series; this is the first to track activity levels throughout the UK of the entrepreneurial life cycle, including start-ups, growth and share sales. The report reveals that the South West saw a 33% fall in the number of active, growing companies recording share sales in the past year to 333, which could reflect potential investors being selective and the South West’s entrepreneurs waiting for more favourable conditions to sell. Ben Gulliford, Regional Director, Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, South West, said: “It is encouraging to see that the number of enterprises in the South West has risen year-on-year, even if the increase is only relatively small.
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