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    CITY DIARY: Oxford United owner could face a grilling over LearnDirect fiasco

    Learndirect links: Oxford United owner Darryl EalesOxford United football club owner Darryl Eales could find himself in front of the public accounts committee over adult training provider Learndirect, said to be on the brink of collapse. Eales was chief executive of Lloyds Development Capital, which purchased Learndirect from the Government for 36million in 2011. A Financial Times investigation reveals the company spent 84 per cent of its mostly taxpayer-provided income on payments to managers and financiers. City greybeards may recall that the last Oxford United owner to appear on the front page of the Financial Times was disgraced media ...

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    ALEX BRUMMER: Why banks could be making a costly mistake by shutting down local branches

    At the shortly-to-be-closed NatWest branch of Hay-on-Wye a week ago, the queue at the picturesque outlet snaked out the door. Polite counter staff addressed each customer by name. They included a small-business person paying in cash, the senior citizen (who couldn't remember his pin number) checking a balance before making a withdrawal and a women collecting a largish cash sum to pay a tradesman.In future Hay residents, and the incomers during the book festival, will have to make the 15.6-mile journey to Brecon or jam the Post Office branch on the High Street for banking services. Promises our bankers once ...

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    CITY DIARY: JP Morgan chief under pressure to resign from Trump's business council

    Presidential ambitions? JP Morgan's cocksure chief Jamie DimonJP Morgan's cocksure chief Jamie Dimon is under pressure to resign from Donald Trump's business council, after the President was criticised for his reaction to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.'Spineless' was a word commonly bandied around social media yesterday. Might the furore have consequences for Dimon's rumoured presidential ambitions? Ex-Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, a big voice in the Democrat party, scathingly announced that Dimon should feel 'ashamed' for his association with the White House. Chancellor Philip Hammond has recruited Sky News producer Giles Winn to join his team of media advisers. ...

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    DAN HYDE: The age of the stealth fee... where you need only take your eye off the ball for a split second to get ripped off

    You only need to take your eye off the ball for a split second to get ripped off.I've lost count of the number of readers who've written to Money Mail this year after discovering money leaking out of their bank accounts in all sorts of ways.Vodafone's sneaky new 1-a-month fee is a case in point. The mobile giant says its Secure Net stops viruses and phishing scams and helps parents block adult websites and gambling on their children's phones.Great, but that doesn't justify adding it to customers' contracts by stealth. Most people shelling out 40-odd a month for a smartphone ...

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    ALEX BRUMMER: EU shows China a red card... now our Government must do the same

    Britain's insouciance about overseas takeovers is legendary. There is nothing in the UK not up for sale, from nuclear power stations to emblematic consumer brands and fintech pioneers like Worldpay.No one wants Britain to be like France where yoghurt maker Danone was once labelled a strategic industry.But it is hard not to sign up to the European Union's moves towards taking more powers to scrutinise the efforts by China and other foreign powers to win control of high-tech manufacturing, energy and infrastructure.We are meant to be assured that despite being major financiers of Britain's vast new nuclear reactor at Hinkley ...

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    JEFF PRESTRIDGE: Aviva unmoved by profit? Pull the other one

    Insurer Aviva talks a very good story when it comes to doing the right thing by the customer. Especially dapper chief executive Mark Wilson, who does not miss a chance to tell the world that he is tackling head on some of the issues that give insurance companies like his a thoroughly bad name.Scandalous practices such as leaving loyal customers with either outdated and inferior cover, or policies that command far higher premiums than if they were bought as new. Anti-consumer behaviour that we highlighted last week (thank you for all your emails see below) and which Aviva and most ...

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    SIMON WATKINS: 'The promise that Brexit would be good for the economy has proved false'

    The Brexiteers have lost the economic argument and deep down they know it. Week after week the statistics and the day-to-day experience of ordinary people are demonstrating that the promise that Brexit would be good for the economy, or at least do no harm, has proved false.The slump in the pound is driving up prices for all imported goods, and households are feeling it in their pockets. It was argued that a weaker pound would boost the competitiveness of UK exports. The slump in the pound is driving up prices and households are feeling it in their pocketsThis, on the ...

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    BIG SHOT OF THE WEEK: Royal Mail boss Moya Greene proves good things really do come in small packages

    Post master: Royal Mail boss Moya Greene is one of only seven female FTSE 100 bossesGood things come in small packages they say. Take Royal Mail boss Moya Greene, that compact bundle of energy responsible for dragging our dwindling postal service into the 21st century.With her blonde bob and mumsy pearls, she might look like a loveable TV agony aunt, but she's one of the City's most effective operators, a ruthlessly efficient machine bent on grinding out results.'The best hire I ever made,' is how former Royal Mail chairman Donald Brydon describes the feisty Canadian.She is one of only ...

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    ALEX BRUMMER: It was the swindle that sparked the financial crisis... so why did the bankers escape jail?

    After a week when the public has been bombarded with the great thoughts of policymakers on the tenth anniversary of the financial crisis one huge question remains unanswered.Why is it that when financial institutions around the globe were engaged in a large swindle, which saw toxic sub-prime securities created and sold as if they were top grade 'triple A', virtually no one has been prosecuted or sent to jail?Bizarrely, the only people arrested so far are the Barclays four including former chief executive John Varley. Their alleged fraud had the understandable goal of keeping Barclays out of state hands. Former ...

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    ALEX BRUMMER: Grand larceny of UK tech while the clueless politicians sit back and watch

    The capitulation of Sir Mike Rake and chief executive Philip Jansen in the fight to keep Worldpay as financial technology leader in Britain was entirely predictable.Having thrown in the towel and agreed Worldpay be swallowed up by American competitor Vantiv for 9.3billion, the British firm spent the last couple of weeks fighting off dissident shareholders.UK investors rightly were chagrined by the sub-octane 23 per cent premium to the pre-bid share price and an exchange of American for British shares a no-no for UK based funds. The two sides have now come up with a series of messy compromises.These include a ...

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    CITY DIARY: Former chancellor Alistair Darling praises his old foe Gordon Brown

    Forgiving? Former Chancellor Alistair Darling is now on the Morgan Stanley board Speaking on the anniversary of the banking crisis to the BBC, former Chancellor Alistair Darling now a Morgan Stanley board member praised Gordon Brown's leadership during the 2007 meltdown. How gracious. Darling fell out with Brown in 2008, claiming Downing Street 'unleashed the forces of hell' on him after he issued a stern warning about the recession. The soft-spoken ex-Trot's redoubtable wife Maggie complained to friends: 'The f***ing c***s are trying to stitch up Alistair! The c***s! I can't believe they're such c***s!' Re the banking crisis, Sky ...

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    DAN HYDE: Banks claim they do all they can chase fraudsters who steal our cash - now we know it's hogwash

    Gideon Roseman has proven what Money Mail has long suspected: banks can do much, much more to tackle the fraud epidemic sweeping Britain.Currently, if you push the button to send a payment to an unknown account that later turns out to be fraudulent, banks hold you fully responsible and refuse to cover the losses.Bank bosses, such as Ross McEwan of RBS, moan about how unfair it would be to hold banks to account for these payments, given that the mistake has been made by the customer. And as the thousands of victims who have lost their life savings to confidence ...

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    CITY DIARY: Roman Abramovich's third divorce set to be his costliest yet

    Split: Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich with Dasha ZhukovaRoman Abramovich's divorce from third wife Dasha Zhukova, 36, is predicted to put a sizeable dent in the Chelsea Football club proprietor's 9billion fortune. Who'll be the lucky litigator handling pouting Dasha's legal affairs? Abramovich's previous wife, ex-trolley dolly Irina Malandina, 50, secured a (then) record 150million pay-out after hiring cigar-chomping lawyer Raymond Tooth, who bills at 500 an hour and revels in the nickname 'Jaws.' Says my legal source: 'Raymond would love to bite another chunk out of Roman.' JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon was interviewed by CNBC yesterday where he ...

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    HAMISH MCRAE: Despite the uncertainty it should still pay to start saving for your pension now

    Those who want a decent pension have to save for it. That might seem an elementary conclusion, but since an awful lot of people don t save enough for their retirement we should thank the Office for National Statistics for pointing it out.There are two key messages from its report on what has happened to the income of retirees over the past 40 years.One is that pensioners have become much better off both in absolute terms and relative to working people. The gross income of retired households has gone up three times since 1977, whereas the income of working households ...

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    HMRC probably has a good idea how much you earn : Tax return myths busted and what you need to know about declaring your full income to the taxman

    Richard Morley is a Partner at accountancy and tax consultants BDO with over 25 years of tax experience. If you are self-employed or receive other income such as rent, you might think to yourself: 'Why do I have to pay so much tax?' or 'What happens if I don't declare all of my income?' Alternatively, you may not have realised that you need to notify HMRC that you are self-employed and need to submit tax returns. Risky: HMRC will open an enquiry into a person's tax affairs in order to assess and collect taxWhilst few people fail to fully declare ...

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quotes

Everyone went outside to smoke cloves and bitch about having to stay after for the State.

Jon Stewart on events following Charles — January 19, 1999