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Treasury to tackle firms hitting retirees with huge fees for withdrawing funds

Consultation to include a cap on excessive early exit charges affecting people seeking to take advantage of new pension freedoms

The Treasury is to outline plans to tackle rogue pension companies that have been applying punitive charges to over-55s trying to take advantage of the government’s new pension freedoms.

On Thursday, a cap on excessive early exit charges for those looking to cash in their pension savings will be set out in a consultation paper. The Treasury will also look at how pensioners and industry experts can remove other barriers that may be stopping people enjoying the benefits of increased flexibility over their pension pot.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Sainsbury's sells pharmacy business to Celesio in £125m deal

Sale will see owners of Lloyds Pharmacy chain take over all 281 branches and comes the week after the supermarket group raised £550m through bond issues

Sainsbury’s has sold its 281-store pharmacy business to Celesio, the owner of the Lloyds Pharmacy chain, for £125m.

Under the deal, Lloyds will rent out and run Sainsbury’s 277 in-store pharmacies and take over four located in hospitals. Up to 2,500 Sainsbury’s pharmacy staff will transfer to Lloyds.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Facebook's second-quarter earnings call points toward focus on video content

Company’s second-quarter earnings were better than expected – its ad business was up 43% – and its stock rallied after initial slump in after-hours trading

You’ll be seeing a lot more video on Facebook in the near future, and your musings will be easier to access. CEO Mark Zuckerberg told investors on Wednesday’s second-quarter earnings call that “connecting people with more great video content is an important part” of the company’s future, and the company will improve its searchability – Facebook has already indexed some 2tn posts.

Users had sent out some 40% more videos to their lists of friends and followers, Zuckerberg said, and the company was encouraging them to share still more. (Facebook’s own video advertising is more valuable per advertisement than its text and image ads.) “This quarter we updated our newsfeed ranking to help people see more videos they care about,” Zuckerberg said.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Bramley apple pie filling wins protected status from European commission

UK’s famous pie ingredient gets its just desserts after eight-year campaign to win ‘traditional speciality guarantee’ title alongside mozzarella and Belgian beer

In a nod to British baking that could warm the hearts of even the most eurosceptic person, the tangy taste of a Bramley apple pie filling has officially been awarded protected status by the European commission.

The mixture, a stalwart of British baking, will join the likes of Italy’s mozzarella cheese and Belgian lambic beer in appearing on the Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) list.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Federal Reserve hints at interest rate rise but leaves them unchanged for now

Calling economy’s job gains ‘solid’, latest statement leads many to believe Fed chair Janet Yellen is targeting 16-17 September policy meeting for rate hike

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday continued to pave the way for an increase in interest rates as early as September.

The US central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at near zero – where it has been since the 2008 financial crisis – but once again signalled that rates will rise later this year.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Firms in UK will have to reveal efforts to stop supply chain slavery and trafficking

From October all companies doing business in the UK with a turnover of £36m or more will have to deliver annual statement covering international supply chains

The major supermarkets, the likes of Primark, Marks & Spencer and well-known food and technology brands, will all have to set out how they are preventing slavery and human trafficking taking place in their supply chains, under rules announced by the UK government.

From October, all companies doing business in the UK with a turnover of £36m or more will have to deliver an annual slavery and human trafficking statement covering their manufacturers, farmers and wholesalers elsewhere in the world.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

GlaxoSmithKline CEO: business stabilising despite China slowdown

Pharmaceutical company reported better than expected second-quarter results of £5.9bn, although Chinese sales fell 14%

The GlaxoSmithKline CEO, Sir Andrew Witty, said the Chinese drug market has slowed down dramatically over the past year but insisted that the drugmaker’s own business there is stabilising, as it unveiled second-quarter results that beat City expectations.

Witty also flagged up 40 new drugs and vaccines that are in mid- to late-stage development, half of which are expected to be approved by regulators or filed for approval by 2020. He highlighted a new shingles vaccine, as well as treatments for chronic lung disease, severe asthma, anaemia and heart disease, which are in development.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Theo Chocolate and others aims to end farmers' cycle of poverty

Companies including Nespresso and Timberland are working with local communities in developing countries to build sustainable supply chains

Every chocolate company needs to buy cocoa beans. For Seattle-based Theo Chocolate, sourcing this essential ingredient is not about finding the right vendors – it’s about creating them. This unorthodox approach yields a better quality of chocolate for Theo, and a better quality of life for the cocoa farmers with whom the business works, according to founder and CEO Joe Whinney.

“Unless you’re really willing to change the game [and] the way it’s done, you’re going to end up with the same cycle,” he said. He’s referring to a cycle in which, despite the efforts of global chocolate companies, many of the world’s cocoa farmers remain poor.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Lone Star buys Wembley Arena owner Quintain for £700m

Each of UK property firm’s shares will be bought for 131p in cash after its directors recommended that shareholders accept offer from private equity group

Quintain Estates and Development, the developer behind Wembley Arena, has been bought by US private equity group Lone Star for £700m.

Dallas-based Lone Star agreed to pay 131p in cash for each Quintain share. It pledged to contribute “significant additional financial resources” to help Quintain build “more homes more quickly” at Wembley. The directors of Quintain voted unanimously to recommend that shareholders accept the offer.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS