Thomas Cook chief executive apologises to family over Corfu tragedy

Thomas Cook shop

I have just spoken to the chief executive of Thomas Cook who has told me he is "deeply sorry" for the tragedy in Corfu which saw the deaths of two children aged seven and six.

After days of controversy when the company seemed unable to find its human side under layers of corporate speak and legal defences, Peter Fankhauser has now apologised to the family.

He said that the matter had not been handled well by the company since 2006 when the two children - Bobby and Christi Shepherd - were poisoned by a faulty gas boiler during a Thomas Cook holiday to the Greek island.

The family of the children have described the behaviour of the company as "appalling" and there have been calls to boycott Thomas Cook.

"First I want to say that I am deeply sorry about the tragic death of Bobby and Christi Shepherd in 2006," Mr Fankhauser told me.

Read full article Thomas Cook chief executive apologises to family over Corfu tragedy

Steve Hilton: Pay bankers the same as civil servants

He was often lightly teased for his habit of wandering around 10 Downing Street in socks, jeans and a t-shirt, but Steve Hilton was the man widely credited with bringing plenty of fresh air to the stuffy world of Whitehall.

Studiously anti-establishment, he left the job of Prime Minister's director of strategy in 2012 and now works in suitably laid back California.

Read full article Steve Hilton: Pay bankers the same as civil servants

Many businesses do not fear leaving the EU

EU and UK flags

A large part of the vitally important debate about Britain's future in or out of the European Union will be based around a simple question which raises a whole host of complicated answers.

What would "out" look like?

Read full article Many businesses do not fear leaving the EU

OECD attacks 'aggressive' tech tax plans

Technology companies need to stop "extremely aggressive" tax planning, the man charged with reforming global tax rules has told the BBC.

He says these "push the boundaries of what is legal".

Read full article OECD attacks 'aggressive' tech tax plans

Sajid Javid: Calling a strike will be harder

He's been in the job less than 24 hours - a point he keeps reminding me of as we chat - but Sajid Javid is already clear on the direction of travel he wants to take as David Cameron's new business secretary.

Pro-enterprise and deregulation will be his watch words, bringing a distinctly Conservative flavour to the top of the department.

Read full article Sajid Javid: Calling a strike will be harder

Will HSBC really quit the UK?

  • 24 April 2015
  • From the section Business
HSBC logo lit up on the exterior of the HSBC building in Hong Kong
About 80% of HSBC's profits come from Asia

This morning HSBC has announced that it is going to look - again - at whether it would be better served by moving its headquarters out of London.

Regulatory pressure, political attacks following revelations of errant behaviour and hefty new taxes have sparked the decision.

Read full article Will HSBC really quit the UK?

Tesco hits the bottom

  • 22 April 2015
  • From the section Business
Tesco

In the corporate world it's known as "kitchen-sinking" - finding all the bad stuff buried down the back of the sofa, adding it together and announcing a whopping great loss.

Today, Tesco became its latest proponent. In fact, to the kitchen sink Dave Lewis, the chief executive, has added the washing machine, the dish washer and the deep fat fryer.

Read full article Tesco hits the bottom

Confusopoly - the art of baffling your customers on price

  • 21 April 2015
  • From the section Business
Man choosing milk

Today, the consumer watchdog, Which? is launching a "super-complaint" against supermarkets.

It claims they have confused customers for too long with money off offers which don't offer money off and "buy one get one free" deals where "free" is a pretty elastic term.

Read full article Confusopoly - the art of baffling your customers on price

Google defends its business as EU sanctions loom

  • 15 April 2015
  • From the section Business
Google logo image

At a press conference at 11:00 BST today, it is expected that the European Union's competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, will outline the case against Google's dominant position in the search market.

It is likely to allege that the technology firm uses that position to direct search traffic to its own businesses, such as Google Shopping.

Read full article Google defends its business as EU sanctions loom

'The market is rigged' - Michael Lewis

  • 10 April 2015
  • From the section Business

In his seminal work on the role of high-frequency traders in global stock markets, Michael Lewis quotes Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett's right hand man.

Mr Munger said that high-frequency trading was "the functional equivalent of letting a lot of rats into a granary".

Read full article 'The market is rigged' - Michael Lewis