Kamal Ahmed

Kamal Ahmed Business editor

Welcome to the Business Blog – my latest take on the major business stories and analysis of the facts behind the headlines

GSK hails Ebola vaccine breakthrough

  • 26 November 2014
  • From the section Business

The devastation of the Ebola outbreak in parts of West Africa has been one of the most shocking and distressing stories of the year.

Tonight there is a glimmer of hope - the first evidence that a vaccine could be available for health workers and others battling to bring the virus under control.

Ultimately, it could mean a vaccine for everyone in areas at risk.

Sir Andrew Witty, the chief executive of GSK, told the BBC that new clinical data published tonight was "very encouraging" and that a viable vaccine could be available in the second half of next year - If these early trials continue to provide positive results.

'Very encouraging'

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in America has just released the first trial data for the vaccine that GSK is working on in its laboratories in Italy and Belgium.

Read full article GSK hails Ebola vaccine breakthrough

Royal Mail in the spotlight on the threat to the universal postal service

  • 26 November 2014
  • From the section Business
A postman returns to his Royal Mail delivery vehicle

Blinking into the spotlight, this morning Moya Greene will for the first time appear in public to make the case about why the universal, UK-wide postal service is in imminent danger.

At 9.30am the chief executive of Royal Mail is due before the Business Select Committee in the House of Commons.

Read full article Royal Mail in the spotlight on the threat to the universal postal service

The housing market is cooling - Nationwide

  • 25 November 2014
  • From the section Business
For sale sign

I have just got off the phone to Graham Beale, the chief executive of Nationwide, about his results this morning that show gross and net mortgage lending down.

He explained the two trends which are influencing the housing market.

Read full article The housing market is cooling - Nationwide

Will BT’s move mean cheaper mobile phone calls for all?

  • 24 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Mobile phone

Gavin Patterson, the chief executive of BT, is eyeing two big market developments in mobile over the next two years which he wants his business to lead.

Cheaper mobile delivery via BT's 5 million wifi hotspots and "quad play" - where a provider offers customers television, broadband, landline and mobile all in one package.

Read full article Will BT’s move mean cheaper mobile phone calls for all?

RBS struggles against never-ending fines

  • 20 November 2014
  • From the section Business
RBS logos

The Royal Bank of Scotland is in the process of looking for a new chairman. Whoever it is will need a strong stomach.

Thursday's £56m fine from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England over the spectacular 2012 computer blow-up is the latest in a series of punishments for failure and misconduct stretching back years.

Read full article RBS struggles against never-ending fines

RBS may curtail former chief Stephen Hester's pay-outs

  • 17 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Stephen Hester

The Royal Bank of Scotland is acting to head off another toxic row over pay - this time involving its former chief executive Stephen Hester.

I am told that Mr Hester's long term incentive plan (the share options that pay out over a number of years, known as LTIPs) is to be part of the "major accountability review" being undertaken by the bank following the £406m foreign exchange manipulation fine RBS received last week.

Read full article RBS may curtail former chief Stephen Hester's pay-outs

Carney puts bankers' pay in spotlight after misconduct shockwaves

  • 17 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Mark Carney speaking in Singapore
Bank of England governor Mark Carney says it is time to think about tougher sanctions on bankers who cheat the system

In a speech in Singapore in the early hours of this morning, the Governor of the Bank of England has said it is time to look at clawing back the overall pay of bankers in the event of wrong-doing, not just the bonus element.

In his first major intervention since the revelations about the fixing of foreign exchange markets last week, Mark Carney argued that new mechanisms were needed to "help re-build trust in financial institutions".

Read full article Carney puts bankers' pay in spotlight after misconduct shockwaves

RBS boss admits – I cringed when I read forex chat room messages

  • 12 November 2014
  • From the section Business

The chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has told me that he "cringed" when he saw copies of the chat room messages which talk of "making free money" and "keeping numpties out of the market".

Groups of bankers who went by the exotic names of The A Team, The 3 Musketeers and The Players colluded to fix foreign exchange rates for the advantage of their banks.

Read full article RBS boss admits – I cringed when I read forex chat room messages

Is 'too big to fail' for banks really coming to an end?

  • 10 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Mark Carney

Interviewing Alistair Darling in 2011, three years after the financial crisis during which he was chancellor, his most striking answer to me was not about the fear that Britain's economic system was on the point of collapse.

It wasn't even his worry that ATMs up and down the country might simply stop functioning.

Read full article Is 'too big to fail' for banks really coming to an end?

Fixing Marks & Spencer

  • 4 November 2014
  • From the section Business
Marc Bolland

The story of the plain, black ballet pump is forever etched on Marc Bolland's memory.

In 2012 the chief executive of one of Britain's oldest High Street retailers admitted that Marks & Spencer could have sold more of the fashion item of the moment, if only if it had more supply.

Read full article Fixing Marks & Spencer

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About Kamal

Kamal joined the BBC after four and a half years as business editor of the Sunday Telegraph's award-winning team. He also helped launch the Telegraph's annual festival of business, the major conference for small and medium sized enterprises. Before that, Kamal worked at The Observer as head of news and earlier, as its political editor.

His love of journalism started at Leeds Student, Leeds University's student newspaper, where he first tasted life as a reporter in a basement office with no windows. Essential workplace furniture included half-drunk pints of beer with cigarettes stubbed out in them. In those days, you needed a strong constitution to be a volunteer hack.

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