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Live Reporting

Chris Johnston

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodbye

    That's all we have time for on what was a very busy day for business news - thanks for reading. We are back at 0600 so do join us then.

  2. Regulator to quit New York role

    How to go out with a bang: just hours after Benjamin Lawsky, along with other US authorities, announced record fines for banks for rigging currency markets, New York state's financial regulator said he would step down next month. Mr Lawsky will leave the New York State Department of Financial Services and plans to open his own New York-based legal and consulting firm, handling financial work including cyber security.

  3. Monsanto still aiming for Syngenta deal

    Monsanto, the world's largest seed company, said it plans to sell Syngenta's seeds businesses to win regulatory approval for a $45bn takeover of its Swiss rival. Brett Begemann, president of Monsanto, said the US company is confident it can address all regulatory concerns about a combination of the agrichemical and seed giants. Syngenta has thus far rejected Monsanto's advances.

  4. Wall Street closes down

    A lacklustre day in New York, as minutes from last month's Federal Reserve meeting did little to change expectations of when the central bank may raise interest rates. The Dow provisionally closed down 26.59 points, or 0.15%, to 18,285.8, while the S&P 500 lost 2 points to 2,125.8. The Nasdaq, however, added 1.7 points to 5,071.

  5. New warning shots on Greek default


    Greece could miss a €300m payment to the International Monetary Fund due on 5 June unless foreign lenders provide more aid. The warning came from Nikos Filis, spokesman for the ruling Syriza party's MPs: "If there is no deal by then ... they won't get any money." In a similar vein, finance minister Yanis Varoufakis told Channel 4 News: "If we can, on June 5, repay the IMF and pay pensions and salaries as well as the other obligations we have to our internal creditors, we shall. If not, we will have to prioritise pensioners and public sector workers."

  6. CBI backs Osborne productivity call

    George Osborne is aiming to boost productivity and reduce the UK's debts as he vows not to "take his foot off the pedal" in the wake of the Tories' election victory. He was speaking at the speech at the CBI's annual dinner in London on Wednesday night. CBI director-general John Cridland said productivity is a "missing piece of the growth puzzle". "By improving vocational education for 14-18 year olds, investing more in innovation and upgrading the UK's infrastructure we can make sure the benefits of growth are felt by all. Businesses fully support prioritising deficit reduction, which is critical to maintaining the UK's credibility in international markets and keeping the costs of borrowing low for growing firms."

  7. Deutsche Bank investigates its Moscow unit

    Deutsche bank logo

    Deutsche Bank has place a "small number" of staff at its Moscow unit on leave while it conducts an "internal review". "We are committed to participating in international efforts to detect and combat suspicious activities and we take strong action where we find evidence of misconduct," the bank said. German weekly Manager Magazin reported that several of the bank's employees in Russia were suspected of laundering money for Russian clients.

  8. Via Email

    US interest rate worries

    Paul Ashworth

    Chief US economist, Capital Economics

    One concern that has surfaced before is that [Fed] officials are worried even a small first rate hike could trigger a much bigger rise in long-term interest rates ... This comes through in these minutes again, with officials worried that bond prices could exhibit greater volatility now. We understand those concerns but, with other global central banks still buying bonds, we expect any increase in US Treasury yields to be fairly gradual.

  9. Via Blog

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    "As a hack who has seen eight chancellors come and go since first taking a professional interest in the stewardship of the economy, it is slightly tempting to yawn and ignore George Osborne's claim tonight that he will put boosting productivity at the forefront of his policies."

  10. "Many" at the Fed see June rate hike as too early

    US Federal Reserve

    The US Federal Reserve has released minutes for its April meeting. According to those notes "many" officials at the meeting believed it would be premature to raise interest rates in June. The US economy slowed down over the winter due to harsh weather conditions in parts of the nation and officials were divided over whether that weakness was temporary or might last longer.

  11. McDonald's workers call for wage rises

    Samira Hussain

    BBC business reporter, Oak Brook, Illinois


    A many as 2,000 protestors are heading towards the headquarters of McDonald's in Illinois to call on the fast food chain to pay its workers $15 (£9.65) an hour and offer union recognition. Heidi Barker, a McDonald's spokeswoman, told the Chicago Tribune that the company does not have the power to raise wages of workers employed by its franchisees. However, it is possible that franchisees will do so, she added.

  12. UBS avoids criminal charges for forex


    UBS blew the whistle on the forex rigging and has therefore avoided criminally prosecution by the US authorities - though it will pay a $342m fine to the Federal Reserve. The Swiss bank has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud over Libor rigging, however, and has been fined $203m. UBS chairman Axel Weber and chief executive Sergio Ermotti said: "The conduct of a small number of employees was unacceptable and we have taken appropriate disciplinary actions. We self-detected this matter and reported it to the US Department of Justice and other authorities. Our actions demonstrate our determination to pursue a policy of zero tolerance for misconduct and a desire to promote the right culture in our industry."

  13. Disney opens first China store


    Disney has opened its first store in China, calling its new Shanghai location its largest outlet. The shop is 9,257 sq ft and has an outdoor plaza. The Lujiazui area, where the store is located, is visited by about 40 million tourists a year. Disney has 210 stores in North America, 73 in Europe and 45 in Japan and its Shanghai Disney theme park is expected to open next year.

  14. Via Twitter

    Spotify picks up the pace

    John Mervin

    New York business editor, BBC News

    Spotify launch

    Good grief. Spotify also seems to say it and artists have created music tracks that can "adjust" for different paces. Er... Spotify says it will use the motion sensors in phone to generate the perfectly paced running playlist. And change it as your pace changes. Also claim those tracks have been tailored to give runners "that heroic feeling". Only played a few seconds. I don't feel heroic. @jnmervin

  15. FTSE 100 edges higher


    Amid the excitement of the forex fines, I have neglected to reveal how the FTSE 100 ended the day. The blue-chip index was almost 12.1 points, or 0.2%, higher at 7,007.2 points, with Vodafone the biggest riser - up 5.4% to 238.85p amid renewed speculation about a takeover by John Malone's Liberty Global. Barclays was not far behind - up 3.4% to 271.5p - as its mammoth £1.54bn fine for rigging forex markets was considerably less than the amount the bank had set aside. Burberry was out of fashion with investors, however, sliding 5% to £17.17.

  16. Dimon 'disappointed'

    Jamie Dimon

    Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, has also issued a mea culpa in the wake of his bank being fined $892m by the DoJ and Federal Reserve. "The conduct described in the government's pleadings is a great disappointment to us. We demand and expect better of our people. The lesson here is that the conduct of a small group of employees, or of even a single employee, can reflect badly on all of us, and have significant ramifications for the entire firm. That's why we've redoubled our efforts to fortify our controls and enhance our historically strong culture."

  17. How to rig forex trading

    Want to know just how the banks rigged their foreign exchange trades? Author and former investment banker Philip Augar lifts the lid here.

  18. Via Twitter

    Spotify video

    Dave Lee, technology reporter, BBC News

    Spotify doesn't have the celeb power of Beats (when it arrives), so relying on depth of content and smarter algorithms? @DaveLeeBBC

  19. Spotify adds video and podcasts

    Charli XCX

    Spotify is adding video, news and spoken word content to compliment its millions of songs. The new offerings include news bulletins from National Public Radio, the BBC and others as well as longer video and audio podcasts and clips. Spotify has more than 60m users in 58 countries, with about 20% paying for its premium advertising-free subscription services. The move is being viewed as an attempt to get ahead of a new streaming service expected to be soon announced by Apple.

  20. Banks not out of the woods yet

    Kamal Ahmed

    BBC Business editor


    "If anyone in the City thought that the latest multi-billion pound fines for the banks meant that they were now out of the regulatory woods, they should think again. The New York Department of Financial Services is still investigating Barclays, for example, over other aspects of the foreign exchange market including electronic trading. Barclays is also being investigated in the UK over its Qatari fund raising during the financial crisis. Civil legal actions on foreign exchange manipulation are also in the offing for Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland. It looks like the major global banks are going to face many more 'we deeply regret this behaviour' days ahead."

  21. Bank fines breakdown

    Just in case you'd like to know how that $5.7bn breaks down, Barclays was fined a total of $2.4bn by a number of agencies (including $710m to the Department of Justice (DoJ) and $342m to the Federal Reserve. Citigroup was fined $925m by the DoJ and $342m by the Fed - a total of $1.26bn. JPMorgan Chase will pay $550m to the DoJ and $342m to the Fed - $892m in all. RBS is being fined $395m by the DoJ and $274m by the Fed - $669m. UBS is being fined $203m by the DoJ and $342m to the Fed - a total of $545m. Bank of America is also being fined $205m by the Fed, but not the DoJ.

  22. Lynch: banks used coded language

    Loretta Lynch

    US Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the criminal fines of more than $2.5bn are the largest set of anti-trust fines obtained by the Department of Justice. After establishing a cartel, the five banks went about manipulating foreign currency rates: "Almost every day for five years traders in this cartel used a private electronic chat room to manipulate the spot market's exchange rate between euros and dollars using coded language to conceal their collusion. They acted as partners, rather than competitors in an effort to push exchange rates favourable to their banks but detrimental to many others."

  23. Record UK fine for Barclays

    The £284.4m fine for Barclays for failing to control practices in its foreign exchange (forex) business in London is the largest imposed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or its predecessor, the Financial Services Authority. Georgina Philippou, the FCA's acting director of enforcement and market oversight, said: "This is another example of a firm allowing unacceptable practices to flourish on the trading floor. Instead of addressing the obvious risks associated with its business, Barclays allowed a culture to develop which put the firm's interests ahead of those of its clients and which undermined the reputation and integrity of the UK financial system."

  24. Via Twitter

    Barclays penalties

    Mark Broad

    Business producer, BBC News

    US authorities say they have 'terminated' 8 Barclays employees over FX manipulation. They don't mess around in the US. Barclays employees were part of an online FX chatroom called 'the Cartel' @markabroad

  25. Ross McEwan: RBS lost its way

    Ross McEwan

    Not to be forgotten, Royal Bank of Scotland will pay fines totalling $669m (£430m) - $395m to the Department of Justice and $274m to the Federal Reserve - to resolve the investigations. Ross McEwan, chief executive of RBS, said: "The serious misconduct that lies at the heart of today's announcements has no place in the bank that I am building. Pleading guilty for such wrongdoing is another stark reminder of how badly this bank lost its way and how important it is for us to regain trust. It has taken far longer than anyone hoped to root out all the past conduct problems and practices and as a result we still have significant challenges on the horizon. We are determined to learn the lessons from our past mistakes and to hold those responsible fully to account for their actions." Shares in the bank added 2.2% to 356p.

  26. Barclays: fined covered by provisions

    Barclays said that the $2.4bn (£1.54bn) fines for forex rigging will be covered by existing provisions of £2.05bn. It is continuing to co-operate with ongoing investigations into forex (including in relation to electronic trading), Libor (the London interbank lending rate) and other benchmark investigations. Shares in Barclays rose 3.2% to 271.1p in afternoon trading in London.

  27. Barclays boss 'shares investors' frustration'

    Antony Jenkins

    Antony Jenkins, Barclays chief executive, said: "The misconduct at the core of these investigations is wholly incompatible with Barclays' purpose and values and we deeply regret that it occurred. I share the frustration of shareholders and colleagues that some individuals have once more brought our company and industry into disrepute. Dealing with these issues, including taking the appropriate disciplinary action against the individuals involved, is a necessary and important part of our plan to transform Barclays and remains a key priority."

  28. Barclays fine breakdown

    Barclays' $2.4bn is the biggest fine imposed by US authorities for the forex rigging. Its fine was far higher than the other banks because it wanted to include the powerful New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) in its settlement and therefore did not take part in a group settlement last November. Barclays will pay $710m to the US Department of Justice, $485m to the NYDFS, $400m to the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and $342m to the Federal Reserve. It was also fined a record £284m ($441m) by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority.

  29. Five banks to pay $5.7bn for forex rigging

    Along with Barclays, three other banks will plead guilty to criminal charges over foreign exchange rigging. Citigroup was fined $925m, JPMorgan Chase will pay $550m, and Royal Bank of Scotland $395m. UBS will plead guilty to rigging benchmark interest rates, the Justice Department said. The fines total about $5.7bn. Separately, the US Federal Reserve has fined Bank Of America $205m.

  30. Barclays to pay $2.4bn for forex rigging


    Barclays will pay $2.4bn (£1.54bn) to regulators in the US and the UK for its part in rigging the foreign exchange market. The bank is also sacking eight employees involved in the scheme. "They engaged in a brazen 'heads I win, tails you lose' scheme to rip off their clients," said New York State superintendent of financial services Benjamin Lawsky. Earlier, UBS was fined $545m for its part in the market manipulation. Three more banks, including RBS, are expected to be punished for taking part in the rigging.

  31. Wall Street opens lower


    New York is off to a poor start following some disappointing corporate results. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 24 points to 18,288, while the S&P 500 gave up 3 points to 2,124. The Nasdaq declined 13 points, or 0.3%, to 5,056. Bad news for investors in Etsy too - its shares fell almost 25% after it posted a hefty quarterly loss in its first results since listing last month.

  32. BHP pays $25m to settle charges

    Beijing Olympics

    BHP Billiton will pay $25m to settle US charges that it improperly paid for 60 foreign government officials to attend the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing while they were in position to assist the mining company. The Securities and Exchange Commission accused BHP of violating the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by inviting 176 officials and employees of state-owned enterprises to the Games. The company neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing in agreeing to settle the civil charges.

  33. Burberry forecasts uncertain outlook


    Nick Bubb, the independent retail analyst, has had a look at Burberry's annual results. He says the luxury goods company's statement is "full of words like 'strong and robust', although all the focus is on 'underlying' figures, given the foreign exchange (FX) translation headwinds. Revenue of £2.5bn was up 11% underlying and up 8% at reported FX, whilst adjusted pre-tax profit of £456m was up 7% underlying and down 1% at reported FX." However, Mr Bubb adds that the City will be puzzling over these comments about Burberry's outlook: "At this early stage of the year, we are seeing increased uncertainty in some markets." Shares are down 4.8% at £17.21.

  34. Hello

    Thanks to Tom and Faarea for this morning's coverage. Chris Johnston here with you until 2130 with the rest of Wednesday's business news and views. An exciting announcement about one of Britain's biggest banks is coming up at 1500 so do stay tuned for that.

  35. Analysts puzzled at 47% share plunge in Hanergy

    Hanergy factory in China

    Analysts were left puzzled when shares in Chinese company Hanergy Thin Film Power Group plunged 47% in just 24 minutes, reports Reuters. The company, controlled by founder Li Hejun, said that trade had been suspended "pending release of an announcement containing inside information". The solar panel maker had a market value of nearly $40bn (£25.7bn) before the plunge.

  36. Exemplary US/ EU trade relationship?

    BBC Radio 4

    Sir Michael Rake from the CBI told the Today programme earlier: "The US is exactly one of the key elements [showing] why we should stay in the EU. We're working on the transatlantic trade and investment partnership [TTIP] which would open up significant mutual investment between the EU and US. That would be a market of 800 million people, we would have an opportunity to set some of the standards of regulation that would apply globally, as opposed to having them set by China or by India or by other global powers. So that is absolutely why we should remain in the EU."

  37. Sales at Target up due to digital sales growth

    Target store sign

    Target stores reported that their profits before tax for the first quarter of 2015 were up 2.3% to $1.2bn (£811m), from $1.05bn (£677m) over the same period last year. Brian Cornell, chief executive of Target said the company had "nearly 40 percent growth in digital sales. We... overcame weather challenges and West Coast port delays to deliver outstanding guest service in the first quarter."

  38. Via Email

    SSE 'making more money from fewer customers'

    John Moylan

    Industry correspondent, BBC News

    The Citizens Advice bureau is calling for an investigation in to the energy industry to "establish transparency" so customers "feel the benefit of wholesale energy price decreases, in light of SSE posting a retail profits increase of 39.7%." Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: "SSE is making more money from fewer customers. Consumers will rightly question why their bills are so high when the supplier's profits are increasing."

  39. Vodafone shares up

    Vodafone's share price

    Vodafone shares are doing well during lunchtime trading, up 4.06%, while the rest of the FTSE stays largely flat. Vodafone announced a rise in quarterly profits yesterday, after 10 consecutive quarters of declines.

  40. Via Twitter

    Flat Scottish tourism

    Douglas Fraser

    Business and economy editor, Scotland

    tweets: The staycation trend hasn't added much to Scottish tourism: 2005-14, domestic spend +0.5% to £2.9bn, foreign +52% to £1.9bn. Total +16%.

  41. Economic output by UK regions

    Economic output per head £s 2013

    Here's an interesting graphic from the latest UK Regional Economic Indicators. No, it doesn't show regional support for the Scottish National Party, but economic output per head in 2013.

  42. 'Flash crash' trader denied bail

    Navinder Singh Sarao

    A UK court has put a dent in the hopes of "flash crash" trader Navinder Singh Sarao, who wanted to be released on bail. The High Court has refused to vary his bail conditions. Mr Sarao is suspected of contributing to the 2010 Wall Street "flash crash", and is fighting extradition to the US. He had applied for his bail condition to be relaxed after his assets were frozen, but the judge said: "There's no substantial reassurance that this applicant is not a flight risk." The US claims that Mr Sarao and his firm, Nav Sarao Futures, made £26m ($40m) illegally over five years.

  43. World's first electric ferry

    The electric ferry on its journey across Nordic waters

    The world's first electric car ferry has been launched in Norway. Owner Norled tells us it's part of their vision towards emission-free ferry transport, and will serve the 20-minute route between the ports of Lavik and Oppedal. It has a capacity for 360 passengers and 120 vehicles. Norled say the technology was developed by Siemens and shipbuilder Fjellstrand.

  44. Coal 'being squeezed out' of energy generation

    Ferrybridge C power station

    Following the news that SSE is to close its Ferrybridge coal-powered plant, Peter Kiernan of the Economist Intelligence Unit said: "Last year the UK saw a drop in coal-fired power generation of over 25%, with power generated from coal falling to its lowest level in several years. Plant closures, lower electricity demand, and a rising share of renewables are squeezing coal out of the system, in addition to more competitive natural gas prices."

  45. 'Lack of confidence' in Deutsche Bank management

    Headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt

    A firm that represents several institutional investors in Deutsche Bank has said it will vote "to express our strong concerns about a range of issues and our lack of confidence in the management board" of the bank at the upcoming AGM. Hermes Investment Management "urge[s] the bank's supervisory board to review the composition of the management board," it said.

  46. Tata workers to vote on strike action

    Tata Steel Plant in Scunthorpe

    Six thousand Tata Steel UK workers are to take part in a Unite ballot over strike action, the union says. The vote is over a Tata Steel proposal to close the British Steel pension scheme.

  47. Via Twitter

    Dengue fighting mosquito patent

    Rory Cellan-Jones

    Technology correspondent

    tweets: British inventor whose genetically modified mosquitoes battle dengue fever in running for European Patent award...

  48. M&S 'will see challenge to keep momentum'


    While there have been "some visible improvements to the fashionability and quality" of Marks and Spencer womenswear over the last year, "it will be a challenge to keep the positive momentum going" in general merchandising and food sales, says Freddie George of Cantor Fitzgerald. "Since 2008, UK pre-tax profits have declined by a third, international profits have been flat, the dividend has been reduced and net debt remains above £2bn," he says. "The initiatives relating to the supply chain and IT will not, we believe, lead to a significant increase in sales or profits over the medium term."

  49. Via Twitter

    Douglas Fraser

    Business and economy editor, Scotland

    tweets: SSE tells new government its windfarm policy hasn't been thought through, needs changed. It does so politely.

  50. Market update: Burberry shares take a tumble

    Burberry shares

    On the FTSE 100 stock index, fashion firm Burberry Group shares have seen the biggest drop in value. They have fallen more than 4.5% over the course of the morning after the company lowered its 2016 outlook. Vodafone saw the biggest rise after after the chairman of cable company Liberty Global, John Malone, said the two companies would make a "great fit", reigniting long-running merger speculation.

  51. Thomas Cook boss: 'My words were poorly chosen'

    Peter Fankhauser also regretted saying that Thomas Cook had done "nothing wrong" when giving evidence at the Coroner's Court last week, he said. "My words were poorly chosen and I regret that. The hotel employees were charged with manslaughter and Thomas Cook was cleared in a criminal court in Greece."

  52. Thomas Cook: Communication breakdown with child death family

    Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser that he took responsibility for the way the company communicated with the family of Bobby and Christi Shepherd, who died died from carbon monoxide poisoning in Corfu in 2006. "I don't want to blame the lawyers. It's ultimately my responsibility how we communicate. Obviously we could have done better. We did not handle our relationship with the family well. During the past nine years we failed to show the compassion that we should have shown to the family. That is probably the main mistake," he told BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed.

  53. UK rates on hold

    Bank of England

    Bank of England policymakers voted unanimously to keep interest rates on hold in May, Monetary Policy Committee minutes show. They reiterated their views on the outlook for inflation, saying that unless oil and commodity prices fell again, inflation rates close to zero were not likely to last long and would pick up notably towards the end of 2015.

  54. Thomas Cook 'deeply sorry' over child deaths

    Christianne and Robert Shepherd

    Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser has told BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed that he is "deeply sorry" about the deaths of Bobby and Christi Shepherd (pictured), who died in Corfu in 2006. The apology comes after their parents Neil Shepherd and Sharon Wood said this week they'd not received a direct apology from the firm. "I am deeply sorry about the tragic death of Bobby and Christi Shepherd in 2006. I said that at the inquest I can only repeat that. From the deepest [part] of my heart I am sorry. It is clear that there are things that we as a company could have done better in the past nine years. In particular the way we conducted our relationship with the family and this is something that we are going to change."

  55. Businesses need to be more vocal about EU reform affects

    BBC Radio 4

    Leaving the EU would have a negative impact on jobs in the UK, Sir Michael Rake tells Today. "Many businesses have been speaking out about the importance of staying in the EU, staying with a union we hope is reformed and allows greater growth and competitiveness. We think it's very important... business speaks out for those issues that are about what the impact of leaving the EU would have on the economy, on investment and therefore on jobs."

  56. Employees and appropriate rights

    BBC Radio 4

    What will happen to employee rights if EU labour laws are reformed? Sir Michael Rake tells the Today programme: "We have to have a situation where employees have appropriate rights. Where the rights are so extensive it leads to employers not being willing to employ people, that is not helpful to anyone. We need to remain competitive."

  57. UBS 'got credit'

    Business Live

    Abdulali Jiwaji

    UBS cooperating with US authorities "bought it some credit" in terms of the severity of its fine, says Abdulali Jiwaji, a partner at Signature Litigation. Out of a number of banks being investigated, UBS "went first, and in today's market, for all banks, that's a real factor. Where there's been a course of conduct which is wrong, the first person to go to the authorities will get some credit."

  58. EU and youth unemployment

    BBC Radio 4

    Inflexible European labour laws have led to higher youth unemployment in the UK and Southern Europe, Sir Michael Rake tells the Today programme: "When we know we can get greater flexibility of labour that leads to more sustainable employment, less youth unemployment and leads to more productivity and more investment, that's what we want. What we don't want are the irritating regulations that don't help productivity and don't support investment. Really this is an issue across the EU. In the last few years, companies have not been waiting to hire people on permanent contracts because of inflexibility that's led to temporary contracts that has led to high youth unemployment."

  59. EU's 'petty regulations'

    BBC Radio 4

    Sir Michael Rake from the CBI suggested how we can see change without reform in the EU: "We need to see the completion of the single market. We need to see the blueprint coming in June for regulation from the Commission. We need to see much less 'lifestyle regulation' which just irritates people. You see petty regulations come through that don't really have an impact on competitiveness or the reverse."

  60. 'EU reform can happen without treaty change'

    BBC Radio 4

    Sir Michael Rake

    Following on from a call to businesses to "speak out early" in favour of remaining in a reformed European Union, Sir Michael Rake, president of the CBI, tells Today: "We need to remind ourselves that we're part of a market of 500 million people to which 50% of our exports go. Most businesses and governments want to see a reform that allows us to grow. Reforms can be made that we believe can improve our competitiveness without the need for treaty change."

  61. Profits at M&S up, but at a cost

    Kamal Ahmed

    BBC Business editor

    "Profits are up at Marks and Spencer - but at a cost... There are still major question marks over the vital womenswear department. Yes, the final quarter of the year saw sales up but online problems over Christmas and the third warmest autumn on record all weighed heavily on sales over the year, which were down. The chief executive Marc Bolland knows that he has to show consistent growth in womenswear before he can pronounce 'job done'."

  62. Cable & Wireless Communications reaps upgrade reward

    Cable & Wireless

    Cable & Wireless Communications reports that its revenue for the year ending March 2015 was up 4% to $1.8bn (£1.1bn), from $1.6bn (£1bn) in the previous year. The rise reflects early results from a $1bn upgrade of its networks.

  63. M&S 'is back on clothes'

    BBC Radio 4

    Marks and Spencer is regaining its market strength in clothes after a number of years in the wilderness. "We have seen a far better consumer reaction to our [clothing] ranges over the last year," says Marks and Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland, adding that "consumers have voted with their feet" for the most recent collections. "We've been aiming to bring more quality back in our garments, but also more style, more design." He added that M&S now had a clothes market share of between 10% and 11%, which is back up to 2010 levels.

  64. Marks and Spencer 'strong in difficult market'

    Marc Bolland

    The retail market is "probably "the most difficult market it has been in the last 15 years," Marks and Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland tells Today. "Food sales were up very strongly and in a very difficult market, so when we say that we're having a better profit, we need to see that in the perspective of the retail market," he says. "We see deflation in the food market, and the high street has been having difficulties, so for us to have a 6.1% profit rise, and to also deliver more cash, because we delivered £96m more net cash before dividends, which is a strong number as well."

  65. Cashmere drives Burberry profits up

    Burberry store in London

    Burberry has said that its profits before tax for the year 2014/2015 were £445m, up slightly from £444m the previous year. The company said trench coat and cashmere scarf sales were a "principal driver" of this year's growth. Chief executive Christopher Bailey said: "Against a challenging external backdrop, our global team has focused ever more intensely on our core, including celebrating the British-made products that are our brand signature."

  66. SSE power station to close

    BBC Radio 4

    Energy company SSE says it is to end power generation at its Ferrybridge coal-fired station by March 2016. "We've seen with government policy and EU policy pushing more towards lower carbon or cleaner energy for some some now," SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips Davies tells Today. "We will see coal being phased out over the next several years and an increase in environmental taxes this year and a reduction in gas prices as well... We've had to take a difficult decision today around that plant."

  67. Thomas Cook revenues down on city breaks

    Thomas Cook shop sign

    Thomas Cook says its revenue for the six months ending 31 March were down to £2,742m, compared with £3,011m for the same period last year. The group said its European city breaks and hotel package deals weren't doing as well as the company had hoped. However, it is an increase of 1.2% on the previous six months.

  68. 'Challenging year' for SSE

    BBC Radio 4

    Alistair Phillips Davis

    Energy company SSE is "pleased to have kept the group profits at least flat," Alistair Phillips Davis, chief executive of SSE tells Today. "It's been a mixed bag in what's been a pretty challenging year," he says. "We've cut prices twice in the last 14 months... it's been a very challenging and competitive year in the retail market."

  69. UBS announces $545m fine

    UBS sign

    Swiss bank UBS has announced fines of $545m (£352m) combined fines over Libor and foreign exchange rate rigging. Over Libor, the bank agreed to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud, and pay a $203m fine. Over foreign exchange rate rigging, UBS will pay $342m "and has agreed to undertake a series of remedial measures," the bank said.

  70. SSE sees profits rise

    SSE logo

    SSE reports adjusted pre-tax profits for the 12 months to the end of March of £1.56bn, compared to £1.55bn in 2014. Reported profit before tax increased by 24.1% to £735.2m.

  71. Regulatory fines 'small change'

    BBC Radio 4

    The Gherkin and Canary Wharf

    Fines Libor and foreign exchange rate rigging are "small change relative to the total amount of fines banks have paid in the past," Peter Hahn from Cass Business School tells Today. "But no company I've heard of has really stopped doing business with banks over this issue in the past... I'm supposedly the victim here. My pension fund owns shares in these banks, I'm losing out, but am I getting any of the compensation money? No. The penalties need to be for the people first, not the institutions."

  72. Deflation or not?

    Radio 5 live

    To call negative inflation "deflation" is potentially "playing with fire", Jane Foley, senior currency strategist at Rabobank, says. "One of the reasons that some of the central bankers have been quite optimistic... they talk up the outlook for inflation, and they do that for a specific reason... if people believe that prices are going to fall... then it can be self prophesising, and that's the danger." However, logically, we are in deflation, even if the effects can be beneficial, she concedes.

  73. Fines winding down?

    Radio 5 live

    Pound coins on dollar notes

    The run of enormous fines for banks over foreign exchange rate manipulation should be coming to an end, Christopher Orndorff from Western Asset Management tells Wake Up to Money. "The regulatory probes have really gone across all different aspects of the business, and that's how a lot of these things got uncovered - the Libor fixing, the FX fixing... the magnitude of the fines has certainly grown since the financial crisis in 2008."

  74. Fines 'get banks' attention'

    Radio 5 live

    Yen notes being counted

    Rather than being able to dip into large reserves to pay fines, settlements do have an impact on banks, Chris Orndorff from Western Asset Management tells Wake Up to Money. "The fines come out of their earnings, which affects the stock price negatively, and a lot of these senior executives are compensated in stocks, so I think it definitely gets their attention," he says.

  75. Heavy forex fines ahead?

    Radio 5 live

    Man reflected in an electronic board outside a brokerage in Tokyo

    US regulators are expected to announce fines worth £3.8bn later on today for banks including RBS and Barclays over foreign exchange rate manipulation. Jane Foley, senior currency strategist at Rabobank, tells Wake Up to Money that the scandal "has gone on for quite some time". She says: "The fines [from] the Americans are pretty huge, generally, and it will be interesting to see what the fines are, laid out today, because often it's the banks that say they've done some wrong early in the day that get off with slightly lighter fines."

  76. Good morning

    Marks and Spencer has its full year results today, and a rise in profits is expected. Thomas Cook reports its half year results - in March it said that bookings were picking up in Europe after a tough start to the year. And later on today US regulators are expected to announce settlements with Barclays and RBS over alleged rigging of the foreign exchange market.