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  1. City watchdog drops banking culture inquiry
  2. Sports Direct commits to paying minimum wage
  3. Crude oil prices edge higher after Wednesday's fall

Live Reporting

By Ben Morris

All times stated are UK

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  1. See you in the New Year

    Auckland, New Zealand

    That's it from the Business Live page for the year. Thanks for coming to visit. Have a happy and prosperous New Year.

    To put you in the mood, here's a picture of New Year's Eve celebrations in Auckland, New Zealand.

    We'll see you on Monday from 06:00.

  2. David Buik given MBE

    Anyone with an interest in business news, might recognise the name David Buik. He's a veteran stock market analyst, who currently works for Panmure Gordon and has been commenting on City stories in the media for decades. 

    He has been given a MBE for services to Financial Services.

    He tweets:

  3. FTSE 100 down almost 5% for the year

    FTSE 100 2015

    In the final (shortened) trading session of the year the FTSE 100 has closed almost 32 points, or 0.5%, lower at 6,242.32.

    For the year it is down almost 5%.

    However, if you take into account reinvested dividends an investor in the FTSE 100 would be up 1.4%. That's according to Hargreaves Lansdown.

  4. Drifting barge misses North Sea oil platform

    A drifting barge missed BP's Valhall platform in the North Sea by two kilometers Norwegian officials have told Reuters.

    Borghild Eldoen, a spokeswoman for the Rescue Coordination Centre for southern Norway, said: "The barge drifted past by some two kilometres. The danger is over. There are no other installations between the barge and the coast of Norway.

    "It is now up to the owners of the barge to stop it before it reaches the coast," she said.

    Hundreds of oil workers were airlifted from platforms in the area when the barge broke anchor during a storm.

  5. Employees disappear from Hong Kong bookstore

    Causeway Bay Bookstore, Hong Kong

    Another associate of a Hong Kong bookstore that specialises in titles critical of the Chinese government has apparently disappeared. Last month,four other employees of Causeway Bay Bookstore, including its owner, went missing. Their colleagues believe they had been detained by Chinese officials due to their writing.

    The latest employee to go missing, Mr Lee, failed to turn up for dinner at home on Wednesday evening. His wife has been unable to reach him, and has told the BBC's Juliana Liu that she is deeply afraid.

  6. Review of airport shops and VAT

    BBC personal finance reporter Brian Milligan tweets:

  7. The company where everyone is paid the same

    All employees at organic foods wholesaler Suma get paid the same. So how does that work out? Lucy Kellaway has more below.

    Video content

    Video caption: All employees at organic foods wholesaler Suma get paid the same - but does it work?
  8. Crude oil moves higher

    Brent Crude

    Crude oil prices have moved higher after a steep fall on Wednesday.

    Brent Crude is 0.6% higher at $36.67 per barrel.

    The US benchmark contract, West Texas Intermediate is 0.3% higher at $36.73.

    The chart above shows the last three trading sessions.

    On Wednesday Brent Crude slumped by 3.5%.

    Both Brent and WTI are down by about a third this year.

  9. Who is to blame for the housing shortage?

    Guardian newspaper 31 December 2015

    The front page article on today's Guardian says that British builders have enough land to create more than 600,000 homes. 

    According to the Guardian that raises a question of whether they are doing enough to solve Britain's housing crisis.

    One building industry executive mentioned in the article says that construction has been hampered by cuts in planning departments.

  10. We're back

    We've had a few technical issues this morning, so you may not have been able to view the Business Live page. But we're back up to full speed now.

  11. FTSE 100 edges lower

    FTSE 100, year to do

    The FTSE 100 is a little lower in early trading. It is trading at 6,257, down 0.26%.

    As the chart above shows, April would have been a good time to sell the index as it hit an all-time high back then. Since the end of of April the index has fallen around 12%.

  12. Award to HMRC chief criticised

    Lin Homer, HMRC chief

    In its front page article The Times raises the failings of Lin Homer the chief executive of HMRC who has been named a Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath in the New Year Honours list.

    In 2013 the home affairs select committee said it was "astounded" when she was promoted to the top job at HMRC, the Times reports.

    The public accounts committee has accused her of "an unambitious and woefully inadequate" response to a National Audit Office report, the Times also reminds us.

  13. Senior Tory MP 'disappointed' over banking decision

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    "I am disappointed," says Mark Garnier, conservative member of the Treasury Select Committee and also served the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards.

    He is reacting to news that the City watchdog, the FCA, has dropped a planned inquiry into banking culture.

    "We are missing an opportunity to see what is best practice," says Mr Garnier.

    Is Chancellor Osborne behind the decision?

    Mr Garnier says there has always been a "great argument" over whether the Treasury is having more influence over the regulator than perhaps it ought to.

  14. Uber sees a revolution in travel

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Uber screen

    David Plouffe, from the taxi hailing company Uber, says that his company's service means that some customers are not buying cars.

    Uber's research shows 10% of people under 30 have given up a car, or were planning to buy a car and haven't.

    He says that two trends are contributing to that: the growing pace of urbanisation and the use of smartphones to organise social lives. 

    One upon a time, he reminds us, if you didn't have a car it was hard to have a social life.

    He also says that parking takes up 16% of space in world's cities and in the future we might be able to reclaim some of that land.

  15. Sports Direct to pay above minimum wage

    Sports Direct says that it will pay its staff and casual workers above the National Minimum Wage from tomorrow.

    The company estimates the move will cost it £10m next year.

    Earlier this month the company announced a review of the terms for all its agency workers.

    That followed a report in the Guardian that said lengthy compulsory security searches meant that some workers were losing out on pay.

  16. Bankers 'heaving a sigh of relief'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    We are "definitely" seeing a shift in the attitude towards bankers says Percival Stanion, from Pictet Asset Management on the Today Programme.

    He is reacting to news that the City watchdog, the FCA, has dropped a planned inquiry into the culture of banking. 

    It's "a signal that the government is off their backs," he says.

    Mr Percival does not think it's a coincidence that the decision comes at a time when HSBC is deciding whether to move its headquarters away from London.

  17. Regulators drop banking culture inquiry

    Canary Wharf

    The city regulator, the FCA, has dropped its plans to conduct an inquiry into the management culture and behaviour of staff in banking. The watchdog had intended to see whether pay, promotion, and other incentives contributed to the misconduct seen in previous years.

  18. Good morning

    Welcome to this New Year's eve Business Live page. The City regulator has abandoned a planned investigation into the behaviour and culture of bankers. Meanwhile, the boss of Easyjet, Carolyn McCall, has been made a Dame in the New Year Honours list. If you want to get in touch you can email us at