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  1. Get in touch:
  2. China threatens US over Huawei sanctions
  3. Walmart and Cisco lift Wall Street on open
  4. Pound falls after calls for May to resign
  5. RBS and other banks fined over currency rigging
  6. National Grid says profit declines amid nationalisation calls

Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    BBC testcard

    That's it for today from Business Live - thanks for reading. We'll be back bright and early at 06:00 on Friday.

    Do join us then for all the latest breaking news and analysis.

  2. Russian bots rigged talent show result

    Mikella Abramova

    The result of a popular Russian TV talent show - The Voice Kids - has been cancelled after thousands of fraudulent votes were found to have handed victory to a millionaire's young daughter.

    There were complaints after singer Mikella Abramova, aged 10, won with 56.5% of the phone-in vote.

    She is the daughter of pop singer Alsou and wealthy businessman Yan Abramov.

    State-owned Channel One TV says it will make its voting system safer, and the children will appear in a special show.

  3. Former Apple exec joins Airbnb

    Apple's head of retail Angela Ahrendts

    Angela Ahrendts, formerly chief executive of Burberry and head of retail for Apple, has been appointed to the board of directors at Airbnb.

    Ms Ahrendts was chief executive at Burberry for eight years, before spending five years overseeing global retail at Apple, which now has over 500 retail stores in 25 countries.

    Before Burberry, she was executive vice president at Liz Claiborne, and earlier in her career was president of Donna Karan International.

  4. From rough sleeper to Ted Baker designer

    Video content

    Video caption: From sleeping on the streets to designing for Ted Baker

    Jamal Reilly spent years sleeping rough on the streets of London.

    Now, the 20-year-old has been recruited as a designer for Ted Baker after his talents for drawing were spotted by a homeless charity.

  5. Wall Street ends higher

    Wall Street traders

    Wall Street shares have ended higher, as upbeat earnings results and strong economic data put investors in a buying mood.

    At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 25,862.81, a rise of 215 points or 0.84%.

    The S&P 500 was at 2,874.00, that's 23 points or 0.81% higher.

    And the Nasdaq Composite finished at 7,898.05, up 76 points or 0.97%.

  6. International cyber-crime gang busted

    Hands typing code on a computer

    An international crime gang which used malware to steal $100m (£77m) from more than 40,000 victims has been dismantled.

    A complex police operation conducted investigations in the US, Bulgaria, Germany, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

    The gang infected computers with GozNym malware, which captured online banking details to access bank accounts.

    The gang was put together from criminals who advertised their skills on online forums.

    The details of the operation were revealed at the headquarters of the European police agency Europol in The Hague.

  7. Tuition fees review expected as May's legacy

    Sean Coughlan

    BBC News, education correspondent


    A review recommending a cut in university tuition fees in England is expected to be published in the next couple of weeks.

    A lower fee of about £7,500 is expected to be part of Theresa May's "legacy" plans, ahead of her anticipated departure from No 10.

    The review, headed by Philip Augar, will argue for better funding for vocational training, including wider access to student finance.

    But universities fear a loss of income.

  8. Tesla: Don't worry, battery fires spread slowly

    Tesla logo

    Tesla is issuing over-the-air software updates for Model S and Model X cars on Thursday following recent fires in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

    On Tuesday, Hong Kong's Apple Daily newspaper reported that a Tesla car caught fire in a shopping centre car park 30 minutes after being parked.

    Tesla says: "We currently have well over half a million vehicles on the road, which is more than double the number that we had at the beginning of last year, and Tesla’s team of battery experts uses that data to thoroughly investigate incidents that occur and understand the root cause.

    "Although fire incidents involving Tesla vehicles are already extremely rare and our cars are 10 times less likely to experience a fire than a gas car, we believe the right number of incidents to aspire to is zero.

    "As we continue our investigation of the root cause, out of an abundance of caution, we are revising charge and thermal management settings on Model S and Model X vehicles via an over-the-air software update that will begin rolling out today, to help further protect the battery and improve battery longevity."

    It said of the reports of the fire in Hong Kong:

    “Our team was onsite to offer support to our customer and establish the facts of this incident. We are glad that everyone is safe.

    "While our investigation with authorities is ongoing, we have found that only a few battery modules were affected and the majority of the battery pack is undamaged.

    "Tesla battery packs are engineered with a state-of-the-art design so that in the very rare instance a fire does occur, it spreads very slowly and vents heat away from the cabin, alerting occupants that there is an issue and giving them enough time to exit the vehicle.

    "The safety of our customers is our top priority, and if we do identify an issue, we will do whatever is necessary to address it."

  9. More on British Steel


    More on British Steel - the firm says said it has the backing of shareholders and lenders and that operations are continuing as usual.

    Reports have suggested the steelmaker needs up to £75m or it could go bust.

    British Steel is the UK's second largest steel firm, employing 4,500 people and about 20,000‎ indirectly via its supply chain.

    In April the firm was forced to borrow £100m from the government to pay an EU carbon bill, so it could avoid a steep fine.

    However, concerns about its future were raised this week after Sky News reported that insolvency experts had been lined up in case the firm could not secure further government funding.

    It is understood that along with administration, nationalisation or a management buyout are being discussed as fall-back options for the company.

  10. Uber challenger launches in London

    Kapten app

    Kapten, a French ride-hailing app backed by car manufacturers Daimler and BMW, has launched in London today.

    Kapten takes a swipe at Uber with its new ad campaign, which claims that it pays its taxes locally and isn't avoiding VAT, unlike other firms.

    The new ride-hailing app will offer rides exclusively in Zones 1-5 in London to start with, and it is offering 50% off first rides.

    However, Kapten insists that even after the offer ends, its prices will still be at least 20% cheaper than its competitors, and at least £2 cheaper than Uber, because the ride-hailing app firm has promised to cover the £2 congestion and clean-air charges for its drivers for the rest of this year.

  11. UK to scrap passenger landing cards

    UK Border Control staff uniforms

    All landing cards for international passengers arriving in the UK will be scrapped from Monday.

    Landing cards are currently filled in by passengers arriving in the UK by air or sea from outside the European Economic Area.

    Border Force director general Paul Lincoln, in a letter to staff, said it would "help meet the challenge of growing passenger numbers".

    But unions warned it risked weakening immigration controls.

  12. BreakingBritish Steel issues statement

    British Steel's Scunthorpe plant

    British Steel, which said on Tuesday that it was seeking further financial support from the government to help it address "Brexit-related issues", has sent the BBC a new statement.

    “British Steel has the backing of its key stakeholders, including shareholders and lenders, and operations continue as normal," said a spokesperson.

    “As the business navigates the significant uncertainties caused by Brexit, and explores options to strengthen the business for the long term, we are pleased to confirm that we have the required liquidity while we work towards a permanent solution.

    “We are grateful for the support that our stakeholders and the British Government have provided to date.”

  13. 'Zombie firms' warning for economy

    A man doing accounts

    Nearly one in 10 Scottish firms are showing "zombie-like symptoms", according to a new report.

    KPMG found that 9% of about 1,100 firms it analysed north of the border were under sustained financial strain.

    The figure was the highest of the home nations.

    KPMG said so-called "zombie firms" suffered from issues such as static or falling turnover, low profitability, squeezed margins, high debt levels and a limited ability to invest.

  14. Airbus investment affected by Brexit

    Theo Leggett

    BBC International Business Correspondent

    Chinese President Xi Jinping applauds as Guillaume Faury and Jia Baojun shake hands

    Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury (pictured right) has emphasised that Brexit uncertainty was affecting investment by the company in the UK.

    He said "we are witholding a lot of decisions", he said. Short term operations and investments in technologies had not stopped, but the lack of clarity was blocking the company's ability to plan long term.

    He said uncertainty meant Airbus was facing a "status quo situation in a world which is going very fast."

    He said the worst case scenario remained a no-deal Brexit, and the company was preparing for all possible scenarios, including no-deal.

    Asked about its partner Bombardier's plan to sell its operations in Belfast - where wings for the Airbus A220 are made - he said he was starting to look at a number of alternatives, including potentially bringing wing production in-house.

    But he said it was premature to speculate about the possibility of buying the Belfast facility.

  15. Metro Bank to sell shares at 500p each

    Metro Bank

    Metro Bank is hoping to raise £350m by selling shares at 500p each. For comparison, today's closing price was 545p.

    The bank says it intends to use the funds raised to enable it to further grow its loan balances and risk-weighted assets, while investing in the expansion of stores and new technologies.

    A shareholder meeting will be held on 3 June to approve the share issue.

  16. London ends higher

    London Stock Exchange

    London shares have ended higher, joining European markets in focusing optimistically on the possibility that the US will delay implementing tariffs on automobiles.

    The FTSE 100 closed 56.6 points or 0.8% ahead to 7,353.51, led by British financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown, which rose 3.8% to £24.33 after reporting a 6% rise in revenues for the first quarter of 2019, despite lower share trading volumes.

    The FTSE 250 ended 160.9 points or 0.8% up to 19,530.65. Top of the winners was biotechnology firm Genus, which jumped 14% to £28.84 after announcing a new deal to bring virus-resistant pigs produced from edited genes to China.

  17. BT staff to get £500 in shares every year

    Philip Jansen

    Staff at BT are to get a payout of £500 a year in company shares, new boss Philip Jansen has said.

    The awards are meant to improve motivation as the firm continues with a difficult turnaround plan.

    Britain's largest telecoms company is in the midst of laying off 13,000 workers as its seeks to cut costs.

    The shares will go to BT staff around the world, but will need to be held for three years before they can be cashed in.

  18. Pret a Manger in talks to buy Eat

    Pret A Manger store

    Pret a Manger is reportedly planning to buy rival Eat and turn the chain's 94 stores into vegetarian outlets.

    Pret, which has 400 stores in the UK, has four branded as "Veggie Pret" and is aiming to jump on the trend for vegetarian and vegan foods.

    It comes as plant-based foods are increasing in popularity, with shares in US company Beyond Meat soaring at this month's stock market debut.

    Both Pret a Manger and Eat declined to comment.