Amazon becomes new broadcast sponsor for The Great British Bake Off in £5m deal

'We’re looking forward to working with Amazon as we build towards the launch of one of the biggest TV events of the year'
Amazon has been announced as the new broadcast sponsor for the second series of Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off in a deal reported to be worth around £5m.
The sponsorship also extends across The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice, any festive episodes and Bake Off: The Professionals.
Last year’s sponsors were Lyle’s Golden Syrup and Dr. Oetker, marking the first time the popular baking programme had received sponsorship following its move from the commercial free BBC to Channel 4.
Read more Donald Trump openly attacks Amazon over taxes and business practices Amazon shares fall after claims Trump wants to ‘go after’ tech giant Amazon to drop $1bn on adaptation of one of Obama’s favourite books Amazon wins grocery foothold in France through Monoprix deal Channel 4’s head of digital and partnership innovation, Jonathan Lewis, said: “It’s a g..

Barclays to pay $2bn settlement over fraud case going back to financial crisis

Barclays has agreed to pay $2bn (£1.4bn) to settle a US civil action related to the mis-selling of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) in the run-up to the financial crisis.
Two former Barclays executives also agreed to pay $2m to resolve claims brought against them, the US Department of Justice said on Thursday
The complaint, filed in December 2016, Barclays caused billions of dollars in losses to investors by engaging in a fraudulent scheme to sell 36 RMBS, and that it misled investors about the quality of the mortgage loans backing those deals.
It alleged that Barclays' investment banking division, Barclays Capital, had committed mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and other misconduct.
“This settlement reflects the ongoing commitment of the Department of Justice, and this Office, to hold banks and other entities and individuals accountable for their fraudulent conduct,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “The substantial penalty Barclays and its executives..

UK business needs more clarity on Brexit – and maybe a longer transition period

Spring is a time of new beginnings. In this spirit, last week’s European Council summit, which allows the UK and EU to move on to discussing our future relationship, was roundly welcomed by business.
Companies are hoping for the withdrawal agreement to be signed off by the EU member states as soon as possible, by the October European Council summit at the latest. This agreement needs to happen well before our formal withdrawal from the EU, as this will provide the most legally watertight certainty for companies in terms of transition, regardless of the shape our post-Brexit relationship.
Read more Brexit: Business as usual for firms during transition period, says BoE But it is also imperative we get down to detailed trade negotiations quickly. Although these discussions cannot conclude until Britain is formally out of the EU, talks on the framework for future relations should not drag on at the expense of starting on the specifics. Businesses need details to plan, not just an outl..

A View from the Top: Joanna Dai, the ex-banker determined to make professional womenswear comfortable

As a banker, she could cope with the gruelling hours and tedious tasks. The waistband of her trousers after 20 hours of travelling though? That was another issue
It’s often said that if you want to launch a successful business, there’s nothing more important than knowing your audience.
Joanna Dai arguably couldn’t have known her audience any better when she launched a high-end fashion brand for professional women back in October 2016. That’s because she was her audience.
The California native’s resume makes for impressive reading. A graduate of New York’s Ivy League Cornell University, she joined now-defunct investment bank Bear Stearns as a summer analyst just before the financial crisis. That led to a full-time job at Wall Street giant JP Morgan in the summer of 2008 and her CV over the following years is peppered with imposing-looking jargon.
Credit default valuations were the focus of her first role at the banking powerhouse, before she moved into interest rate risk management…

'We don't want to work in a warehouse': how a recording studio started by an Essex grime artist is opening doors

Young people are turning to their own business ideas to help them out of a trap of poor quality or precarious jobs
It’s Friday night on an industrial estate in Grays, a small town on the Thames estuary in Essex, and all the units have closed their shutters for the weekend except one.
Uncxt Studios has been open day and night since May 2017. It is the dream of Connor Hammond, aka SmallzDeep, a 25-year-old grime artist who was born in Essex but left school and home when he was 16.
Hammond ended up in the south-west, where he lived on the streets and had multiple run-ins with the police over weapons and drugs offences. After a spell in prison just after he turned 18, he realised he needed to turn his life round: “That’s when all of my efforts went into being a recording artist.”
He began to make a name for himself as SmallzDeep, getting played on Radio 1 and mixing with some of the big names in grime. When he eventually came back to Grays, he found that opportunities for young peopl..

Brexit: UK business should not be complacent ahead of leaving the EU

There is a lot more work to do before Brexit takes place, despite the new agreement on a transition period
“A week is a long time in politics”. So said Harold Wilson. But for most of us, the last year feels like a lifetime, from the triggering of Article 50 last March to a transition agreed last week.
While the past 12 months have been difficult for businesses, slowly but surely there are signs that the voice of prosperity – and the crucial evidence put forward by the business community – is being heard.
Read more We went on a tour of Brexit Britain and this is what we found Last week’s agreement of transition until December 2020 was a genuinely historic handshake with real and immediate consequences. A quarter of our members who are planning for Brexit told us they would trigger contingency plans by the end of March if no transition was agreed. Some will now press pause on these plans, others will slow them, while EU firms with supply chains into the UK will be relieved with the..

Here is the Brexit dilemma: People didn't vote to be poorer, but they didn't vote to be ignored either

Whatever side of the Brexit divide you’re on, you’re being dishonest unless you balance the economics and the politics
One year down, one to go. The Brexit process rolls on. But how much has been achieved? How much remains to be done? Where are we headed? And, crucially, is it worth continuing with it? On this latter point, both sides in a still highly polarised and bad-tempered debate are guilty of oversimplification.
One thing is abundantly clear, wherever we are headed we are not headed there at the speed the government predicted. When triggering Article 50, on 29 March last year, the Prime Minister stated that ‘we believe that it is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal from the EU.’ That dream (or illusion) is no more.
Read more Brexit is already raising questions about the unity of the UK Moreover, because predicting how Parliament will deal with Brexit between now and the end of the year is a mug’s game, all outcomes – fro..

GKN-Melrose takeover deal: When is the deadline and why is it important to the UK?

Critics have accused Melrose of being an 'asset stripper' looking to a dismember a historic and nationally important British company
Shareholders in UK engineering giant GKN have until 1pm on Thursday to decide whether to vote in favour of an £8.1bn hostile takeover by investment firm Melrose industries.
The deal would the biggest hostile takeover of a UK company since Kraft bought Cadbury's in 2010.
Like that deal, it has been highly controversial. The business secretary, Greg Clark, belatedly waded in this week to raise concerns and push for reassurances from Melrose’s management over pensions and jobs, while saying he was “mindful” of national security issues.
Read more GKN: Business Secretary intervenes amid anger over Melrose's bad bid But what are the two companies and why has the takeover caused so many issues?
What is GKN and why is it important? GKN is a British engineering firm with a history going back to the birth of the industrial revolution. T..