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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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James Crosby to give up knighthood and 30% of pension

Category : Business

Request by discredited former HBOS chief comes after MPs’ report slammed his management of bank

• James Crosby’s statement in full

Sir James Crosby, the former boss of HBOS, has asked for his knighthood to be revoked after a scathing report by MPs found that he sowed the “seeds of destruction” at one of Britain’s biggest banks.

Crosby was chief executive of HBOS until 2006, but was described as the architect of a strategy that just two years later led to the bank having to be rescued by Lloyds and eventually bailed out with £20bn of taxpayers’ money.

He said he was “deeply sorry” for his role in HBOS’s failure and asked for his knighthood to be removed. He is believed to be the first person to have voluntarily offered to hand back a knighthood. The 57-year-old chose to give up the honour, granted in 2006, rather than face the prospect of being stripped of it – as Fred Goodwin, the former boss of RBS was last year.

Crosby also offered to hand back 30% of his £580,000-a-year pension. He will still collect £406,000 annually in pension payments – 80 times as much as the average private sector worker. On Tuesday he also quit his £125,000-a-year role on the board of catering company Compass.

Attention is now likely to turn to his successor at HBOS, Andy Hornby, and the chairman, crossbench peer Lord Stevenson, who were also blamed in the damning report.

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott said: “James Crosby has done the right thing. Clearly it’s not sustainable for Andy Hornby not to follow.”

Crosby’s decision came hours after David Cameron refused to intervene when MPs from all three main political parties called for action.

The former banker, who is sitting on a pension pot worth more than £20m, said he had “never sought to dissociate” himself from HBOS’s near-failure and its bailout by taxpayers.

“Shortly after I left HBOS, I received the enormous honour of a knighthood in recognition of my own – and many other people’s –contribution to the creation of a company which was then widely regarded as a great success,” he said.

“In view of what has happened subsequently to HBOS, I believe that it is right that I should now ask the appropriate authorities to take the necessary steps for its removal.”

The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards report, published on Friday, had described him as the “architect of the strategy that set the course for disaster”.

The MPs blamed Crosby for putting in place “a culture of perilously high–risk lending” with a lack of controls that “may have given rise to an accident waiting to happen”.

Crosby said the report, which described his misjudgments as “toxic”, made for “very chastening reading”.

The honours forfeiture committee, chaired by the head of the civil service Sir Bob Kerslake, will meet to discuss Crosby’s request for his knighthood to be revoked. A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said although it is believed to be the first time anyone has asked to have their knighthood revoked, Crosby’s request does not preclude the committee formally stripping him of the title if it is told to consider doing so – as happened with

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UBS working to ‘recover honour’

Category : Business

Swiss bank UBS is focused on recovering its past honour after being fined $1.5bn (£940m) for attempting to rig the Libor rate, an executive says.

Continued here: UBS working to ‘recover honour’

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Ex-FSA chief Hector Sants knighted in New Year honours list

Category : Business

Sants steered banking regulator through period of unprecedented turmoil before stepping down in June

Hector Sants, Britain’s top financial regulator during the 2008 banking crisis, has been awarded a knighthood, weeks before he takes up a new post at Barclays bank on a pay package worth a reputed £3m.

Sants, who stepped down as chief executive of the Financial Services Authority in June, steered the regulator through a period of unprecedented turmoil. Two years ago he was persuaded by George Osborne to stay on to help lay the ground for a new regulatory regime to succeed the FSA, which comes into effect early next year.

Sants was criticised in some quarters for failing to see the crash coming, as well as for the feeble penalties meted out to a small number of bankers linked to failing financial institutions.

A month after the government bailouts of Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group in 2008, the Queen described the banking crash as “awful”, asking: “Why did nobody notice it?”

This month during a visit to the Bank of England, she inquired whether the FSA “did not have the teeth” to keep the banks in check – a question she will now get to ask Sants in person.

By recommending Sants for a top honour, ministers are signalling their unequivocal gratitude for his contribution to keeping the banking system from systemic meltdown.

Sants’ version of events is that he had expressed misgivings about the “light touch” nature of FSA regulation long before the US subprime mortgage crisis exploded into a global banking shock in the summer of 2007.

After his promotion to lead the FSA in July that year there was nothing he could have done, he said, to prevent Northern Rock spiralling toward nationalisation or RBS’s disastrous acquisition of its Dutch rival ABN Amro. The goal had become one of crisis management and damage limitation.

Osborne, who announced the abolition of the FSA as one of his first moves as chancellor in 2010, has always been careful to exempt Sants from his savage analysis of the regulator’s track record. On news of his departure from the FSA, the chancellor described Sants as an “outstanding public servant”.

Osborne wanted Sants to become the first chief executive of the Prudential Regulation Authority, one of the new bodies to succeed the FSA, but in March Sants announced he would step down before the PRA came into operation.

This month it emerged he was taking up a newly created post at Barclays, tasked with overhauling the bank’s regulatory compliance procedures.

Barclays has received four fines totalling £70m from the FSA in less than three years, the largest and most recent being a £59.5m penalty for misconduct relating to attempts over several years to manipulate the so-called Libor interest rates, used by banks lending to one another.

This year Barclays clashed with the Treasury over its aggressive approach to certain tax structures, leading to a unorthodox public announcement from the chancellor that he had moved to block two “highly abusive” tax schemes that could have cost the taxpayer £500m.

Also rewarded in the New Year honours list is Mridul Hedge, the former director of financial stability at the Treasury. From 2008 until this year she was the chief Treasury mandarin responsible for the government’s intervention in the banking sector and for overseeing the taxpayers’ multibillion-pound stakes in the most troubled finance houses. She becomes a Companion of the Order of Bath.

Sir Alan Budd, a civil servant brought out of retirement by Osborne to set up the Office for Budgetary Responsibility, receives a Knight Grand Cross.

A smattering of business leaders appear in the list, but names from the banking industry are once again conspicuous by their absence. Those receiving CBEs include Nicholas Ferguson, the BSkyB chairman and former private equity boss, for philanthropy and services to education. Ferguson once sparked outrage when he observed that private equity millionaires paid less tax than their cleaners.

Peter Marks, chief executive of the Co-op Group, Tony Pidgley, chairman of Berkeley Group, and Martha Lane Fox, co-founder of, are all honoured.

Michael Terrett, the chief operating officer at Rolls-Royce, is awarded a CBE. Rolls-Royce is facing investigation by the Serious Fraud Office over allegations of bribery linked to aero-engine contracts.

The lord mayor of London, David Wootton, a former corporate lawyer, is to receive a knighthood.

Royal Mail under growing pressure over Paralympics commemorative stamps

Category : Business

Firm is urged to honour Paralympics gold medalists with their own stamps as it did for London 2012 Olympians

Royal Mail is coming under increasing pressure to honour Paralympic gold medalists with their own stamps as it did for London 2012 Olympians such as Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis.

The shadow Olympics minister, Tessa Jowell, has waded into the row, urging Royal Mail to reconsider its decision to honour every gold medal-winning performance in the Olympics with its own stamp but only celebrate Paralympics winners in a set of six stamps.

In a letter to the chief executive of Royal Mail, Jowell accuses the postal administrators of veering away from the spirit of integration of the Olympics and Paralympics in London 2012, a key feature in its organisation.

“From the moment that London won the right to host the Olympics and Paralympics in Singapore, we were always determined to ensure that they would be one vision and one Games,” wrote Jowell.

“The people of this country have demonstrated their enthusiasm for the Paralympics through record ticket sales and the prospect of the first ever sell-out Games. The stamps for Team GB’s gold medallists have been such an emblematic part of this nation’s celebrations during the Olympic Games. It would be a shame if this important symbol was not offered to our Paralympian heroes as well.”

Critics have questioned the Royal Mail’s decision, arguing Olympic and Paralympic athletes should receive equal treatment. “How are we going to inspire this generation and the future children of this generation if you exclude our Paralympians from the full celebration of the UK’s sporting achievements?” said one person commenting on the British Paralympic Association website.

“Are they somehow not good enough or perhaps not worthy enough to have their individual achievements recognised?”

Another wrote: “Royal Mail will be perfectly able to issue personal stamps. May take a little longer due to the amount of golds our Paralympic athletes are expected to win, but that is no excuse.”

Royal Mail have defended the move saying it paid tribute to Paralympians, who will also be honoured with a gold post box in their home town.

Tim Cowen of Royal Mail said: “We’re honoured to be celebrating the achievements of ParalympicsGB. We will be doing more than any other postal administration in history to celebrate the Paralympic Games and Paralympic athletes. For the first time ever, all gold medal-winning Paralympic athletes will be asked to appear on Royal Mail’s ParalympicsGB gold medal winners stamps.

“The special issue of six stamps, featuring groups of gold medal winning Paralympians, will be issued on 27 September 2012, in conjunction with the British Paralympic Association.”

The British Paralympic Association has said it is “very pleased” with the plans in a statement on its website. It added that Royal Mail had also provided a £200,000 prize fund to be divided up equally between all the gold medallists.

“This is not exactly the same as Team GB where each gold medal-winning performance is commemorated by a stamp, but this is for a very good reason,” the statement added.

“In Beijing, ParalympicsGB won 42 gold medals over 10 days of competition, including nine in one day, and we are expecting a similarly world-class level of performance from our athletes this time around. As a result, it is logistically and practically impossible for Royal Mail to produce an individual stamp for every one of the gold medallists for ParalympicsGB.”

Minister Steven Blaney Joins the Valcartier Family Centre to Pay Tribute to Gilles Lamontagne

Category : World News

VALCARTIER, QUEBEC–(Marketwire – June 9, 2012) - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, participated in a ceremony at the Valcartier Family Centre paying tribute to the Honourable Gilles Lamontagne. Minister Blaney joined the Valcartier Family Centre team, Veterans and numerous dignitaries to honour Mr. Lamontagne, a Veteran and politician, for his unwavering commitment to military families.

See the article here: Minister Steven Blaney Joins the Valcartier Family Centre to Pay Tribute to Gilles Lamontagne

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Analysis: Violence sidelines Syrian moderates – The Associated Press

Category : Stocks
Analysis: Violence sidelines Syrian moderates
The Associated Press
By BASSEM MROUE, AP – 1 minute ago BEIRUT (AP) — The militarization of Syria's uprising has strengthened the most radical elements on both sides of the bloody, 13-month-old conflict, sidelining the moderate voices that many see as the best hope for
Syria is failing to honour ceasefire according to the UNHerald Sun
Ban urges swift UN deployment in Syriaeuronews
Allies Cite 'Last Hope' for Peace in SyriaWall Street Journal
Financial Times

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Tae-Hu Kim, a Student from Richmond Hill High School, Wins Provincial Education Award

Category : Stocks

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – March 11, 2012) - Tae-Hu Kim, a student at Richmond Hill High School, is the recipient of the highest honour that the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) can bestow upon a student-the Student Achievement Award (in honour of Marion Drysdale). ???

The rest is here: Tae-Hu Kim, a Student from Richmond Hill High School, Wins Provincial Education Award

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Canadian fatwa condemns ‘honour killings’

Category : World News

A Canadian imam issued a fatwa Saturday officially condemning honour killings and family violence.

Continued here: Canadian fatwa condemns ‘honour killings’

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Shafia father to appeal murder convictions

Category : World News

Father’s notice of appeal argues the trial judge erred in admitting evidence from an honour killings expert.

See more here: Shafia father to appeal murder convictions

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Martin Rowson on the stripping of Fred Goodwin’s knighthood – cartoon

Category : Business

The former head of Royal Bank of Scotland had his honour removed after intense political pressure

More here: Martin Rowson on the stripping of Fred Goodwin’s knighthood – cartoon

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