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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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Arrests follow alleged pension fraud

Category : Business, World News

Police have made a number of arrests in the first operation of its kind to tackle suspected fraudulent pension liberation schemes.

Original post: Arrests follow alleged pension fraud

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Rise in homes seized by lenders

Category : Business

The number of UK homes repossessed in the first three months of the year rose slightly compared with the previous quarter, lenders say.

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Has Sports Direct scored a pricing own goal?

Category : Business

The website advertised a shirt at £13 but raised the price to £17 when I went to buy it

I recently found a Nike Tech Golf Polo shirt on the Sports Direct website for £13. But as soon as I tried to buy it, it came up in the “my bag” area (basket) at £17. My complaint was ignored, but when I looked again, the price had been increased to £17. What’s the legal position? JC, by email

This is a question that is increasingly being asked, especially on the back of the boom in internet shopping, and a number of high-profile online price gaffes. Quite simply, retailers are under no obligation to sell you items that have been incorrectly priced, whether you are in a store, or looking online.

Most online retailers’ terms and conditions state that the contract is formed at the point of despatch, allowing them to check the transaction and correct any errors. So had Sports Direct charged you £13 for the shirt and sent it out, it could not then demand the extra £4 if it later realised its error. The same would be true if you bought it in store, and then left the shop with the item.

Equally, if you see a £399 computer advertised for £3.99, and you buy and pay for 10 computers, the retailer will not be required to go through with the sale, assuming it spots the mistake before it sends them out to you.

If it sent them to you, there would be no obligation on you to pay the difference if later asked.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at or write to Bachelor & Brignall, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number

Contactless payments: which banks are in touch?

Category : Business

Retailers have readily embraced the ‘wave and pay’ revolution, but some banks have been slow off the mark

Starbucks is the latest big-name retailer to embrace contactless payments, but has the cash-free shopping revolution hit a roadblock?

Some of Britain’s banks have only issued contactless cards to a small proportion of customers and a survey published last week found many people are wary of the technology.

For several years, debit and credit cards displaying the contactless “wave” symbol have been hyped as the next big thing in banking and retail because they enable customers to pay for less costly items (£20 or less) without having to key in a pin number or scrabble around for cash. Instead, they simply scan their plastic over a reader at the till.

Since the first such cards were introduced by Barclaycard in 2007, a growing number of retailers have been offering this form of payment. Now Starbucks, after testing the technology in a few of its outlets, is rolling it out nationally. From this Friday, 10 May, all 570 Starbucks-owned branches in the UK will accept contactless payments and the company predicts that by the end of the year, they will make up around 10%-20% of all eligible transactions.

Ian Cranna, the UK marketing vice-president of Starbucks, which has come under fire recently for its UK tax arrangements, says: “More and more of our customers are using alternatives to cash and we want to offer them the quickest and most convenient way to pay – which is not only great news for them but also for other customers in the queue.”

Getting more household-name retailers on board will boost the scheme but shoppers can only make contactless payments if their bank or card company has given them one of the new-style cards. When Guardian Money rang round some of the main financial institutions, we found they have adopted varying approaches to the technology. Of the 31m-plus contactless credit and debit cards in circulation in the UK, almost 20m have been issued by Barclays or Barclaycard.

New research from price comparison site claims that only 6% of Britons have so far made a contactless payment using a credit or debit card. This was based on a survey of more than 2,000 UK adults carried out in March. The study also found that large numbers of Britons are wary of new payment technologies, with one in four saying they find the idea of contactless

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TV review: Eddie Stobart – Trucks and Trailers

Category : Business

Need some overblown nonsense about heroic truck drivers and impressive-sounding numbers? Send for Eddie Stobart

Eddie Stobart is shifting up a gear,” we’re told at the start of series five (five!) of Eddie Stobart: Trucks and Trailers (Channel 5). “They’re already one of the kings of road and rail. Now they’re aiming high, flying to an ever-growing number of international destinations.”

What, there’s now an Eddie Stobart airline, is there? With green-and-red planes whose pilots are Yorkie-eating men with big bellies and tats? Oh, no – they now have one plane de-icing truck, operating at Southend Airport, glamorously. This show does a lot of that: turning the mundane into the extraordinary. So putting the plane de-icer to the “ultimate test” turns out to be … de-icing a plane. Guess what “the ultimate test” for trucker Peter Grant’s snow chains is? Yup, driving on a bit of snow. (The chains, incidentally are the “ace up [Peter's] sleeve in his fight against the frost.”)

The show throws a lot of impressive big numbers into the mix. Eddie Stobart’s red and green lorries drive half a million miles every day, the same distance as to the moon and back. The forest in Scotland where Peter, Eddie Stobart’s one and only log-wagon specialist, is picking up his logs is 100,000 acres in size, the same as 50,000 football pitches, and home to 40m trees. His monster 500-horsepower timber truck – Laura Jane – carries 25 tonnes of logs, the same weight as five elephants … etc.

Then there’s the odd truck-sounds-a-bit-like-fuck gag. Welsh driver Ashley Maddox has a day from “trucking hell” (he takes a few rolls of loft insulation from Wales and delivers them around London). And there’s a truckload of alliteration in the narration. “From the forests to the factory to the final destination in Kent is an epic 500-mile journey.” More big numbers, more heroic drivers, and a heroic rock guitar soundtrack, and there you have it, Eddie Stobart: Trucks and Trailers. I’d say it was more like an Eddie Stobart marketing film than a TV documentary. But then I’ve always been more of a Norbert Dentressangle man myself.

Jump in new home registrations

Category : Business

The house-building industry has reported a significant jump in the number of new homes being registered.

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Insolvencies at new five-year low

Category : Business, World News

The number of people and businesses becoming insolvent has fallen to its lowest level for five years, according to government figures.

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Homebuyers turn to five-year fixed-rate mortgages

Category : Business

The number of five-year fixes has increased 73% in the past year as two-year deals lose popularity with mortgage borrowers

Would you fix your mortgage for five years, seven or even 10? A few years ago the vast majority of people would have said no, opting instead for a cheaper, shorter-term two-year deal. But the tide has turned and increasing numbers of borrowers want the certainty of a longer-term commitment, say brokers – and lenders are offering more, and better, deals.

Tomorrow HSBC is launching the lowest ever five-year fixed rate at 2.49% for those with a 40% deposit or the equivalent equity (be warned; the fee is a whopping £2,000).

This is the first time a five-year fix has dropped below 2.5% – but it’s not just HSBC getting in on the act. In the last year, the number of five-year fixed-rate deals has increased by 73%, says data provider Moneyfacts. By comparison, the traditionally popular two-year fixes have only increased by 33%.

Sylvia Waycot, editor at said: “Five-year fixed-rate mortgages have traditionally been a bit too expensive to be the first choice for most of us. However, thanks to lenders enjoying cheap loans from the government this is changing.”

The government announced last week that it is extending its Funding for Lending scheme, which has been widely credited with bringing mortgage rates down for borrowers.

Experts believe rates on all mortgage terms could become more competitive in the year ahead. So, with all these cheap deals around, should you look to fix at all and if so, for how long?

Consider the base rate

Borrowers deciding whether to fix will undoubtedly want to take into account the widespread speculation that interest rates are unlikely to rise any time soon. “Our view is that we won’t see a rise in the 0.5% base rate until 2016,” says Rob Harbron, economist from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). “Expectations for continued low rates are a result of our outlook for the economy – weak growth conditions are expected to remain the ‘new normal’ for the next few years.”

Economist Ian Kernohan from Royal London Asset Management adds that as the UK is still in post-crisis recovery mode, this means disappointing growth and low interest rates for at least a few years. “We have pencilled in the first rate rise for late 2015 at the very earliest,” he says.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at the Halifax, adds that as interest rates look set to remain at the same level for the rest of the year, this offers a compelling reason for some borrowers to stay on tracker rates.

“However, a fix provides absolute certainty about the cost of monthly repayments,” he says.

Robin Barter, 44, and his wife, Tracey, 46, are among those who have just remortgaged on to a five-year fix for the first time. The couple live in a four-bedroom house in Oxfordshire with their three children: Scott, nine, Luke, seven, and Hugh, four.

Prior to remortgaging, the Barters had held tracker mortgages with Halifax for 14 years but have now switched to NatWest. “Initially, I thought we’d go for another tracker, as I’m familiar with this kind of deal,” says Robin, an account director. “But when we contacted broker London & Country, they came back with the same conclusion that I was starting to reach, that in the current economic climate we’d be better on a fix.

“Given that the base rate is only going to go up at some point, we decided to go for a five-year fix with NatWest.”

This was priced at 2.99% and came with a £995 fee; the deal also offered both free valuation and legal work. “Locking into a low five-year fix now gives us peace of mind that our payments are protected for longer,” says Robin.

“It also means we won’t have to pay fees to remortgage again in a few years, as we would with a shorter deal.”

Beware sky-high fees

For some borrowers, choosing a rock-bottom mortgage rate may be a false economy, according to Andrew Montlake from broker Coreco.

“Having to remortgage and pay high arrangement fees every two years may not be the best way to go,” he says.

“For example, while borrowers may like the sound of HSBC’s two-year fix at 1.89%, at up to 60% loan-to-value (LTV), the fee of £1,999 adds roughly 0.5% to the rate spread over the two years. As a result, Norwich & Peterborough’s fix with a slightly higher rate of 1.99% at up to 60% LTV and a fee of £995 could be a better option over two years.” The key is to factor in the product fee as well as the headline rate. “This will determine whether you are better off paying a higher fee and taking the very lowest rate, or opting for a slightly higher rate with a lower arrangement fee,” says Montlake.

Is two years long enough?

With little expectation of the base rate climbing in the near term, brokers say borrowers are increasingly turning to deals that protect their payments for longer than two years.

After the new HSBC five-year fix, the lowest on rate alone is Yorkshire building society at 2.59% at 60% LTV. Again, this comes with a £1,475 fee. Norwich & Peterborough building society has a five-year fix at 2.74% at 60% LTV with a much lower fee of

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BG Group Plc (BRGYY: OTCQX International Premier) | Blocklisting six monthly return

Category : World News

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Winning Brands Corp. (WNBDD: OTC Pink Current) | Winning Brands Reverse Stock Split

Category : Stocks

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Winning Brands Reverse Stock Split

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, April 24, 2013

NEW YORK, April 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Winning Brands Corporation (OTC Pink: WNBD) announces that a reverse split of its common stock will go into effect as of April 25, 2013 on a basis of 1:500. A 90% reduction in the current authorized level of common stock will be implemented by the Winning Brands Board, providing a new lower common share cap of 500 million.

The result of the action will be a reduction in the number of Winning Brands common shares outstanding to 9,996,078 as of April 25th. No fractional shares will be issued. The trading symbol will be WNBDD for 20 days in order to designate the corporate action, following which the symbol will revert to WNBD. The new CUSIP Number will be 975012204.

Winning Brands CEO, Eric Lehner, comments further: “There are two benefits to the company from this action. The first pertains to corporate finance. This share consolidation is a step toward the company’s previously announced plan to become registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission by adopting a more conventional share structure and thus providing a more attractive basis for financing the registration related activities. Appointment of auditors registered with the PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board) will follow. If SEC registration is obtained, Winning Brands will seek quotation at the OTCQB level of with possible dollar volume liquidity advantages for shareholders. The second benefit to Winning Brands is an improved basis to accelerate operational work, including the recruitment of new sales personnel, with the top priority being the hiring of U.S. sales management.”

Most Winning Brands common shareholders do not need to take special steps in order for their holdings to be converted into the new shares, because this will be carried out automatically by FINRA member investment dealerships before and during trading transactions, with restated holdings appearing automatically in electronic accounts, pertaining to the new CUSIP number. Winning Brands shares are not currently eligible for clearance through all brokerages and implementation procedure amongst organizations may vary.

All shareholders are invited to e-mail the company with questions. The questions will be tabulated and form the basis of a conference call to be announced in the first week of May, in which answers, clarification and further explanation will be provided. Please address all enquiries to the Office of the Assistant to the CEO: Mr. Lehner maintains a CEO weblog for the benefit of shareholders at It serves as an overview of operational highlights, provides answers to many shareholder questions and should be considered a source of public information pertaining to the company pursuant to SEC Fair Disclosure guidelines.

Mr. Lehner concludes: “This is a case of Winning Brands advancing. The reverse split is part of an assertive registration and company uplisting effort. Winning Brands has risen upward through the OTC ranks of non-reporting issuers in our formative years to reach the highest available level in Pink Sheets, “Current Information”. Now we are targeting the next level up – OTCQB. In the business, we have earned very desirable retailer relationships as a foundation for success. We must increase consumer awareness of our products and consumer traffic to these well-known retailers. Additionally, aggressive business development in the industrial and commercial sectors with our existing products, as well as new ones that are currently under development, is being planned. The bottom line is that we can accomplish a great deal more and are ambitious to get it done. We continue to mature as a young publicly held venture and look forward to deepening our relationships on all sides”.

ABOUT WINNING BRANDS CORPORATION: Winning Brands is a manufacturer of advanced cleaning solutions including 1000+ Stain Remover, World’s Most Versatile Cleaning Solution™, through its subsidiary Niagara Mist Marketing Ltd. 1000+ is an alternative to conventional cleaning solvents and is considered to have unique desirable properties. 1000+ Stain Remover is a Schedule Contract Holder under the U.S. Government’s General Service Administration and is now registered with the U.S. Department of Defense EMALL. The innovative stain remover and multi-cleaner was known during early marketing as Winning Colours. The brand’s remarkable cleaning characteristics in household, commercial and industrial applications can be seen on Facebook ( and Youtube ( 1000+ Stain Remover is available coast-to-coast in Canada in some of that country’s largest retailers and a growing number of U.S. outlets. Winning Brands intends to launch complementary products to its existing channels and expand its reach into additional sectors of its marketplace. The company’s goal is that 1000+ and its other Winning Brand peer products become household names and favourites in their categories. Additional key brands include CLEAN1 Hard Surface Cleaner, KIND Laundry Products and ReGUARD4 bunker gear cleaning solutions for firefighters.


Jean Wursten-May, Assistant to the CEO
220A-11 Victoria Street, Barrie, Ontario, Canada L4N 6T3
Tel: (705) 737-4062 Fax: (705) 737-9793

1000+, CLEAN1, KIND and ReGUARD4 are trademarks of Niagara Mist Marketing Ltd in connection with indicated uses. Safe Harbor: Statements contained in this news release, other than those identifying historical facts, constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Safe Harbor provisions as contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements relating to the Company’s future expectations, including but not limited to revenues and earnings, technology efficacy, strategies and plans, are subject to safe harbors protection. Actual Company results and performance may be materially different from any future results, performance, strategies, plans, or achievements that may be expressed or implied by any such forward-looking statements. The Company disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

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