Business

McDonald's under pressure to scrap plastic straws

Image copyright Getty Images McDonald’s is to face a vote by shareholders about its use of plastic straws at its annual meeting on Thursday. A small shareholder is pressing the fast food giant to demonstrate “leadership in the elimination of plastic straws”. Keith Schnip wants the company to report on the risks to the business […]

Business

Ulster Bank to put vertical bank notes into circulation

The pound is taking a turn in a new direction with vertical notes. What will be the only sterling bank notes of upright orientation in circulation are being printed by Ulster Bank. The polymer £5 and £10 notes will enter circulation in Northern Ireland in 2019. All four of the banks currently in Northern Ireland […]

Business

Retail sales bounce back in April

Image copyright Reuters Retail sales rose by a better-than-expected 1.6% in April as consumers resumed spending after unseasonably cold weather earlier in the year. Petrol sales surged 4.7% after falling 6.9% in March after widespread snow disruption, official statistics show. Only department stores reported a decline, with sales volumes down 0.9%. However, Rob Kent-Smith of […]

Business

Deutsche Bank to cut more than 7,000 jobs

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Christian Sewing became Deutsche’s chief executive in April Deutsche Bank has said it will cut more than 7,000 jobs as Germany’s biggest lender attempts to return to profit. The bank said it would reduce global staffing levels from just over 97,000 to “well below 90,000”. Following a review of […]

Business

'Beast from the East' bites B&Q

Image copyright Kingfisher The wave of cold weather dubbed the Beast from the East took a big bite out of B&Q’s sales in the three months to 30 April, its owner Kingfisher has said. Like-for-like sales at the DIY chain tumbled 9% in the UK and Ireland. The woe was not contained to the UK […]

Business

China fines retailer Muji for listing Taiwan as a country

Image copyright Reuters Japanese retail chain Muji has been fined in China for listing Taiwan as a country on some of its packaging. The company has to pay 200,000 yuan (£23,400; $31,300) for listing Taiwan as a “country of origin”. Taiwan has been self-ruling since 1950 but Beijing regards it as a breakaway province of […]

Business

Comcast in 'advanced stages' of 21st Century Fox bid

Image copyright Getty Images Cable TV giant Comcast says it is considering a takeover offer for Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, setting the stage for showdown with Walt Disney. Disney has agreed to pay $52.4bn for Fox, but Comcast said it was in the “advanced stages” of preparing a better bid. Any offer would be […]

Business

Water resistant sunscreen claims ‘meaningless’, says Which?

Image copyright Getty Images Water-resistant sunscreen products work much less well after they have been worn in the sea, a consumer group has warned ahead of the summer holiday season. Which? tested two products claiming to be water resistant and found the sun protection factor (SPF) dropped by up to 59% after 40 minutes in […]

Business

'Sense of betrayal'

Image caption The UK joined the then European Economic Community in 1973, before voters agreed in a 1975 referendum that it should remain It was a story of break-up and betrayal, and of a long-distance relationship that went sour. It’s not a cliffhanger from Shortland Street, New Zealand’s longest-running TV soap opera, but a real-life […]

Business

Uber ends Arizona driverless car programme

Image copyright Reuters Image caption National Transportation Safety Board investigators have examined the vehicle involved in the crash Uber has pulled the plug on its self-driving car operation in Arizona two months after a pedestrian was killed in an accident involving one of its cars. However, the ride-hailing company said it hopes to resume self-driving […]

Business

Paddy Power Betfair buys fantasy sports site Fan Duel

Image copyright Getty Images Gambling firm Paddy Power Betfair has agreed to merge with the US fantasy sports betting site Fan Duel. It wants to target the US sports betting market that is set to open up after a court decision. In May, the US Supreme Court overturned 1992 legislation that banned sports betting in […]

Business

Brexit: Technology-based customs system 'could cost £20bn'

Image copyright Getty Images The post-Brexit customs system favoured by Boris Johnson and other leading Brexiteers could cost businesses up to £20bn, officials have suggested. The chief executive of HM Revenue and Customs told MPs firms would have to pay £32.50 for each customs declaration under the so-called “max fac” solution. John Thompson said any […]