Last updateFri, 24 Mar 2017 12pm


HSBC to cut 8,000 jobs in the UK to reduce costs

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HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, is planning to cut 8,000 jobs in the UK in savings drive.

According to the BBC, the bank has 48,000 UK workers and will make cuts in both its retail and investment banking operations.

Chief executive Stuart Gulliver said he wanted to ensure that customers made a distinction between HSBC's investment and retail banking operations. The bank is being forced by new government rules to formally separate the two businesses.

"It's really sad that all our members, all the hard work they've done to try to get the bank back working properly after all the scandals of the last few years, are going to be paying with their jobs," told BBC Dominic Hook, national officer with the union Unite. 

Selfridges on record annual profits for 2015

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Selfridges has announced that operating profits rose 3.4% to £155m for the year ending January 2015. The company reports gross sales of £1.3bn, helped by strong online performance.

British-Canadian businessman, Galen Weston, now owns the department store group. All its four stores, in London, Birmingham and Manchester, and its online business saw year-on-year growth.

Selfridges’s expansion plans are for the next three years, and during 2015 the company began a refurbishment of its Oxford Street store. The company also opened a new beauty hall in Birmingham and made some additions to its Exchange Square store in Manchester.

“Our performance has consolidated our lead and combined with our £300m investment places Selfridges in the top tier of global luxury retailing,” says Paul Kelly, group-managing director of Selfridges.

Business travel expenses, “biggest time waster”

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Each expense report for a business trip with accommodation takes an average of 20 minutes and creates processing costs of £37, according to a study conducted by Hotels Solutions Provider HRS.

Accounting for business travel expenses is one of the biggest cost factors and time wasters in companies, as revealed in the latest white paper released by the GBTA Foundation and HRS, which surveyed more than 500 travel managers from companies around the world.

The process is also error-prone: around one in five claims are incorrect and each correction takes a further 18 minutes and costs £33.

"When looking for potential savings, most companies only look at direct costs, such as the price of train tickets, flights or hotel rooms. But there are much greater potential savings in improving the processing of travel expense reports. The key to this is an automated and digitalised process that removes the need for manual entry and attaching receipts," said Tobias Ragge, chief executive of HRS. 

Debenhams boss to step down in 2016

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Debenhams chief executive, Michael Sharp, will step down in 2016 after five years in this role.

Several of the firms’ investors were unhappy with the retailer’s performance and had pushed for a board shake up.

Sharp has worked for Debenhams since 2011.

Despite Sharp’s efforts to increase shopper numbers, by cutting back on promotions and strengthening the online ordering and delivery options, the firm has seen little sales and profit growth in recent years.

"I accepted the job of chief executive with the intention of spending five years in the role and although it will be difficult to leave a fabulous company like Debenhams, now is the right time for the board to begin the process of identifying my successor," says Sharp.

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