UK retail sales fall at fastest rate in nearly five years

UK retail sales fell at the fastest rate in nearly five years last month, as shoppers spent less on clothing, footwear and household goods in the run-up to Christmas.

Which? warn that personal data is being sold for as little as 4p per record.

Personal data for sale on ‘huge scale’, warns consumer group

Potential scammers and nuisance callers could be able to buy sensitive personal and financial data for as little as 4p per record, according to a leading consumer group.

Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell questioned why the Scottish Government hadn't used their current powers to attract more migrants. Picture: Getty

Call to devolve immigration powers rejected by UK government

THE UK Government has rejected a call to consider devolving immigration powers to Scotland and changing visa arrangements to encourage students from other countries to stay on north of the border after graduating.

News 41
The Scottish Conservatives called on Mr Corbyn and Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale to rule out any change to Labours policy to retain the Barnett Formula. Picture: John Devlin

Labour candidate pledges to ‘call time’ on Barnett Formula

A LABOUR mayoral candidate has vowed to “call time” on the the Barnett Formula in opposition to party policy on the day leader Jeremy Corbyn travelled to Scotland.

News 11
HSBC said it would be contacting customers who are due a refund. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

HSBC to pay £4m over ‘unreasonable’ debt collection

HSBC has agreed to stump up £4 million to pay back customers subjected to “unreasonable” debt collection practices following a regulatory probe.

Martin Flanagan believes other banks will follow HSBC in shipping significant numbers of workers to the EU following Theresa May's 'hard Brexit'. Picture: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Martin Flanagan: Others set to follow HSBC in EU migration

The problem with second-guessing bankers is that conscious inscrutability is in the DNA.

Financial 10
Aviva chief Mark Wilson insisted the group was 'growing in the UK'. Picture: Contributed

Aviva merges UK insurance operations in new shake-up

Life and pensions heavyweight Aviva is bringing together its UK life and general insurance businesses in a shake-up that also sees the departure of its European boss.

A drop in letter volumes offset a stronger performance from Royal Mail's parcels business. Picture: Julie Bull

Royal Mail letters arm feels impact of Brexit concerns

Business worries over Brexit sharply dented letter mailing in the nine months to Christmas as companies pulled a lot of their marketing post, Royal Mail revealed yesterday.

Companies 6
Michael Russell has warned Brexit talks between the UK Government and devolved administrations are increasingly likely to fail

Brexit deadlock looms as nations warn Article 50 talks could fail

Scotland’s Brexit minister has warned of the growing likelihood that the UK’s devolved administrations will refuse to support Brexit being triggered following “difficult” talks in London.

Politics 337
FreeAgent, led by chief executive Ed Molyneux, is to offer its services to small business customers of RBS and NatWest. Picture: Contributed

FreeAgent inks accounting software tie-up with RBS

FreeAgent, the Edinburgh-based accounting software specialist, has fought off competition from more than 30 rivals to land a deal with Royal Bank of Scotland.

People board the ferry leaving Banjul, Gambia, as special flights were being organised to evacuate British and other tourists. AP photo

UK tourists scramble to leave Gambia as troops gather

British holidaymakers told of a “chaotic” scramble to get on flights out of Africa when they landed home from crisis-torn Gambia.

World 2
Hundreds allege attacks in football child abuse probe

Hundreds allege attacks in football child abuse probe

More than 500 victims and 184 potential subjects have been identified as part of a police inquiry into child abuse in football.

UK 3
Halfords has bought a minority stake in a mobile tyre-fitting business. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Halfords drives into mobile tyre-fitting market

Halfords has reported a robust set of results for the festive period, with the bicycles to car parts chain planning to motor on after acquiring a minority stake in a mobile tyre-fitting business.

Angela Merkel insisted that Europe would present a united front in negotiations with the UK. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Brexit: EU warns of tough road ahead as Johnson sparks ‘beatings row’

European leaders have warned Theresa May that the UK’s Brexit deal will leave it worse off after she set out plans to pull out of the single market and seek a trade deal with the EU.

Politics 54 advert complained about by viewers

Adverts showing twerking men top list of complaints

Adverts featuring twerking businessmen in high heels and shorts and blind footballers kicking cats were among the most complained-about commercials of 2016.

Retail 2
Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank is to close branches and axe jobs, a union has warned

Clydesdale Bank ‘set to close 79 branches and axe 400 jobs’

Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank is to close 79 branches with the loss of more than 400 jobs, according to Unite.

Wins for favourites at Kempton Park proved unlucky for Ladbrokes Coral. Picture: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Ladbrokes to hit targets despite flurry of punter wins

Ladbrokes Coral has defied the “sporting gods” to remain on course for a rise in profits despite what the bookmaking major branded a “savage” December for football and horseracing results.

Media & Leisure
Martin Flanagan says the hospitality sector is facing 'attritional damage' rather than a 'perfect storm'. Picture: Ed Jones

Martin Flanagan: Inhospitable outlook for drinks sector

Scotland’s pubs, clubs and small hotels are being squeezed between inexorably rising business rates and utility bills, particularly in rural areas where village pubs are a lifeblood for tourism.

Media & Leisure 1
JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin is keeping a cautious eye on trading. Picture: Graham Jepson

Wetherspoon boss ‘cautious’ after sales and costs warning

Pubs group JD Wetherspoon boosted sales in its second trading quarter but warned that it expects to be hit by slowing revenues and significantly higher costs in the second half.

Media & Leisure
Prime Minister Theresa May. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

PM refuses to rule out blocking Scots MPs voting on Brexit law

The UK Government has been accused of mounting a “power grab” after the Prime Minister refused to rule out blocking Scottish MPs from voting on parts of a key bill to implement Brexit.

UK 60
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