Latest Vince Cable News

  • Miliband To Unveil Tuition Fee Cut Promise
    Miliband To Unveil Tuition Fee Cut Promise Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    Ed Miliband will today outline Labour's election promise to reduce tuition fees - rolling back some of the increase which was implemented by the coalition. Under the party's plans, the cap on undergraduate fees would be reduced from £9,000 to £6,000 per year. Mr Miliband first expressed aspirations of introducing this policy in 2011 - and the shadow cabinet minister responsible for realising it, Chuka Umunna, described the process as "long and tortuous". At an audience with students in Leeds, the Labour leader will say: "We all know that under David Cameron and Nick Clegg, the fee cap for full-time undergraduates was trebled to £9,000 per year. More »

  • Nearly 700,000 On Zero-Hours Contracts
    Nearly 700,000 On Zero-Hours Contracts Wed, Feb 25, 2015

    The report from the Office for National Statistics found that a third of people on zero-hours contracts, which the unions claim are worth £300 a week less than permanent contracts, want more hours. Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Zero-hours contracts are valued by many employers and individuals who want flexibility in the hours they work, such as students, people with caring responsibilities and those who want to partially retire. More »

  • Zero-hours contracts rise to 1.8m
    Zero-hours contracts rise to 1.8m Wed, Feb 25, 2015

    The number of zero-hours contracts has increased from 1.4 million to 1.8 million, new figures have revealed. More »

  • Minimum Pay Recommended To Rise To £6.70 An Hour
    Minimum Pay Recommended To Rise To £6.70 An Hour Mon, Feb 23, 2015

    The minimum wage should be increased by 20p to £6.70 per hour, the body tasked with setting it has recommended. Business Secretary Vince Cable said the Government would now decide whether to adopt the Low Pay Commission's (LPC) recommendation and make an announcement later. Mr Cable said: "Today the Low Pay Commission have made their recommendations to Government that the adult national minimum wage should rise by just over 3% to £6.70 an hour from October 2015. "This would represent an annual pay rise of £416 for a full-time worker on the minimum wage. More »

  • 20p minimum wage rise recommended
    20p minimum wage rise recommended Mon, Feb 23, 2015

    The national minimum wage should be increased by 20p an hour to £6.70, the Low Pay Commission is recommending. More »

  • Mandelson warns over student fees
    Mandelson warns over student fees Fri, Feb 20, 2015

    Labour's former business secretary Lord Mandelson has fired a shot across the bows of the party's leadership over university tuition fees, warning that any cut in the amount paid by graduates must be offset by increases in higher education funding from other sources. More »

  • HSBC Issues Apology Over Banking Standards
    HSBC Issues Apology Over Banking Standards Mon, Feb 16, 2015

    HSBC has taken out adverts in national newspapers offering "sincerest apologies" over past activities at its Swiss operations. In the open letter to its customers, shareholders and colleagues, HSBC's group chief executive Stuart Gulliver described recent media coverage about practices at the Swiss Private Bank eight years ago as a "painful experience". Vince Cable told Sky's Murnaghan programme that what emerged is "striking and unacceptable" - and he has called on former HSBC boss Lord Green to answer specific allegations about the business. The full-page HSBC advert states: "We would like to provide some reassurance and state some of the facts that lie behind the stories. More »

  • Transparency urged on trade deal
    Transparency urged on trade deal Mon, Feb 16, 2015

    More transparency is needed on negotiations between the European Union and the United States on a controversial new trade deal, the Government has admitted. More »

  • Labour tax claims 'small beer'
    Labour tax claims 'small beer' Sun, Feb 15, 2015

    Ed Balls has dismissed allegations of tax-dodging by Labour as "small beer", as the bitter row with the Tories over wealthy backers showed no sign of abating. More »

  • HSBC says sorry over past standards at Swiss bank
    HSBC says sorry over past standards at Swiss bank Sun, Feb 15, 2015

    By Paul Sandle and Steve Slater LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC apologised to customers and investors on Sunday for past practices at its Swiss private bank after allegations that it helped hundreds of clients to dodge taxes. "(Green) hasn't yet spoken on his role in the matter and I would certainly like him to do so," Cable said on Sunday. More »

  • HSBC banker-priest in eye of SwissLeaks storm
    HSBC banker-priest in eye of SwissLeaks storm Thu, Feb 12, 2015

    HSBC's former chief executive and chairman Stephen Green is at the centre of the SwissLeaks tax scandal in Britain More »

  • Britain greenlights driverless cars on public roads
    Britain greenlights driverless cars on public roads Wed, Feb 11, 2015

    Britain gave the green light to the testing of futuristic driverless cars on public roads on Wednesday, with the launch of a multi-million-pound scheme to develop the technology. More »

  • Public 'wary' of driverless cars
    Public 'wary' of driverless cars Wed, Feb 11, 2015

    Trials of driverless cars have started but the public appear wary of the new project. More »

  • Politicians fume after Premier League chief's wage remarks
    Politicians fume after Premier League chief's wage remarks Wed, Feb 11, 2015

    By Mike Collett LONDON (Reuters) - Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore was criticised on Wednesday for saying he saw no problem with clubs paying staff the minimum wage after the league sold its British TV rights for 5.1 billion pounds ($7.80 billion). He also said the Premier League was a "success story" and not a charity following demands from politicians calling for more money from the sale of the rights to reduce ticket prices, invest in grassroots football and pay staff a living wage. "I believe the Premier League is a great UK export and it attracts a whole lot of positive feelings about the UK. "If you go and do any international survey, things like the Premier League, the BBC, the Queen: they are things that people feel are good about the UK." Scudamore, who earns a bonus-related salary of almost 2.0 million pounds a year told the BBC he was "not uncomfortable" with clubs paying top players huge salaries, with some on reported wages of 300,000 pounds a week while some staff at clubs earn the legal minimum wage of 6.50 pounds an hour. More »

  • Soccer-Politicians fume after Premier League chief's wage remarks Wed, Feb 11, 2015

    By Mike Collett LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore was criticised on Wednesday for saying he saw no problem with clubs paying staff the minimum wage after the league sold its British TV rights for 5.1 billion pounds ($7.80 billion). He also said the Premier League was a "success story" and not a charity following demands from politicians calling for more money from the sale of the rights to reduce ticket prices, invest in grassroots football and pay staff a living wage. "I believe the Premier League is a great UK export and it attracts a whole lot of positive feelings about the UK. "If you go and do any international survey, things like the Premier League, the BBC, the Queen: they are things that people feel are good about the UK." Scudamore, who earns a bonus-related salary of almost 2.0 million pounds a year told the BBC he was "not uncomfortable" with clubs paying top players huge salaries, with some on reported wages of 300,000 pounds a week while some staff at clubs earn the legal minimum wage of 6.50 pounds an hour. More »

  • Driverless Car Trials Begin Across Britain
    Driverless Car Trials Begin Across Britain Wed, Feb 11, 2015

    A project to test driverless vehicles is being launched today in the hope the UK will become a leading global supplier. A shuttle is being tried out in the London borough of Greenwich and an electric pod will be used on closed roads and pedestrian areas in Milton Keynes and Coventry. Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "The UK is at the cutting edge of automotive technology - from the all-electric cars built in Sunderland to the Formula One expertise in the Midlands. "It's important for jobs, growth and society that we keep at the forefront of innovation, that's why I launched a competition to research and develop driverless cars. More »

  • Swiss scandal haunts HSBC's former boss Stephen Green Tue, Feb 10, 2015

    By Carmel Crimmins DUBLIN (Reuters) - The scandal at HSBC's Swiss private banking arm is particularly awkward for former executive chairman Stephen Green. An ordained clergyman, who has written extensively about morality and banking, Green was one of the few British bank bosses to come through the financial crisis with his reputation largely intact. Opposition politicians in Britain are demanding a response from Green who was chief executive and subsequently executive chairman when much of the alleged evasion occurred. The scandal has put Prime Minister David Cameron on the defensive. More »

  • HSBC condemns past practices as pressure grows over Swiss accounts
    HSBC condemns past practices as pressure grows over Swiss accounts Tue, Feb 10, 2015

    By Steve Slater LONDON (Reuters) - The head of HSBC's private bank has told staff past practices that may have allowed some clients to dodge taxes are unacceptable, with the company facing pressure on both sides of the Atlantic over its conduct. HSBC this week admitted failings in compliance and controls in its Swiss private bank and faces investigation by U.S. authorities and an inquiry by British lawmakers after media reports said it helped wealthy customers conceal millions of dollars of assets in a period up to 2007. Adding to HSBC's discomfort, British Business Secretary Vince Cable questioned how quickly its Swiss business stopped such practices, saying he was troubled by claims they "may have continued much more recently". HSBC has been in the spotlight after the media published allegations based on information supplied by Herve Falciani, a former employee of the bank. More »

  • UK minister questions when HSBC put tax scandal practices behind it Tue, Feb 10, 2015

    British Business Secretary Vince Cable has written to HSBC questioning how quickly its Swiss private banking arm stopped practices which may have helped customers avoid tax, saying he's troubled by claims they "may have continued much more recently". Cable's intervention comes as HSBC Holdings Plc faces investigation by U.S. authorities and an inquiry by British lawmakers after admitting failings by its Swiss private bank that may have allowed some customers to avoid taxes. In a letter to Douglas Flint, HSBC's group chairman, Cable said he was "particularly troubled" by suggestions that some elements of the Swiss bank's "worst practices" may have continued longer than thought. Cable told HSBC he was also concerned the allegations meant the bank may have flouted a taxation practice code which it signed up to in 2010. More »

  • Tesco Facing Probe Over Supplier Dealings
    Tesco Facing Probe Over Supplier Dealings Thu, Feb 5, 2015

    An official investigation is to be launched into practices at troubled supermarket giant Tesco, including delays in payments to suppliers. The move was announced by the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA), Christine Tacon, who said she had formed a "reasonable suspicion" that the retailer has breached supply guidelines. She said she took the decision after considering information submitted to her after Tesco's profit over-statement last September. She has discussed the practices with Tesco and will now seek more information from direct suppliers and others to determine what further action to take. More »

  • Tesco faces supplier practice probe
    Tesco faces supplier practice probe Thu, Feb 5, 2015

    Supermarket giant Tesco is facing an official investigation into practices including any delays in payments to suppliers. More »

  • Tesco to face fresh probe over supplier payments
    Tesco to face fresh probe over supplier payments Thu, Feb 5, 2015

    Troubled supermarket giant Tesco came under further pressure Thursday after the industry watchdog launched an official investigation into the retailer's treatment of suppliers. More »

  • Cable: Still Not Enough Women On UK Boards
    Cable: Still Not Enough Women On UK Boards Wed, Feb 4, 2015

    Vince Cable has warned the “threat of EU mandatory targets” forcing big companies to appoint many more women onto their boards is still a real possibility because the UK has yet to meet its 25% goal. It comes as the Business Secretary publishes a list of the 10 "most improved" FTSE 100 companies, including household names like HSBC, in a bid to persuade other companies to follow suit. Capita is in sixth place, and HSBC is in 10th, although both began from a stronger position than many of their competitors. HSBC rose from 16.7% to 37.5%. More »

  • Britain to give grocery industry watchdog more power
    Britain to give grocery industry watchdog more power Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    Britain's government plans to give the grocery industry watchdog powers to fine UK supermarkets if they fail to treat their suppliers, including farmers, fairly. Measures before Parliament will grant the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) the power to impose penalties on large retailers of up to 1 percent of their annual UK turnover, dependent on the seriousness of the breach of its rules. The spotlight on supermarkets' relationship with suppliers intensified last year after a 263 million pounds accounting scandal at Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, caused by booking deals with suppliers too early. The GCA was created in 2013 to enforce the Groceries Supply Code of Practice that, since 2009, has governed the commercial relationships between the UK's 10 largest supermarkets and their direct suppliers of food, drinks, and a range of household products. More »

  • £11.4m award for biology projects
    £11.4m award for biology projects Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    Edinburgh University has been handed a share of a £40 million investment to boost scientific research. More »

  • Stefan Stern: Put people before sales and profits to get investors to sit up …
    Stefan Stern: Put people before sales and profits to get investors to sit up … Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    Last summer, Anthony Hesketh, a senior lecturer at Lancaster University Management School, published "Managing the value of your talent: a new framework for human capital measurement". Hesketh shows how better measurement of what people are doing at work – "human capital measurement", in the jargon – could be valuable for employers but also, crucially, for investors as well. More »

  • Margareta Pagano: Starbucks, Amazon and Google are banking on success so watch …
    Margareta Pagano: Starbucks, Amazon and Google are banking on success so watch … Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    Well, how about stopping off at Starbucks to ask the barista to swipe your pre-paid card to transfer money to your friends' account while paying for your skinny cap?? If coffee is not your cup of tea, then what about liking a friend on Facebook so much that you can transfer money to her or him as well? In many ways, Starbucks is already undertaking two of the core functions of a traditional bank. They clearly like it, as nearly a third of Starbucks transactions in the US are handled through its pre-paid loyalty cards to the tune of around $2.5bn (£1.6bn). More »

  • Banks Lukewarm Over Shared Branches Proposal
    Banks Lukewarm Over Shared Branches Proposal Tue, Jan 27, 2015

    Sky News understands that Andrea Leadsom, a Treasury Minister, suggested at a meeting with industry executives on Tuesday that communal branches could help to assuage concerns about the disappearance of physical banking services in rural communities. But speaking after the summit, bank executives said the idea would be difficult to implement and that they favoured an alternative proposal that would involve them instead negotiating new commercial arrangements with the Post Office network. The meeting, which was convened by Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, made some progress towards an industry-wide 'protocol' over branch closures, with a firm agreement expected in the coming weeks. Mr Cable said: "As banks scale back their branches, I want over-the-counter banking services to still be available to all those for whom internet banking is not an option, such as the elderly, vulnerable people or those in remote areas. More »

  • Post Office To Expand 'Challenger' Money Arm
    Post Office To Expand 'Challenger' Money Arm Sun, Jan 25, 2015

    The Post Office will this week publicly target becoming one of Britain's leading financial services providers by the end of the decade, amid ministerial support for its vast network to play a greater role in banking provision. Sky News has learnt that the state-owned entity will announce on Monday that it is to amalgamate its range of financial products under a new umbrella brand, Post Office Money. The move is designed to promote the Post Office as a leading 'challenger' brand in financial services at a time when the big five high street banks are reducing the number of branches they operate. On Tuesday, Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, will meet major lenders to thrash out details of additional efforts to allow bank customers to make more use of the Post Office’s 11,500 outlets. More »

  • Car production hits seven-year high
    Car production hits seven-year high Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    The number of cars built in the UK reached a seven year high of more than 1.5 million in 2014, with a new car rolling off a production line every 20 seconds. More »

  • Oakeshott funding Labour candidates
    Oakeshott funding Labour candidates Thu, Jan 22, 2015

    A former Liberal Democrat peer is helping to bankroll 30 Labour candidates at the general election to bolster Ed Miliband's bid for No 10, it has emerged. More »

  • Tory EU referendum plan 'dangerous'
    Tory EU referendum plan 'dangerous' Tue, Jan 20, 2015

    David Cameron's plan to offer a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union by the end of 2017 has been labelled "dangerous" by a Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister. More »

  • RBS Admits Mis-Selling Taxpayer-Backed Scheme
    RBS Admits Mis-Selling Taxpayer-Backed Scheme Thu, Jan 15, 2015

    Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is contacting 1,800 small business customers who are believed to have suffered under the latest mis-selling scandal to hit the bank. RBS said the issue came to light following a review of customer files following complaints to the British Business Bank, the Government body overseeing the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG). The scheme, set up in 2009, has seen RBS loan more than £900m to 9,000 small firms who would otherwise have found it difficult to access credit. RBS said: "This exercise identified a number of instances where we have not properly explained to customers how borrower and guarantor liabilities work under the EFG scheme. More »

  • RBS admits mis-selling loans
    RBS admits mis-selling loans Thu, Jan 15, 2015

    Royal Bank of Scotland has admitted mis-selling loans to business customers under a taxpayer-backed scheme in the latest embarrassing blunder for the state-backed group. More »

  • Jaguar Land Rover Announces 1,300 New Jobs
    Jaguar Land Rover Announces 1,300 New Jobs Mon, Jan 12, 2015

    Jaguar Land Rover will create 1,300 new jobs after the company announced that its newest model - a Jaguar 4x4 - will be made in Britain. More »