New fracking sites could soon be springing up across the country.

Fracking: Britain's big balancing act

Shale gas is certainly controversial, but Brits may be more willing to accept it as the desperation for cheaper energy bills takes hold.

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Cable: New bonus clawback plans a 'positive step'

New rules which could mean rule-breaking bankers having their bonuses taken away are a 'big positive step', said Business Secretary Vince Cable.

The regulations will make bankers operate 'more responsibly' he said.

Vince Cable welcomed the new rules on bank bonuses.
Vince Cable welcomed the new rules on bank bonuses.

" I don't think anyone would have a quarrel with this. We have suffered enormously from the collapse of the banking system. We need to have a system of penalties in place to make sure this doesn't happen again," Dr Cable added.

Bonus clawback 'will only be active from 2015'

Rules allowing regulators to claw back bonuses will only come into effect in 2015, an industry regulator has announced.

The Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority said trying to apply the new rules retrospectively would mean many firms would be "open to challenge" from employees.

"In order to ensure a consistent and even application of the clawback requirement across industry, the final rule requires the application of clawback only to awards made on or after 1 January 2015," the PRA said.

Read: Barclays boss: Bonus clawback 'extremely useful'

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Barclays boss: Bonus clawback 'extremely useful'

The chief executive of Barclays has welcomed plans from the Bank of England to punish misbehaving bankers by clawing back bonuses.

Antony Jenkins told Radio 4's Today programme: "The process of clawback can be extremely useful. We’ve applied it ourselves, for example, in cases where we’ve got things wrong."

Mr Jenkins said there should be "appropriate punishment" for both criminal misconduct and "recklessness" on the part of bankers.

Read: Bank of England plan to 'claw back bankers' bonuses'

Energy price controls to save households £12 a year

Households will see an average of £12 a year come off their bill under price control plans for the companies that run Britain's local electricity network.

Energy network companies will have to pay £17bn to upgrade and maintain the network under proposals put forward by industry regulator Ofgem.

Companies will have to spend £17bn to maintain and upgrade the energy network.
Companies will have to spend £17bn to maintain and upgrade the energy network. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ofgem sets price controls for the companies to limit the amount they can collect from customers' bills and incentivise them to improve their services.

The regulator rejected price control plans from five of the six energy distribution companies, saying they did not represent value for money for consumers.

Read: Energy customers to get extra storm compensation

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Bank of England plan to 'claw back bankers' bonuses'

Misbehaving bankers could be forced to repay bonuses from previous years under plans set to be unveiled by the Bank of England, according to the BBC.

Bankers in London's financial hub could have to repay bonuses from previous years.
Bankers in London's financial hub could have to repay bonuses from previous years. Credit: Chris Radburn for Glasgow 2014

It could mean bonuses paid out as long as seven years ago being returned, even if they were paid in shares and have already been cashed and spent.

The BoE had already warned in March that bankers could face clawbacks for "misbehaviour", including if their bank registered big losses.

Reports at the time suggested bonuses from up to six years ago would be at risk, though that appears to have been extended to seven years.

Another previous suggestion had been to cancel promised bonuses, but the Bank's position appears to have hardened.

Read: Bank bosses to face shareholder fury

Businesses to take action 'when vote outcome is known'

Craig Anderson, senior business partner at KPMG in Scotland, said:

It is clear that the business community is still seeking to have concerns allayed as we move closer to September 18.

Our research suggests that most businesses probably do not feel sufficiently informed to make appropriate long-term plans, with any action likely to be taken only when the outcome is known.

– Craig Anderson, KPMG

85% of Scottish firms haven't planned for Yes vote

Scottish first minister Alex Salmond will be hoping the businesses' guesses are wrong.
Scottish first minister Alex Salmond will be hoping the businesses' guesses are wrong. Credit: PA

More than eight out of ten businesses in Scotland do not yet have plans in place to deal with the result of the referendum if the country votes for independence, a new survey has revealed.

Almost 84% of Scottish firms that were questioned in the latest KPMG Business Instincts Survey said they had not yet considered a continuity plan for how to deal with changes if there is a Yes vote on September 18.

Issues such as potential changes to the tax regime if Scotland left the UK, the impact of any change in currency and the impact trade with the rest of the UK are businesses' main concerns, according to the survey.

Leisure aspect of shopping trip 'a significant driver'

The leisure aspects of a shopping trip is a significant driver in where consumers chose to shop, according to a wide ranging survey.

Researchers at Southampton University found:

  • There has been a modest resurgence in specialist retailers such as artisanal bakers, butchers and tea and coffee merchants in high streets.
  • Retailers are exploiting opportunities created by on-line shopping - particularly with the rise in click and collect buying. Within five years, seven out of ten on-line shoppers will prefer to collect goods themselves rather than risk missing a delivery at home.
  • The leisure aspect of shopping trips is a significant driver of footfall and that high streets that include a good range of cafes, bars, restaurants not only increase the dwell time but the average spent during trips to town.
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