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.

Live updates

US retailer Walgreens to buy the rest of Boots' owner

US retailer Walgreens has confirmed it will take up its option to buy the rest of Boots the Chemist owner Alliance Boots.

The owner of Boots the Chemist is Alliance Boots.
The owner of Boots the Chemist is Alliance Boots. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Walgreens, which also trades as Duane Reade, is set to spend around £5 billion on the outstanding 55% stake in Alliance Boots.

An announcement is expected later today.

Chancellor to set out vision for a Northern Powerhouse

Chancellor George Osborne will today set out the government’s vision for a northern economic powerhouse.

Chancellor George Osborne wants to create a Northern Powerhouse to rival the south.
Chancellor George Osborne wants to create a Northern Powerhouse to rival the south. Credit: PA

He will be in Manchester to hear proposals for a £15 billion plan to improve the future of the northern economy in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield over the next 15 years.

Mr Osborne is expected to say: "Today I give you this personal commitment. Work with me over the coming months and together we will make a reality of the plan I've set out for the Northern Powerhouse.

“I'm ready to commit new money, new infrastructure, new transport and new science. And real new civic power too."

Advertisement

Stricter mortgage rules slow house price rises

House prices have risen by just 0.1 per cent in July, making it the smallest increase in 15 months, according to Nationwide.

Stricter mortgage rules fuels house price slow down
Stricter mortgage rules are said to have fuelled the house price slow down. Credit: Press Association

The building society blamed the slowdown on stricter mortgage lending rules.

On a year-on-year basis, growth remained in double figures for the fourth month in a row but the pace of the annual uplift dropped from 11.8 per cent in June to 10.6 per cent in July.

The average house price across the UK now stands at £188,949, the building society reported.

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'

Advertisement

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

Load more updates