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Salmond hits out at 'Treasury leak' over flight of banks

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has accused the UK Government of "scaremongering" over the possible flight of businesses to England in the event of a Yes vote.

He told BBC Radio Scotland that a source "within the Treasury" had leaked information about RBS and other banks making contingency plans to move operations south.

He said the official announcements later issued by the banks "makes clear there's no impact on operations or jobs".

He also told reporters there would be an "inevitable investigation" into the leaking of "market sensitive information".

Pound drops to 10-month low after Scottish polls

The pound has dropped to 10-month low. Credit: Lewis Stickley/PA Wire

The pound has slumped to a 10-month low after a surprise lead for the Yes campaign in some polling ahead of the Scottish independence referendum.

The 1% decline to just below 1.62 versus the US dollar adds to sharp losses seen last week after an earlier poll revealed gathering momentum for the independence campaign. Sterling had been at a six-year high above the 1.70 barrier at the end of June.

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Rogue landlords 'ruin our reputation', says NLA

The National Landlords Association (NLA) has backed tougher measures against rogue landlords, saying they "ruin" the reputation of the private rented sector.

Richard Bianco, a member of the NLA's London team, said any moves to help landlords reinvest profits and improve their properties was "welcome".

"Rogue landlords ruin our reputation and we want to drive them out," he added.

Call for clampdown on rogue landlords

Housing policy experts have issued a call for stricter new minimum standards in the private rented sector to combat rogue landlords.

A new report from the Chartered Institute of Housing and thinktank the Resolution Foundation said landlords who exploit tenants should face tough sanctions.

Housing experts want more protection for tenants in the private rented sector. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The recommendations have also gained the support of the National Landlords Association, the umbrella body representing landlords.

The report says there has been huge expansion in the number of private rented homes in the past 15 years, with some landlords trying to take advantage of tenants.

IMF: Ebola having 'acute' financial impact on West Africa

The Ebola outbreak is likely to lead to "sharply" lower growth in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and all three of the poor West African countries may need support in future, a spokesman for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said today.

Relatives stand in line at a checkpoint outside the Ebola quarantine area of West Point in Monrovia, Liberia Credit: REUTERS/2Tango

The Ebola outbreak is having an acute macroeconomic and social impact on three already fragile countries in West Africa. We are actively working with all three countries to prepare a preliminary economic assessment of the impact of the Ebola crisis, and additional financing support that may be required.

– Gerry Rice, spokesman, IMF

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UK is 'over halfway' towards full economic recovery

Britain is "more than halfway" towards a full economic recovery, according to the governor of the Bank of England.

Mark Carney said Britain is 'more than halfway' towards economic recovery. Credit: PA

Speaking to The Sunday Times (£)Mark Carney said: “Wherever the finish line was in the depths of the crisis, we are much more than halfway towards that finish line now."

He added: “The expansion is proceeding, momentum is more assured; the very fact we have had consistent quarters of growth in line with, or slightly better than, our forecasts shows that.”

However, he cautioned that challenges lie ahead especially after an expected rise in interest rates from their record low of 0.5%.

He said: “We have to have the confidence that prospective real wages are going to be growing sustainably [before we raise interest rates] — we don’t have to wait for the fact of that turn to raise them."

Housebuilding soars at 'fastest rate in over a decade'

Housebuilding in Britain is increasing at the fastest rate in more than a decade amid soaring demand for property, according to a professional body. The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said that during the month of July the construction industry had one of its best performances since before the recession.

Housebuilding increases at fastest rate in over a decade. Credit: PA

The Times reported that the institute said residential building rose at the fastest pace since November 2003 because of “favourable funding conditions and strong demand for new housing starts”.