The Daily Telegraph says women are scorning positive discrimination. Siting a survey by recruiter Randstad Staffing, it reports only 6 per cent of women want to see mandatory quotas for increasing women on boards, with the rest adopting Burbery boss Angela Ahrendts‘ view that forcing change would be ineffective.
The Times says interest rates on loans to small businesses rose last month, suggesting banks are refusing to pass on the benefits of their ultra-cheap Funding for Lending costs to corporate customers. The average rate of new loans worth up to £1million – regarded by analysts as a proxy for small-business lending – rose to 3.65% from 3.39% in November, BoE figures indicated. The amount of lending to businesses fell by £2.1billion between November and last month and by more than £18 billion over the year. Mortgage lending did rise by £1billion last month, the most since April. Consumer credit also rose by £649million, within which credit card lending was up £232million.
The front page of the FT is given over to the news the US economy shrank by 0.1% year-on-year in the Q4 2012. Much of the fall in gross domestic product was due to a big reversal in business inventories and a plunge in federal defence spending.
Holiday chalets worth millions of pounds could be wiped off the map after a series of landslides triggered by heavy rain, says the Daily Telegraph. About 18 wooden chalets, which cost as much as £200,000 each, have been damaged or slumped towards the sea after 500 tons of mud slide from a cliff on Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis.