Millions of RBS and Natwest customers were left stranded without means of payment yesterday – one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Technical glitches meant debit card and online payments would not work, leaving shoppers at tills with trolley loads of goods and diners finishing meals with no way of paying for them. The outage lasted most of the evening and RBS have offered to pay customers back who have been left out of pocket. Following past problems with their online banking systems, RBS and Natwest are likely to face an exodus of customers to other banks.
David Cameron’s trade visit to China has shown early results as the superpower has indicated plans to invest billions of pounds in British infrastructure. Projects including nuclear plants and HS2 are likely to benefit from Chinese money, while Cameron is backing a free trade agreement between the EU and Beijing which would make it easier to sell British goods. The Daily Telegraph backs the move arguing that as China develops its growth cycle, creative industries, advisory services and technology will become far more important – showing a clear role for the UK. However, the trip has been criticised for insufficient focus on human rights issues and the banning of a Bloomberg reporter from a press conference.
A third of big businesses that signed up to cutting gender inequality have done nothing towards their targets, including not publishing their gender make up. Twenty per cent of the work force is covered under the Think, Act, Report scheme but many are being failed according to The Times.
Lord Deben, the former Conservative cabinet minister has urged the government not to build a new generation of garden cities, arguing the land is needed for growing food. He argues that the original garden cities were a response to appalling living standards in towns which is no longer the case. However, conservative inaction on building was attacked by Labour peer Lord Adonis in the Lords yesterday.