“The commission is not yet happy,” Tyrie said in an interview, referring to his own parliamentary panel. “We’re watching and we’re not going to go away,” he said, sipping black tea in his office overlooking the River Thames. The government asked his commission to identify the failings that took Britain’s banks to the brink of collapse in 2008 and triggered damaging mis-selling and rate-fixing scandals, and to suggest changes to ensure such mistakes were never repeated. Many of the changes that Tyrie’s commission recommended in June were included in the government’s Banking Reform Bill, legislation designed to stabilise and protect the financial sector. It is expected to become law early next year. But Tyrie said the government was being too selective. “We don’t know which tools might become crucial, but what we do know, and what the Banking Commission concluded, is that reforms and improvements are needed on many fronts, and those fronts are interlocking,” he said. “Taken together they will give us a much better chance of protecting ourselves.” Tyrie highlighted the government’s plan to regulate banks’ leverage ratios – the total amount of lending versus capital – which his commission has described as “the single most important tool to deliver a safer and more secure banking system.” The government has said it will grant oversight over leverage to the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) in 2018, but has given itself the right to change its mind in 2017. “In other words, they are not committing to handing powers over to the FPC in five years’ time. They’re committed to (only) taking a look at whether they will,” said Tyrie. REPUTATION Tyrie also worries that powers to claw back bankers’ bonuses aren’t being written into law and that regulators won’t get new powers to intervene at banks where leadership may be failing. In the past, Tyrie has complained that significant changes to the banking reform bill were being rushed through so it could become law in 2014, saying it was crucial to ensure such revisions were in line with his commission’s proposals. Britain’s ability to bounce back from three years of economic stagnation also hinges on the reforms because without greater confidence in the strength of the banking system businesses will not borrow, invest and grow, Tyrie said. “The recovery is not going to be secured by some grand gestures on a few massive projects,” he said, outlining the limits of government intervention in the economy.
RELATED LONDON: Britain’s Argos has entered the intensely competitive tablet computer market with a 99.99 pound ($160) own-brand product that is 16% cheaper than one launched by Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, last month. Argos, owned by Home Retail, said on Tuesday its MyTablet would be targeted at teenagers, taking on a market dominated by Apple, Samsung and Amazon . Tesco sold 35,000 Hudls in two days following its Sept. 30 launch – the fastest-selling tablet launch ever seen at the retailer. Argos is keen to tap into this growing segment as part of its reinvention from a catalogue-led to digitally-led business. Home Retail has posted five straight years of profit decline and hopes the change of direction for Argos will result in a 15% rise in sales to 4.5 billion pounds by 2018. Like Tesco’s Hudl, which is priced at 119 pounds, Argos’ MyTablet has a seven-inch screen, runs Google’s Android operating system, comes with pre-loaded apps and is enabled for internet browsing, TV, music, video streaming and social networking. However, MyTablet only has 8 gigabytes of standard memory compared to 16 on the Hudl. It also has a lower resolution screen, an inferior battery life and is only available in two colours versus the Hudl’s four. Both devices will compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which retails for 99 pounds, Google’s Nexus 7, which costs 199 pounds and Apple’s iPad mini, which sells for 269 pounds. “Millions of people have bought tablets during the last year but there is still around 75% of the UK population without one,” said Argos managing director John Walden. Market research company EMarketer estimates there are 19.7 million tablet users in the UK, up 39% year-on-year. Both Argos and Tesco sell a range of branded tablets. Sebastian James, CEO of Dixons Retail, Europe’s second biggest electricals retailer, said last month that although there is a market in Britain for cheap, basic tablets, consumers were often left disappointed by purchases.
UK football coach Mark Stoops works to maintain perspective
We have to be able to sustain that.” Kentucky (1-5, 0-3 Southeastern Conference) still has half of a season to play and won’t see any more stretches like the one this past month. There are still games against ranked teams like No. 14 Missouri and at No. 15 Georgia. But those games won’t be like facing Alabama, and Stoops trusts that his team will continue to show improvement. “Their hearts are in the right place,” he said Monday. “We’re working hard; we need to get better. … Our players care and they’re going to get better.” At least one UK senior, running back Raymond Sanders, sounded optimistic that things will get turned around, starting with extra practices this week during the bye week before the Cats head to Starkville, Miss., to take on Mississippi State (3-3, 0-2). “We’re going to have a lot of fight. I can tell you that,” Sanders said after the loss to Alabama. “We’re going to call people out who’s not giving 100 percent every play, no matter the score. We’re going to see that. We’re definitely not going to be a team that gives up. “We’ve got a whole new season and me and some other guys are going to make sure of that, call people out after this film and see who wants to play and who wants to play the whole game and give 100 percent for the team to win.” While Neal Brown said he was “very disappointed” in his offense’s performance on Saturday night, which included a season low 170 yards of offense, the UK coordinator tried to provide some perspective.