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Court threat over unequal pay
Companies that actively discriminate against women in pay schemes could be challenged in court after a legal victory for two sets of female public sector workers. The Court of Appeal found in favour of the groups of school cleaners and crossing patrol staff working for two councils in the north-east – Redcar and Cleveland, and Middlesbrough – who could now receive compensation of up to £2... more

Ryanair warning over profits
Budget airline Ryanair has said it could lose up to £47.4m this year due to the impact of rising fuel prices. The low-cost carrier said net profit had fallen by 85% in the three months to the end of June, but despite this it added it would carry on reducing fares and had no plans to introduce a fuel surcharge. ... more

Bleak assessment from IMF
The global credit crunch is still going strong and shows little sign of easing up, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned. The organisation said that banks were being particularly hard hit and their reluctance to lend was worsening the situation. ... more

Phishing fraud rises 180%
The level of internet fraud aimed at getting people to part with confidential bank account details has increased by 180% in the past 12 months, according to the banking body Apacs. The organisation revealed there were 21,000 cases of ‘phishing’ fraud in the first six months of 2008, although it added that overall this year cases may fall as people became more aware of the fraud. ... more

Property prices ‘to rise 25%’
Property prices will rise by 25% over the next five years, the National Housing Federation has predicted. Despite the global economic slowdown and the impact on the housing market in the UK, the social housing organisations predicted demand for housing would once again exceed supply once financial institutions are willing to lend money again. ... more

Poor to get best energy deals
Energy regulator Ofgem has instructed gas and electricity companies to ensure their poorest customers are on the cheapest deals they offer. Currently the cheapest offers are often reserved for internet customers, ruling out those customers who cannot afford or gain access to the internet. ... more

Big drop in mortgage approvals
The amount of new mortgage approvals fell 23% in June as the housing market slowdown continued, figures from the British Banking Association (BBA) revealed. The BBA figures showed just 21,118 new loans were approved in June, some 67% lower than 12 months previous. ... more

London world’s third priciest city
London is now only the third most expensive city for expatriates in which to live, slipping back from the second spot it held last year, according to research by HR consultancy Mercer. The most expensive city was Moscow – for the third year running – while Tokyo came second with Olso fourth. ... more

Parliament ratifies Crossrail project
The Crossrail project has successfully completed its path through Parliament, paving the way for work to start on the largest civil engineering project in Europe. The line will run from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the West to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. ... more

Big jump in struggling firms
The number of companies experiencing ‘critical problems’ – those with county court judgements totalling over £5,000 or winding-up petition-related actions – in the second quarter of 2008 increased by 30% from the first. According to data released by business recovery company Begbies Traynor, there was also a seven-fold increase in the amount of companies experiencing such problems in ... more

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