Deal on direct debits
A DEAL has been reached which should eliminate the risks posed to businesses by a proposed 'no quibble' direct-debit rule. The new EU rule means that consumers can cancel and demand a refund of a direct debit up to eight weeks after the first payment.
But a deal announced yesterday will allow creditors to ask their business debtors to waive this right.
NEW IPHONES ON WAY
SEVERAL of the country's largest mobile phone operators have confirmed their launch dates for the iPhone 5s and 5c. The Apple devices will be available from Vodafone, Meteor and eMobile next Friday.
The iPhone 5c will range between €599 and €699. The more advanced 5s will retail between €699 and €899.
SAVOY LOANS WARNING
LONDON'S five-star Savoy Hotel says it is at risk of breaching the terms of bank loans if operating results don't improve. If recent financial projections aren't met, loans to the company could become repayable on demand.
The hotel had a pre-tax loss of £53.5m (€63m) in 2012, an 8pc increase from a year earlier.
PC SHIPMENTS FALL OFF
WORLDWIDE shipments of personal computers fell in the third quarter, reaching their lowest level for the period since 2008, amid lacklustre demand from students returning to school. This is the sixth consecutive quarterly decline, according to market research company Gartner.
However growth in the US, where shipments climbed 3.5pc, helped make up for weak volume in other regions. The news is particularly bad for PC makers because consumer demand typically rises in the third quarter, boosted by back-to-school purchases.
HERMES has a solution for wealthy consumers seeking to beat the traffic or meander about town. The French maker of Birkin bags and silk scarves will introduce its own range of handmade bicycles next month. Named 'Le Flaneur' (stroller), the €8,100, eight-speed, carbon-fibre machine weighs 11kg and comes in three colours and sizes, all with leather-trimmed seats and handlebars.
Hermes and other makers of luxury goods are expanding beyond fashion and accessories as they seek a greater share of the wealthiest consumers' wallets. LVMH, which owns 23.1pc of Hermes, added a pastry maker and a hotel earlier this year.