| 14°C Dublin

'Hard road' for RBS

ULSTER Bank parent British lender Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) needs to change its behaviour "at every level" to restore trust and faces a hard road to recovery, its new boss has said.

Ross McEwan joined RBS in 2012 and took over as chief executive in October with the task of reviving the bank. "To move from stability to renewal, we need to first address and then clean up every aspect of how we treat customers," Mr McEwan said in a commentary in 'The Guardian' newspaper yesterday.

TOP ECONOMIES GROW

THE outlook for most advanced economies is improving, with recoveries in the United States and Japan leading the way, the OECD's latest monthly leading indicator has showed. The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said its leading indicator covering 33 member countries had reached its highest level since February 2011 in December.

The indicator, meant to flag early signals of turning points in economic activity, rose to 100.9 in the final month of 2013, edging up from 100.8 in November, the OECD said. Among the major economies, the United States' reading reached its highest level since March 2008.

TELEFONICA FINED €500K

SPAIN'S biggest telecoms operator Telefonica has been fined €500,000 for what the country's regulator classed as two "very serious" breaches of competition rules.

Telefonica failed to make a timely notification to the competition authority, the CNMC, of the prices and conditions of new internet and television packages, as it is required to as a dominant market operator. Telefonica was also found to have blocked access to 11 premium text message numbers being run by another company.

L'OREAL SHARES CLIMB

SHARES in L'Oreal climbed as much as 5pc yesterday after reports that food maker Nestle was studying options to reduce its 30pc stake in the cosmetics group.

Investors were betting that L'Oreal could buy the stake from Nestle over time, thus boosting earnings per share.

MCDONALD'S SALES FALL

McDonald's, the world's largest restaurant chain, said sales at its established US stores fell for the third straight month as severe weather and waning consumer confidence kept diners at home.

Sales at stores open at least 13 months slid 3.3pc last month in the US, Illinois-based McDonald's said.

Irish Independent