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Co-op bank’s fifth boss in seven years says he will step down as soon as a successor can be found

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co op banks fifth boss in seven years says he will step down as soon as a successor can be found

The man who has been Co-operative Bank’s fifth boss in seven years has announced he is to step down,  as soon as a successor is found, saying his job with the company is done, and fresh blood can take it forward.

Andrew Bester will leave when the board can find a successor for him, but he will stay in place until then, the company confirmed on Tuesday.

He steps down after just two-and-a-half years in the role, though he said he has achieved much of what he set out to do in that time.

Chief executive Andrew Bester said he will step down as soon as a successor is found

Chief executive Andrew Bester said he will step down as soon as a successor is found

 Chief executive Andrew Bester said he will step down as soon as a successor is found

It comes after Co-Op bank axed 18 branches and slashed 350 jobs in August, blaming the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus. 

Mr Bester said: ‘At this point, I believe the bank is on the right path and it is time for a new CEO to continue the journey to be the digital ethical bank.

‘In the meantime, I remain focused on working with colleagues to provide the support our customers need.’ 

Mr Bester took over from Liam Coleman (pictured )  in 2018

Mr Bester took over from Liam Coleman (pictured )  in 2018

Mr Bester took over from Liam Coleman (pictured )  in 2018

‘My ambition was to complete the major transformation phase of the turnaround and for our franchise to show resilience’ 

The bank added that he had ‘successfully led a complex transformation’.

Mr Bester was seen as a pair of hands when he was appointed in 2018, with a mission to steady the ship after five years of turmoil.

Niall Booker  (right) stepped down from the job  in 2016

Niall Booker  (right) stepped down from the job  in 2016

Niall Booker  (right) stepped down from the job  in 2016

He took over from Liam Coleman, who had replaced Niall Booker in 2016, who in turn took the job in 2013 from Barry Tootell, appointed in 2011 to succeed Neville Richardson.

The five bosses oversaw some of the toughest times in the bank’s nearly 150-year history, punctuated by missing cash and a drugs scandal.

In 2013 Co-op had been forced to pull out of a deal to to buy hundreds of Lloyds branches from its larger rival.

The move almost destroyed Co-op Bank after staff found a £1.5 billion hole in its balance sheet, and the Co-operative Group was forced to slash its stake in the business as part of a rescue deal.

A few years later, in 2017, the Co-op sold its last shares in its former banking division.   

The Crystal Methodist: Chairman was caught buying drugs in 2013

  •  Co-op bank chairman Paul Flowers was caught on camera buying drugs, just days after he was grilled by MPs over the bank’s performance
  •  Co-op Bank came close to collapse after running up more than £700million in losses
  •  The Methodist minister was seen in his car discussing the cocaine and crystal meth he wants
  •  He boasted of using ketamine along with cannabis and club drug GHB
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In November 2013, the Mail on Sunday published a video of former Co-op Bank chairman Paul Flowers apparently buying cocaine.

Just three days before the recording, the Methodist preacher, who had stepped down as the bank’s chairman months earlier, gave evidence to MPs looking into the collapse of the Lloyds deal.   

Andrew Bester, who was the bank’s fifth boss in seven years when he was appointed, said the business is on the right track and new blood could help ‘continue the journey to be the digital ethical bank’. 

His departure date has not been confirmed and Mr Bester has promised to stay until the board can find a replacement.  

 Co-op Bank chief executive Andrew Bester said: ‘It’s been a real privilege to lead an organisation with such a distinct brand, clear purpose and values and I’m so proud of the work of all colleagues to both deliver our strategy and to make a difference to the communities around us.

‘I’m delighted that, despite the challenging environment we currently all face, we are supporting our customers through these difficult times and seeing positive growth in balances and new customer numbers. 

Barry Tootell stepped down from the job in 2013

Barry Tootell stepped down from the job in 2013

Neville Richardson stepped down  in 2011

Neville Richardson stepped down  in 2011

Barry Tootell  (left ) took over Neville Richardson (right) in 2011

 ‘My ambition was to complete the major transformation phase of the turnaround and for our franchise to show resilience.

‘At this point, I believe the bank is on the right path and it is time for a new CEO to continue the journey to be the digital ethical bank. In the meantime I remain focused on working with colleagues to provide the support our customers need.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Finnair is selling business class meals in a local supermarket

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finnair is selling business class meals in a local supermarket

Finland’s national carrier, Finnair, has started selling its business class meals in a supermarket to prevent job cuts at its catering unit due to Covid-19.

The airplane meals have quickly turned into a hit, Finnair said, with 1,600 meals sold within days at the supermarket, which is located near Finnair’s main hub – Helsinki Airport. It plans to sell in more outlets.

‘There are redundancies and layoffs going on already at Finnair and we are trying our best to find new innovative ways,’ head of Finnair Kitchen Marika Nieminen told Reuters.

Finnair has started selling its business class meals in a supermarket to prevent job cuts at its catering unit due to Covid-19. Pictured is the carrot and cheese mousse starter (€5.90) and smoked char main €12.90

Finnair has started selling its business class meals in a supermarket to prevent job cuts at its catering unit due to Covid-19. Pictured is the carrot and cheese mousse starter (€5.90) and smoked char main €12.90

Finnair has started selling its business class meals in a supermarket to prevent job cuts at its catering unit due to Covid-19. Pictured is the carrot and cheese mousse starter (€5.90) and smoked char main €12.90

The meals are currently being sold at the K-Citymarket Tammisto in the city of Vantaa. 

For €5.90 (£5.36/$6.97) customers can buy the roasted carrot and blue cheese mousse with hazelnuts starter. 

There are two main dishes on offer, a smoked char with chanterelle risotto and beef with teriyaki-radish sauce, spring onion and rice. Both are €12.90 (£11.71/$15.24). 

The two main course options are available throughout the week from Monday to Sunday, with the appetiser available from Friday to Sunday. The menu will change every two weeks. 

‘We have had very much positive feedback from our customers and this product has become one of the best-selling products in our store,’ Kimmo Sivonen, a shopkeeper at the supermarket said. 

While Mika, a customer at the store, added: ‘In this desperate remote work environment this is a small, nice taste of normal life.’  

Finnair says it plans to introduce new dishes, including reindeer meat from Finnish Lapland and Japanese-style pork shoulder, for supermarkets. 

Finnair Kitchen head of product development, Juha Stenholm, said the food’s high quality justified the relatively high price for a packed takeaway meal.

Finnair, Finland's national carrier, said last Tuesday it would cut around 700 jobs by March 2021

Finnair, Finland's national carrier, said last Tuesday it would cut around 700 jobs by March 2021

Finnair, Finland’s national carrier, said last Tuesday it would cut around 700 jobs by March 2021

‘Our unit is focusing on business class food so … premium raw materials,’ he said. 

In 2017, the airline stopped outsourcing its catering services by buying LSG Sky Chefs, a company that operated at Finland’s main airport, from a Lufthansa subsidiary and renamed it Finnair Kitchen.

A year later, Finnair Kitchen produced some 12,000 meals a day, but the numbers collapsed when the Covid-19 pandemic hit air travel.

Finnair said last Tuesday it would cut around 700 jobs by March 2021. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Coronavirus UK: Student fined £6,600 for failing to quarantine

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coronavirus uk student fined 6600 for failing to quarantine

A student has been fined £6,600 after being caught breaching self-isolation rules by posting a picture of herself eating out on Instagram. 

Carys Ann Ingram, 22, failed to quarantine on arrival to Jersey from Manchester, visiting a restaurant, a friend’s house, and shopping, a court heard.

She was seen in the seafront area of First Tower of the island and then at El Tico restaurant in St Ouen’s Bay, where she shared a pictured to her social media.

Ingram flew into Jersey on a flight from Manchester to visit family on October 12 and failed to isolate until she had received a second negative test, which was due to be taken on day five.

Carys Ann Ingram, 22, failed to quarantine on arrival to Jersey from Manchester, visiting a restaurant, a friend's house, and shopping, a court heard

Carys Ann Ingram, 22, failed to quarantine on arrival to Jersey from Manchester, visiting a restaurant, a friend's house, and shopping, a court heard

Carys Ann Ingram, 22, failed to quarantine on arrival to Jersey from Manchester, visiting a restaurant, a friend’s house, and shopping, a court heard

Three days after arriving from the city, which at the time was an amber zone, she was caught shopping in St Helier in her first breach.

It was later found that someone sitting near her on the flight had tested positive, and so she was contacted and told she must self-isolate and would have to undergo a further test eight days after her arrival.

The authorities made a number of attempts to contact her at her home address but they got no answer.

The El Tico restaurant in St Ouen's Bay, where Ingram shared a pictured to her social media

The El Tico restaurant in St Ouen's Bay, where Ingram shared a pictured to her social media

The El Tico restaurant in St Ouen’s Bay, where Ingram shared a pictured to her social media

Locals and tourists in pavement cafes and artisan shops in Halkett Street by St Helier Central Market in Jersey, Channel Isles (before covid-19 times)

Locals and tourists in pavement cafes and artisan shops in Halkett Street by St Helier Central Market in Jersey, Channel Isles (before covid-19 times)

Locals and tourists in pavement cafes and artisan shops in Halkett Street by St Helier Central Market in Jersey, Channel Isles (before covid-19 times)

She was caught breaching the regulations four times – when out shopping, out for a meal at a restaurant, visiting a friend’s house, and not being at home when the enforcement team visited her. 

Ingram, of Salford was finally reached by phone by the Contact Tracing Team and subsequently arrested.

She pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching self-isolation regulations and was fined a total of £6,600, a fine of £600 for the first breach and £6000 for the subsequent three – with the alternative of 24 weeks imprisonment.

First Tower, Jersey, where Ingram was seen breaching the covid-19 quarantine rules

First Tower, Jersey, where Ingram was seen breaching the covid-19 quarantine rules

First Tower, Jersey, where Ingram was seen breaching the covid-19 quarantine rules

The Strategic Lead for Contact Tracing, Monitoring and Enforcement, Caroline Maffia, said: ‘It is regrettable that someone should endanger the health of other Islanders after being informed of the need to self-isolate.

‘This fine demonstrates that we will pursue prosecution for those found flouting the law. Anyone identified as a direct contact of a COVID positive person must understand the importance of following public health advice and abiding by the law.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Apple iPhone 12 drop test shows it’s ‘most durable smartphone ever’

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apple iphone 12 drop test shows its most durable smartphone ever

Apple’s new iPhone 12 boasts a Ceramic Shield that the tech giant says is ‘tougher than any smartphone glass’ – and Allstate put this claim to the test.

The American insurance company dropped both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro on a rough sidewalk from six feet in the air.

The smartphones were landed face-down, back-down and side-down to see if the shield actually provides up to four times the drop protection, as Apple has stated.

The tests reveal that the improved display helped the iPhone 12 withstand the drop ‘significantly better’ than the iPhone 11 and Samsung Galaxy S20 families, and Allstate says the ‘iPhone 12 is the most durable smartphone’ they have tested.

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The tests reveal that the improved display helped the iPhone 12 (pictured) withstand the drop ‘significantly better’ than the iPhone 11 and Samsung Galaxy S20 families, and Allstate says the ‘iPhone 12 is the most durable smartphone’ they have tested

The tests reveal that the improved display helped the iPhone 12 (pictured) withstand the drop ‘significantly better’ than the iPhone 11 and Samsung Galaxy S20 families, and Allstate says the ‘iPhone 12 is the most durable smartphone’ they have tested

The tests reveal that the improved display helped the iPhone 12 (pictured) withstand the drop ‘significantly better’ than the iPhone 11 and Samsung Galaxy S20 families, and Allstate says the ‘iPhone 12 is the most durable smartphone’ they have tested

Apple revealed the new iPhone 12 family on October 13 during an livestreamed event, saying the smartphones has a new design with rounded edges and a Ceramic Shield that ‘increase drop performance by four times.’

The shield adds more protection using a new high temperature crystallization step that grows nano-ceramic crystals within the glass matrix.

Allstate set out to see just how durable the new design is with a series of Breakability Drop Tests, which dropped the devices three different ways onto a sidewalk.

The iPhone 12 landed face-down for the first test, which caused a few small cracks and scuffed the edges.

Allstate dropped both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro on a rough sidewalk from six feet in the air. The smartphones were landed face-down, back-down and side-down to see if the shield actually provides up to four times the drop protection, as Apple has stated

Allstate dropped both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro on a rough sidewalk from six feet in the air. The smartphones were landed face-down, back-down and side-down to see if the shield actually provides up to four times the drop protection, as Apple has stated

Allstate dropped both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro on a rough sidewalk from six feet in the air. The smartphones were landed face-down, back-down and side-down to see if the shield actually provides up to four times the drop protection, as Apple has stated

‘This is significantly better than both its predecessor, the iPhone 11, and the Samsung Galaxy S20,’ Allstate shared in a press release.

The iPhone 12 Pro, which is 25 grams heavier, cracked across the lower half when dropped in the same manner.

However, the device was still functioning as normal – and the insurance company said it still outperformed the iPhone 11 Pro.

The iPhone 12 landed face-down for the first test, which caused a few small cracks and scuffed the edges

The iPhone 12 landed face-down for the first test, which caused a few small cracks and scuffed the edges

The iPhone 12 landed face-down for the first test, which caused a few small cracks and scuffed the edges

The iPhone 12 Pro, which is 25 grams heavier, cracked across the lower half when dropped in the same manner

The iPhone 12 Pro, which is 25 grams heavier, cracked across the lower half when dropped in the same manner

The iPhone 12 Pro, which is 25 grams heavier, cracked across the lower half when dropped in the same manner

The next portion of the study dropped the smartphones back-down.

The iPhone 12 was ‘virtually unscathed,’ but the iPhone 12 resulting in loose glass because it is not designed with the shield on the rear.

‘The damage was not catastrophic, and the iPhone 12 Pro functionality did not appear to be impacted,’ Allstate shared.

The next portion of the study dropped the smartphones back-down. The iPhone 12 was ‘virtually unscathed

The next portion of the study dropped the smartphones back-down. The iPhone 12 was ‘virtually unscathed

The next portion of the study dropped the smartphones back-down. The iPhone 12 was ‘virtually unscathed

The iPhone 12 resulting in loose glass because it is not designed with the shield on the rear. ‘The damage was not catastrophic, and the iPhone 12 Pro functionality did not appear to be impacted,’ Allstate shared

The iPhone 12 resulting in loose glass because it is not designed with the shield on the rear. ‘The damage was not catastrophic, and the iPhone 12 Pro functionality did not appear to be impacted,’ Allstate shared

The iPhone 12 resulting in loose glass because it is not designed with the shield on the rear. ‘The damage was not catastrophic, and the iPhone 12 Pro functionality did not appear to be impacted,’ Allstate shared

The final experiment dropped the devices on their sides and both only suffered minor scuffing along the edges after hitting the rough sidewalk.

Jason Siciliano, vice president, and global creative director at Allstate Protection Plans, said: ‘The Ceramic Shield front is a huge improvement.’

‘That said, both phones were damaged when dropped on a sidewalk.

‘Given their hefty repair costs, we encourage everyone to use a protective case and treat their new iPhone 12 with the care you would give an expensive camera.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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