An entire department of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) is at home in quarantine after a colleague returned from the US with probable swine flu.
According to The Telegraph, a spokesman for the financial regulator confirmed yesterday (Sunday) the male employee is awaiting the outcome of medical tests for the disease.
"He was in the office for just one day after his return," she said. "Since it is a probable case the Health Protection Agency advises that it is treated as if it is a confirmed case, so we have sent 10 colleagues home."
The disease has a seven day incubation period, but it is understood that none of the 10 employees, who work in the FSA's main office in Canary Wharf, are currently exhibiting any symptoms.
The spokesman would not reveal which department was in quarantine, or whether the employees were taking anti-flu drug Tamiflu. The FSA has also changed its policy concerning swine flu and overseas travel following the suspected case. Previously, employees who returned from Mexico were not allowed into the office for seven days. The authority has now broadened this to include those returning from the US.
FIRST-TIME BUYERS using a government scheme to get on the housing ladder have had to pull out of purchases at the eleventh hour after funding ran out, The Times reports.
The Government said that the sudden shortage of cash was a result of the huge demand for its MyChoice Homebuy scheme, which enables buyers who do not have enough money for a deposit to obtain a mortgage with the Government stumping up the balance.
Some would-be buyers had already had offers on properties accepted and had instructed solicitors when they learnt that their previously accepted applications would no longer be successful, forcing them to back out of the transaction.
BARCLAYS BANK HAS received at least three last-minute offers for its iShares division, which could scupper the sale of the exchange-traded funds business to private equity group CVC, reports The Independent.
The buyout specialists BC Partners, Apax and Hellman & Friedman are all understood to have tabled bids in excess of CVC's £3bn offer for iShares, which Barclays decided to sell earlier this year in an effort to raise capital and stave off the need for an injection of cash from the Government.
Barclays' deal with CVC, agreed last month, includes a so-called a "go shop" clause that allows the bank to seek higher bids. It is thought that the bank had set an informal deadline of last weekend for new offers, before being approached with one bid of at least £3.5bn from BC Partners, the owner of London estate agent Foxtons.
MERVYN KING WILL this week insist there is now evidence that the Bank of England's drastic quantitative easing measures are starting to work, but that more may need to be done to prevent a relapse into crisis, according to The Telegraph.
At the inflation report on Wednesday, the Bank's Governor will point towards the Bank's own internal calculations which show that the amount of cash flowing around the economy is starting to pick up.
The money supply figures - M4 adjusted for the effects of complex financial market fluctuations - show a slight increase in money growth from 3.5pc to 3.9pc in Q1. Although the esoteric statistics are ignored by most City economists, within the Bank they are regarded as the most authoritative sign of whether their radical efforts to control the money supply are working.
But Mr King will warn of the need for more stimulus from the Bank, underlining its decision last week to commit a further £50bn to buying Government and corporate bonds.
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