The Bank of England faces a chorus of demands to take radical action on interest rates by making a 1 percentage point cut this week to avert the threat of a lengthy recession, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph.
There has not been a cut of this size since the depths of the last recession in 1992.
However, experts warned that the bank often acts "too late" and said "boldness" was urgently needed to help businesses, boost the housing market and encourage high street spending in the run up to Christmas.
Rate-setters are expected to decide on Thursday to reduce rates again following last month's cut of half a percentage point.
An identical cut is widely expected, but economists, business leaders and house builders have joined forces to put pressure on the bank to "get on with the job" by reducing rates by a full percentage point.
Société Générale, France's second largest bank, today revealed an 84 per cent fall in third-quarter profits after taking a €1.2 billion (£900 million) hit from the collapse of America's Lehman Brothers and the continuing impact of global financial turmoil, The Times reports.
The bank announced this morning that net profit fell to €183 million during the three months to September 30 largely because of a €244 million loss at its investment banking division.
Writedowns directly related to the collapse of Lehman Brothers and to the wider global turmoil cost the bank €1.2 billion (£940 million). The bank suffered €2 billion writedowns and one-off losses related to the credit crunch in the first nine months of the year.
BT is planning to raise the staff retirement age as its £37bn pension scheme - the largest private-sector guaranteed fund in Britain - looks set to drop into a multibillion-pound deficit after the collapse of global stockmarkets, according to The Guardian.
BT will update the City on the size of the fund's deficit when it reports second-quarter figures next week amid growing concerns that paying more into the fund will reduce scope for dividend payouts. The fears were heightened by last week's shock profits warning, which saw the company's shares drop under the price at which they were floated by the government of Margaret Thatcher.
BT is in talks with unions and its trustees on a range of possible changes to boost the fund - including raising the retirement age to 65, increasing staff contributions and basing payments on career average rather than final salary.IFAonline
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