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November 16, 2012

Also in the news this week — 16th November 2012

SMEs give the thumbs up to banking reform

Most SMEs (65%) say the proposed ring-fencing of banking activities will make banking safer. But only 21% think it will make it easier to borrow money. These are the findings of the latest quarterly RSM Tenon Business Barometer survey, carried out by You Gov. The survey also finds that 60% of respondents welcome Government plans for a state-run business bank, while 18% are against it. Tom Maclennan, head of lender services at RSM Tenon, said: "People believe, I think rightly, that while this change would make retail banking safer, it will make no difference to their ability to borrow."

Email avalanches are crushing workers

Mishaps involving emails are becoming increasingly common because of the sheer volume of emails that workers have to deal with, according to research conducted by Varonis. In a survey, 62% of respondents reported a mishap as a result of sending an email to the wrong person or with the wrong content. The survey found that 78% of respondents receive up to 100 emails per day and nearly a quarter receive 100-500 emails on a daily basis. In addition, 10% of workers now have more than 10,000 emails in their inbox. There are, says the study, three styles of email management: 34% are "filers" (emptying their inbox into folders), 17% are hoarders (who never delete but tag and keep in a few folders), and 44% combine both practices. And 6% admit they have totally lost control of their email.

The British public says business ethics are in decline

An annual survey conducted for the Institute of Business Ethics has found that the public perception of businesses has taken a serious knock. In 2011, 58% of people said that British businesses generally behaved "very" or "fairly" ethically. In 2012, that dropped to 48%. One of the biggest concerns raised by respondents is executive pay, but the report also comes at a time when price-fixing and tax avoidance among big firms are hitting the headlines. Philippa Foster Back, IBE director, said: "This year's results should act as another wake-up call to business that action needs to be taken in order to restore trust with the British public."

The Trainline gives small firms a new direction

There's a new widget arriving at which is aimed at small firms that want to provide maps and directions on their websites. This free tool enables any website to create a Google map showing directions from the nearest train station to their business or property. Users simply add their postcode to create an embed code, which can be copied and pasted into the html of most websites.

Ofcom unveils 4G timetable

Ofcom has published a timetable for the next phase of the 4G mobile spectrum roll-out. This spectrum will be used to deliver superfast 4G mobile services to people across the UK, and will almost double the amount of airwaves currently available to smartphones and tablets that use 3G networks. Bidders must apply by 11 December 2012, and the new services are expected to go live from May 2013.