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Your reaction to our story on poor customer service during the pandemic was loud and clear.

There is no reason for companies to be treating their customers so poorly. And now no excuse for forcing shoppers to wait weeks, or even months, for answers or money back.

Money Mail’s postbag was stuffed with letters from readers who had been brushed off and ignored in 2020 by big businesses that should, and could, do better.

The virus crisis has obviously hit firms hard, but why can some adapt while others continue to make excuses?



a man wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Frustration: There is now no excuse for companies forcing shoppers to wait weeks, or even months, for answers or money back


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Frustration: There is now no excuse for companies forcing shoppers to wait weeks, or even months, for answers or money back

Some have gone above and beyond this year, and others have performed truly pitifully.

National Savings & Investments, for example, suffered a

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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson wears a protective face covering as he arrives at the BBC in central London on October 4, 2020, to take part in the BBC political programme The Andrew Marr Show. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday asked their negotiators to "work intensively" to overcome differences to secure a post-Brexit free trade deal. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Prime minister Boris Johnson. Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

UK firms risk collapse on a “significant” scale if Brexit leaves them struggling to raise cash in the sectors most exposed to trade disruption, a think tank has warned.

A new report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) sounds the alarm over the economic toll as Britain’s EU trade relationship unravels when it sees Brexit ‘go live’ at the end of the year. A transition period, keeping Britain closely tied to the bloc, expires on 31 December.

“Deal or no deal, substantial economic disruption in early 2021 is now likely unavoidable,” said the bleak IFS analysis published on Tuesday. “The majority of Brexit-related adjustment lies ahead.”

READ MORE: UK unemployment hits 1.5 million on leap in redundancies

Yet some consequences could last for decades, according to the study, with areas and workers linked to EU-reliant manufacturing, financial and business

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Tax Notes contributing editor Marie Sapirie talks with American University tax professor Caroline Bruckner about the lack of consideration by Congress on how the U.S. tax code affects women-owned businesses and what can be done.

This post has been edited for length and clarity. 

Marie Sapirie: Thanks, Caroline, for joining me today to talk about your recent research on women-owned businesses and the tax lawmaking process.

Caroline Bruckner: Thanks so much for having me.

Marie Sapirie: Your research documents the growth of women-owned businesses over the past 40 or so years from 1976 when the U.S. Census Bureau counted just over 400,000 women-owned firms to over 11 million firms today. I was hoping you could give us an

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Japan’s currency in circulation and bank deposits rose at a record pace in September, data showed on Tuesday, as companies and households hoarded cash instead of spending it due to uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic.

The data underscores the fragile nature of Japan’s economic recovery, which is heavily reliant on overseas demand as consumption and capital expenditure remain weak.

Money stock

Japan’s M3 money stock — or currency in circulation and deposits at financial institutions — rose 7.4 per cent in September from a year earlier, marking the biggest increase since comparable data became available in 2004, Bank of Japan data showed.

The rise topped a 7.1 per cent gain in August. Bank deposits surged a record 15.5 per cent in September from a year earlier, while cash in circulation grew 5.7 per cent, the data showed.

Savings surge

“What’s happening since spring through summer is that households are curbing

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Total market valuation of all listed companies on the BSE rose to a new high of Rs 160.68 lakh crore on Friday following a bullish sentiment in the equity market.

Extending its gains for the seventh straight session — the longest winning streak in almost a year — the 30-share BSE Sensex rose by 326.82 points or 0.81 per cent to close at 40,509.49.

Sensex surges over 300 points after RBI policy outcome; financial stocks gain

During the week, the Sensex advanced 1,812.44 points or 4.68 per cent. Tracking gains in the broader market, the market capitalisation of the BSE-listed companies zoomed to Rs 1,60,68,725.10 crore at close of trade on Friday.

Stock market benchmarks rallied on Friday as financial stocks advanced following the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) accommodative policy stance and steps to boost liquidity to the banking sector.

The benchmark repurchase (repo) rate has been left unchanged

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Updates rand, bonds; add stocks

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 9 (Reuters)South Africa’s rand firmed on Friday, as hopes for U.S. stimulus spending lifted sentiment globally, encouraging investors to buy riskier assets in emerging markets.

At 1500 GMT, the rand ZAR=D3 traded at 16.4350 against the U.S. dollar, 0.93% stronger than its previous close.

The expectations of stimulus in the world’s largest economy have provided a welcome boost for the rand by weakening the dollar .DXY and boosting appetite for risk-sensitive currencies.

After stalling talks with Democrats on a comprehensive aid package earlier this week, U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday called for a “skinny” relief bill that would include elements such as direct payments and a bailout of the struggling airline sector.

“President Trump provided the catalyst for market activity again, as he affirmed his commitment to a stimulus package, which has provided support for emerging markets,” Nedbank analysts

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By Andy Bruce and William James



a man wearing a suit and tie: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, leaves a television studio in London


© Reuters/TOBY MELVILLE
Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, leaves a television studio in London

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak on Friday announced his latest programme to try to stave off a surge in unemployment, offering extra help for businesses and workers who are forced to stop work during local coronavirus lockdowns.

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In a move likely to cost billions of pounds over the six-month duration of the new scheme, Sunak said the government would pay up to two-thirds of employees’ salaries, capped at 2,100 pounds ($2,725) a month each, if they work for companies that are forced to close temporarily.

A resurgence of the pandemic has forced Prime Minister Boris Johnson to consider new containment measures and is threatening to derail an economic recovery that was already starting to wane.

Data published earlier on Friday showed growth in

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  • Christopher Burns’ wife told police that he was supposed to turn over documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission by Sept. 25 for an investigation related to his business, but that he did not know what the investigation was for.
  • His car, located by his wife, contained an envelope with copies of three cashier’s checks totaling more than $78,200, according to a police report.
  • There are steps you can take to check an advisor’s background and minimize the potential risk for fraudulent activity once you are working with a pro.



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The recent disappearance of a financial advisor — and possibly client money — may serve as a cautionary tale for investors.

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Christopher Burns, owner of Dynamic Money in Atlanta, was reported missing by his wife on Sept. 25 after she couldn’t reach him, according to a Gwinnett County, Georgia, police report. His wife told

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A shortage of buyers in any market is a magnet for private equity. There were competing buyout bids for Walmart Inc.’s sale of a majority stake in U.K. grocer Asda. Trustbusters had already vetoed a domestic merger. One of the failed bidders, Apollo Global Management Inc., was simultaneously trying to buy listed bookmaker William Hill Plc, which has since agreed to a takeover by joint venture partner Caesars Entertainment Inc.

There’s a perception British takeover regulations hamper so-called take-private deals. Reforms were introduced in 2011 following Cadbury’s controversial purchase by what’s now Mondelez International Inc. Any leak of an approach requires the target to name the suitor, who must then formalize an offer within 28 days or walk away.

Private equity firms don’t like the idea that their tentative prospects could be made public given so many talks fail. The timetable is also tight for negotiating a price, conducting due

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Quitting his IT job two years ago to start a beer tour business was a dream for Mike Hampshire.

But his hopes of breaking even in his second year of operation were crushed when the coronavirus crisis hit in spring.

Now the future of his Leeds-based business is in serious doubt as he’s been unable to get a bounce-back loan.

“Without a loan to tide me over I’m going to have to look for other work,” he said.

He’s not the only small business owner struggling to survive without being able to get a loan through the government scheme.

Mr Bounceback, an anonymous northern businessman behind a website which helps struggling small firms, said he has heard from lots of people with problems.

“Several banks are not accepting new customers, and the majority of them have chosen to only allow their existing customers to apply, or even worse some lenders

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