UK speeds up visa flow
More than four out of five polled UK digital shoppers and buyers said the laptop or PC was the primary device they used for digital clothes shopping. The tablet came in at a distant second, with 10.7% preferring the device for clothes shopping via the web, followed by the mobile phone, at 8.5%. There are signs that whatever the device, shopping behavior is becoming increasingly digital first. When asked about their preferred means of communicating with favorite clothing retailers, the No. 1 response was getting emails with offers and discounts, cited by 35.3% of respondents, ahead of actually visiting high-street stores, at 33.3%. Of course, it may be that the deals part of those emails are whats really enticing UK consumers. As for other digital means of keeping in touch, a minimal 6.6% of respondents said they liked to interact with favored clothing retailers on social media. For consumers who are actively visiting clothing retailer sites, rather than passively awaiting an email with the next suggested purchase or discount, there are still steps retailers can and should take to make the digital shopping and buying experience better. Both men and women across age groups in the UK said that the biggest problem with fashion retailers websites was that it was not easy enough to tell whether items would fit. Men also reported that it was hard to locate products they were looking for. Women, on the other hand, were more likely to be concerned about sites not making clear whether items were available at nearby retailers, indicating that women are more inclined to shop online, and then buy in-store, whereas men want to click and buy. Interestingly, it seems either clothing retailers have already done enough to translate their sites for mobile, or mobile figures low on customers lists of retail site problems, compared to all the other improvements theyd like to see: Less than 2% of women across age groups, and between 1% and 6% of men said the biggest failure of fashion sites was that they didnt translate well on the mobile phone or tablet. Corporate subscribers have access to all eMarketer analyst reports, articles, data and more. Join the thousands of marketers who already benefit from eMarketers approach.
Evidence suggested that there was also an attempt to burn it. The incident received wide public attention after UK police released a CCTV footage of it on September 27 with an appeal to witnesses to come forward so as to reach to the bottom of the case. According to police, the incident took place at 11.25 pm on September 27 and they were looking for a white man, who was seen in the area captured in the CCTV footage. Police officials apprehend that somebody, especially a couple, could have spotted the offenders. Detective constable Paddy Navin, while appealing to the members of public, who could help in investigation, said the hate crime was being taken very seriously by the Thames Valley police and every effort would be made to trace the culprits. Meanwhile, Sikh diaspora has expressed shock over the incident. North American Punjabi Association (NAPA), which has been voicing the concern of Sikhs against hate crimes, condemned the incident in UK, saying it was very unfortunate as the community was becoming a victim of racial hatred. “It seems that there is utter lack of awareness about the community. Representative bodies, like the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), have failed to address the issue and have remained confined to lip service. They are not making concerted efforts to spread awareness about the community and its ethos even as Sikhs have been at the receiving end of hate crimes in the past one decade or more,” said NAPA executive director Satnam Singh Chahal. ALSO ON TOI
The regulator had said firms would be compensated within 6 to 12 months but the process is now expected to drag out for longer even though banks have taken on more than 2,800 staff to handle the cases. The banks paid 1.5 million pounds in compensation in September with 22 offers being accepted by customers, the FCA said. This brings the total the banks have paid out to just 2 million pounds since the regulator ordered a review of nearly 30,000 cases last year. The lack of progress has angered small businesses, many of which face crippling monthly repayments and hefty break-up fees to disentangle themselves from the arrangements. “The fact that only 22 SMEs accepted offers last month shows the unacceptably slow performance of the banks providing satisfactory redress to those mis-sold,” said Abhishek Sachdev, managing director of Vedanta Hedging, which advises companies on the products. “We are aware of some SMEs that have been waiting for 12 months since their review meeting with the bank.” PAINFUL PROCESS Raj Bilakhia, a 59 year-old property investor from London, told Reuters he had been waiting to be paid for nearly a year after meeting with Royal Bank of Scotland to discuss his case last November. “It is painful. The process is too slow,” he said. “As well as that, we cannot sell any of our properties. The price is right now where we could make a profit but we can’t sell because these instruments give a penalty for breakage costs and the penalties are quite horrendous,” he said. RBS declined to comment on the specific case. The bank said it “remained committed to delivering outcomes for customers within the timelines set by the regulator.” The FCA expects the rate of progress to accelerate rapidly in the next few months. It said banks are aiming to send out more than 1,000 offers of compensation in October and that number will continue to increase each month. The regulator has told banks it expects most customers to have been informed of a decision and to receive an initial compensation offer, if applicable, by the end of the year. Much of the work so far has focused on determining whether borrowers were regarded as ‘sophisticated’ or not.
UK banks slow to compensate firms for swaps mis-selling
The fast-track service started 1 October to speed up visa approval decisions within three to five working days compared to the current wait of 15 working days. UK Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy to Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, David Puttnam, was quoted as saying that the British government was working to ensure it has the right services to encourage growth and support those who it wants to attract to the UK. Those the UK wants to attract are mainly skilled graduates who work for international companies, or have an expertise that would contribute to the recovery of the British economy. Tourists are way down the agenda. The present visa services ,apart from their inefficiency and high costs, are also time wasting for applicants. Research has shown consulate visa procedures are a deterrent to both business and tourism, costing billions of dollars in lost revenue for the UK. The embassy opened a new visa application centre in Ho Chi Minh City earlier this year, mainly to process applications for business, investment, work and study trips. About 13,700 UK visa applications were processed for Vietnamese travellers over the year ending June 2013. New UK visa policy changes were introduced 1 October that embassies say will encourage more business visits to the UK. They include: Allows tourists and business visitors to undertake some study when it is not the main purpose of their visit; Expands activities a business visitor can undertake in the UK; Remove the English language requirement for intra-company transferees; Makes it easier for graduate entrepreneurs to switch to skilled worker category; Waive share ownership restrictions for senior staff earning 152,100 or more; Allows some students to stay in the UK after their studies to undertake a corporate internship. These changes will ensure that the UK continues to attract the very best global talent to work for British businesses, said Mr Puttnam.