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Lazard Ltd (NYSE: LAZ) has published its financial results for the most recent quarter and the last nine months.
The firm made net income of $52.5m, equating to $0.41 per diluted share, for the quarter, better than Q2 2009, but somewhat weaker than the $54.8m net income for Q3 2008.
For the last nine months the firm made a net profit of $65.9m, or $0.53 per diluted share, approximately half the net income for the corresponding period last year when net income of $135.3m ($1.15 per diluted share) was achieved.
Interim Chief Executive Officer Steven J. Golub has expressed the cont
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inuing pride Lazard has in its business and staff.
Golub recently took up his interim position following the death of Bruce Wasserstein, CEO and chairman, two weeks ago at the age of 61.
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Online auctions can offer bargain prices and rare items, but bidders can also fall victim to costly errors and fraud.


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Independent private client investment manager Brewin Dolphin has recruited Steve Skelding as business development manager for South Wales.
Skelding began his career in financial services in 1990 with Eagle Star, with subsequent mergers leading it to become part of Zurich Financial Services.
In his new role with Brewin Dolphin, Skelding’s initial task will be to promote the firm’s Investment Services to professionals operating in South and West Wales.
He will be responsible to the head of Business, John Cowmeadow, and will collaborate closely with the investment manag
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ers based in the firm’s offices in Swansea and Cardiff.
Cowmeadow has welcomed Skelding’s appointment, adding that his addition to the firm emphasised its intention to become the premier investment management firm in South and West Wales.
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The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, to be celebrated in 2012 alongside the London Olympics, could see the introduction of a new Bank Holiday.
The TUC and various voluntary organisation are calling for a “Community Day” Bank Holiday some time in late October, in recognition of the role of volunteers in sustaining community life.
Executive director of Community Service Volunteers, Dame Elisabeth Hoodless, is hoping to inspire the nation by linking a new public holiday to October’s Make a Difference Day, when people are invited to experience being a volunteer for t
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he first time.
An addition break would also come as welcome relief for workers facing the August to Christmas run without the prospect of a long weekend.
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Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has reported it achieved net profits of AED1.1bn for the first nine months of the year.
This includes impairment provisions of AED403m made during the period, in accordiance with DIB’s prudent and careful approach.
Total assets stand at AED82.9bn, with customer deposits at AED66.1bn, both of which are down from the six-monthly levels of AED87.8bn and AED71.5bn respectively.
The bank has also maintained its focus on longterm sustainable growth and will be well-placed to benefit greatly from the global recovery according to His Excellency Chairman Mo
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hammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani.
The chairman has stated that the period of great uncertainty and difficulty is coming to an end, as signs from around the world point to recovery and stabilisation.
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Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) has achieved a milestone in its network expansion, as its 200th branch opened in south Sudan, in Juba.
KCB operates across Eastern Africa and has branches in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Southern Sudan and Rwanda, and recently opened its sixth branch in Sudan.
Group Chief Executive Martin Oduor-Otieno has said that the milestone reflects the bank’s commitment to taking banking closer to the marketplace.
KCB Rwanda’s network will soon number nine branches, as the last new branch of the year is shortly due to open in Muhanga District in the Sout
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hern province.
KCB has also recently increased the number of ATMs in the region, as well as launching KCB Connect, an innovative mobile banking service.
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Many homeowners question whether they should abandon a home that’s “underwater” even if they can still afford the payments.


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The Financial Ombudsman Services (FOS) has written to the UK’s banks demanding that customers who claim to be suffering financial hardship and request the return of overdraft charges are treated fairly.
The Office of Fair Trading has been trying to establish the legality of the charges – widely regarded as exorbitant – under the 1999 Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations.
A test case involving seven banks has been running for over two years and is currently bogged down in an appeal by the banks in the UK’s new Supreme Court.
Early on in the proceedings,
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the Financial Services Authority (FSA) issued a waiver allowing banks to put aside complaints until the outcome of the High Court case is known and up to one million dissatisfied individuals and businesses are estimated to be in a backlog awaiting a final judgement.
However, the FSA waiver specifically required banks to deal with complaints in cases of financial hardship and the FOS has been inundated with complaints from customers who believe they fit this category, but have been unsuccessful in reclaiming charges.
In addressing the problem, the FOS letter states: “We see cases where it appears to us that the bank has not engaged properly with the consumer [or their representative] to gain a clear understanding of the consumer’s financial position.”
The Ombudsman has also written to claims management firms as banks have suggested that some of the cases submitted through their services have been spurious.
While a number of banks have lowered their charges since the legal battle began, others continue to charge customers up to £39 for transactions on accounts that have gone into the red without agreement.
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