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This year's Top 500 provides more reasons to be festive

John Lewis is tugging at the nation's heartstrings via another emotional rollercoaster of a TV campaign and the nation's high streets are festooned with brightly lit fire hazards that cause children to gape in awe and confused fear in equal measure.

ING exit will hit digital most but there are other options

As one of the largest funders (and certainly the largest funders for brokers), ING's decision will have very significant ramifications for the print sector. Nobody can step in and fill that gap but other funders - including Print Finance - will work very hard with customers, brokers and manufacturers to absorb that loss.

The decline of cheque use is far greater threat to sector

To print cheques you have to become an accredited printer, and in the UK, the Cheque Printer Accreditation Scheme (CPAS) is run by us at the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company. The purpose of the scheme is twofold: to make life more difficult for fraudsters by maintaining the highest levels of security standards on the paper cheque and to reduce the possibility of errors.

Ipex won't be fazed by talk of three-year Drupa cycle

The three-year Drupa of the 1970s was mooted several years ago during my time as chief executive of Picon.

It is time to shout about the steps the industry has taken

With recent research finding that only 7% of respondents felt print was conveying its sustainable message to buyers, it's clear the sector is failing to address the perception that print is not as sustainable as other methods of marketing and communications.

The 10-day target has failed to bring about real change

The 10-day target was launched by the previous government to standardise prompt public-sector payment in the hope that private companies would swiftly follow suit. Unfortunately, that has not yet happened. While it has been embraced by many public bodies, the Prompt Payment Code, a voluntary agreement to treat suppliers fairly, has been signed by only a handful of the UK's largest firms.

Things have started to get better and not before time

The Holt review into access to and delivery of apprenticeships in the UK aims to identify the issues that are discouraging businesses - particularly SMEs - from recruiting new blood in this way.

Claims should be judged on their specific circumstances

On 29 June, the FSA published its agreement with the banks on compensation to be paid for mis-sold swap products. Many have assumed that all interest rate swap products marketed by banks will lead to compensation, but this is not necessarily so. Both...

If Ipex draws in the buyers, printers will surely follow

Informa no doubt hopes its 1m Ipex VIP programme will once and for all put paid to exhibitors' fears over the show's international credentials.

Confused energy strategy is hobbling UK manufacturing

The recently published BIS report on future electricity costs for energy intensive industries (EIIs) only reinforces the view that many have held for some time - that current costs are higher here than in many of our global competitor nations and that this gap will only grow due to the implementation of a range of climate change measures here in the UK between 2013 and 2020.

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