And in the real world... British Gas, Diageo, Unilever, Google and more

LONDON - Today's round-up of the biggest business stories.

World news... round-up
World news... round-up

The Royal Bank of Scotland swung to a loss in the first quarter in spite of a jump in total income, as impairments at the majority state-owned bank quadrupled to almost £3 billion, weighing down the surge in revenues from the group's investment banking division.
Source: Financial Times

Diageo, the world's largest spirits-maker, saw sales decline in the first three months of the year as US retailers cut stock levels amid a deepening recession.
Source: The Daily Telegraph

Google executives mounted a concerted public defence on Thursday of how the search company wields its wide-ranging power on the internet amid signs of growing regulatory concern.
Source: Financial Times

British Gas has cut electricity prices by 10 per cent for 4.5 million domestic energy customers after a fall in wholesale prices.
Source: The Guardian

Unilever's new chief executive added sparkle to its shares with plans to reignite sales growth and change the way executives are rewarded at the underperforming consumer goods company. Source: The Guardian

Lloyds and Barclays yesterday announced a significant rise in bad debt provisions as the true impact of the recession started to feed through from over-indebted companies and consumers. Source: Financial Times