And finally… HSBC bans car parking and tells workers to get on their bikes

HSBC UK is to slash 90 per cent of its 700 staff car parking spaces across two of its regional centres, installing bike racks and changing rooms instead.

The banking giant says the move is part of a £100 million, eight year programme in which the workers will be guinea pigs in a nationwide drive to get the public on their bikes more often, the Sunday Times has reported.

As part of the initiative, researchers from the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh will study more than 1,000 HSBC employees’ physical health, motivation and the number of sick days they take after they start cycling.

HSBC chief executive, Ian Stuart, said: “It won’t suit everyone and I understand that.” But Mr Stuart insisted he was ‘not a fanatical cyclist”, adding: “I don’t own Lycra.”

The bank is spending more than £3 million on bike racks, showers and offering electric bikes to its staff in Birmingham and Sheffield as well as sponsoring schemes to boost bike riding among the wider public in partnership with British Cycling.