Gross household debt reached a historic high of around 160 per cent of combined incomes in 2007

Simon Read: Give people struggling with debt some breathing space

Struggling people need help, understanding and forbearance, not ill-thought-out pronouncements

A person walks through the City of London during the early morning rush hour in London

Simon Read: Caught up in the scandal about leaks at the regulator

You won’t find me bashing the banks for the sake of it, but sadly they’ve deserved all the criticism that’s been sent their way in recent years

Pat and Richard Astbury at their home in Norton Canes, Staffordshire. They have benefitted from the Community Energy Project aimed at helping council tenants with their energy bills. They have had solar panels installed.

Locals in Staffordshire to save hundreds after new council-backed project to install solar panels

The sun is shining on people who struggle to heat their homes and it’s thanks to a sense of community

Questions of cash: Santander said I’d won a prize but my Kindle never came

Q | I had a letter from Santander on 10 September to say that I was a prize winner in its Santander Nominee Service prize draw. The letter said I had to complete an attached form and return it to Santander by Monday 29 September by email or post.

I did this on 27 September, when I came home from holiday. I checked the website on 6 October, which confirmed that my name was on the list as a prizewinner.

The prize was a Kindle, but it did not arrive. I emailed to ask what had happened and was told that my form had not been received by post by the required date. I replied that the letter clearly stated that I could email the form, which I had done. I was then asked to resend the email, which I did. I have now been told that Santander cannot find the email. CI, Salisbury

Official documents have revealed the Government is paying staff from powerful firms including energy giants

Five questions on: Money owed by energy firms

Around three million people are owed money by energy firms

There were around 750,000 victims of mobile phone theft in England and Wales last year, according to official figures

Money alert: Stolen mobile phones

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice: 'The injustice of shock bills for crime victims must end. The Government must stand up for consumers and cap bills from lost or stolen phones at £50'

No Pain, No Gain: Booker carries all before it to help me end a volatile year on a high

The No Pain, No Gain portfolio is set to end the year on a firm note.

Indian workers boil sugarcane juice to make jaggery, a traditional cane sugar, at a jaggery plant in Muradnagar, Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad district

Mark Dampier: A hot investment story is taking shape as India lets the light in

Stirring the pot: the Indian Government’s reforms of labour rules offer hope of a brighter future for businesses 

An AA patrol man helping a woman whose scooter had broken down.

Bargain hunter: Whisk up those leftovers instead of just throwing them in the bin

Knight of the road, look out: you’ve got a new rival 

Sainsbury’s sank 7 per cent to 234p; Tesco fell 3.2 per cent to 180.2p ; and Morrisons dropped 5 per cent to 159.9p

Money Insider: Supermarkets: the real challenger banks

The supermarket banks have always excelled at offering simple, no nonsense products, and savings accounts is another area in which they fare well

Donald MacInnes: Why do we indulge Farage? Why aren’t we storming the Lords?

Two recent events made me very, very angry.

Weekly Money: Round-up of the personal finance stories you may have missed 8-12 December

The stories we noticed this week:

Action that could prevent debt misery

Who worries about people struggling with debt? Not many of our patronising politicians, judging by recent pronouncements on the issue.

Bargain Hunter: Win a Bentley competition to be driving in a winter wonderland

Fancy driving a £250,000 Bentley Continental GT3-R – on ice? That's the €11,340 prize – in fact there are two up for grabs – in a seasonal competition from the luxury car maker.

How to raise money for charity this Christmas

There are so many ways you can raise money - and awareness - for charity. Rob Griffin explains how easy it is to donate and reap financial rewards
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