James Moore: If even the Swiss are turning on HSBC, why aren't we?

Outlook HSBC’s problems are mounting, and rapidly. Now even the Swiss have turned on the bank, with prosecutors announcing a money-laundering investigation into its private banking operation. Yes, the Swiss are investigating a bank whose alleged misdeeds were a product of one of its most cherished institutions: banking secrecy.

James Moore: It's time to retrench over dividend payments

Outlook The stock market has in recent times become a happy place for those looking for income yield – a commodity in short supply elsewhere. That might be about to come to an end. Panmure Gordon’s Simon French has demonstrated that the level of earnings cover over dividends is now at a 16-year low. What is worrying, if you’re after income, is that the previous lows came after economic shocks that led analysts to downgrade their forecasts. By contrast, we are at a point in the cycle when earnings cover should be high so that there would be enough headroom to at least maintain payments if things start to go south.

James Moore: Energy companies have a real problem with customers - trust

Outlook Even if the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) ultimately finds no evidence of collusion among the “big six” energy companies, its investigation has unearthed some ugly things. The headlines in the wake of its catchily titled “updated issues statement” have focused on the huge savings that customers could have reaped by either switching their suppliers, or finding cheaper tariffs, or both. That’s understandable when 19 million “dual fuel” electricity and gas customers have each been missing out on between £158 and £234 that they could surely put to better use than lining the pockets of their energy suppliers; all for half an hour’s work with a mouse and a computer keyboard.

Hamish McRae: The economy is booming – but is the growth sustainable?

Economic View: How do people manage to spend more if they are not earning more? We don't know the full answer

HSBC alone was fined £216m in the UK and $275m in the US

HSBC tax avoidance scandal: Timeline of Britain's biggest banking leak

Swiss police have raided the Geneva offices of HSBC Private Bank after launching a criminal investigation into allegations of “aggravated money laundering”. The move comes just days after HSBC was exposed for helping hundreds of clients avoid and, in some cases, evade tax through its Swiss private bank.

Ready for Grexit? Protesters gathered in Syntagma Square, in front of the Greek parliament, last week

Grexit: How likely is a Greek exit from the Euro and what would happen to the economy?

Greece could exit the single currency within weeks

The Co-operative Party will this week call for a national community energy revolution in Britain

The Big Six Energy Firms: What you need to know

Personal Finance Editor Simon Read explains all the ins and outs of the Big Six

James Moore: Deflation? Let's worry about our carbon footprint instead

Outlook Don’t get too comfortable with minimal inflation.

James Moore: Investors' jitters about Sports Direct are justified

Outlook Sports Direct shares have been wobbling like one of the cheap basketballs it sells hitting the rim of a net.

Greece bailout: The shadow of US economic supremacy looms over negotiations

There will probably be a deal, but if there isn't, there will be a strong effort to keep the country in the euro

Campaigners hold a solidarity protest for Greece in Trafalgar Square

Greece bailout: Why won't Athens accept a bailout extension and what does Syriza want instead?

Greece's debt is currently €322 billion

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation fell to 4.8% in November

UK inflation at record low of 0.3%: Why is it important and what does it mean for you?

Falling fuel prices and supermarket price wars have contributed to the drop in inflation of a record 0.3 per cent low, which in turn is boosting household spending power. But what is low inflation and what are the consequences?

The Swiss National Bank pictured on 15 January, 2015, in Bern, Switzerland

Satyajit Das: Switzerland had to bite the bullet and drop franc ceiling

Das Capital: In reality, the policy was unsustainable in the light of rising currency inflows

James Moore: HSBC’s mea minima culpa is really about PR and damage limitation

Outlook: Mr Gulliver is a clever man and an executive of considerable skill. But that shouldn’t get his bank off the hook

Boston in Massachusetts: America has not yet escaped the grip of the economic downturn

David Blanchflower: Beware - the American jobs market is still feeling the chill

There was a surge in hidden unemployment in the wake of the Great Recession

News
While about £7bn has been cut from working age benefits by the Coalition, spending on pensioners has risen by a similar amount, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies
Most bosses don’t want to get directly involved in commenting on party policies, not least because they may have to deal with whichever party prevails at the election, says Ben Chu
News
Chief executive Tidjane Thiam received £11.8m, an increase of more than a third over the previous year. James Moore reports
News
Alliance Trust’s shares closed flat at 523.5p
Help, help, the wolves of Wall Street are after us! At least that’s how Alliance Trust is telling it, says James Moore
News
Tax on a typical North Sea oil field is now 50 per cent – as it was in 2010
Financial markets have generally assumed lower oil prices are good for asset prices, resulting from the positive effect on growth and lower inflation which extends the period of low interest rates. In reality, the large movement in oil prices has the potential to create significant financial instability, especially in debt markets, says Satyajit Das
News
Philip Smith quit RSA in November 2013, calling the internal investigation ‘fundamentally flawed’
The former chief executive, Philip Smith, is taking the insurer to a Dublin employment tribunal for constructive dismissal. Joe Brennan reports on the scandal that triggered the biggest sell-off in the company’s shares for almost a decade.
News
‘Too much delay’: Louise Ellman, chair of the Commons Transport Committee
Holey Corporate Governance! is how one law firm describes professional services outfit Quindell, in a nod to the classic 1960s Batman TV-show, writes James Moore
News
The Louis Vuitton store in Austria had its windows smashed by protesters last year
If there is any lesson to be learnt from the high-profile arrest of the billionaire gas tycoon Dmitry Firtash, it is this: watch where you do your luxury shopping in Vienna, says Jim Armitage
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
There has been progress in boosting female entrepreneurship in recent years, but nowhere near enough, says David Prosser
News
Ben Bernanke said deflation was usually caused by a collapse in demand
It seems likely the UK will become the 23rd European country to catch the deflation disease, says David Blanchflower
News
A piece of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Donetsk
Last year was more expensive for air disasters than any year since 2001. Jamie Dunkley examines the cost to the underwriters of aviation risk
News
The rise in the number of whistleblowers is impressive whichever way you look at it, says James Moore
News
The institution is now controlled not by a co-operative but by hedge funds, where these sort of payments are par for the course, says James Moore
News
The Treasury Select Committee will today take one of its last chances before Parliament’s dissolution to bowl another bouncer at the chest of the Financial Conduct Authority. James Moore on why we must watch over our watchmen
News
Princess Anne talks to Anthony Constantinou at the London Boat Show
Anthony Constantinou’s infancy was shattered by tragedy, but he went on to build a multimillion-pound City of London  business. Yet now the shadow of the law hangs over the boss of Capital World Markets, reports Jim Armitage
News
USC was put into administration by Sports Direct and was bought back immediately also by Sports Direct, with its £15.3m debts to staff, suppliers and landlords wiped clear
We’ve known for a while that Sports Direct sails close to the wind in terms of its business practices. After the performance of its chairman, James Moore says a more apt metaphor might be that it has been dancing with a hurricane
News
Ben Chu has the answers
News
MP Stella Creasy
Picking a team is fun, says Mark Leftly
News
The law on annuities will be changed from April 2016
History has shown that if you propose even a modest reform to the UK’s pension market you’re guaranteed a migraine from the bellyaching, notes James Moore
News
Ticket signs at Victoria Station on January 2, 2015 in London, England. Increased rail fares averaging 2.5% come into effect today, pushing the cost of some commuters annual rail fares to more than �5,000. Earlier this week, Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said that he would not be receiving his annual bonus because of the major rail disruption passengers faced over the Christmas period, which was caused by engineering works that overran.
Far from relieving the pressure on trains, the 16 per cent increase in seats might not even be enough to cope with the growth in passenger numbers, says James Moore
News
The story of Georgiou’s alleged fraud snugly fits the victim narrative so beloved of the country’s government, says Jim Armitage
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Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
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If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
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Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
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