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

An open letter to Stuart Gulliver: HSBC is now paying the price for its hubris in recent years

Outlook: You and your boardroom colleagues are responsible for strategy, standards and setting the culture of your institution

Did HSBC boss Stuart Gulliver really need a Swiss account?

Until now the bank has managed to hold the line that its ethically dubious activities were all from a bygone era


David Blanchflower: Wages growth? The Bank of England appears to have lost its marbles

The Bank’s agents provided a special report on pay last week and showed they saw no expectation of much of any increase in wages growth at all

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, wanted the banks to commit to maintaining their last remaining branches in towns or villages – but the proposed British Banking Association (BBA) guidelines make no mention of such a policy

Vince Cable's middling grade as Business Secretary is well-deserved

Westminster Outlook

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.

‘Missing our deals will haunt you’ – Phones 4U’s TV ad came back to haunt it
It seemed bad enough that a popular retailer could be allowed to collapse simply because its suppliers suddenly decided to pull the plug. Now Simon Neville reveals who got their money back – and who didn't
Tesco’s new boss Dave Lewis has decided to buy out Euphorium completely. Jim Armitage reports
Bernanke’s move does show the more subtle side of the Washington-Wall Street nexus, says Jim Armitage
For Britain’s multinationals, a global economic recovery looks to be under way, says Jim Armitage
There is no reason to expect secular stagnation – even if it is hard to see quite where growth will come from, says Hamish McRae
Margrethe Vestager wants small businesses to have a fair representation on search engines
Margrethe Vestager, the EU's new competition watchdog and one of the most prominent and well-liked figures in Danish politics, has taken on the technology giant over its alleged abuse of the market. Oscar Williams-Grut reports
A Lehman Brothers employee leaves the bank’s European headquarters
Ben Chu asks: has the industry really absorbed the fund segregation lesson? And are regulators succeeding in enforcing the rules?
David Cameron unveils the Conservative party manifesto in Swindon (PA)
The OBR was told by the last government not to audit the election manifestos. Jamie Murray on why that should change.
Margaret Thatcher with the new owners of a property in Essex which was sold for just over £8,000 in 1980
The Tories want to revive and extend Margaret Thatcher’s flagship housing policy. Ben Chu looks at what the possible consequences could be
Tony and Cherie Blair on the day he was elected
Mark Leftly with Parliamentary Business
British Gas announced yesterday that it will cut bills – but only by 5 per cent, and not until the end of next month, when the coldest weather is likely to be over
But shareholders in Centrica will take heart. Even as customers may brace for  the worst, says Jim Armitage
Paper trail: Deidre has a crack team of letter-writing lieuten-aunts, armed with cups of tea and a bank of good sense
Just when you thought banker bashing might finally come to an end, another hideous toad crawls out from under a rock to stir the public’s justified indignation yet again. Jim Armitage takes a peek
Shopping on Oxford Street: the new year begins with a rise in VAT, which will impact on high-street spending
There’s something perverse about the Competition and Markets Authority’s decision to block Poundland’s attempted takeover of 99p Stores, says Simon Neville
Ferdinand Piech, the chairman, at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Germany
Ferdinand Piëch, the powerful chair of VW, has fallen out with his chief executive and protégé Martin Winterkorn. Tony Patterson lifts the bonnet and examines what’s going on at the German automobile giant
The Conservative party is ahead of Labour in the polls for the first time since 2011, with the NHS likely to matter more to people than the economy when they decide how to vote in the general election (EPA)
Be sceptical when you hear tales of impending financial panic during election campaigns, warns Ben Chu
China’s size and complexity frequently obscures its reality, says Satyajit Das
Max-Hervé,  a Frenchman who lives in Switzerland, does not immediately strike you as a financial terrorist or a man who might be a billionaire by the end of the decade.
The Frenchman could end up destroying, or owning, the company which runs the pension funds for hundreds of thousands of people. John Lichfield speaks to him
Labour says higher corporation tax would be used to finance a cut in business rates. David Prosser reports
The trade deficit has worsened amid difficulties in export markets
The UK’s trade deficit worsened by much more than had been expected, says David Blanchflower
Number 16: ExxonMobil President and CEO Rex Tillerson, his company is the world's biggest oil and gas producer
Even taking Exxon’s recent chest beating about its appetite for deals Jim Armitage thinks it's unlikely
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Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own