News Josef Ackermann spoke of ‘shock’ at the suspected suicide of his colleague

Josef Ackermann, the chairman of Switzerland’s top-ranking Zurich Insurance Group and a former head of Deutsche Bank, has stepped down with immediate effect following the suspected suicide of the company’s chief financial officer.

Debt accord set to ease European Directories deal

£1.7bn restructuring will see banks write-off 80 per cent of what phone book publisher owes

Rio recovers from a dog of a deal

After a disastrous M&A adventure in 2007, the mining giant has staged a remarkable recovery

Goldman Sachs fined £17.5m by FSA over fraud investigation

Goldman Sachs is to pay an estimated £17.5m fine to the UK's Financial Services Authority, after admitting that it should have told the regulator it was under investigation for fraud in the US.

Ben Chu: Bob Diamond - a very dangerous banker

Warren Buffett advises investors to 'be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful'. But Diamond's record shows that he is greedy all the time

We're in the money! But maybe we won't get that much

As the high-street banks make bumper profits, their taxpayer rescuers may get little in return. Mark Leftly and Matt Chorley find out why

RBS back in the black for first time since 2007

Royal Bank of Scotland scraped back into the black for the first time since 2007 after losing more than £1bn a year earlier, as its restructuring plan began to take effect and the financial markets improved.

RBS heads back into the black - just

Part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland fuelled recovery hopes for the sector today as it steadied the ship with a return to profit for the first half of 2010.

RBS hit with huge fine for Goodwin failings

Royal Bank of Scotland suffered a major embarrassment yesterday when the state-owned bank was fined a record £5.6m by the City watchdog for failing to ensure that funds were not transferred to people under Treasury sanction.

Sir Nigel Rudd agrees to second term as BAA chairman

Corporate grandee Sir Nigel Rudd has been asked to stay on for a second three-year term as chairman of BAA. Sir Nigel took on the chairmanship of the UK's airports operator, owned by Spain's Ferrovial group, in September 2007, and has overseen a troubled period including the completion of Terminal 5, the forced sale of Gatwick airport and the failed attempt to build a third runway.

'Bank bosses don't like paying huge bonuses either'

The former deputy chairman of Barclays has seen the banking industry change over the decades and doesn't hesitate to speak his mind over its vagaries

The cult of the CEO

In the age of personality, it's not surprising that bosses of giant corporations are seen as more than mere figureheads. But do we expect too much of them? This cult of the CEO is a bad business, argues David Prosser

David Prosser: Pru's shareholders hold it to account

Outlook It is too early to say whether Tidjane Thiam can carry on as chief executive of Prudential in the wake of his misjudgement of the willingness of investors to back the insurer's purchase of AIA. But what has happened at Pru is that this has been a triumph for those who want shareholders to assert themselves more aggressively.

Leading article: Prudential shareholders awake

The Prudential's Asian adventure lies in ruins. The plan of the insurer's chief executive, Tidjane Thiam, to buy the Asian arm of the stricken American financial services giant AIG has collapsed. A significant number of Prudential's institutional shareholders protested over the £24bn price being offered for the target. They also, after some timely prompting from the Financial Services Authority, harboured concerns over the stability of the giant new global insurer that would have been created by the merger.

Paul Mumford: Investors will toast the demise of 'a deal too far'

The brusque rejection by AIG of Prudential's reduced offer for its Asian unit, AIA, looks likely to be the death blow that finally puts this audacious bid – already floundering in the face of an unprecedented shareholder rebellion – out of its misery. Should Pru's management and its lofty-thinking chief executive, Tidjane Thiam, fail to see the writing on the wall, the bid will almost certainly not be approved at its extraordinary general meeting on Monday.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable