City hopes of an early a sell-off of the taxpayer’s stake in Royal Bank of Scotland were dealt a massive blow today as its finance director, Nathan Bostock, was poached by rival Santander UK.

Rose: Succession could have been handled better

Sir Stuart Rose admitted that the announcement that he was taking over as chief executive and chairman of M&S next month could have been handled better.

New chief did not take any banking exams

Ron Sandler, the man chosen by the Government to run Northern Rock, does not have any formal banking qualifications.

Court to rule if banks overcharged customers with 'punitive' fees

The long-awaited court case that will determine whether thousands of aggrieved bank customers can pursue overcharging claims against banks begins today.

Return to Somalia: The war on terror - a new front

Thirteen years ago, the US pulled out of the east African country after the bloody events that inspired 'Black Hawk Down'. Now it is back, supporting warlords in their battle with Islamist militants. Kim Sengupta reports from Merka

Lecturers given two-week ultimatum to settle dispute

Thousands of university students may be unable to graduate this summer unless their lecturers hand over the marks from their final exams within the next two weeks, university bosses warned yesterday.

Multiple births 'are biggest health risk in IVF treatment'

Women can be five times more likely to become pregnant depending on which fertility clinic they choose, figures show. More than half had a baby after treatment at some clinics compared with 10 per cent at others.

Dominic Lawson: Blair's government is suffering deathly decay. Just look at all those pallid faces...

Take Prescott - 'exhausted' does not do justice to the shattered expression in the old pugilist's face

Tilly And The Wall, Luminaire, London <!-- none onestar twostar fourstar fivestar -->

They don't know what they're doing. Tilly and the Wall's two female singers, and the tap-dancer they use in place of a drummer, can hardly hear themselves on stage, as faulty mics and monitors reduce the close harmonies and tap-beats to a semi-audible shambles. It says something for the indomitable, adolescent spirit of play that is the heart of their appeal that the crowd stick around for the ride, and are rewarded with a memorably shaky show.

Barratt detects housing recovery

Santander boss faces trial over &pound;111m 'parachute' payouts

Emilio Botin, the chairman of Santander Central Hispano which recently took over Abbey National, is to stand trial in Madrid this week over misappropriation charges.

Let the children play and profits may follow after

Child's Play

Economic guru Burns appointed to conduct FA review

Lord Burns, a diehard Queen's Park Rangers fan who influenced much of Margaret Thatcher's economic policy, has been appointed to conduct a structural review of the Football Association.

Shareholders barrack the Abbey board over Spanish takeover

The chairman of Abbey National, Lord Burns, almost lost control of his group's shareholders yesterday during a heated meeting that eventually approved the bank's £8.9bn takeover by Spain's largest bank Santander.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform