BofA told to raise $34bn of new capital

Bank of America needs to cover a capital hole of $34bn (£23bn), it will be revealed today, as the Obama administration unveils the results of "stress tests" to determine the strength of the country's financial system. But the bank insists it can raise most of the money by selling assets or issuing new shares, and says that converting taxpayer funds into common stock, a move that could make the US government its dominant shareholder, would be a last resort.

How to make your credit cards pay

Britain's credit-card market is one of the most competitive in the world. Most cards have no annual fees, offer attractive interest-free introductory periods, and come with generous loyalty schemes. The downside is that they also charge hefty interest rates – typically between 15 and 20 per cent APR – meaning that they're an inefficient way of borrowing for any period of time.

Meet the credit card that can cut the cost of your Christmas spree

Cashback deals could save you money, if you are smart. Nargis Ahmad and Julian Knight report

America heads towards recession

US consumer spending logs its sharpest downturn since the recession of 1980

Questions of Cash: I want a refund for these unfair overdraft charges

Q. Credit card fraud led to me receiving a £2,000 American Express bill. AmEx told me to cancel my direct debit with my bank, Alliance & Leicester, to avoid this payment being processed. I tried to cancel using A&L's online service and thought I had done this when I entered a "cancel" instruction – but it turned out that this just cancelled the cancellation request. This led to the direct debit being processed. When I realised, I phoned A&L and it approved a new overdraft limit to avoid triggering unauthorised overdraft charges. But A&L imposed charges anyway. It says it will not consider refunding these until the court cases on unfair bank charges are settled, arguing it has a waiver from the Financial Services Authority covering all bank charges regarded by customers as unfair. But my complaint is nothing to do with charges covered by these cases. LC, Cheltenham.

Anti-terror officer jailed for misuse of credit card

A Scotland Yard anti-terrorism officer has been jailed for 10 months after he admitted using his corporate credit card to fund a £73,000 spree.

Bank details sold on eBay

The personal details of more than a million high- street bank customers have been found on the hard drive of a computer sold on eBay for £35.

American Express shares dive after profits warning

American Express, the credit card company, issued a thumping profits warning last night, sending its shares diving and potentially foreshadowing a new leg of the credit crisis.

The bill for ID theft – our biggest fear

Britons are more afraid of identity theft than they are of being mugged or attacked in the street, a survey from American Express has revealed.

Simon Calder: When is a fake banknote not a fake?

The search for a perfect murder is the constant quest for crime writers; but for petty villains in South America, it appears that the quest for the perfect scam for relieving travellers of their excess cash has reached a perfect conclusion. It relies upon the large number of forged bank notes in circulation, but is far more subtle than simply handing over fake bills in change.

Cyberclinic: Why are blind people ignored by websites?

After last week's column about Captchas – the little visual tests that websites deploy alongside password requests to prove that you're human – reader Jo Franks pointed out how maddening they are for blind people. When I raised this issue on the Cyberclinic blog, Thomas Reid mentioned that a Captcha at blogcarnival.com in effect stops blind bloggers from joining in with their project. This obviously isn't a deliberate ploy. But it's far from unique.

Man who culled Egg borrowers resigns

The man responsible for Egg's controversial clear-out of 7 per cent of its credit card customers has resigned after less than a year heading the UK operations of Egg's parent, Citigroup.

Visa to raise up to $18.8bn in record flotation on NYSE

Visa has announced an $18.8bn (£9.5bn) fundraising that will rank as the biggest initial public offering ever seen in the US. It comes as the credit crisis continues to destabilise financial markets, and in the middle of an otherwise arid spell for stock market flotations.

How to stop your credit limit from being slashed

James Daley gives advice on staying in the banks' good books and the best new deals around
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