Arts and Entertainment Roddy Doyle and Roy Keane as 'The Commitments' author Doyle has signed a deal to work with Keane to write the footballer's autobiography

Roddy Doyle, author of "The Commitments", has signed a deal to work with Roy Keane on the controversial ex-footballer’s latest autobiography.

How to avoid tricks of the financial trade

To get the best bank and insurance deals, you need to be let in on a few secrets, says Kate Hughes

No celebrations for Woolworths' century of managed decline

In 1909, when the American owners of Woolworths opened their first British store in Liverpool, the local newspaper, The Liverpool Courier, reported long queues outside, with shelves stripped bare of their goods before the first day of trading.

Good news for borrowers as mortgage rates fall at last

HSBC will today become the latest in a series of large mortgage lenders to trim the cost of its home loans, reducing its interest rates by up to 0.31 percentage points. In addition to cutting the cost of its fixed-rate deals – its two-year product will fall from 6.74 per cent to 6.43 per cent a year – HSBC said it would also reduce some of the fees it charges for the loans.

Co-op gears up for big 4 battle

Can the £1.57bn takeover of Somerfield help the Co-op challenge the major supermarket chains and regain its historic standing on the British high street? Nick Clark reports on a 'renaissance'

The Mortgage Clinic: 'I need to remortgage – but have no equity'

'I bought my first flat in 2006 and took out a two-year fix for 5.9 per cent, as it was a near-100 per cent loan with Northern Rock. I need to remortgage and have barely any equity in my property; my loan-to-value is still 97 per cent. Where am I going to get a mortgage? Do I have any choice other than to go on to Northern Rock's SVR?' HR, Newcastle

Darling embarrassed as Northern Rock fails to pass on rate cut

Gordon Brown sought yesterday to convince voters he is not out of touch and that he understands their anxiety about the gathering economic gloom.

MPC rate cut fails to lift mortgage misery

Bank of England lowers interest rate to 5%; Lenders reluctant to pass on 0.25% cut to borrowers

Mortgage Clinic: 'Should I take out a loan to boost my deposit?'

I'm a first-time buyer with savings of £11,500, but I'd need a much bigger deposit at the moment to get a decent mortgage rate. I'm tempted to take out a personal loan for £9,000, so that I can get a better mortgage deal. Is that a good idea?
FR, Cheltenham

House prices fall at fastest rate since 1990s

House prices fell during March at their fastest rate since the 1990s' house price crash as the credit crunch continued to take its toll on the market, figures showed today.

First-time buyers feel squeeze as lenders withdraw best deals

First-time buyers are being forced to work even harder to find a lender who will help them take their first step on the property ladder, after another handful of major banks pulled their most competitive mortgages from the market this week.

Large lenders start to exit 100 per cent mortgage market

Britain's largest lenders have begun to withdraw from the 100 per cent mortgage market, raising their prices and increasingly refusing to lend any more than 90 per cent of a property's value.

Landslide sets San Francisco's nerves on edge

It's never good news when the earth moves in San Francisco. Yesterday several hundred startled, bemused but apparently unharmed residents and business-owners gazed at a large gash of exposed earth where a chunk of Telegraph Hill, in the heart of the city, used to be.

BAA promises £750m payout

The airport operator, BAA, confirmed yesterday it will hand back cash to shareholders if the hostile bid from Ferrovial of Spain fails, but disappointed the market by saying the amount involved would be only £750m.

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