hei-fi

No time should be wasted asking them to reform – just do it

Money Insider: Banks reward loyalty – but is it enough?

barclays bank has launched a range of discounted loyalty mortgage deals following similar moves by HSBC, the Halifax, Nationwide and Santander, which also offer preferential rates to existing current account customers.

Barclays pays $298m over US sanctions violations

Barclays bank has agreed to pay a settlement of $298m (£190m) after it violated US sanctions in transactions conducted with Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Myanmar.

Sarah Sands: Saddle up for the short ride to communism

There are a few potential downsides to the Boris Bikes that arrived in London on Friday, and critics spotted them all. "Stand by for massive amount of suing", "fair-weather cyclists", "a financial fiasco", "a clever ploy by [the sponsor] Barclays bank to ensure we forget their greed and fat-cat bonuses and pensions". Helmets! Hoodies! Hubris!

Questions Of Cash: 'My flight had left Australia the previous day'

Q. In January, I was stranded in Perth in Australia because Air Mauritius changed its itinerary without informing me. I arrived at the airport to find my flight had departed the previous day. I was four days late returning to work, lost pay and incurred costs totalling £730, but Air Mauritius will pay me only €600 (£500). While in Perth, I unsuccessfully tried to persuade Air Mauritius to send me home using another airline. After ignoring my emails, Air Mauritius eventually offered me €600, saying: "As previously advised, your settlement has been set out by the EC Regulation 261/2004 and will not be increased." But I believe Air Mauritius has a legal and moral duty to pay for all my extra costs incurred because of the schedule change, so I have refused its offer. RD, by email.

Ben Chu: The case for breaking up Barclays

Regular readers of this blog will be unsurprised to hear that I disagree with the argument of my colleague, James Moore, that breaking up Barclays Bank would be a bad idea.

James Moore: Why breaking up barclays bank doesnt look so clever

So now we know. Barclays is Britain’s strongest bank, and by quite some way. Even under a stressed scenario considered by Europe’s banking watchdogs it would have a tier one capital ratio of 13.7 per cent.

The Business On... Crispin Odey, Founder, Odey Asset Management

Not another smug financier?

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.

MI5 investigates as 'femme fatale' found to have links with UK

A glamorous estate agent said to be at the centre of the alleged Russian spy ring was the subject of an urgent investigation in Britain last night, after evidence emerged that she had worked in London before moving to the US.

David Prosser: Here is the news: your pension is under attack

Outlook Gulp. If you're a teacher, a nurse, a binman or a civil servant – in short, if you work in the public sector – the latest news from the BBC makes uncomfortable viewing. The cuts the Corporation proposes to make to the pension benefits it offers its staff could set a precedent that ministers follow over the years ahead, particularly if BBC bosses can avoid a very painful industrial dispute.

Man held after bank hostages freed

A bank siege ended peacefully last night when a man was arrested after up to 16 people taken hostage were released unharmed.

Lehman was biggest risk of my life, says Diamond

John Varley, the chief executive of Barclays Bank, said that pursuing the acquisition of Lehman Brothers at the height of the financial panic in 2008 led to "the riskiest week" of his life.

Current account changes mean end of free banking

Free accounts are now outnumbered by paid-for ones and could disappear altogether within three years, reports Simon Read

Business Diary: Osborne fails to lead by example

George Osborne, the Chancellor, ought to do a little more practising what he preaches. He is full of the need for austerity measures, promising billions of pounds of cuts in public spending. He expects colleagues to set an example – ministers have been told to travel using second-class train tickets whenever possible. And he has even started lecturing other countries on cuts, warning about high budget deficits around the world when he arrived at the G20 meeting of finance ministers in Korea yesterday. So how did Osborne get to Korea? By business class flight, obviously.

Hamish McRae: Government may have to step in where companies fear to tread

Economic Life: Any other company, particularly a foreign one, will now think twice about investing in technically demanding oil exploration in the US
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Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
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Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
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Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

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The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
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Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum