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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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project