News The more modern town of Salford, where the latest investment of the English Cities Fund is expected to be announced

Could Britain’s chronic housing shortage be solved by using insurers’ assets? Jamie Dunkley and Russell Lynch report

David Prosser: Mutuality isn't such a hard place for Northern Rock

Outlook In the wake of the credit crisis, it is rather too easy to fall into the trap of judging banks bad and building societies good. While the mutual sector had a good war – particularly compared with the former mutuals that blew up during the crisis – the building-society movement was not without its own casualties.

The Business On... Sir Tom Hunter, Businessman

Sir Tom is back?

At least two years before big banking deals return

Big ticket banking takeovers will not return for another two years at least, as global financial groups continue to feel the pressure in the wake of the downturn, according to a report out today.

US economic recovery slower than thought

The world's largest economy grew much more slowly than thought in the first half of the year, as business caution, government cuts and some timidity on the part of consumers badly crimped the US recovery.

City watchdog reveals inquiry into collapse of HBOS

HBOS, the bank that collapsed at the height of the credit crisis and had to be rescued by Lloyds Bank, is facing the prospect of disciplinary action from City regulators, the Financial Services Authority revealed for the first time yesterday.

Letter from the editor: The man from the Pru

In Seventies south London, a ring at the door on a Wednesday evening would induce panic in my poor Ma. “Quick, hide the wine!” she would hiss at pre-teen me, so the man from the Pru wouldn’t know we drank Chianti and think we were rich.

Housing industry 'rebound' observed

The housebuilding industry showed signs of recovering during the first quarter, with the number of new properties started jumping by 26%.

Building industry 'far from recovery'

The chief executive of the house builder Persimmon has warned that the UK housing industry is still far from a full recovery – despite his company posting encouraging sales figures for the first part of 2011.

Stephen Foley: Why it really pays to work at RBS

Outlook There was no shortage of outrage over executive bonuses at Royal Bank of Scotland when shareholders gathered for its annual meeting in Edinburgh yesterday, and the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee will pile on this morning in its latest report on our state-supported banks. It is "inappropriate" for the likes of RBS to be handing multimillion-pound incomes to its bosses until the taxpayer has been repaid the money it fronted during the credit crisis, the committee will declare.

US investigates banks over credit crisis 'cartel' claim

The US authorities are considering invoking anti-cartel laws against some of the world's biggest banks, in an investigation into whether they colluded to manipulate interest rates during the credit crisis.

Poster boy for the credit crunch to repay investors cash

RAB Capital has agreed to pay out 79 per cent of its Special Situations Fund to investors, leaving the former $3bn (£1.8bn) fund with less than $100m.

Fixed-rate ISA numbers soar

The number of available fixed-rate ISAs has soared 10-fold during the past decade as banks have become increasingly reliant on using savers' money to fund their mortgage-lending, according to

Personal loan rate drops below 7%

The leading rate for a personal loan has dropped below the 7% barrier for the first time since June 2008, research showed today.

Most Britons believe living standards have fallen

More than half of British adults believe that the average family's standard of living has declined since the start of the credit crunch in 2007, according to a survey from Scottish Provident.

FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam