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 Moneyfacts.co.uk.

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.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone