News

Britain's ageing population and changes to workplace pensions proved lucrative for Resolution during the first half of the year.

Surrey confirm Lara talks

Surrey are in talks with Brian Lara about joining the club "in some capacity" but are unable to confirm the West Indian great's prospective new role.

Income protection policy: An offer you simply shouldn't refuse

Being forced out of her job as a social services worker was a nightmare for Bronwen Jenkins. She was left suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and faced having her home repossessed and being made bankrupt.

Surviving the death of a breadwinner

How can you keep your family finances alive? Julian Knight and Chiara Cavaglieri report

Prudential to make £15bn offer for troubled AIG's Asian assets

The Pru may sell off its UK life business to refocus on growth markets in Asia

James Moore: What's the big deal with Aviva and its shares?

Outlook: Market watchers know about share ramping, but the FSA appears powerless

Gibbs joins Yorkshire for T20 tournament

The South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs has signed for Yorkshire and is set to represent the county in this year's Friends Provident T20 tournament.

Britain will face migrant brain drain as Asian economies grow stronger

Britain's businesses will suffer from a shortage of skilled workers in the next decade as educated foreigners quit the UK in large numbers, warns a report commissioned by the insurer, Friends Provident.

Questions Of Cash: 'Shameful NatWest turned 87p debt into £400'

Q. Lloyds wrote to me in November, stating it was closing all my accounts. I have been with Lloyds for 12 years, have a overdraft facility, always been in credit and always had £5,000 to £17,000 in savings with them. I called the closure unit who said they were within their rights and did not have to provide a reason. I have spoken to several Lloyds' managers, who said they could not intervene.

James Moore: Sweet lesson for banks in Cadbury

Outlook: It looks like the bankers in Cadbury's corner are set to make some healthy success fees

James Moore: Time for a new brolly?

Outlook: Has Legal & General's umbrella just sprung a leak? It might sound terribly technical, but there's more than meets the eye to Moody's decision to change the way it rates hybrid securities and subordinated debt instruments issued by banks. Before the financial crisis the ratings agency had taken the view that investors in this type of debt would benefit, at least to an extent, from support provided to a troubled bank by national governments or central banks. Now we know that ain't necessarily so. The EC thinks that bond holders should share the pain of a bailout.

Investment Column: Euromoney can make more for investors

Resolution; Dairy Crest

Lloyds still short of official approval for giant cash call

Treasury and FSA yet to sign off on the UK's largest ever rights issue

Market Report: Home Retail left behind as Footsie rallies

Home Retail Group endured a choppy session last night, falling back despite a buoyant market trend.

Business Diary: NPower's cricket parties run out of gas

With the rain putting the dampeners on the one-day cricket series against Australia, it appears that we will not see a repeat of the "Cricket in the Park" bashes that the Test sponsor Npower dubbed "the next best thing to being at the match". No bad thing, given the way it all ended. Fans were turned away by security staff who claimed that the event was over at 5pm, despite Australia's final wicket falling 45 minutes later. Diary can now reveal that this was because staff simply lost count of the number of spectators and had to close it on health and safety grounds. Let's hope Npower do rather better at keeping count of energy bills.

James Moore: New FD needs to help restore focus at L&G

Outlook So congratulations on the new job, Dr Nigel Wilson. The finance chief at United Business Media is to take on the same role at a rather bigger beast: Legal & General. How long that beast can thrive in the wild, though, is open to question. It wasn't so long ago that L&G was a tiger – sleek, fit and dynamic. Under Sir David Prosser it made a habit of defying City expectations on the upside. His strategy was simple: focus the company on doing its job better than rivals and ignore the siren calls of investment bankers. It worked, too, and L&G significantly grew its market share at the expense of rivals who either fell by the wayside or concentrated on doing deals rather than serving their customers.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick