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

Thousands stuck in property funds as Standard halts exits

Investors wishing to remove their money may have to wait six months

Market Report: Friends Provident proves popular on bid talk

Friends Provident was strong last night amid talk of possible bid interest from Resolution, Clive Cowdery's investment vehicle that it is due to list on the London market next week. Citing reports of heavy institutional interest in the IPO, traders speculated that Resolution might secure enough funding to go after Friends.

Investors face a vicious circle of penalties if they withdraw their cash

Investors in with-profits funds have been warned of a "vicious circle" of bonus cuts and penalties should they choose to withdraw their money.

Geraint Jones: Jeepers keepers

Kent's former England wicketkeeper Geraint Jones finds refuge from the pressure of cricket by also being a pig farmer. Will Hawkes chews the fat with him before today's Friends Provident final

South African cricketers aim for Lords glory

They dreamed of such an event, such a special day long, long ago as boys back in South Africa. Saturday at Lords, the home of cricket in the heart of London, three South African players will fulfil the ambition of a lifetime by playing in front of a full house at the famous old ground.

Profits dip at Friends Provident as sale of Lombard unit stalls

Friends Provident is finding itself struggling to sell its Lombard wealth management business, because potential buyers are having trouble raising cash in the credit crunch.

The Week Ahead: More banks to reveal damage done by crunch

It is the turn of Britain's international banks to unveil the damage done by the credit crunch in the first half of the year.

Friends Provident to reveal if there are any takers for sell-offs

Friends Provident chief executive Trevor Matthews will this week reveal whether the ailing insurer plans to continue with the sale of its stake in its F&C asset management and Lombard wealth arms, both of which went on the market earlier in the year.

Market update - 23 July

The FTSE 100 was up 68 points at 5432.1 at 11:57 am this morning. The banking sector was strongest and HBOS was the subject of a round of bid rumours – Britain’s largest mortgage lender advanced by more than 10 per cent or 26.75p to 287.75p as traders citied talk that BBVA, the Spanish banking group, was mulling an offer. The talk comes only days after Santander, another Spanish bank, approached Alliance & Leicester, which was up 7.5p at 335p this morning. The rumours bore few details, suggesting only that BBVA may be raising money to mount a bid in the coming weeks.

Insurer may be running short of friends

Friends Provident's chairman, Sir Adrian Montague, will come under renewed pressure this week, with the group's proposed sell-off of asset management division F&C, high-end insurance arm Lombard and wealth manager Pantheon now thought to be in grave doubt.

Bloodletting put the Life back into Standard

He sold £7.5bn in shares and cut 5,000 jobs. But Sandy Crombie has finished with his scalpel, he tells Simon Evans

Friends Provident: Bresnan comes up short as McKenzie paces Durham

Durham Dynamos got their Friends Provident Trophy defence off to a winning start yesterday with a nail-biting five-run win over Yorkshire, who had Tim Bresnan to thank for a memorable comeback at The Riverside.

Friends shares fall after Flowers refuses to increase £3.5bn bid

JC Flowers has given Friends Provident until Friday to enter talks and made it clear that it will not raise its £3.5bn takeover proposal for the insurer. Friends Provident is sticking to its assertion that Flowers' proposal is not a basis for discussions.

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