News

The Co-operative Bank's disgraced former chairman, Paul Flowers, apparently won the job because he beat his rivals' psychometric test scores, MPs on the Treasury Committee have been told.

Investors stash $6 trillion in hedge funds and PE

The value of assets held by hedge funds, private-equity firms and real-estate fund managers reached $6trn (£3.6trn) last year as investors regained their appetite for risk.

Third Point takes significant shareholding in Dow Chemical

Third Point, the hedge fund run by activist investor Daniel Loeb, has taken a significant shareholding in Dow Chemical and is urging the company to explore a spin off of its petrochemical business so it can concentrate on being a specialty chemicals firm.

Alternative assets industry hits £6 trillion mark

The value of assets held by hedge fund, private equity and real estate fund managers reached $6 trillion (£3.6 trillion) last year as investors regained their appetite for risk.

Tom Sandell urges FirstGroup to reassess 'premature' break-up rejection

Billionaire activist investor Tom Sandell has accused the £1.7 billion transport group of a “premature” rejection of its break-up plans for the business.

Richard Desmond

Man Group denies it misled Richard Desmond over 'incomprehensible' deal

Hedge fund giant Man Group has brushed off Richard Desmond's £20 million High Court claim for losses on a financial product, insisting it did not even act as the counter-party in the disputed transaction.

In Brief: Australia extends Serco Christmas Island deal

Australia extends Serco Christmas Island deal

Serco, the outsourcing giant which repaid £68.5m to the UK Ministry of Justice last week, has received a vote of confidence from the Australian government. It has extended Serco’s contract with its border protection department to run 17 detention centres in the country’s mainland and on Christmas Island.

US regulators seek $1.1m from former Goldman trader Fabrice Tourre

America’s Securities and Exchange Commission has taken former Goldman Sachs London banker Fabrice 'Fabulous' Tourre to court demanding $1.1 million (£674,000) in fines and other penalties for his role in a failed mortgage-backed securities deal which cost investors $1 billion.

Rule to curb risky trades by banks in US is finally passed

Nearly four years after President Obama first proposed curbs to rein in the risky bets on Wall Street, US regulators have finally ratified a strict new regime aimed at stopping banks from making speculative trades that could cause another meltdown.

Tom Hodgkinson: Who arrives at the door when the pig has been killed? The Methodist minister

Around 10 years ago, I opened an account with the Co-operative Bank. I was attracted by its policy of not lending money at excessive rates of interest to the very poor and staying out of the way of arms deals and the like. It seemed by far the best of a bad bunch in the sense that it appeared to have morals. At around the same time, in a feeble anti-capitalist campaign, I joined the Phone Co-operative and an energy supplier called Ecotricity, which apparently supplies its power via windmills.

Co-operative Bank loses customers after Paul Flowers scandal

The Co-operative Bank has admitted for the first time it is losing customers after a series of scandals including alleged drug-taking by former chairman Paul Flowers.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Hedge funds, the Tories’ cash cow, eagerly repay favours

A measure in George Osborne’s 2013 Budget which made no headlines outside the financial pages was the abolition of stamp duty reserve tax on UK-domiciled asset management funds. That may not sound like an attention grabber, but it was manna for Britain’s hedge-fund bosses, who by the Government’s estimate saw £145m drop off their companies’ collective annual tax bill.

MPs summon corporate advisers to explain their valuations of Royal Mail

A group of the City’s best-known corporate advisers has been summoned to appear before a committee of MPs to discuss the price at which Royal Mail was floated on the London Stock Exchange last month.

MPs have voiced fresh concern that the Government's controversial privatisation of the Royal Mail

Royal Mail flotation: MPs voice fresh concern over controversial privatisation

An Early Day Motion has been tabled in Parliament calling on the Coalition to review its decision

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World Cup 2014
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Rihanna celebrates Germany's win
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Manchester United's kit for the 2014/15 season
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Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
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people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
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AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
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Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
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The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
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Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor