Jeremy Warner: Confusion over deposit insurance

Outlook Yesterday's proposal from the Financial Services Authority to guarantee sums of up to £500,000 under the deposit compensation scheme so as to cover life- changing events such as the sale of a house looks sensible enough, but it is for the time being also completely irrelevant.

Scottish Widows sued again over company pensions

Life insurer Scottish Widows has been issued with two further writs from former corporate clients alleging the firm offered negligent advice over their pension schemes.

FSA launches inquiry into Resolution's Cowdery

Watchdog investigates 'certain actions' at the time of the takeover by Pearl

AIG in rescue deal amid big losses

American International Group (AIG) posted a record $61.7bn (£43.87bn) quarterly loss today and got a new but not necessarily final government bailout after officials concluded again that letting the insurer fail would threaten the world financial system.

Jeremy Warner: Another Aviva disappointment

Outlook Norwich Union has spent a packet trying to convince us that it makes sense to change its name to that of its parent company Aviva. Now it proposes to slash the windfall that with-profits policyholders were to have got from the inherited estate. Aviva, Norwich Union, it matters not to downtrodden life fund investors. Every statement seems to bring more bad news.

Resolution bucks the trend with £600m capital raising

Cowdery's acquisition vehicle targets life insurance

It's your funeral, so don't let the costs rise too high

As cremation and burial expenses soar, Nargis Ahmad and Julian Knight report on the prepayment plans that can help protect your legacy

James Daley: It's time to get rid of commission for good

Payment protection insurance has been giving the financial services industry a bad name for far too long. It's overpriced, hard to claim on, and is often completely inappropriate for the unsuspecting consumers who are sold it.

Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Cowdery recruits former FSA boss for new venture

Round at the Financial Services Authority, John Tiner is still referred to as "the lucky regulator" on account of the timing of his departure as chief executive. He managed to hand over to the present incumbent, Hector Sants, literally weeks before the Northern Rock balloon went up, and thereby largely escaped the public opprobrium heaped on the City watchdog since for its apparent failure in adequately regulating the banking sector.

The longer the seller lives, the less that investors will make

Kate Hughes looks at 'death futures', the funds that seek a profit on the policies of the terminally ill

Standard Life profits rise by 51 per cent with help of reinsurance deal

Standard Life's profits beat forecasts yesterday but the life insurer warned that the outlook for the sector was impossible to call in difficult markets.

Barclays sells life assurance unit to Swiss Re

Barclays Bank is to further improve its capital funding through the sale of its life assurance business to Swiss Re, the Swiss reinsurance group.

Into thin air: Did Steve Fossett fake his own death?

Last September, America's great aviation daredevil took off on a routine solo flight, and was never seen again. Now, as allegations of an elaborate double life begin to emerge, investigators are questioning whether he really died – or even crashed – at all. In Nevada, Guy Adams pieces together the evidence

Offer to Norwich Union life policyholders

Payments averaging £1,000 are to be offered to one million policyholders in two of Norwich Union Life's with-profit funds, insurer Aviva said today.

There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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'