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The Big Four accountants could find themselves being stripped of their most lucrative audit deals every 10 years, according to tough new rules proposed by the European Union.

Barnier in fresh warning to the rating agencies

Rating agencies were hit with a fresh blow yesterday after the European Union's financial services chief promised an investigation into the way they work, after a rapid series of downgrades to Greece's sovereign debt.

EU finance ministers fail to agree deal on bank tax

UK and EU markets chiefs at loggerheads over how to use the proceeds of a levy

Nick Anstee: London's strength is its openness. Curbs on migration don't help

We must ensure that our international financial institutions, such as the IMF and World Bank, are robust and flexible. They are, after all, the principal agents to make a reality of the commitments made at the Pittsburgh conference late last year. I believe, however, that they should have sharper tools to perform their task, to preserve and expand an open, balanced and sustainable international economy that creates prosperity for all. Let's co-ordinate these actions. Unilateral activity from whatever source, such as declaring a levy on banks, and limiting capital flows in fund management, are unhelpful unless they are set in the context of – and consistent with – the G20 initiative.

Britain in final push to tone down EU hedge fund rules

Tighter regulations are set to hit City disproportionately hard, critics claim

Econoblog: Hedge funds and private equity - Europe's flying locusts

Michel Barnier, EU Commissioner and would-be tough regulator of the financial markets, met the hedge fund and private equity guys in London today

Business Diary: 02/03/2010

The salesmen that dare not speak their names

Sales is a dirty word. In breaking news, the Institute of Sales Promotion announces it is changing its name to the Institute of Promotional Marketing. "This better represents the wide range of marketing and communications activities the Institute's members do," reckons its chairman, Clive Mishon.

Mandelson: We've won fight with Europe over regulation

Business Secretary tells City that Brussels will take common sense approach

Business Diary: French farms minister is one to watch closely

The Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson, was placatory yesterday about the appointment of Michel Barnier as the EU commissioner with responsibility for financial services. But relations between the two obviously haven't always been smooth. "I worked very closely with Michel when he was French agriculture minister," Lord Mandelson said. "In fact I never took my eyes off him."

EU's finance chief targets bankers

Michel Barnier promises new regulations to restore trust in battered institutions

Plan for Sarkozy visit abandoned

A mooted visit to London by French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been abandoned amid tensions over the carve-up of top jobs in the European Union.

Barnier fails to reassure City over 'catastrophic' appointment

The European Union's appointment of Michel Barnier as bank regulation supremo has left City firms reeling, despite his attempts to calm fears over London's importance yesterday.

France beats Britain in race for key EU job

Plum post will oversee the financial services industry – including the City

Tories accuse Brown of selling out the City in deal with France

Positioning of Sarkozy's man to run financial services is criticised by Hague

Sarkozy's Louis XIV moment

Parliament summoned to Versailles to hear President
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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones