News

Goldman Sachs’ private equity arm is set to announce a £150m investment in insurance group Hastings Direct that will leave chairman Neil Utley cashing in tens of millions of pounds from the business he turned around after buying it in 2008.

70% of renters say they will never stop trying to get on the housing ladder

96% of current renters still ‘dream of owning a home someday’

Ad recovery points to rise in optimism

Britain's leading companies hiked their marketing budgets in the last three months at the fastest rate in almost six years, boosting hopes that the economy is on the mend.

James Moore: Co-op banks on the new man at the top

Outlook The Co-operative Group appears to have woken up to the challenge its banking arm faces, announcing more high-profile hires yesterday. It has brought in Richard Pennycock from Morrison's as finance director and Richard Pym, the former boss of Alliance & Leicester, to chair its bank.

Florian Homm was arrested in the Uffizi Gallery

Financier, Florian Homm, arrested after five years' flight

One of Europe's highest-profile fund managers caught in Italy

James Moore: Have lessons been learnt? Regulators have failed again and again and again

Outlook Something up with Libor, you say? Sorry guv, not my problem, speak to the British Bankers' Association. This, in a nutshell, was the attitude of the Financial Services Authority when the issue was raised with it on 26 separate occasions, and perhaps as many as 74 where there were oblique or indirect references to the problem in FSA communications.

Taxpayers won't recoup £66bn from bank rescue

Taxpayers are unlikely to ever recoup the £66bn spent saving Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group from collapse, a committee of MPs has warned.

Have the banks got any guilty secrets left?

Next month is the fifth anniversary of HSBC releasing a trading statement that on the face of it looked fairly innocuous, but which contained this statement: "Deterioration in US housing markets is affecting consumer finance credit quality more broadly than hitherto and loan impairment charges are expected to remain high in these conditions. There is the probability of further deterioration if the current housing market distress continues and further impacts the broader economy."

MONEY MATTERS: 2. For how much was Northern Rock sold to Virgin Money?

Northern Rock bank run could have been avoided, says Hector Sants

The outgoing head of the financial services regulator claimed today that the run on Northern Rock could have been avoided if his advice had been taken to help Lloyds TSB take over the ailing bank.

Northern Rock 'will make the taxpayer £9bn-£11bn'

UKFI said the sale to Virgin provided the most attractive outcome in terms of new competition in the UK banking sector

MONEY MATTERS: 2. For how much was Northern Rock sold to Virgin Money?

£11bn profit from Northern Rock

Northern Rock's period of public ownership should generate a profit of up to £11 billion for the taxpayer over the next 10 to 15 years, the body responsible for the Government's bank investments said today.

JC Flowers boss banned and fined

Ravi Sinha, the former boss of private-equity giant JC Flowers in the UK, has been fined £2.86m and banned from working in any kind of financial services business for life.

Spotlight On: Virgin Money savings accounts

The deal

Newcastle secure new shirt deal

Newcastle have secured a new two-year shirt sponsorship deal with Virgin Money.

Leading article: Clegg's chance to clean up

Surely, if we learnt anything from the "loans for peerages" story, which this newspaper helped to break six years ago, it was that party funding should be kept away from the honours system. Yet the New Year Honours list tries again to push that water back uphill.

Co-op named as preferred Lloyds branch buyer

Lloyds Banking Group today named the Co-operative as its preferred choice to buy the 632 branches it is selling under European competition rules.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links