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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.

James Moore: Here we go again... mea culpa will be part tragedy, part farce

It's like handing over the World Cup final to the bloke who referees pub football

Decision nears on Lloyds branches

Lloyds is in the final stages of reviewing offers from NBNK and the Co-Op for around 630 of its branches. The part-nationalised bank is expected to hold a board meeting on Thursday to discuss a final decision over the branch sell-off, which has been code-named Project Verde.

Branson's blueprint to revive British economy

Virgin boss urges action to get young people into work and create growth

David Cameron: ‘If we weren’t in the EU, helping write the rules, they would be written without us’

Steve Richards: Cameron and Osborne's learning on the job is beginning to show

Although avid and admiring students of the New Labour project, David Cameron and George Osborne are not having the same success in projecting an equivalent for their party. Increasingly they seem overwhelmed by events, the scale of which would test much more experienced politicians than the youthful duo who are still finding their way at the very top.

Virgin Money faces uphill struggle, city warns

Virgin Money faces an uphill struggle to make a meaningful impact on British banking, despite buying Northern Rock for a knockdown £747m and earmarking a possible flotation for as soon as 2014, City analysts warned yesterday.

City tells Virgin to expect tough fight from big banks

Fledgling bank's market share will be small even after buying state-owned lender, analysts warn

Charles Middleton: 'Yes, I'm a banker who really cares...'

It's not hard to run a bank on ethical principles, the boss of Triodos UK tells Sean Farrell

Lenders cut rates in home loan price war

A mortgage price war has been building in the past few weeks as lenders slash the cost of borrowing in a frenzied attempt to attract business. Yesterday Northern Rock cut up to 0.9 per cent off its fixed rate mortgages. Today it is the turn of the Coventry building society as it launches a market-leading 3.49 per cent five-year fixed rate.

Northern Rock sale to come up £400m short

Ron Sandler, the chairman of Northern Rock, urged taxpayers to look at the bigger picture yesterday as it became increasingly apparent that, when it is sold, the nationalised lender will fetch far less than the £1.4bn of government capital injected into it.

David Prosser: Mutuality isn't such a hard place for Northern Rock

Outlook In the wake of the credit crisis, it is rather too easy to fall into the trap of judging banks bad and building societies good. While the mutual sector had a good war – particularly compared with the former mutuals that blew up during the crisis – the building-society movement was not without its own casualties.

Northern Rock reports reduced half-year losses

Nationalised lender Northern Rock said it expects to make a profit during next year after reporting reduced half-year losses today.

Rock pays £1bn back to state

The "bad bank" that runs Northern Rock Asset Management (NRAM) and the rump of Bradford & Bingley has paid back another £1bn to the Government.

State-owned bank repays £1bn

The state-owned company that runs Northern Rock Asset Management (NRAM) and Bradford & Bingley today said it had paid back another £1 billion to the government.

Business Diary: Facebook job just a walk in the woods

Are you hopeful of securing a job with Facebook, the social networking giant?

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve