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.

Banks will be told to maintain 7 per cent tier one capital

European banks will be forced to maintain a tier one capital ratio of at least 7 per cent, according to reports ahead of this weekend's meeting between financial regulators and ministers in Switzerland.

'System error' halts bank's £99 mortgage fee

Nationalised bank Northern Rock has been forced to withdraw its £99 mortgage application fee due to a technical problem, it emerged today.

Money Insider: Nationwide's price rise masks a customer focus

Debit cards issued with Nationwide Building Society's FlexAccount have been a hugely popular, low-cost option for overseas travellers for many years. However, changes are afoot.

'Good bank' bad, 'bad bank' good at Rock

Northern Rock's "good bank" posted a £140m loss for its first six months as an independent company while the "bad bank" it was spun off from reported a £350m pre-tax profit.

David Prosser: Northern Rock repays its saviours

Outlook So much for the bad bank. It is increasingly clear that, over time, taxpayers are going to make a tidy little sum from the closed book of mortgages that will remain in public ownership even after the rest of Northern Rock is sold off. Even stripping out one-off accounting effects, the profit the bad bank booked yesterday was close to £170m.

Northern Rock plans to resume credit cards and loans

Nationalised Northern Rock plans to start offering credit cards and personal loans again as it readies itself for sale to the private sector, the group revealed today.

Former Rock director hit with £320,000 fine and banned

The City watchdog yesterday continued its pursuit of former Northern Rock executives, fining the bank's former finance director David Jones £320,000 and banning him from the City. The fine was levied because of his role in hiding the true level of the bank's mortgage arrears before the Rock's spiral into crisis that led to its nationalisation.

Financial services growth slower than expected

Growth in the UK financial services industry has been slower than expected despite the sector posting its strongest performance since Northern Rock's collapse in September 2007, the CBI business lobby group said today.

The Rational Optimist, By Matt Ridley<br />Pandora's Seed, By Spencer Wells

Is it a cheap shot to point out that Matt Ridley, scourge of greens and author of The Rational Optimist: How prosperity evolves, is also the Matt Ridley whose optimistic chairmanship of Northern Rock steered it to bankruptcy in 2008? I don't think so. Because both book and bank display what might best be described as irrational optimism - a blind belief that what has worked before will always work, regardless of a changing environment, whether financial or planetary.

Union fury as Rock axes 650 jobs

Northern Rock's management team was described yesterday as "short term" and "rash" for planning to shed 650 of the state-owned bank's 4,500 remaining staff. The company dealt those who remain a further blow by closing the final salary pension scheme to future contributions.

Up to 650 jobs to go at Northern Rock

Nationalised lender Northern Rock said today that it was planning to cut up to 650 jobs by the end of the year.

Steve Richards: New politics? Don't you believe it. Old rivalries will soon be back

The so-called new politics is the logical extension of Blairism rather than a break from it, with both leaders testing their parties' ideological flexibility

Rock finance director quits

Northern Rock's so-called "bad bank", Northern Rock Asset Management, yesterday said that finance director David Jones had quit the company with immediate effect to focus on a Financial Services Authority investigation. The watchdog last week fined and banned

Steve Richards: Something had to give &ndash; and it has

Brown now knows that all the cards are up in the air once more, and he holds an ace in his belated, calculated support for a referendum on electoral reform
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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
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee