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
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
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Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
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Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine