News

The Co-operative Bank's disgraced former chairman, Paul Flowers, apparently won the job because he beat his rivals' psychometric test scores, MPs on the Treasury Committee have been told.

Cole out of race for top FSA job

Margaret Cole, the Financial Services Authority's director of enforcement, has privately ruled herself out of the running to take over from Hector Sants, the regulator's chief executive.

Prudential deal hangs by a thread

Prudential's $35.5bn deal to buy AIG's Asian business was hanging in the balance last night as the insurer's chief executive, Tidjane Thiam, continued talks with US Treasury officials about batting the price of the deal down.

FSA targets big banks for budget increase

The city watchdog said yesterday that big banks would bear the brunt of its plans to "get tougher" following a rise of more than £40m in its budget.

Pru embarks on US mission to salvage $35bn AIA takeover

Insurance giant seeks to cut price and win over key US investors including Capital

Pru faces up to another big problem

The boss of AIA reportedly plans to quit if its UK rival takes over

Prudential chief to take up £1.5m in rights issue

Tidjane Thiam, the chief executive of Prudential, has come out fighting by personally insisting he will put £1.5m of his own money into the rights issue to fund its $35.5bn (£25bn) bid for AIG's Asian business, as he seeks to gain investor support for the cash call.

AIG forced to revisit float as Pru deal falters

The insurer AIG has dusted off plans to list its Asian business should Prudential's attempted $35.5bn bid to buy the unit fail.

Julian Knight: Stagflation is here, so how do you live with it?

The stock market, once it has settled down after the euro affair, may be the investment answer

James Moore: FSA must not resort to macho regulation

Outlook One of the issues with the Alternative Investment Fund Managers directive is that it tramples over territory which should be owned by national financial regulators. EU member states have primary responsibility for policing their own financial sectors, within reason, and while the FSA has been anything but a paragon of virtue in recent years, it's hardly alone in that, and it's by no means clear that Europe would do a better job.

Prudential faces a battle to seal $35.5bn Asian takeover deal

Life insurer finally fires starting gun on £14.5bn rights issue but investors are still unconvinced

Prudential launches £14.5bn rights issue

Prudential launched the UK's biggest ever rights issue today as it looks to fund the controversial acquisition of AIG Group's Asia business.

Prudential set for second go at £14bn rights issue

Prudential will this week make a second attempt to price its £14bn rights issue and get its $35.5bn (£24.4bn) bid to take over Asian insurer AIA back on track.

Sceptical shareholders await the Pru's AIA prospectus

Prudential will publish the prospectus for its $35.5bn acquisition of AIG's Asian business this week amid investor concerns about the deal and deteriorating market conditions.

Questions Of Cash: 'Why won't EDF let me transfer my contract?'

Q. I came to the end of a three-year fixed price contract for electricity with EDF on 31 March. I decided to transfer to Scottish Power, which was cheaper. I asked Scottish Power to take over the account from 1 April 2010. But EDF wrote on 18 March stating the transfer was refused because Scottish Power had requested to take my supply before the end of contract period. It appears that because I did not write to EDF 30 days before end of contract to authorise the transfer to Scottish Power they would not allow the transfer and I am now contracted to EDF for another 12 months at their higher prices, unless I pay a £500 termination fee. Scottish Power says it is happy to proceed with the transfer. I am livid. PS, by email.

AIG and Prudential discuss alterations to British insurer's £24bn deal for AIA unit

The Prudential is in talks with American international Group to restructure its $35.5bn (£24bn) deal for AIG's Asian life insurance unit. The negotiations are understood to be centred on funding behind the deal, include cutting back the $25bn cash component, rather than altering the overall price. AIG may agree to reduce the cash component by $2bn and instead subscribe to a Pru loan or hybrid securities of that amount.

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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain