News

"Extreme" allegations that Royal Bank of Scotland tipped viable businesses into bankruptcy were described as "plausible" because of its "flawed" structure by a former deputy governor of the Bank of England yesterday.

Bank probe must not be a witch hunt, says Tyrie

The MP who would lead a parliamentary inquiry into banking practices today said an investigation “must not be a witch hunt”.

Bob tried to play contrite, but he's no actor

Mr Diamond thinks he is much smarter than the MPs, and he's right. They barely laid a full glove on him

Mr Diamond was giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee on the culture he presided over at the bank

Diamond refuses to waive his £20m pay-off

Bob Diamond, the former Barclays chief executive, indicated he would fight to keep his multimillion-pound pay-off after stepping down in the wake of the interest rate-fixing scandal, despite admitting he was in charge of bankers whose "behaviour… was reprehensible".

US economist warns Vickers bank reform is doomed

Sir John Vickers' Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) will today be accused of "a dangerous dereliction of duty" by one of the Bank of England Governor's favourite economists.

Warning that Vickers bank reform is doomed to failure

Report comes as pressure mounts on Barclays to spin off investment bank
Out: Jerry del Missier, chief operating officer

Diamond could leave with pay-off of £30m

Barclays chief executive's sudden departure sets up showdown with MPs in committee hearing today

Inter-bank lending to be reviewed

An urgent independent review into the inter-bank lending rate is to be set up by the Government next week in the wake of the interest rigging scandal.

Barclays' value plummets £4bn as shareholders flee

More than £4bn was wiped from the value of Barclays yesterday as shareholders fled the bank in the wake of its £290m fines for trying to fix interest rates. The spectacular sell-off left Barclays as the biggest faller on the London Stock Exchange and led to calls for a "change in leadership" at the beleaguered bank, whose shareholders are already furious over multimillion-pound bonuses granted to chief executive Bob Diamond and his colleagues despite missing his own profitability targets.

Treasury Select Committee queries George Osborne's Budget estimates

Estimates used by George Osborne to justify the axing of the 50p top tax rate are "highly uncertain", an influential group of MPs warned today.

Annual statement reflects new card 'transparency'

Up to 31 million credit card holders can expect see a new annual account statement land on their doormats over the next few weeks and months. It will outline card usage over the year as well as any fees or interest charged.

Osborne: 'No Chancellor can justify a deeply uncompetitive rate of tax that is raising next to nothing'

George Osborne feels the heat on 'pasty tax' and cut in 50p rate

When George Osborne wrote his Budget speech, he will have imagined and pre-empted countless probing questions the Opposition would ask of his tax policies. But what of his pie-eating habits?

Barclays: We took a £7bn handout from the ECB

Barclays has admitted it had changed tack and borrowed cheap money from the European Central Bank in this week's huge liquidity boost. It said yesterday it had taken €8.2bn (£6.9bn) in the long-term refinancing operation, having not done so in the previous round in September.

Knighthood decision a 'token gesture'

A leading union today welcomed the decision to strip former RBS chief executive Fred Goodwin of his knighthood.

The Cabinet Office said the knighthood had been removed on the advice of the Forfeiture Committee because former RBS chief executive Fred Goodwin had brought the honours system 'into disrepute'

Fred Goodwin stripped of knighthood

Ex-banker Fred Goodwin has had his knighthood removed, it was announced today.

Osborne would face Labour claims of opting for a 'Plan B' by announcing tax cuts

Poll: Tories don't believe growth will improve

Conservative MPs do not share George Osborne's optimism that the economy will pick up in the second half of this year, according to an exclusive survey for i.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there