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"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.

Even Tory MPs think the economy won't get better

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

Anthony Hilton's Week: The tax-exile hedgies cowed into seeking a sneaky return

Leona Hemsley, a New York socialite of the 1980s, is today remembered for only one thing. When indicted and subsequently jailed for tax evasion, she was quoted as having said: "Only the little people pay taxes."

Chote defends OBR record

The Treasury failed to inform its own fiscal watchdog in advance about a key plank of the Autumn Statement, according to Robert Chote, the chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

Chote made to defend OBR's forecasts

Head of Office for Budget Responsibility tells MPs that he was not informed about Chancellor's national infrastructure plan

MPs in cheque guarantee cards call

MPs kept up the pressure for the return of cheque guarantee cards today by suggesting that the Government could consider stepping in with legislation.

Osborne ready to overhaul Bank of England governance

The Chancellor has indicated that he is ready to overhaul governance of the Bank of England ahead of it gaining more powers over financial regulation.

Bank's Governor to face grilling over QE decision

Sir Mervyn King will be called to account before Parliament today for the decision of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to inject £75bn into the British economy at a time when inflation is running more than double the Bank of England's target.

Julian Knight: An accidental gap year could be just what students need

Thousands of students are going to find themselves taking what I call an "accidental gap year"; namely they were set to go to university but there was no place for them this year.

David Prosser: More cheques (and balances) required

Outlook When the Payments Council decided so few people use cheques these days that it could safely announce their abolition in a few years' time, it dropped an enormous clanger. The protests were so noisy that it was forced into aU-turn – and now the Treasury Select Committee wants to see its powers reined in.

MPs criticise banks for attempting to scrap cheques

MPs are battling banks' plans to abolish cheques. A Treasury Select Committee has warned banks not to attempt to abandon cheques by stealth or deter customers from using cheques. It has also recommended that the Payments Council be brought under regulatory control to stop its "unfettered power to decide the future of cheques".

Treasury committee demands overhaul of 'poor value' PFI

An influential committee of MPs launched a stinging attack on the private finance initiative (PFI) yesterday and claimed it offered taxpayers "poor value for money".

MPs set to question role of new City watchdog

Even before it has opened for business the new City regulator is to be investigated by MPs. Andrew Tyrie, the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, launched an inquiry into the remit and powers of the Financial Conduct Authority yesterday.

Conservatives fear Chancellor will not meet deficit target

Growing numbers of senior Conservatives are concerned about the ability of the Chancellor to deliver the Coalition's pledge of eliminating Britain's structural deficit by 2015.

Business Diary: Roubini's reports from foreign land

Nouriel Roubini, economics' "Dr Doom", missed out on the chance to pile on the misery following Standard & Poor's' downgrade of the US economy last week, on account of being on holiday.

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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
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'