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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.

Philip Hensher: Millions, billions, trillions...We lack the imagination to grasp these sums

People don't understand what big money is at all. We have so few opportunities to understand it without living through the hyperinflation of Weimar Germany

Pensions system in 'urgent need' of reform

The country's pensions system is in "urgent need" of improvement if millions of workers in private firms are to save enough for retirement, according to a new report today.

Fears that commission reforms will lead to advice 'wasteland'

Plans to force flat fees and qualifications on independent financial advisers could end in many quitting the industry, leaving consumers stranded

MPs say poor HMRC service is to blame for tax chaos

HM Revenue and Customs' service has been branded "unacceptable" by a Treasury Select Committee. A report accuses HMRC of "endemic delays" and warns that "if this continues it may undermine respect for the tax system".

David Prosser: Tyrie and colleagues take on all-comers

Outlook Andrew Tyrie, the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, is fast gaining a reputation for being even more combative than his predecessor, John McFall, under whose leadership appearing in front of MPs was such an ordeal. This week alone, Mr Tyrie has published a well-argued report dismantling many of the preliminary conclusions of the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) and flayed the Financial Services Authority for not taking proper notice of MPs' criticisms of its reforms of financial advice.

MPs angered by FSA's 'unacceptable' response

A war of words broke out yesterday between MPs and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) over the timetable for the introduction of the new-look financial advice regime.

Banking reforms riddled with holes, MPs complain

The Treasury Select Committee has called on the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) to plug gaps in its interim report to support its proposals for reform.

Banking sector reforms plan 'unclear'

Proposals to reform the banking sector by separating retail and investment arms have not been properly spelled out by the Independent Commission on Banking, MPs warned today.

David Prosser: Financial advisers up to their old tricks

Outlook It is now 20 years since the height of the first great personal pension mis-selling scandal, which saw tens of thousands of people conned into opting out of generous occupational pension schemes into less-attractive insurance company-run plans. The result of that scandal, which persisted for six years between 1988 and 1994, was a massive effort to compensate the victims and the first of many shake-ups of the regulatory system.

Regulator will not have a quiet life, warns MP

The Treasury Select Committee is launching an investigation into the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to make sure the regulator is accountable and gives value for money to consumers.

MPs ask FSA to delay changes to adviser rules

Crucial changes to the way in which financial advice is given and products sold should be delayed for another year, says the Treasury Select Committee.

Julian Knight: At long last, moves to stop will-writers robbing the dead

Lots of people are daunted by the thought of making a will.

Financial advice reform delay would be 'disastrous'

A treasury Select Committee call to delay plans to reform financial advice has been met with dismay in the industry. MPs say the Financial Services Authority should move the Retail Distribution Review back a year, from its planned introduction on 1 January 2013.

Simon Read: Rising poverty worries means advice is crucial

Poverty appears to be getting closer to becoming the norm rather than afflicting just the edges of society. Despite the headline rate of inflation falling to 4.2 per cent this month, the price of essentials – such as gas and electricity – continues to soar, forcing more families than ever into financial hardship.

Standard Chartered savages bank reforms

Standard Chartered yesterday broke ranks with its banking rivals by publishing a withering broadside against the Independent Commission on Banking's proposals for reform.

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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

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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

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'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

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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

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Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

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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