"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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