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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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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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John Moore inspired this Coca Cola Christmas advert
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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Charlie Sheen said he would
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Charlie Sheen could be set to revive his role as a hedonistic womaniser

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Daniel Radcliffe gives a strong performance in Horns
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Review: Alexandre Aja's film is a Twin Peaks-style mystery

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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
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