Unthinkable? Not privatising Royal Mail | Editorial

The traditional reason for flogging the service was that it was a financial basket case. Not any moreIf ministers get their way, our postal services will be sold off within a year. Details of the privatisation are taking shape: Goldman Sachs and UBS will be in charge of a consortium of investment banks providing advice […]
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Students turn to gambling and medical trials to fund university

Survey of 2,300 students finds 80% do not have enough money to live on, with one in five turning to gambling to find extra fundsStudents are resorting to high-risk strategies to fund the ever-increasing cost of living, according to a survey by money advice website Save the Student.In an attempt to get hold of extra […]
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HSBC recruits former MI5 chief

HSBC, fined £1.9bn last year for money laundering, appoints Sir Jonathan Evans as independent non-executive directorHSBC – Britain’s biggest bank, which was last year fined $1.9bn (£1.3bn) for acting as banker for rogue states, terrorists and drug lords – has recruited the former director general of MI5 to join the board.Sir Jonathan Evans will be […]
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Bumi reveals $200m black hole in financial results

Scandal-hit mining group says it seeks to recover the $152m in 2012 and $49m in 2011 that had ‘no clear business purpose’Bumi, the scandal-hit mining group, has revealed a $200m (£130m) black hole at its main subsidiary, as it released much-delayed financial results for 2012.The FTSE-250 company – which has been dogged by a very […]
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Why the concept of a Tax Freedom Day is ridiculous | Paul Nightingale

Tax Freedom Day illustrates how numbers can be distorted to mislead and corrupt debatesThursday, we are told, is “Tax Freedom Day”, the day of the year when we have all earned enough money to pay this year’s total tax obligations. The concept was developed in the United States in 1948 by Dallas Hostetler who showed […]
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Britain’s banking system is not a national asset. It’s a curse | Lydia Prieg and Heather Stewart

It’s not just the economy that has been skewed out of shape by our financial services sector – society has been tooEven after more than five years of traumatic financial and economic crisis, Britain’s banks are often still presented as a source of national strength that must be shored up by taxpayers and protected by […]
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How would you measure happiness? | Open thread

Australia leads the industrialised world in the happiness stakes, says the OECD. Tell us what would make you happierThe OECD has found Australia to be the happiest industrialised nation for the third year in a row. Sweden is No 2, with the UK trailing in 10th. Factors that influenced the OECD outcome included education, housing, work-life […]
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PPI complaints to ombudsman soar as banks fail to deal with claims

Financial Ombudsman Service received a record 2m inquiries and complaints last year, including almost 380,000 about PPIConsumers complained to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) in record numbers last year, as the fallout from the payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling scandal continued and financial services customers became more aware of their rights.In its annual review, published […]
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Austerity could only ever bring Europe so far | László Andor

There can be no solution to the European Union’s crisis without restructuring economic and monetary unionEconomic prosperity and social progress are key European Union goals. But for the past five years it has delivered neither. It has been in a double-dip recession since mid-2011, with unemployment now at a record high of 11% and no tangible […]
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BT pension scheme option: should I opt to take a higher rate now?

BT is offering me a higher pension now in return for lower increases in future. How do I get the best advice on what to do?I am a pensioner and my former employer, BT, has offered me a higher pension in exchange for receiving lower pension increases in the future. I have never heard of […]
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