1 August 2007
Insurers are estimating that flood-related claims will hit £2.5bn this summer and economists say the total cost to the affected regions will exceed £3bn.
Up to two million small to medium-sized companies can cut their tax bill and boost cash flow with offshore bonds, according to figures from Clerical Medical.
Most firms simply want to know, how does it affect me? And, if it does affect me, what should I be doing about it?
Twenty-six per cent of financial advisers report that giving up initial commission in favour of renewal commission is their biggest priority for driving income generation over the next year.
Abbey’s US equity bond is linked to the performance of the S&P 500 index over a five-year term.
The ABI has vehemently rejected the accusation that it has become anti-advice and anti-IFA claiming its members view the adviser channel as an essential part of future growth.
Can we suggest an adaptation of buyer beware - adviser beware. The FSA's planned reforms might be curtains for half of advisers or there may be change which simply increases standards and improves disclosure at a rate which the industry can cope with.
Rumours are hotting up as to who will replace Stephen Leaman at Openwork, with several names in the running.
Alliance & LeicesterFeesaver Two Year Fixed Rate
Nicole Blackmore asks industry experts what the future holds for Bestinvest now that 3i has bought a majority stake in the company
'Missed opportunity' to help FTBs as no additional funding announced
Skandia UK head of product marketing Billy Mackay on meeting the regulator's challenges
The independent title must be solely for the use of whole of market advisers
Canada LifeAnnuity Growth Account
The Cayman Islands Bankers Association has launched a new voluntary Banking Code in conjunction with retail banks in the region.
Four claims chasers have joined forces in an attempt to challenge the legality of the time bar rules for endowment policies in the High Court.
A coalition of claims chasers got together last week in an attempt to challenge the time bar rules in the High Court claiming they are “unfair” and “illegal”.
A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Tom McPhail, head of pensions research at Hargreaves Lansdown, drawing my attention to an article in Money Marketing in which he was reported as "hitting back" at commentators - myself included - who have expressed fears that consumers could end up misbuying Sipps on an execution-only basis.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ announcement that increasing numbers of homes are being repossessed could be only the tip of the iceberg, according to mform.co.uk.
Commercial property fund firms have hit the roof over press criticism
Firm sees growing IFA demand for ethical investment.
Chris Salih examines how the new co-heads of multi-manager are putting the zest back in Credit Suisse's range, starting by squeezing out its regional funds
Credit Suisse has announced the appointment of Yong-Moon Kim as managing director and head of global equities for asset management.
The annual cost of providing a defined benefit pension exceeds the average home-owner’s yearly mortgage interest payments, according to Fidelity International.
Lloyds TSB is to sell its closed life insurance business, Abbey Life, to Deutsche Bank in a deal worth close to £1bn.
In this second online column, forgive me dear reader, as I indulge in a little bit of futurology about the FSA.
F&C announced its first pre-tax profit yesterday, recording a £7.9m return for the first six months of 2007.
How a series of Sipps can be set up to enable a joint property purchase
Commodities and property have been in the news in recent days, perhaps as a consequence of investors looking for an asset class unlikely to be sullied by the sub-prime meltdown. Both these potential homes for what appears to be a never-ending tide of liquidity have not been without their problems, however.
Fidelity InternationalFidelity Funds Emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa Fund
The proposals outlined in the RDR could push the distribution market in two distinct direction, says Deloitte financial services partner Andrew Power. He explains some of the positive and the negative possible outcomes.
As offshore funds land on UK platforms, investing is made simpler
Exit fees have remained the hot topic in the mortgage world with the FSA’s deadline of July 31 passing earlier this week. But you may be forgiven if you feel the deadline has been something of an anti-climax.
The FSA has taken action against three mortgage brokers for management failings, fining two firms £10,500 each.
Eclectica Asset ManagementCF Eclectica Agriculture Fund
Otto Thoresen, chief executive of AEGON UK and chair of the Thoresen Review of Generic Financial Advice, explains that his review is not part of the RDR but any new general financial information service could be a help to financial advisers.
Nearly half of all IFA firms are at risk of being squeezed out of business if retail distribution review proposals become a reality, warns Fidelity.
The Government is pledging to be the architect of a massive plan generating 70,000 new affordable homes each year and extending its Homebuy scheme. But commentators have called into question its credentials as the builder of a policy that truly extends homeownership among the wider population. By Tanya Powley
Good stockpicking will help identify tomorrow's stars among the array of UK small caps
The retail distribution review frustrates and irritates me in about equal proportions, when real issues, such as how we address a life protection gap estimated by Swiss Re to be £2.3trn, should be addressed.
Sales of equity release plans are at record levels and the market looks set to grow significantly in the second half of the year as the market wakes up to the benefits that more flexible drawdown plans can offer. Gregor Watt reports
iimia Investment Group plc has acquired south-west advisory firm John Miln and Company.
Any move to make advice for the 'mass affluent' market more professional is a step in the right direction says Investment Management Association chief executive Richard Saunders but the industry should be careful not to over simplify the advice process.
Government, law enforcement agencies, large financial corporations and consumer bodies are hosting Identity Matters, a summit to address key identity protection issues.
Investec Asset ManagementGlobal Extension Fund
Investec Bank has announced an increase on the interest rate of its Euro Investec Horizon account to 4.25 per cent, despite the European Central Bank’s decision yesterday to maintain its rate at 4 per cent.
The Jersey Financial Services Commission and the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission have signed a memorandum of understanding that will further co-operation between the two regulatory bodies.
The Jersey Financial Services Commission has issued a consultation paper proposing amendments to the Codes of Practice for investment, deposit-taking, insurance and trust company business.
Jupiter Asset Management announced its Jupiter global fund has been approved by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority.
From the duo who brought us Life Policies Direct and Torquil Clark Life Insurance comes a yet to be named new venture to offices near you.
Manager says froth is dispersing to leave more realistic valuations in markets
FSA says it never intended to criticise lenders as deadline passes for disclosure of exit fee strategies
M&G has made a management reshuffle on the group high yield bond funds following David Fancourt's move to the group's collateralised debt obligations (CDO) team.
Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail says the proposed merger of Resolution and Friends Provident could be bad news for Resolution's pension policyholders.
MetLife UKInvestment Bond
Mercer Global Investors says manager of managers is a such a scaleable strategy that it will never take between more than two to five managers to run a portfolio.
Simon Edwards, who earned an excellent reputation as chief investment manager of the Merseyside pension fund and before that as a director of Credit Suisse, founded Midas Capital just over five years ago and has built up funds under management of more than £1bn.
Setting out a framework for financial inclusion alongside industry freedom
Morgan StanleyEmerging Markets Growth Plan 2
The manager of the New Star European values fund tells how he made a life-changing decision to take on the role but how the contrasting styles of the European team will drive the fund forward. He talks to Chris Salih about his method of stock selection which he has developed over the years
Norwich & Peterborough2.15% Five-Year Discount
Norwich & PeterboroughThree-Year Fixed/Tracker Rate
A week has passed since the proposed merger of Resolution and Friends Provident was announced and still there seems to be more questions than answers over the future of both asset management arms.
Question marks over the viability of operating in the proposed primary advice sector could force many smaller IFAs to seek the safety of a big financial institution, reports Will Henley
Product providers are being urged to retrain broker consultants to ensure they are meeting Cob rules on what does and does not constitute advice, after yesterday’s Scottish Equitable High Court ruling.
Almost 60 per cent of providers believe that the continuous changing of regulation is lowering consumer confidence, according to research conducted by Focus Solutions.
The number of repossessions in the first half of this year rose to 14,000 a 30 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2006, according to statistics from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
Sales of Sipps have rocketed by 82 per cent at Standard Life in the past six months which boosted sales of UK life and pensions by 45 per cent.
Almost £1bn could unnecessarily be subjected to inheritance tax this year through a failure to write life insurance policies in trust, says Skandia.
Increasing life expectancy will have an impact on many areas of financial services
Auto-enrolment from 2012 could resurrect many dormant stakeholders
Stanlib, the asset management arm of Standard Bank of South Africa is launching two African equity funds for the high-net-worth end of the retail market.
After returning to Carnoustie in Scotland for the The Open golf championships recently, I have no doubt that many people were tired of the re-running of the fateful 18th hole of the final round as played by Jean van der Velde the last time championship was held at the course in 1999.
While I was in oblivious bliss sunbathing on the black sand beaches of Santorini, the life offices busied themselves with more M&A activity than is usual at this time of year.
A recent FSA paper proposes raising capital adequacy levels due to a suggested connection between a firm's financial resources and its inclination to missell. Here, Martin Archer, legal and claims director at PI insurer Collegiate Management Services, casts doubt on the regulator's thinking, claiming it has overstated the problems caused by commission bias and failed to recognise how increasing professionalism is already driving better standards across the IFA sector
How time flies. It only seems like yesterday that Japanese stocks were soaring and Japan was the hottest stockmarket in the world. Japanese small cap stocks were the place to be as investors sought to tap into a nascent domestic recovery story.
Heartwood Wealth Management says separating income performance from growth performance when selecting equity income funds provides a better overview of funds' risk profiles than just analysing total returns.
Scottish Widows Investment Partnership investment director of UK equities David Urch is to leave the firm after four years.
WaveSelf-Cert Two Year Tracker
The FSA has made crystal clear the importance it places on consumers having access to ongoing advice on with-profits business.