10 November 2004
The Bradford & Bingley deal with Legal & General throws an entirely different model into the post-depolarisation mix.
Public interest is growing in equity release but advisers need to be very careful to ascertain if a client is suitable for the sector.
Alliance & Leicester has launched a new range of mortgages, which is available immediately and includes:
Abbey for Intermediaries claims that IFAs will not be able to give whole-of-market investment advice with fees without a wrap product.
The Deutsche Latin American companies investment trust is to be taken over by Aberdeen and will switch investment objectives to India.
The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has called on the FSA to build on the trust of the mortgage industry as it enters its first week of mortgage regulation.
Clients are paying for unnecessary financial rule changes, says Apcims chief executive Angela Knight.
Axa PPP is piloting a medical protection scheme to IFAs which aims to bridge the gap between private medical insurance and critical-illness cover.
The Bank of England base rate has peaked, says Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger.
The case for equity investment is still there, even if it continues to merit a health warning.
There is confusion among mortgage intermediaries over revised 2004 Consumer Credit Act, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders senior policy adviser Kate Davies.
Brokers are finding it increasingly difficult to sell offset mortgages and more complicated products because of difficulties with key features illustrations.
The buy-to-let market is stable despite a small fall in demand, according to Mortgage Express.
Private Bank Cater Allen has begun to offer introducer fees to intermediaries on its Term Deposit accounts.
Charcol says the first week of mortgage regulation has been "very disappointing", especially concerning KFIs from lenders.
Chesnara has outsourced the management of its back book of life business, including Premium Life policies, to Liberata.
Clerical Medical has moved into the fund of funds' market with an initial suite of seven portfolios available through its life and pension wrappers.
Close Property Investment is raising up to 10m for the sixth special opportunities fund, an exempt unit trust providing self-invested personal pension and small self-administered scheme investors with exposure to short-term UK property projects.
The IFA market today is still characterised to a large extent by the focus on initial commission. But this is changing.
Recent announcements from product providers, which effectively indicate that initial commissions on low-cost products will be removed, are the start of what will be a dramatic change in remuneration levels.
Key features illustrations need to be more consistent as they vary wildly in length, says Alexander Hall chief operating officer Andy Pratt.
Coventry Building SocietyFlexx Capped Rate Mortgage
Financial services firms need to take an active stance towards combating criminal activity.
Sesame commercial director Martin Davis is leaving the mega network to head the Zurich International Life business.
Destini and Thinc are to merge in a deal they say will create a top five national firm.
The East represents the best potential for economic growth, according to Chris Lees Head of the global equity group, Baring Asset Management.
Brewin Dolphin Securities is sponsoring the Thistle pub company, an enterprise investment scheme aiming for capital growth through the acquisition and management of freehold pubs in Scotland.
Mortgage 2000 announces a partnership between its mortgage sourcing system Encore and Webline.
J O Hambro Capital Management is launching its first UK-domiciled, open-ended investment company, the JOHCM UK Equity Income Fund.
F&C Asset Management is encouraging investors to look at split-capital investment trusts.
IFAs have a huge appetite for multi-manager funds and who can blame them but there are now dozens to choose from.
Product providers have agreed to make a final £1.5m payment to the subsidy of IFAs' payment of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Framlington is raising initial charges on 18 of its 24 unit trusts but leading investment advisers believe the hike will not affect IFA discounts.
Which? is lobbying the Treasury to get rid of the interim period for mortgage firms that have failed to gain authorisation.
The FSA will consider extending the basic advice regime to all products if it is successful for the Sandler suite.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has highlighted four key areas of mortgage advice it anticipates will give rise to complaints from consumers in the future.
Gartmore head of multi-manager Bambos Hambi has awarded a multi-million-pound mandate to the Britannic Pacific growth fund.
GE Life is extending its annuity quotation guarantee period from 14 days to 30 days amid concerns that the distance marketing directive could hit annuitants' rates.
Open letter on Treasury select committee report into endowment policies, Eric Forth, MP
Research from Scottish Widows Bank says the inflexibility of lenders is stifling the graduate first-time buyer market.The report shows that three of the top five factors that would help graduates get on to the property ladder are related to lending criteria.
Guaranteed rates are making a comeback in the critical-illness cover sector but it could be only a short-term opportunity.
Europe has been castigated unfairly as the indicators are very positive, says Matthew Leeman Co-manager,SG Europe fund.
The Inland Revenue has confirmed via Parliament that home reversions will not be subject to pre-owned asset tax when introduced in April 2005.
The housing market is softening, with a drop in house prices of 1.1 per cent in October, according to Halifax's monthly house price index.
Regulation has finally arrived for the mortgage industry but we will have to wait to find out how much the distribution landscape has changed.
Hybrid pension schemes are the key to providing better occupational pensions that encourage employees to sign up, according to the CBI.
Aifa has criticised the FSA's basic advice regime, saying that it is extremely unlikely that any IFAs will offer the service.
IFAs are being warned by LIA head of public affairs John Ellis to think very carefully before getting involved with a network.
The IMA has called on fund managers, regulators and intermediaries to look at the total costs of a fund rather than the annual management charge.
I cannot deny it, I am a worried man. I hear from numerous quarters that the precipice bond misselling scandal (if indeed they were missold) will be bigger than anything we have seen before.
Private medical insurance will only survive on an individual basis if IFAs and product providers make changes to their approach to the PMI market, according to a panel of experts.
Investec Asset Management has created an onshore version of its offshore global energy fund in response to IFA demand for a Ucits-qualifying fund in this sector.
Healthcare and employee benefits group Jelf has exchanged contracts to buy Somerset intermediary Managed Healthcare for around 150,000.
JO Hambro Capital Management has introduced the JOHCM UK equity income fund, its first onshore Oeic.
IFAs should consider moving clients' contracted-out pension pots to firms with a tiered charge, says Legal & General.
LIA public affairs director John Ellis is to become the first public affairs director for the Chartered Insurance Institute in the new year as well as filling that role for the Personal Finance Society.
Staff at investment boutique Liontrust are waiting to find out the basis of a tentative management-led bid for the company.
The House of Lords has voted for a crucial amendment to the Pensions Bill that would see the Pension Protection Fund take on a de facto regulatory role.
Matrix Money ManagementUnicorn Aim VCT II
US fund management firm MFS is preparing a fresh assault on the retail UK market.
Millfield has appointed Bryan Beeston as group sales director following last week's shock resignation by Keith Carby.
A House of Lords' vote to make home information packs voluntary rather than mandatory is unlikely to have much effect, says Housing Minister Keith Hill.
MITON INVESTMENTSCF Miton Special Situations Fund
Merrill Lynch Investment Managers says EU expansion is having a positive impact on corporate restructuring in France and Germany.
The multitude of small mortgage networks that have sprung up will be forced to consolidate, according to a leading mortgage expert.
Mortgages plc, the specialist lender, has announced the appointment of Bill Purves to the new position of Group Risk Director.
Standard Life is set to bec-ome the latest life insurer to establish an offshore company with the launch of a Dublin operation.
By Darius McDermott, managing director of Chelsea Financial Services
A single national body is needed to promote savings in the UK as more and more Britons are reluctant to save, says Birmingham & Midshires head of savings and investment marketing Tim Hague.
The Money Portal has lost its third high-profile person in a week after head of communications Kerry Nelson resigned.
Thirty former members of Network 300 are considering taking legal action over commission which they believe they have lost since the network collapsed.
BM Solutions has enhanced its self-cert range with two and five year fixed rates.
Norwich Union is changing its commission rates for IFAs who write lifetime mortgage business.
Less than half of women due to be affected by forthcoming increase in womens state pension age are aware of the change according to research published by the Department for Work and Pensions.
Platform, the intermediary lender of Britannia Building Society, is expanding its buy to let and self-certification range.
Platinum Capital Management Platinum Portfolio
The closeness of the US presidential election race ensured there was little short-term impact on equity markets.
Premier Asset Management Premier Growth Plan Limited Editions 23
Niche investment group Premier Asset Management is targeting IFAs with a new fund which offers exposure to undervalued high-performing stocks in Europe.
Our panel (Adam Carruthers, Investment manager, Origen; Peter Chadborn, principal, Chadborn Baker; Kearle Justin Modray, head of marketing, Bestinvest) consider the availability of private equity investment, disclosure of fund TERs and the relevance of the FTSE100.
Prudential has set up two UK equity trackers offering diff-ering levels of capital protection into its flexible investment plan.
Seeing another footballer banned for taking drugs reminds me of the number of sports stars and celebrities to whom going into rehab is simply a rung in their quest for enduring fame.
Have you recently thought about the type of professional you really want to be?
Mortgage Intelligence has hit out at lenders for failed systems in the first days of regulation and has compiled a list of offenders.
The managing director of Mortgage Intelligence trained to teach ballet but she leapt into the homeloan business and is aiming to lead the M-Day dance.
Has the Government learned from the stakeholder pension debacle or is it repeating its mistakes?
Scottish Equitable is reviewing its commission arrangements on individual stakeholder business in light of Norwich Union's decision to slash IFA remuneration by two-thirds.
Scottish WidowsMulti Manager International Equity Fund
Scottish WidowsMulti Manager UK Equity Focus Fund
Scottish WidowsMulti Manager UK Equity Growth Fund
Scottish WidowsMulti Manager UK Equity Income Fund
Scottish WidowsMulti Manager UK Equity Focus Fund
The Securities Institute has changed its name to the Securities & Investment Institute.
James Brown has run his limited company for five years and now wants to sell it and enjoy retirement.
Depolarisation has been a long time coming. Almost since the Financial Services Act depolarised financial advisers into the independent and tied camps, calls were made for a more flexible reg-ime. But it was not until the Office of Fair Trading published its paper in August 1999 that depolarisation gained a head of steam.
Multimanager Skandia Investment Management has signed a deal to use Citywire fund manager ratings on its fund platform.
Skipton Building Society has re-launched its fixed rate mortgage range and reduced the rates on each product.
Marlborough special situations fund manager Giles Hargreave is set to put his smaller companies expertise into a new venture capital trust.
Roger Lawrence of ML Consulting takes a look just slightly into the financial future.
A new charge cap and new lighter-touch sales regime but will stakeholder remain the same old damp squib?
Stakeholder pensions will remain irrelevant unless the Government drops means' testing and ensures they are suitable for all consumers, says Scottish Life head of pension strategy Steve Bee.
Just when it looked like changes in ownership at the Abbey had provided an opportunity for common sense to prevail in the electronic submission of mortgage applications, an alternative has appeared with the potential to complicate things further.
The lifetime limit test on individual pension funds will effectively be applied twice to retirees to ensure that investors cannot vest early and grow their funds tax-free in drawdown.
Steelworkers who lost their pensions when their company went bust have been given the go-ahead to sue the Government in the European Court of Justice Community - formerly union ISTC - which represents the 1,000 former Allied Steel and Wire workers, says the Govern-ment did not adequately implement the European insolvency directive, which would have protected members' pensions.
Last week, I considered the fast approaching onset of depolarisation and the opportunity that this gives for advisers to reconsider the business model they operate - advice-based or transaction-based.
D&D Homecare, a provider of general insurance products to the mortgage market, is offering a new accident, sickness and unemployment quoting and application system.
Technical Connection and Collegiate are working with professional indemnity insurers in a move aimed at reducing PI costs for IFAs.
Leading mortgage brokers tell Helen Monks of their first-hand experiences of the big switch to regulation.
The Mortgage OperationKensington Mortgages Light Adverse Self Cert
THE MORTGAGE WORKSSelf Certification 5 Year Fixed
The TUC and CBI have clashed over pension compulsion, with unions demanding greater and mandatory employer contributions to stave off a pension crisis at the ABI Saver Summit.
Hundreds of public sector workers from across the UK will descend upon Parliament tomorrow to lobby their local MPs on changes that the Government is proposing to make to their pension schemes.
Traded life policies are an established market in the US and are gaining popularity in the UK.
A Scottish IFA which shut down after losing a precipice bond misselling claim could get just 900 compensation after the Financial Ombudsman Service reversed its original decision.
Scottish Widows has established four new equity-based manager of manager funds for IFAs who want to make their own asset-allocation decisions but there are no immediate plans to offer a multi-manager bond fund.
Winterthur Life is expanding its website with the launch of 'Morrison on-line', a viewpoint page written by its pensions strategy manager, Mike Morrison.
Zurich AssuranceGuaranteed Capital Account 2