12 August 2009
The Ministry of Justice Claims Management Regulator has struck off its 100th claim-chaser for poor practice, including high-pressure tactics and misleading advertising.
Royal Bank of Scotland has posted a 1bn net loss for the first half of 2009 but, excluding writedowns of goodwill, the bank saw a pre-tax profit of 15m.
Credit specialist TwentyFour Asset Management has made the residential mortgage backed securities market available to UK retail investors by launching the Monument bond fund, distributed by Gemini Investment management.
2plan Wealth Management has opened a new office in Birmingham for nine new advisers.
Axa is undertaking a strategic review of its life and savings business which will result in around 350 jobs being cut.
Independent wrap consultant Stan Kirk is predicting a rush to market with new model maximum investment plans over the next few months.
Advice is critical when investing in exchange traded funds, according to industry experts.
Aegon has announced plans to raise up to £860m through an equity issue which kick-starts today.
Solvency II proposals are set to slash the already inadequate retirement income from personal accounts by a further 20 per cent, according to pensions expert Ros Altmann.
South Australia’s largest private sector superannuation fund Statewide has started its implementation of Bravura’s TalisPension application.
Aviva is building up its capital in preparation for acquisitions while Legal & General and Standard Life have effectively ruled themselves out of the consolidation drive.
Aviva is piloting postcode pricing in the underwriting of protection products.
Banks may be forced to double salaries as a result of the FSA's effort to curb the bonus culture, says City law firm CMS Cameron McKenna.
The FSA remuneration code for bankers prohibits guaranteed bonuses for more than a year and stipulates that two-thirds of individual bonuses for senior employees will be spread over three years.
Barclays' cash payout to members of the final-salary pension scheme it plans to close to future accruals has been dubbed "a drop in the ocean".
Barclays WealthLight Energy Commodity Plan
BNY Mellon is to acquire Insight Investments from Lloyds Banking Group for £235m.
The Bank of England says the timing and strength of the UK's economic recovery remains "highly uncertain" despite the considerable fiscal stimulus packages.
The Building Societies Association says the Treasury's proposed restructure of Northern Rock could distort competition in the UK mortgage and savings market.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders says the peak in buy to let arrears may have passed as the number of mortgages in arrears for three months or more dropped 17 per cent in Q2 this year.
The British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands have been placed on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s white list after signing a tax information exchange agreement with New Zealand.
Cater Allen Private BankCapital Guaranteed Growth Plan 2
Charles Stanley has bolstered its fund management business with the purchase of Matterley Asset Management.
Left-leaning political pressure group Compass has hit out at Chancellor Alistair Darling who said he is “not persuaded” by the group’s calls for the formation of an independent pay watchdog.
The Conservative Party's plans to create a Consumer Protection Agency could give a huge boost to consumer confidence in financial services, according to Zurich.
Fifty eight per cent of advisers rank credit risk as the main reason why they would never or rarely recommend structured products to clients, according to a survey from Morgan Stanley.
Further to recent concerns over the availability of professional indemnity cover for advice regarding "direct-only mortgages", I thought your readership might be interested in the following observations from PYV.
Administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers is still assessing potential litigation for Keydata investors with missing assets in SLS Capital but says dividend prospects for creditors in the insolvent firm are currently ‘poor’.
The Professional Standards Advisory Group has today agreed draft core units, proposed by the Financial Services Skills Council, for the QCF level four qualification for advisers.
Enhanced annuities payout 22 per cent more income on average than conventional annuities, according to MGM Advantage.
Equitable Life policyholders who lost money when the society collapsed may be compensated based on how their investments would have performed if they had been invested in a similar fund with another life office.
Pensions and funds consultant Organon predicts a rise in qualified recognised overseas pension schemes among UK residents as HM Revenue & Customs is pushed to be more lenient in line with EU legislation.
We are only halfway through 2009 and what a year it is proving to be. No sooner had investors dusted themselves off after one of the worst-ever starts for European equities than they were riding the wave of one of the strongest-ever post-bear-market rallies.
Former HBOS chief operating officer Phil Jenks has joined the board of mortgage asset manager Exact. Jenks will be a non-executive director overseeing corporate governance and chairman of Exact's risk committee.
F&C’s multi-manager team has added the Nevsky global emerging markets fund to its multi-manager growth fund, multi-manager balanced fund and lifestyle growth portfolio.
Thoughts of pensions may have been put on the back-burner for many people, given the economic turmoil and rising unemployment. Spare cash is at a premium for many households, with getting by day to day the order of the day rather than planning for those retirement years.
Legg Mason Investors has established a global blue chip bond fund which aims for income and growth by investing in investment-grade bonds that are ratedA- or higher by S&P and other ratings agencies.
Former Pointon York Sipp Solutions chief executive Christine Hallett has launched her new firm, Carey Pensions UK.
Advisers have expressed uncertainty over the impact that Resolution's acquisition of Friends Provident will have on policyholders.
The FSA has come under attack over its investigation into Lehman-backed structured products after it deferred compensation claims for a further three months.
The Ombudsman has agreed to defer its consideration of complaints relating to Lehmans-backed structured products by a further three months, following a request from the FSA.
The FSA has said it is not responsible for dictating individual bankers' bonuses and that this is a matter for Government.
The FSA has softened its proposals on the structure of bankers’ bonuses in order to ensure the UK remains a competitive jurisdiction, according to the Financial Times.
The FTSE opened at 4,671 today rising as high as 4,687 in early trades with help from mining and financial stocks.
Gemini Investment Management/TwentyFour Asset ManagementMonument Bond Fund
Hargreave Hale chief executive Giles Hargreave has joined the board of two of Keydata’s Aim venture capital trusts as non executive director.
Vantis head of inheritance tax planning Peter Legg says IHT could rise to 50 per cent as the Government seeks to bolster the public purse.
The Government is likely to object to the Resolution structure if it were to bid for any of the Lloyds Banking Group life businesses, say analysts Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.
Specialist advisory group Gravis Capital Partners has extended the closing date for subscriptions into its infrastructure fund due to demand.
Hargreaves Lansdown has added the City Financial strategic gilt and Insynergy Odey fund to its Wealth 150 range.
Capita Financial Software non-executive chairman Paul Holland has stepped down from his role to focus on his new venture Allmyplans.com.
Chelsea Building Society chief executive Richard Hornbrook leaves the society by mutual agreement at the end of August to be replaced by chairman Stuart Bernau.
While usually delighted when Hornbuckle Mitchell achieves front-page coverage, I was surprised that certain details of the changes we made to Sipp fees nearly six months ago received such prominence only last week.
The portfolio construction element of any multi-manager process is crucial.
The news that from 2010, the Information Commissioner's Office will be given the power to impose fines for data protection breaches should serve as a reminder to anyone involved in handling client data of the importance of being diligent at all times.
IFA Life is launching a directory of advisers’ websites that will allow consumers to search for IFAs by location.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable should be the next Chancellor, according to a poll of IFAs.
The Institute of Financial Planning is launching the 2009 Financial Planning Week as a national consumer awareness campaign.
Ignis Asset Management chief executive Gavin Stewart is leaving the firm.
Whenever I have an argument with someone, I always end up, many hours later, thinking of something else I should have said at the time. It's known as the "and another thing syndrome".
Arch Financial Planning managing director Arthur Childs has questioned how charitable a role the fund industry is playing in the invest & give fund.
The UK inflation rate has unexpectedly held at 1.8 per cent as sales in the likes of DVD’s, computer games and alcohol rose.
The legal adviser to the joint committee on human rights has found that the lack of a 15-year long stop for financial advisers is not "sufficiently significant" for the committee to pursue.
Investec Structured Products1 Year Range Deposit - Bull Issue 12
News that Aviva is piloting postcode pricing in the underwriting of protection products, revealed in last week’s Money Marketing, is a big step forward for the protection industry.
A Yorkshire-based independent financial adviser who stole more than £290,000 from clients has been jailed for four years.
Jubilee Financial Products has introduced the Podium deposit account, a structured product which is linked to the performance of a basket of 50 European blue-chip stocks over a five-year term.
A financial adviser described as a "disgrace" by a judge has been jailed for four-and-a-half years for defrauding clients out of more than £200,000.
Legal & General and Scottish Widows are top of Clive Cowdrey’s shopping list, according to reports in The Telegraph.
Conservative MP for Wantage & Didcot Ed Vaizey says the FSA's failure to properly investigate and compensate investors who lost money in Lehman Brothers structured products proves it is not fit for purpose.
Legg MasonWestern Asset Global Blue Chip Bond Fund
Legg Mason is planning to launch a global absolute return fund with fund of hedge fund manager Permal.
Lincoln Unit Trust Managers has taken its funds off Cofunds, citing a failure to get significant market traction.
Lloyds Banking Group is planning an integrated bancassurance proposition in 2010, combining the salesforces of Scottish Widows and Clerical Medical.
Lloyds Banking Group is reportedly looking to raise up to 15bn through a share issue to cut the cost of its participation in the Government's asset protection scheme.
The forthcoming review of mort-gage regulation by the FSA will attempt to look back at the problems of recent months and put in place procedures and controls to prevent the possibility of a re-occurrence of the elements that led to the weaknesses in the markets.
LV= is looking to launch a fixed-term annuity to rival Living Time's products, Money Marketing understands.
LV= is looking to launch a fixed-term annuity to rival Living Time’s products, Money Marketing understands.
M&G has seen a 254 per cent rise in net investment inflows for the first six months of 2009.
Macquarie has launched a series of asset allocation tools on its wrap.
Senior cabinet ministers disappointed with the FSA’s remuneration code are considering introducing new legislation on bankers’ bonuses, according to the Financial Times.
Mirae Asset Global Investments has appointed Myung Joo Park as managing director for the company’s European business.
Fund of hedge funds manager Moonraker is waiting for the price of gold to rise then pull back before it takes a long position in the asset class for its commodities and global opportunities funds.
The Treasury select committee has slammed the FSA for its "leisurely" approach to the mortgage arrears review and says it fears some lenders are using arrears charges as an alternative profit stream.
Investment trust Witan has reported a net asset value return of -0.59 per cent compared with a benchmark return of -1.93 per cent for the six months ended June 30.
NDFADefined Income Plan August 09
New job vacancies in the financial services sector has dropped 59 per cent from July 2008 to July this year, Morgan McKinley research reveals
Art Market Research has teamed up with mutual fund Collection of Modern Art to create a new index specifically to track post-war art.
Newcastle Intermediary ServicesGuaranteed Capital Return Account
Nomura has launched the global emerging markets III 80 per cent protected fund.
Northern Rock has dropped off the list of five biggest lenders and its market share has plummeted, according to Council of Mortgage Lenders data.
Novia has teamed up three new discretionary fund managers, Vestra Wealth, Williams de Broë and Barmac Asset Management.
Over 300 banks have been ordered to give details of UK taxpayers with offshore accounts to HM Revenue & Customs.
Paradigm Mortgage Services has joined forces with property investment company Forrester Cohen to offer buy-to-let property investments in Australia.
Pearl is reportedly attempting to secure former Aviva chief executive Richard Harvey as its new chairman.
Pictet FundsUS Equity Value Selection
Platforum has launched a service for IFAs to anonymously review platforms in order to help other advisers in their wrap selection process.
The Consumer Protection Insurance Engagement Campaign is consideringlaunching an independent online protection portal to boost consumerunderstanding of the products.
Prudential has insisted its UK arm is crucially important to the group, playing down speculation that the business may be Resolution's next acquisition.
Prudential has increased its interim dividend by 5 per cent to 6.29p per share as profits on an EEV basis fell 8 per cent to £1.2bn in the first half of 2009 compared with the same period last year.
A few hundred Keydata clients have not been properly invested in their plans due to administrative errors, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Nearly a quarter of FTSE 100 firms will be unable to pay off their pension deficits over any reasonable time period according to KPMG.
Sesame lost £1m in the first half of 2009, plunging from a profit of £2m in 2008, but insists it remains in a strong position to independently fund the takeover of Bankhall.
The Treasury select committee’s report on mortgage arrears and access to mortgage finance pulls no punches. Furthermore the FSA is just as much in the firing line as lenders.
There have been too many in the industry that have used the RDR for their own ends to try to panic IFAs into believing that the RDR is bad for the small practitioner, or you will need a PhD, as if large firms or purely academic qualifications were either required or offered some magic solution.
The number of houses repossessed dropped 10 per cent in the second quarter of 2009, according to the latest figures published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
The Pensions Regulator chairman David Norgrove has predicted that the state pension retirement age in the UK will have to increase further than 68.
Tenet has welcomed the FSA's willingness to recognise both the value and potential risk of losing experienced advisers following its proposal to introduce QCF level four work-based assessments. The group believes that this is a positive and pragmatic approach, even though the detail is still vague at this time.
Royal London 360° has launched a new unit-linked whole of life protection product called LifePlan.
Salisbury Underwriting Services is launching a new insurance product in the UK to help workers safeguard against loss of wages.
Zurich Financial Services has appointed Martin Senn as its new chief executive. Senn, who is currently the firm's chief investment officer, will replace James Schiro when he retires in December.
The Serious Fraud Office is to meet Icelandic investigators next month in a bid to discover if any criminal wrongdoings led to the collapse of Iceland’s banking sector.
Sesame lost £1m in the first half of 2009 from a profit of £2m over the same period in 2008. Despite the loss, Sesame insists it is in a strong position to independently fund the Bankhall buyout and says it is on track to end the year profitably.
Healthcare provider Simplyhealth has appointed Ken Piggott as its chairman of the board.
Skandia Investment Group has appointed Cazenove to run a second mandate for its Skandia UK strategic best ideas fund.
Skandia is enhancing its Platformwatch tool to enable advisers to carry out their own due diligence report on individual platforms.
Remarkably, given that we are right in the middle of the bucket and spade season, there is so much news around that I feel positively spoilt for choice. First, we have the plethora of company results being showered on those who feel obliged to take notice. By and large, these have not been too bad. By that I mean, of course, that our worst fears have not been realised. The first half of 2009 has not exactly been a bed of roses but we have survived.
Recent clarification from the Solicitors Regulation Authority that solicitors should only refer clients to IFAs for investment advice is very welcome.
Standard Life has confirmed plans to launch a UK property unit trust.
Standard Life chief executive Sir Sandy Crombie has admitted that the FSA's thematic review of pension switching contributed to a 26 per cent fall in new Sipp business in the first half of 2009.
Stroud & Swindon Building Society's chief executive David Hill is stepping down from his role at the end of August after nine years at the mutual.
Friends Provident says clarifications about Resolution's structure and governance has helped it agree to the acquisition vehicle's latest offer.
Sun Life Financial of Canada has appointed The Hartford's Mark Stopard as head of marketing for its UK life and pensions arm. Stopard will establish a product strategy for the firm following the acquisition of Lincoln National UK.
UK execution only broker TD Waterhouse is acquiring 100 per cent of the share capital of OMX Securities Services, a provider of outsourced clearing and settlement services.
Former Millfield chief executive Paul Tebbutt has joined Simon Chamberlain's IFA consolidation firm Succession as a relationship director.
The Money Centre has teamed up with buy to let website Smartlandlord.co.uk in a bid to help landlords save costs and make their portfolios more profitable.
Wills could be a useful area of diversification for IFAs who have seen their business hit by the financial downturn.
Nearly three-quarters of people are not fully reading providers’ wake-up packs in the run-up to their retirement.
threesixty, the fee-based IFA support provider has added two ranges of model portfolios to its asset allocation service.
The number of unemployed people in the UK has risen to 2.44 million, the highest figure since 1995.
Resolution's Clive Cowdery has reportedly held talks with UK Financial Investments over the sale of Lloyds Banking Group's insurance brands.
Vanguard Investments UKFTSE Developed Europe ex-UK Equity Index Fund
Vanguard Investments UKFTSE UK Equity Income Index Fund
Vanguard Investments UKFTSE UK Equity Index Fund
Vanguard Investments UKGlobal Bond Index Fund
Vanguard Investments UKPacific ex-Japan Stock Index Fund
Vanguard Investments UKUK Investment Grade Bond Index Fund
The combination of the retail distribution review and the way that personal accounts are funded amounts to nationalisation of group personal pensions by the back door.
PSigma Asset Management has appointed Lachlan Yearsley as head of operations. Yearsley joins from Credit Suisse, where he was head of pricing and valuations and pooled pension administration.