16 February 2005
Women plan to spend over 29bn on home improvements over the next six months compared with about 27bn by men, according to a Sainsbury's Bank survey.
A fun night was had by the Diary at the Brit awards last week courtesy of Scottish Widows, not least the opportunity to glam it up in a limo en route to the pop party of the year.
Tablet PCs can offer a lightweight and flexible technology solution for IFAs.
Abbey will not include investment trusts in its multi-manager portfolios as it believes they are too risky to hold.
RMB MultiManagers has launched a new fund of hedge funds with 66m under management.
Advisers are expecting Sipp business to take a significant upturn after A-Day.
AIFA has hit out at the ABI's proposals for an overhaul of IFA commission payments saying they are pointless given no commission bias was found.
Dare I express any reservations about the FSA's Treating Customers Fairly project and run the risk of being regarded as someone who wants to see clients ripped off?
Sales of annuities have almost trebled in the past 10 years and the market will more than double again by 2012, according to the Association of British Insurers.
We are all now wearyingly familiar with the dire and ever worsening standards of admin and service from virtually all the once stalwart life offices, in particular on existing business.
IFAs are up in arms over basic annual fees of up to 1.8 per cent for Barclays Investment Management Service, arguing that this is money for nothing.
Shares in IFA Berkeley Berry Birch have nearly doubled in price following speculation that chairman Cliff Lockyer is preparing to take the company private.
The British Medical Association is telling its 120,000 members that its multitie deal with Wesleyan Assurance's offers "greater flexibility and consumer choice".
With all the activity surrounding mortgage and general ins-urance regulation, depolarisation and other regulatory changes due to hit our desks, those involved in marketing need to keep their eye on a creeping influence upon their brand - the regulator.
Britannic Asset Management is creating a specialist European fund boutique with Barry Norris and Oliver Russ of Neptune Investment Management.
Should mortgage lenders be forced to offer existing clients the same deals that are offered to new customers?
National IFA Buckles has set up a Sipp which will broaden the scope of its Snowdonia-branded product range.
The London Business School says it has discovered a system for beating the stockmarket by investing in "boring" companies with low growth and high yield.
Chelsea Building SocietySelf-Cert Two Year Discount Mortgage
Citisolutions now has over 100 salespeople out on the road after registration and certification blunders led to the group having to ground 2,000 of its "introducers" last month.
Clerical Medical - Secure Investment Plan 1
The FSA's comparative tables could cause confusion among consumers with conflicting disclaimers and confusion over their use, says Scottish Widows market director, protection Nick Kirwan.
Wesleyan has got itself in hot water over its advice subsidiary in which it has been explaining its multi-tied status.
The problem with joining Money Marketing is that you can never really leave - it is the Bermuda triangle of financial services. MM reporters past and present are lurking, sorry, working everywhere.
The Chartered Insurance Institute is introducing a course designed to help advisers understand the pension simplification regime ahead of A-Day.
Never short of some seasonal spin, Insuresupermarket reminded people planning on proposing on Valentine's Day to remember their personal possessions cover.
Lenders are cautiously waiting to see whether the FSA will impose rules proposed in the Miles review on cross-subsidy mortgage rates within the treating customers fairly regime.
Clerical Medical's Secure Investment Plan, its first protected fund, will feature 110 per cent exposure to the FTSE 100 and daily liquidity.
Technology is having a dramatic impact upon all elements of the financial services industry and is increasingly defining who people are doing business with today.
This week's commentary features a 75m deal and the transfer of Alan Mudd back to Charcol from Savills. These items are unrelated and were certainly not part of any clandestine shenanigans in a west London hotel but both are harbingers of what could be an intriguing year for the mortgage industry.
IFAs will be transacting 3.2 bn of business electronically by 2009, according to The Exchange's 2005 technology index.
Equitable Members' Action Group general secretary Paul Braithwaite needs to secure a further 240 votes if he is to be successful in his bid to get on the Standard Life board.
The awareness of ethical and/or socially responsible investments among both investors and advisers has been steadily increasing over the past decade.
Companies with final-salary pension schemes in deficit could keep them open due to a new European Union accountancy standard.
Apparently, there is growing concern among IFAs that a constant drip of negative coverage of poorly-performing funds such as BestInvest's Spot the Dog report, deters consumers from investing. I doubt that it does.
The Allders' administration raises a thorny issue about who is legally responsible for Allders' final-salary pension scheme affecting 3,200 scheme members.
Five big technology groups are believed to have put in bids for The Exchange parent firm Marlborough Stirling.
Industry claims that brokers should sell more income protection because it is being undersold should be treated with caution, says the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The FSA is asking 500 mortgage intermediaries how they use key facts illustrations in a move to cut the regulatory burden and extend KFIs to investment products.
Two FSA staff have completed a work-shadowing placement with firms of financial advisers.
The FSA is searching for a PR agency to repair the damage done to its public image in the recent tribunal battle with Legal & General.
GMAC RFCSelf-Certification Rate Control
GMAC-RFC executive chairman Stephen Knight is predicting a 10 to 20 per cent slowdown in gross mortgage lending in 2005 with an increasing number of lenders competing in a slowing market.
Our panel discuss their preparations for A-Day and assess the potential of such esoteric investments as wine, art and stamp collections.
Every week sees articles in the financial press on the importance of property to the tax well that Chancellor Gordon Brown can draw from. Recently, I have read of the substantial increase in tax yielded from stamp duty and even of the possibility of year-on-year tax on development land to encourage owners to free it up for building.
Halifax is the most popular brand among people looking to invest, according to research for Citigate Albert Frank.
HSBC has become the first bank to multi-tie, offering highstreet customers funds from Fidelity, Gartmore, Invesco Perpetual, JP Morgan Fleming and Schroders.
The Inland Revenue has closed a tax avoidance loophole which could have major implications for firms holding capital red-emption bonds.
Scottish Life head of pensions strategy Steve Bee sets out his vision of a cross-party body to implement long-term pension reform in the UK.
Chartwell chief executive Craig Wetton is calling for IFA firms to do more to convince consumers that there is value in advice.
IFAs have reacted angrily to claims that they have failed to embrace plans to deliver generic pro bono advice to the public.
IFAs says they do not feel threatened by HSBC's decision to multi-tie.
A group of 180 small IFA firms has put together a fighting fund and is consulting a top barr- ister in a bid to put responsibility for marketing material on product providers.
iimia ACD ServicesGrowth and Income Fund
This year will be an auspicious time for an anniversary and celebration of the past, characterised I suspect by ill-fitting comparisons between events of several decades ago and today.
Ingenious Ventures, the private equity arm of specialist media finance business Ingenious Media, has established a music venture capital trust which has Simon Fuller the brains behind the Spice Girls and Pop Idol on its board of directors.
The Children's Mutual has appointed Insight as lead fund manager for its child trust funds.
Interactive Investor has launched a spread-betting service to enable gamblers to have a flutter on financial markets.
If you are not yet in the Sipp market, it is time to get wise to the biggest potential growth area in advice.
Industry caution over the prospects for the housing market is being ignored by investors, says a survey from Invesco Perpetual.
Ipswich Building SocietyBase Rate Tracker
Ipswich Building Society is introducing a tracker mortgage which matches the Bank of England base rate for two years.
Ipswich Building SocietyBase Rate Tracker
Jardine Lloyd Thompson is offering a Sipp which enables investors to hold buy-to-let properties in emerging markets such as Poland, Croatia and Bulgaria in their pensions.
Jupiter Asset Management has recruited Aled Jones from Innovest to join its socially responsible investment unit.
I always look forward to Principal Investment Management's annual study of UK equity income funds, which is now appearing for the 29th year.
The burden of producing coherent and detailed key facts illustrations may be slowing innovation in the mortgage market, says GMAC-RFC executive chairman Stephen Knight.
GMAC-RFC executive chairman Stephen Knight has slammed lenders for providing decisions in principle on their websites which stack everything in their favour and against the intermediary.
Independent brokers doing low-volume business are being forced to use mortgage clubs by lenders, blurring the boundaries between directly authorised and appointed representatives.
I am writing in response to the article headlined, Solutions to the shortfall (Money Marketing, February 10).
I am a member of my employer's pension scheme and will have completed 20 years' service by retirement in August 2008. Do I need to make any arrangements to take into account the new legislation in 2006?
Brokers using packagers for sub-prime lending could fall foul of the FSA because they do not understand the full implications of MCOB.
Last week's headline, Lenders to be named and shamed by BM, caused a few raised eyebrows in the industry, not because of the nature of BM Solutions' latest initiative but because of an overwhelming sense of deja vu.
IFAs want Invesco Perpetual to resurrect the Perpetual brand and put it at the forefront of its retail marketing campaign, according to a Money Marketing online poll.
The multi-manager sector is growing rapidly. It has seen large numbers of new entrants, a flurry of fund launches over the past few years and an ever-greater number of column inches devoted to it in the industry press.
The mundic property market is at last to have access to a range of general insurance from a Cornwall broker specialising in the area.
More active shareholder engagement is the key to listed companies being able to raise capital for growth, an independent report claims.
NDF Administration has established the income plan February 05, a guaranteed equity bond that provides a level of income which depends on the performance of the FTSE 100 index.
I think someone somewhere once said in regard to the investment universe that past performance was no guarantee for the future. But when it comes to protection claims, in particular critical-illness claims, a life office's performance of paying claims should be taken into account when recommending to a client, should it not?Early guideline documentation from the FSA suggested that both financial strength and claim history should be considered when giving protection advice.
Noble & CompanyCapital Pub Company 2
Noble & Company is aiming to raise up to 8.82m through a second round of funding for the Capital Pub Company 2 enterprise investment scheme (EIS).
The Norwich Union active protector fund is an Oeic fund of funds which uses constant proportion portfolio insurance to lock in 80 per cent of the highest share price.
Millfield advisers are being trained on the lifetime wrap which will be launched with new Norwich Union technology.
Norwich Union is offering a protected fund investing in UK equities and gilts which guarantees that the share price will never fall below 80 per cent of its peak level.
Old Mutual Asset ManagersOld Mutual Multi-Strategy Fund
Hugh Osmond's Life Com-pany Investor Group has inc-reased its offer for HHG Life Services in return for HHG cutting off negotiations with Resolution Life.
"I'll only marry a rich man with a tennis court who can keep me." - Marlene Scott of Polhill.
The Pensions Regulator has unveiled five high-profile pension figures as non-executive board members.
Sofa chairman and Informed Choice director Nick Bamford has seen his professional indemnity insurance premium plummet by over 60 per cent after years of astronomical rises.
Pink Home LoansMortgage Trust MT Select 5.39% Fixed
Platform, the intermediary lender of Britannia Building Society has enhanced its product range including self-certification, buy to let and trackers.
Premier Fund ManagersSegmented Growth Plan - Limited Editions 24
Prestbury Holdings has bought mortgage and general insurance network Blue Pearl despite making a loss of 2.7m.
The letter from Tony Conner, Joss Harwood and Owen Temple in Money Marketing (February 10) contains a number of misconceptions about the nature of the pilot scheme with Citizens' Advice to offer the public pro bono generic advice.
Residential investment opportunitieshave been high on IFA wish lists over the past few years but there has been precious little available to satisfy investor demand.
US-based reinsurer RGA is warning that the UK protection market will fall by 10 per cent this year and claims will soar.
Three months on from M-Day, how has the industry handled regulation?
Life insurance quotes are set to change. Insurers and reinsurers understanding of the circumstances which affect mortality and morbidity, and therefore pricing, have improved, and advisers will have to catch up.
Only two in 10 savings accounts offered on the high street give positive real rates of return for richer investors, according to a survey from Bates Investment Services.
Scottish Life has enhanced its online group pension service with the aim of allowing intermediaries to conduct more of their business electronically.
Investors could find themselves in deep water if they rush out to buy fine wines, antiques, yachts or buy-to-let properties under pension simplification without fully understanding the new rules, says Friends Provident pensions technical manager Chris Bellers.
Skipton Building SocietyThree Year Fixed Rate
1st Software is offering a new version of its personal wealth management software, aimed at helping advisers to justify trail commission.
Standard Life has launched a suite of manager of managers portfolios onto its Sigma mutual funds platform.
A war of words has broken out in the sub-prime market with Mortgages plc slamming BM Solutions which last week launched a campaign to name and shame lenders.
Mortgage Brain chief executive officer Mark Lofthouse says compliance is like a tunnel to navigate but the important thing now is to focus on the road after the tunnel.
Wraps need to add substance before taking a central position in financial services.
Timebank has set up a website with an online data exchange aimed at providing technical support for IFAs.
Top figures from the FSA, product providers and IFA firms will be speaking at a conference next week on the challenges faced by intermediaries with the onset of depolarisation.
The Treasury will consult on plans that Aifa hopes will save IFAs thousands of pounds in PI cover by making them exempt to a new European law.
It is widely recognised that, over the past 24 years, Har-greaves Lansdown has grown from a two-adviser firm to one of the biggest financial advice businesses in the country with over 400 staff. What is perhaps less well known is that in recent years, it has also bec-ome one of the most proficient IFA firms when it comes to the use of technology.
Where property is inherited, either under a will or under the intestacy laws, it is possible to redirect the legacy (or part thereof) to achieve inheritance tax savings by using a deed of variation, says Brian Murphy.
The decision of the four Murray VCT boards to sack Murray Johnstone as manager and move the contracts to Close has surprised many industry commentators.
It's now or never for financial services, believes Equal Partners' managing director who believes the muddle of depolarisation could confuse consumers who already lack basic financial knowledge.
The potential of a property fund that invests in shopping centres is being questioned by a leading investment specialist.
Zurich says it anticipates little competition for its multi-manager protected profits fund because other companies using constant proportion protection insurance are focusing on passively managed UK funds.
Zurich AssuranceMultimanager Protected Profits Fund
Zurich AssuranceZurich Guaranteed Capital Account 3