18 April 2007
The Government has announced details of a funding review to help to people who lost money when their pension schemes collapsed.
Around 4,200 more City jobs will be created this year, according to research from the Centre for Economic and Business Research. Most of the employment growth has been in the professional services sector, including law and accountancy roles, making up 2,800 new jobs in the Square Mile and Canary Wharf.
The FSA cancelled the permissions of 151 small firms in 2006-07 compared with 161 the previous year, with 98 failing to submit RMAR returns.
Advisers are increasingly recognising the long-term prospects for global income.
Neil Woodford’s income funds were once again the lynchpins of what has turned out to be a very up and down Isa season.
The changing nature of equity income has made it near impossible to distinguish between those managers who seek to provide a rising dividend and those willing to sacrifice some income in favour of potentially higher capital gains.
Sad news, we know, but Correspondent's Week has finally come to an end as Money Marketing launches a new trio of society columnists to the world of financial services.
Having come through another Isa season, it is easy to see the benefits of a tasty wrap as a seasonal addition to the menu.
Abbey has launched a raft of new products that remove all of the upfront costs for homemovers.
Scottish Provident has hit out at the Association of British Insurers for leaving IFAs uninformed on critical-illness insurance developments by not communicating its statement of best practice effectively to them.
The Government must introduce radical reforms in its deregulatory review of pensions including a “shared risk” scheme to avoid levelling down as a result of personal accounts, says the Association of Consulting Actuaries.
Aviva reported a slight drop in UK pension sales as the A-Day effect began to wear off.
The rules for the construction of the Adviser Fund Indices have been revised, allowing the panellists greater access to multi-manager funds.
Hip supporters have hit out at critics of the new regime in an outspoken statement headed, "Lies, damn lies and uninformed Hip critics.
Aifa and the AMI have set up an extended graduate career section as part of its revamped website, with information about profess-ional development and a job search section.
Sarah Hall looks at the problems of giving advice on annuity alternatives.
The Advertising Standards Authority has rejected a series of complaints against controversial Government home information pack marketing.
B&CE Benefit Schemes has thrown its weight behind the Department for Work and pensions select committee's recommendations for an increase in the amount that people can save into pension personal accounts without eroding means-tested benefits.
The architect of critical illness cover Dr Marius Barnard, will be the guest speaker at this year’s Protection Review launch dinner on July 11.
Virtually every masters in finance graduate from London Business School found employment within three months of graduating in 2006, making it the best recruitment year yet for the school.
So much for the pessimism of a number of commentators who, like me, have been warning of a potential setback in share prices. Last week saw the UK market continue its upward progression and break through 6,400 for the first time in more six years.
Just when you thought that morale at bigger firms is not quite what it is cut out to be, the Diary is here to prove you wrong.
HBOS pair Bank of Scotland and The Mortgage Business have increased their loan-to-value ratios to 90 per cent on a number of products.
We now appear to be at the start of spring. Stockmarkets are up, as are house prices, while new business figures from product providers increase. Adviser numbers are growing and consumer demand to find an IFA through www.unbiased. co.uk is very encouraging.
Do you think advisers should be able to cold-call customers?
Protection advisers are calling for improvements to critical-illness insurance policies to be applied retrospectively to existing customers as well as new customers to boost trust in the industry.
After a tough week in which the Conservatives through threw every pensions weapon they had at the Chancellor, Gordon Brown seems to have come through as well as he could have wished after a storming Commons performance and strong backbench support.
Funds that tap into housing are becoming increasingly popular with investors, offering the potential without many of the problems associated with owning bricks and mortar, says Samantha Downes.
Cheviot Asset Management has set up a multi-asset fund of funds as its first investment product following the firm's relaunch last May.
The Chartered Insurance Institute is calling for the introduction of a framework to evaluate and monitor prospective generic advisers saying this will be essential for public protection if unregulated generic advice is launched.
Chartered Insurance Institute members have approved proposals to modernise the organisation, with a new governing board replacing its existing council.
The Claims Standards Council is to vote for a new chairman at an extraordinary general meeting next week following the resignation of Andrew Twambley after just six months in the role.
Bright Grey has warned against protection providers racing each other to cover the most conditions under their critical-illness policies.
SimplyBiz says product providers must take a lot of the responsibility for encouraging commission-led sales by advisers because of their remuneration terms.
Barclays is the least trusted of the big five high-street banks according to research from independent personal finance website fool.co.uk.
Last year, a friend called me on his mobile as he was on his way to the tube station after work. "I think I'm having a heart attack," he said. I told him to call 999 and wait for an ambulance.
HM Revenue & Customs says pension schemes must file some information electronically from October 16.
I keep meaning to stop going on about pension term assurance but then something else happens - the latest being the extension of the deadline for pipeline business.
Several of the big protection brokers, including Lifesearch and Direct Life & Pensions, believe insurers should backdate any definition changes to critical illness policies.
Towry Law is aiming to raise professional standards by setting the Chartered Insurance Institute’s diploma in financial planning as its minimum benchmark qualification by the end of 2008.
The Government has revealed that fewer than 500 people have taken a mortgage in the first six months of its Openmarket Homebuy scheme designed to help first-time buyers and key workers.
Interest-free loans from will trusts may not always be a prescription for IHT avoidance.
Hamptons Mortgages managing director Kevin Duffy is considering a role in the lending industry following his surprise departure from the broker firm late last week.
Many of the large number of employers sponsoring defined contribution schemes are shying away from the practical duties, according to Aon Consulting.
Four-page section opens with David Borrowman, managing partner of solicitors Caesar and Howie, and Dean Mirfin, business development director at Key Retirement Solutions, explaining the increased role that equity release is likely to take in future as people's main retirement planning falls short of the target.
EXPERTS Q&A: our panel assess the potential of the market and why few IFAs offer advice on the complex sector.
Many people look forward to April as the first month when you can believe that spring is almost sprung.
Two recent publications contain vital information for protection advisers.
The row between members of the European Parliament's committee of inquiry into Equitable Life has escalated, with Conservative MEP Sir Robert Atkins accusing Labour MEPs of trying to wreck the report for political gain.
F&C's multi-manager team has sold the Credit Suisse alpha income fund from all four of its portfolios because there is still no sign of a full-time manager six months after the departure of Errol Francis.
House prices picked up again in March as the market absorbed interest rate rises, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Fidelity FundsNetwork has been accused of undermining advisers by waiving costs for Sipp clients if they buy direct in a bid to boost sales.
Fidelity's Tim McCarron has reassured investors that despite four years of strong returns there is still scope for European growth.
The FSA is seeking to gag people who complain about it from talking to the press in a move that legal experts suggest could be in breach of the Human Rights Act.
The FSA and trade bodies have negotiated another payment by instalments plan to enable advisers to pay regulatory fees in this way for the next year.
The Financial Services Authority has warned the sub-prime sector it could go the same way as the troubled US market if it fails to tighten-up lending criteria.
Lenders must ensure a steady flow of new blood to aid clients and brokers.
Lehman Brothers' UK mortgage business sales and marketing director has recently returned to the market after 10 years with Platform and is at the forefront of his new firm's three-pronged attack on specialist mortgages Interview by Guy Anker.
Nearly half of protection advisers are unaware that critical-illness definitions are changing at the end of April, according to a survey by The Exchange on behalf of Royal Liver.
Hargreaves Lansdown shareholders are set to share a windfall of up to £175m after the company confirmed its intention to float 25 per cent of its shares on the London Stock Exchange next month.
James Hay has sparked a wrap wrangle by accusing life offices of having little commitment to the wrap market and only launching their platforms to recycle existing business.
Hargreaves Lansdown sold £420m of Isas in the last tax year - an increase of 30 per cent on the previous year.
There is nothing like a controversial mortgage product or two to shake things up a bit. In the past couple of weeks, two lenders have obliged by launching new products. Neither is revolutionary, both have been done before but that does not make them any less controversial.
Invesco Perpetual has allayed adviser concerns about the ever increasing size of Neil Woodford's income and high-income funds.
Ian Chimes, former retail managing director of Credit Suisse and now one of the founders of PSigma Asset Management, deserves high praise for persuading Bill Mott to come back into day-today fund management.
Jupiter is to restructure its £13.5m North American fund to develop a stronger income stream.
Demand for independent financial advice on Isas through IFA Promotion’s unbiased.co.uk website has reached record levels in 2007.
Inflation hit 3.1 per cent in March, prompting speculation that the Bank of England will raise interest rates by a quarter point next month.
All the talk this week has centred upon potential interest rate rises following news that inflation hit a 15-year high of 3.1 per cent in March.
Chris Salih says a late upturn in sales saved the Isa season.
New alternative funds could be a useful addition to retail portfolios.
Skandia press officer Alex Jones is back with a splash on our Diary page.
Nick Kirwan has quit as Scottish Widows protection marketing director.
Legal & General is launching a new product in the group defined contribution market.
Legal & General has become the latest pension provider to confirm its interest in the group Sipp market as it prepares to launch a product this year.
Invesco Perpetual fund manager Kathryn Langridge has left the firm to join investment house Lloyd George as chief investment officer.
Legal & General is offering a bond fund that will have the ability to invest across different countries, asset types and credit ratings.
Lenders have begun pulling their fixed rate deals amid speculation of another base rate rise in May.
Next month's Money Marketing Live London conference and exhibition will once again give pension advisers the opportunity to hear from the experts on the latest industry developments.
Cross-party amendments to the Pensions Bill to offer further help to the 125,000 people who lost out when their occupational schemes collapsed were narrowly defeated in Parliament this afternoon.
The industry is wedded to indemnity but it is now time to consider a divorce.
Mazars, the international financial adviser firm, has merged with MRI Moores Rowland, a London-based accountancy and consultancy business.
Protection providers have warned Financial Ombudsman Service chief ombudsman Walter Merricks that his outspoken public criticism of critical-illness policies could lead to an increase in lapse rates and leave people without cover.
MitonOptimal has embraced the environmentally friendly theme by investing in a socially responsible teak plantation fund.
Kensington Group's problems have continued as it revealed that its mortgage book has fallen and and its margins have been cut in its first quarter trading statement.
MPC Investors has appointed Grant Webster as quantitative analyst within its multi asset team.
A cross-party group of MPs has tabled amendments to the Pensions Bill aiming to force the Government to inc-rease payouts to people who lost out when their occupational schemes collapsed.
Smith & Pinching Portfolio Management (SPPM) has announced a new trading name for their multi-manager operations - OPM (Only Performance Matters) Fund Management.
Nationwide Building Society is increasing the rates on some of its fixed and tracker rate mortgages.
Standard Life UK opportunities manager Mark Niznik has resigned from the firm amid rumours he is set to join investment boutique Artemis
The Money Marketing pool team were unceremoniously dumped out of the New Star pool tournament after a bit of sharp play from eventual winners Chelsea Financial Services.
The Government's amnesty for UK taxpayers with undisclosed offshore bank accounts could net the Treasury up to 5bn.
Guy Anker looks at the controversy surrounding cheap introductory deals.
Financial advice firm the Bartlett Group is embarking on a trek across India for Help the Aged. The firm is hoping to raise a minimum of 5,200.
Opposition parties are to take their fight for greater compensation for victims of occupational scheme wind-ups to the Lords after their amendments were narrowly defeated yesterday.
The Personal Finance Society's wrap questionnaire has been criticised by IFAs who feel it neglected to include the main reason for using platforms.
The Government has begun its search for someone to lead the personal accounts delivery authority.
Speculators homing in on agricultural land as a potential investment opportunity may find they do not always reap what they sow.
Helen Pow reports on Alliance & Leicester's entry into the 100 per cent-plus mortgage market.
Positive Solutions has confirmed that chief executive Neil Johnson will remain at the firm until at least the end of the year.
We live in a world where the focus of media attention moves rapidly from one topic to the next. It is easy to become obsessed with whatever grabs the headlines at any moment.
This article concludes my short series discussing key issues within director sharepurchase arrangements by first considering who should pay the premiums under associated life policies and then summarising some of the key stages in establishing the arrangement.
Protection providers have reacted angrily to the decision by the Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs to extend the deadline for pipeline pension term assurance business to July 31 following ABI pressure.
Prudential has become the sixth product provider to take a stake in Assureweb.
How Force 4 Mortgages has structured its recruitment programme.
An open letter to Michael Coogan of the Council of Mortgage lenders.
The FSA has delayed proposals to reform the funding of the Financial Ombudsman Service due to "significant volatility" in its case numbers.
Understanding a portfolio manager's approach to risk is an important aspect of fund assessment. An impressive track record should always be considered in relation to the degree of risk taken to achieve it.
Savills Private Finance is expanding its agricultural division with the appointment of Matt Ducker from property consultant Strutt & Parker.
I was supposed to go to university when I left school but I struggled to see the point. I was 19 and I did not think that I was mature enough to understand what I was doing and I know what would have happened if I had gone.
Scottish Life is making a last call for former members to get in touch if they had an eligible policy at the time of the company’s demutualisation in 2001, as they may be entitled to a payment of £500 for loss of membership
Scottish Life International has added a ‘discounted gift trust’ to its range of draft trusts for use in inheritance tax planning strategies.
Sesame has been fined £330,000 for failing to treat its customers fairly when handling complaints concerning Structured Capital At Risk Products (SCARPs).
Fidelity FundsNetwork is looking to boost direct sales of its Sipp offering by waiving costs for Sipp clients if they buy direct.
James Salmon gauges reaction to Scottish Life's Sipp criticisms.
Skandia MultiFunds and Selestia are expected to announce plans this week as to how the merged platform will look.
Don’t be fooled into thinking HM Revenue & Customs will be content to leave the tax amnesty at offshore bank accounts.
Standard Life will begin mailing around 1.5m shareholders in over 50 countries ahead of its first Annual General Meeting as a listed plc.
Funds of hedge funds will start to creep on to the retail investment radar, following the FSA's decision to relax its ruling on the maximum amount a fund can invest in unregulated collective schemes, but I am sure most investors will be reaching for the Valium at the thought of putting their money into hedge funds.
The news on the inheritance tax regime from this year's Budget was positive for a change.
A new survey of pension statements claims major companies are failing to reach an acceptable benchmark for service.
Most brokers believe that technological advancements by lenders could see them use fewer packagers.
Thames River is looking to set up a mainstream UK equity fund once its new multi-manager team led by Gary Potter and Robert Burdett have settled in, with UK equity income top of the list.
Gregor Watt reports on figures which show borrowers flocking to take out fixed-rate deals as they fear another increase in bank base rate.
Thinc Group is targeting women in a recruitment campaign to be unveiled later this year.
Whatever measure of inflation you use, it is unarguable that we are in a low-inflation environment.
Those crazy guys at Tomorrow (the new, improved name of GE Life) certainly earned their commission judging by the amount of times that they uttered the word Tomorrow at a party to celebrate the new brand last week.
The Conservatives this week tabled an unprecedented motion of no confidence in Gordon Brown over his handling of occupational pensions.
Ed Smithson has joined Truestone Employee Benefits in the role of senior consultant.
UnumProvident is shortening its name to Unum and introducing a new corporate identity.
Implementation of anti-age discrimination laws has done more harm than good.
Chief financial ombudsman Walter Merricks has caused a storm over claim statistics with remarks made on the Watchdog TV programme last week.
I am not at all surprised to read of Standard Life being slammed by advisers for taking it upon itself to write direct to their clients.
News gets around fast in this industry. Sometimes a little prematurely, as was the case this week with suggestions that Neil Johnson was leaving Positive Solutions to join the raft of PS-ers at David Harrison’s new venture True Potential.
Winterthur has expanded its adviser support with appointments in each of its four UK business regions - north, midlands, south west and south east.
Equity income takes lion's share of business on platforms but property funds continue to make strong showing.