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18 February 2009

Money Marketing

  • “Trust me, I’m a structured product provider”

    20 February 2009

    Financial crises teach a lot of hard lessons - lessons in greed, lessons in fear, lessons about calling markets, about overborrowing, about not relying on other parties beyond what it says in the contract, about not relying solely on ratings agencies.

  • £48Bn plunge for fund firms

    19 February 2009

    Leading fund firms lost around £48bn of assets in 2008, with Fidelity International seeing £8bn wiped out, research from Money Marketing has revealed.

  • 5,000 less repossessions than predicted

    20 February 2009

    The Council of Mortgage Lenders has revealed that there were 5,000 less repossessions in 2008 than it originally predicted.

  • '90% Mortgage criteria set too high to reach'

    19 February 2009

    Brokers have called on lenders to do more to make "theoretical" 90 per cent mortgages accessible to first-time buyers.

  • A clear case

    19 February 2009

    The move to wrap sneaks up on you. Piece by piece, the evidence amasses that this is the correct solution for clients and business, until it is so conclusive you wonder why you did not see it sooner.

  • ABI fund sector review to put spotlight on money market funds

    18 February 2009

    The Association of British Insurers is launching a review of fund sectors, which will begin by examining the money market sector.

  • ABI puts case for Euro regulator

    19 February 2009

    The Association of British Insurers says the European Union should consider a single prudential regulator for Europe.

  • ABI single premium investment business drops 64 per cent

    20 February 2009

    The Association of British Insurers has reported a 64 per cent drop in total single premium investment and savings new business in Q4 2008 to £3.77bn from £10.54bn in Q4 2007.

  • Accreditation for ifs level four diploma

    19 February 2009

    Ofqual has approved accreditation of the ifs School of Finance's level four diploma for financial advisers. ifs dean of further education Anne Kiem says: "We shall work closely with the FSSC to ensure that our qualifications meet with their prescription and standards."

  • Adviser Fund Index

    19 February 2009

    Commodities are set for a tough 2009, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. In its quarterly report, published earlier this month, the EIU forecasts a 41 per cent fall in its Industrial Raw Materials index this year.

  • Advisers split on fund exit as Standard agrees redress

    19 February 2009

    Advisers are divided as to whether investors should move out of Standard Life's pension sterling fund now that the firm has agreed to compensate for last month's revaluation.

  • Advisers to be hit by more FSCS costs as Square Mile Securities defaults

    23 February 2009

    The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has declared Square Mile Securities Limited in default and has estimated that compensation costs could reach up to £15m.

  • Aegon downgraded to negative

    19 February 2009

    Rating agency Moody's has downgraded Aegon to negative after the firm reported an expected fourth-quarter loss of £1.08bn and an underlying loss before tax of £179m in its preliminary results on Tuesday.

  • AIG in talks for third US govt bail out

    24 February 2009

    AIG is negotiating a third bail out with the US government ahead of an expected fourth quarter loss of more than £16.9bn, according to the Financial Times.

  • Argonaut launches European absolute return fund

    23 February 2009

    Ignis Asset Management joint venture Argonaut has launched its European absolute return fund under the management of Barry Norris

  • Axa Framlington launches UK blue chip equity income fund

    19 February 2009

    Axa Framlington has launched a UK blue chip equity income fund which will begin trading on February 23.

  • Axa UK life & savings earnings down 44% in 2008

    19 February 2009

    Axa UK has reported a 44 per cent drop in underlying earnings for its life and savings business to £97m in 2008.

  • Bankers brought to account

    19 February 2009

    Last week, the banking industry faced the music before Parliamentary select committees, producing some startling admissions and political fireworks.

  • Baring directional global fund moves into absolute return sector

    19 February 2009

    Baring Asset Management is to revamp its directional global bond trust, with the fund set to move into the IMA absolute return sector.

  • Big in Japan

    19 February 2009

    We turned bullish on Japanese equities in the second half of 2008 and we remain so today.

  • Blue Sky queries risk rating selection

    19 February 2009

    Blue Sky Asset Management is warning advisers that AAA-backed structured products may be being marketed on headline credit ratings that might not offer a reliable categorisation of risk.

  • Bonuses boosted and £10m for pay rises

    19 February 2009

    Staff bonus levels at the FSA have been increased from 12 per cent to 15 per cent. The regulator has also added £10m to increase staff salaries so they are level with industry norms. A spokesman says: "We have put aside up to £10m to support moves to create more effective supervision. There are some staff working here who are being paid less than the accepted level paid in the wider industry so this money is for salary increases, not bonuses.

  • 'Bonuses bring best staff'

    19 February 2009

    Bankers have defended bonus payments as essential to attract top-quality staff.

  • Boom time wraps

    19 February 2009

    Neither providers nor advisers who wish to thrive in the pension and investments world in the 21st century can afford to ignore wraps.

  • Broker Talkback

    19 February 2009

    Is it fair that medium-sized IFA firms should face a hike in FSA fees of up to 90 per cent?Yes 0%No 100%

  • Brown prompts review into MPs' pensions

    19 February 2009

    Advisers have welcomed Prime Minister Gordon Brown's call for a review of MPs' final-salary pensions.

  • Buy-to-let lending drops to 2003 figures

    20 February 2009

    Buy-to-let lending fell by 56 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2008, the lowest figures since 2003.

  • Campaign grows for audit of FSA budget

    19 February 2009

    Hundreds of Aifa and AMI members have already pledged support to a campaign to have FSA regulatory fees reviewed and the regulator's budgeting process overseen by the National Audit Office.

  • Campaign victory

    19 February 2009

    Well, we got there. Some months ago, I talked in this column of how a generic industry marketing or advertising campaign might be got off the ground.

  • Cheap may become cheaper

    19 February 2009

    Cartesian fund manager Jeremy Hall believes the FTSE 100 could drop below 3,600 although he is expecting to see increasingly attractive valuations in the next 12 to 24 months.

  • CII paper tests technical knowhow

    19 February 2009

    The Chartered Insurance Institute has launched a practical paper as part of its diploma in financial planning qualification.

  • Clerical Medical launches Isa review and transfer kit

    24 February 2009

    Clerical Medical has launched an Isa transfer kit for advisers to manage their clients investment.

  • Comparison Consortium teams up with ABI for online code of practice

    23 February 2009

  • Complaint fears scare advisers off loan breaks

    19 February 2009

    Advisers are warning that concerns over future misselling complaints could stop them advising borrowers to take up the Government's mortgage holiday scheme.

  • Consulting Consortium chief exec awarded Compliance Institute fellowship

    18 February 2009

    The Consulting Consortium chief executive Joanne Smith has been admitted to the Compliance Institute’s fellowship in recognition of her contribution to regulatory practice.

  • Countrywide concludes bail-out review

    23 February 2009

    The holding company of Countrywide has completed a scheme of arrangement review to restructure the estate agents' balance sheet.

  • Cowdery's Resolution eyeing up Prudential's UK life business

    23 February 2009

    Clive Cowdery's Resolution has reportedly approached Prudential about a potential bid to buy its UK insurance business.

  • Credit crunch slashes 25% off DC pension assets

    19 February 2009

    Britain’s defined contribution pension assets have lost 25 per cent of their value - £140bn - since the start of the credit crunch, according to Aon Consulting.

  • 'Crisis brought home value of guarantees'

    19 February 2009

    Lincoln Financial Group is confident about the prospects for variable annuities this year, claiming the financial crisis has proved the value of guarantees.

  • Demand switches from rates to supply

    19 February 2009

    Last October, the clamour for the Bank of England to reduce bank rate and get some liquidity back into the economy was deafening. With the economy sliding rapidly into recession and the mortgage market at its lowest level for many years many organisation were calling for the Bank of England to take some action. The 1.5 per cent reduction in November was warmly received as a dramatic but justified response to the situation.

  • Dividend trips

    19 February 2009

    In a world where interest rates are close to zero, sources of high and sustainable income will be increasingly rare this year and should attract a premium value. Dividends can meet this need but investors have to be vigilant as there will be widespread dividend cuts.

  • Dogged by misfortune

    19 February 2009

    After being clobbered by performance and asset bleeding in 2008, the last thing fund managers wanted was advisers rubbing salt into their wounds. Cue the latest instalments of Chelsea Financial Services' Relegation Zone and Bestinvest's Spot The Dog.

  • Early dawning

    19 February 2009

    Although I am only 30, I would like to plan for early retirement. I do not want to be working when I am 65. Have you got any tips to help me make this happen?

  • Early distributions on AIG protected fund now unlikely

    18 February 2009

    AIG Life has announced that it may not be able to make early distributions to investors who chose to move their assets from its enhanced fund into its protected recovery fund.

  • ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet calls for blanket supervision

    24 February 2009

    European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet has called for an extension of EU regulation to cover all financial markets that pose risks to stability.

  • Educating IFA

    19 February 2009

    We are all aware that these are unprecedented times, with the current state of flux in the markets leaving no shortage of news stories and column inches on the matter.

  • Edward Jones is aiming to swell adviser number into thousands

    19 February 2009

    Edward Jones says its recruitment plans will aim to swell its adviser numbers "into the thousands".

  • Elmfield and CII link for apprentice programmes

    19 February 2009

    UK-based training provider Elmfield Training has been accredited by the Chartered Insurance Institute to offer apprenticeship programmes in retail financial services.

  • Email Mortgages urges UK banks to copy Irish innovation

    23 February 2009

    Email Mortgages is urging UK lenders to launch more innovative products to aid potential homeowners similar to those offered in the Republic of Ireland.

  • Equity falls hit Widows' WP bonuses

    19 February 2009

    Scottish Widows has cut bonuses by up to half after its with-profits fund fell by 17.5 per cent in 2008 due to a 54 per cent exposure to equities and property.

  • F&C sharpens its analytical tools

    19 February 2009

    F&C has made a number of changes to its trademark proprietary screening tool for fund of funds.

  • Fair Exchange

    19 February 2009

    In 35 years in the City, I have been blessed by opportunity, wonderful mentors and friends - and being in the right place at the right time.

  • Fee rise is unfair for advisers

    19 February 2009

    It would be grossly unfair if the advice sector shouldered more of the financial burden of the current crisis than other sectors of financial services. Indeed, there is a strong argument for why they should shoulder proportionately less.

  • Feeney sees companies leading the way back

    19 February 2009

    BNY Mellon Asset Management head of distribution Paul Feeney believes companies rather than individual markets will lead the world out of global recession.

  • Figure skating

    19 February 2009

    I will be happy to put my money into personal accounts if they can guarantee me an annualised return of 5.1 per cent above inflation. Sadly, even such ambitiously high performance figures will not be enough to make personal accounts an appealing prospect for many low or average-earners with 20 years or less to retirement.

  • Fix RDR flaws and leave IFAs to look after their clients

    19 February 2009

    Following Sir James Crosby's decision finally to do the decent thing and fall on his sword, no doubt the FSA will be seeking some other failed banker to take his place and drive through the pro-bank agenda that underlies the RDR.

  • Fortis Insurance teams up with UKU replacing Axa

    23 February 2009

    Fortis Insurance is to replace Axa as the chosen provider for UK Underwriting in a new five-year deal.

  • FOS warning over rejecting complaints

    19 February 2009

    FOS chief ombudsman Walter Merricks has warned that firms facing financial hardship are too quick to reject consumer complaints and, as a result, a higher proportion are being upheld by the ombudsman.

  • FSA aims to make structured products clear

    18 February 2009

    In the current climate regulation is high on the agenda for those seeking answers on how the UK ended up in economic meltdown.

  • FSA chasing foreign banks away, says BDO Stoy Hayward

    24 February 2009

    Foreign banks may close their UK branches if new FSA liquidity proposals to make each individual branch self-sufficient are implemented, according to BDO Stoy Hayward.

  • FSA in a sub-class of its own on PacCon

    19 February 2009

    Many years ago, a personal finance website I was working on came up with the idea of launching a magazine. I was asked who I would ideally like to write for the magazine and the first name that came to mind was Tony Hetherington.

  • FSA picks Suisse's Norris as COO

    19 February 2009

    The FSA has appointed Mark Norris as its new chief operating officer, taking over from David Kenmir, who is leaving in April. Norris has 25 years experience in the industry, most recently as COO of Credit Suisse's UK private banking business.

  • FSA suggesting criminal records checks for new advice staff, says Sifa

    20 February 2009

    The FSA is suggesting to some firms that advisers consider obtaining criminal records bureau checks when hiring new staff, according to Sifa.

  • FSA to implement single premium PPI ban by May

    24 February 2009

    All firms selling singe premium payment protection insurance have until May to withdraw the product from the market, says the Financial Services Authority.

  • FSA vows to probe blocks on counterparty identity

    19 February 2009

    The FSA has pledged to investigate the "purported regulatory blockages" stopping investors and advisers identifying the underlying counterparty of certain structured products.

  • FSA will not apply with-profits compensation rules retrospectively

    23 February 2009

    The FSA has amended its proposals on prohibiting compensation payments from with-profit funds’ inherited estates to only apply to future misselling.

  • FTSE falls below November lows

    24 February 2009

    The FTSE 100 has fallen to 3,772.45 sinking below last year’s November bear market low as fears deepen about the global banking sector.

  • FTSE scrapes below 4,000

    18 February 2009

    The FTSE 100 dropped to its lowest level this year, falling to 3,938.12 in afternoon trades today.

  • FTSE tumbles below 4,000 to yearly lows

    20 February 2009

    The FTSE 100 struck yearly lows of 3,907 this morning after a sell-off in mining stocks with news that mining giant Anglo American was suspending its dividend.

  • Gartmore appoints John Anderson to fixed income team

    19 February 2009

    Gartmore has appointed John Anderson to its fixed income team as head of credit.

  • George Osborne hints at formal separation of retail and investment banking

    23 February 2009

    Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has hinted that a Conservative Government could formally separate retail deposit-taking and investment banking

  • Glynn and Wilkins quit Just Retirement to join Partnership

    19 February 2009

    Partnership has recruited Just Retirement's head of sales Paul Glynn and national account director Jackie Wilkins.

  • Govt considers ban on 100% mortgages

    23 February 2009

    Banking minister Lord Myers has labelled 100 per cent mortgages as “foolish” as Gordon Brown hints at regulatory limits to high loan to value loans.

  • Green light

    19 February 2009

    After the derision heaped on a Treasury minister who dared to utter the phrase "green shoots", I am only too well aware of the dangers that those words carry in the current climate.

  • Group protection hit by renewal delays

    19 February 2009

    Advisers have hit out at group protection providers for taking too long to produce costings for policy renewals.

  • GRS picks five to build insurance

    19 February 2009

    Pension recruitment specialists GRS Group has hired five senior recruitment consultants from Mansion House.

  • Half of top firms have funds under £50m

    19 February 2009

    Advisers have raised questions over the efficiency of leading fund firms after research from Money Marketing found that almost half still run over 10 funds with less than £50m in assets.

  • Hannover Life Re appoints new BDM

    18 February 2009

    Hannover Life Re has appointed Andy Johnston as business development manager for its UK team.

  • Hargreaves Lansdown defies slump with 28% rise in profits

    19 February 2009

    Hargreaves Lansdown has warned it could be 2011 before the UK comes out of recession despite the firm seeing a 28 per cent increase in profits for the second half of 2008.

  • Hartford considers de-risk options

    19 February 2009

    The Hartford is looking at a number of options to de-risk its guaranteed retirement income plan, including reducing its maximum equity exposure, Money Marketing understands.

  • Hornby told shareholders HBOS would double mortgage share

    19 February 2009

    Former HBOS chief executive Andy Hornby pledged to double mortgage market share in 2007 but told MPs last week he had tried to limit growth during his tenure.

  • Huge hike is set in compensation levy

    19 February 2009

    Investment advisers face up to a 930 per cent increase in Financial Services Compensation Scheme levies for the next year.

  • 'IFAs pay for bank failures'

    19 February 2009

    Aifa has slammed the FSA for raising regulatory fees for all but the smallest IFA firms, warning that medium-size firms face overall increases of 90 per cent.

  • IFP offering a fast track to certified qualification

    19 February 2009

    The Institute of Financial Planning is creating a fast-track route to the Certified Financial Planner qualification.

  • IFP welcomes SIIM in wealth management

    23 February 2009

    The Institute of Financial Planning has welcomed the FSA’s approval of the SIIM in Wealth Management.

  • Inflation falls to 3%

    19 February 2009

    The UK consumer price index fell to 3 per cent in January, down from December's 3.1 per cent. This is the fourth consecutive monthly fall from a high of 5.2 per cent last September. The retail price index fell to 0.1 per cent, its lowest amount since 1960.

  • Investec expands structured product range into Isle of Man

    23 February 2009

    Investec has launched its seventh series of structured products which will now be available to residents of the Isle of Man.

  • January mortgage lending down to 2001 levels

    19 February 2009

    The Council of Mortgage Lenders sees no sign of a mortgage revival as January lending figures slip to the lowest amount since April 2001.

  • John Simmonds

    19 February 2009

    Launching a new business is tricky and launching in the teeth of a recession makes the process more fraught but Bluefin Advisory Services CEO John Simmonds is upbeat about the economic headwind.

  • KSF depositors await clarity on scheme of arrangement

    19 February 2009

    The Isle of Man High Court will meet this morning to discuss the Manx government’s proposed scheme of arrangement which is is providing the underpin for compensation should recovery be less than 60p in the poundfor KSFIoM depositors.

  • KSF IoM liquidation adjourned until April 9

    20 February 2009

    The liquidation of Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Isle of Man has be adjourned again until April 9 to allow the Treasury more time to work up a scheme of arrangement to help affected depositors.

  • L&G cuts with-profits bonuses

    19 February 2009

    Legal & General has slashed with-profits bonuses in line with other insurers, it has announced today.

  • L&G doubles default reserves to £1.2bn

    19 February 2009

    Legal & General has more than doubled its credit default reserves to £1.2bn but refuses to rule out a dividend cut in response to market concerns.

  • Life sentences

    19 February 2009

    The current rules of law relating to insurable interest in life assurance contracts are restrictive and, if not complied with, will render the contract illegal and void from inception. That is a severe sanction.

  • Lloyds chief wanted much more time on takeover deal

    19 February 2009

    Lloyds TSB chief executive Eric Daniels has admitted he would have liked to have spent "three to five times" as much time doing due diligence on HBOS before the acquisition took place.

  • Lower ratings for Clerical and Widows

    19 February 2009

    Moody's has highlighted the weak profitability of Clerical Medical's business through IFAs.

  • Lower the lapses

    19 February 2009

    Times are going to get tough. Protection sales have escaped the ravages of the credit crunch and recession so far, while mortgage and investments have taken an almighty battering, but this period of calm can't last forever. Not only will sales be hit at some point but also lapse rates will start to increase as more people lose their jobs and try to save money by cancelling their protection policies.

  • LV= launches three Isa multi-manager funds

    23 February 2009

    LV= Asset Management has opened up three new multi-manager funds in a bid to take advantage of the Isa season.

  • Lyttleton raps weak launches

    19 February 2009

    BlackRock absolute alpha fund manager Mark Lyttleton has warned advisers not to fall prey to "flimsy" absolute return funds which he says are increasingly being launched.

  • M&G appoints Dermot Kiernan as property fund manager

    19 February 2009

    M&G has appointed Dermot Kiernan as manager of its £251m Guernsey-domiciled property fund.

  • Make or break

    19 February 2009

    Whether pension reform succeeds or fails will be measured mainly by how many people opt out of automatic enrolment. However good the legislation and the compliance getting employers to carry out their duties, it all boils down to whether people remain an active member of a pension scheme and save for their retirement. It is fundamental that we get the culture surrounding saving spot on.

  • Make the switch to money purchase

    19 February 2009

    I don't know how much more of this nonsense I can take. Joanne Segars is very knowledgeable when it comes to defined-benefit (final-salary based) pensions but the stance she is taking when representing the National Association of Pension Funds can only be because of vested interests. Let us hope that the Mad Hatter rejects her request for the Government to guarantee the Pension Protection Fund.

  • Marlow leaves in Forbes' reshuffle

    19 February 2009

    Alexander Forbes Financial Services marketing director David Marlow is leaving the firm as part of a review that could see support staff axed.

  • Means to an end

    19 February 2009

    I have got a bee in my bonnet about this means-testing malarkey. The DWP has published its report on the interaction of private pensions and means-testing - it is now time to move on.

  • Midas looks for a return to real values

    19 February 2009

    Midas chief executive Simon Edwards says a snapback in prices and NAVs could see its funds return double-digit figures in 2009.

  • Midas to waive loan covenants

    19 February 2009

    Aim-listed asset manager Midas Capital has reached an agreement with its bank to waive loan covenants until April 30 with the aim of restructuring its borrowing arrangements.

  • Moody's downgrades Swiss Re

    23 February 2009

    Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the insurance financial strength and senior debt ratings of Swiss Re.

  • Morgan Stanley in bid to cut credit risk

    19 February 2009

    Morgan Stanley has launched what it claims is the first retail structured product to be cash-collateralised and backed by UK Government gilts.

  • Mortgage 2000 exits mortgage sourcing

    23 February 2009

    Mortgage 2000 is exiting the mortgage sourcing market and transferring users to Mortgage Brain.

  • Neptune's Burnett says states won't quit euro

    19 February 2009

    Exit from the eurozone would be a disastrous decision for a member country and is unlikely to happen, says Neptune head of European equities Rob Burnett.

  • New Star's Steer keeping his options open after takeover

    19 February 2009

    New Star UK alpha fund manager Tim Steer is still undecided on his future and refuses to rule out going it alone if "the perfect opportunity" comes along.

  • No keyman is an island

    19 February 2009

    Last week, I looked at the importance of owner/managed businesses having sufficient life and critical-illness cover to provide liquidity either to maintain loan repayments or to clear outstanding debts in the event of the death or critical illness of a key contributor to income and profit.

  • Northern Rock plays down 90% lending

    23 February 2009

    Northern Rock has played down its potential mortgage lending at 90 per cent for new and existing clients.

  • NPI repeats pension data blunder

    19 February 2009

    NPI has continued to provide an adviser with incorrect information about a client's with-profits pension policy despite apologising for previous mistakes.

  • Octopus sets up online training academy

    19 February 2009

    Octopus Investments has launched an online training resource for IFAs, financial planners and undergraduates to boost expertise in tax-efficient investments.

  • One day wonder

    20 February 2009

    And the spotlight is on Standard Life... Again. This time the firm is being lambasted for guaranteeing annuity quotes on its own pension policies for just one day, compared with an industry average of two weeks.

  • ONS classifies Lloyds and RBS as public sector bodies

    19 February 2009

    The Office of National Statistics has classified both RBS and Lloyds TSB as public sector entities.

  • OPM set for testing times

    19 February 2009

    OPM Fund Management is using exchange traded funds to short the FTSE 100 and S&P 500 in its equity-focused multi-manager funds and anticipates renewed lows on the markets this year.

  • Painful truth

    19 February 2009

    It is both easy and difficult to predict the direction that the economy will take in 2009 and into 2010. The easy bit is to say the full effects of the financial crisis in 2008 will translate into a severe economic downturn, the worst in a generation.

  • Pension pledge lasts just one day

    19 February 2009

    Advisers have hit out at Standard Life for guaranteeing annuity quotes on its own policies for only one day compared with an industry average of two weeks.

  • People on the move: Distribution 19/02/2009

    19 February 2009

    Former Ascentric director and co-founder Michael Fordham has joined IHT specialist and fund manager The Way Group as managing director of business development.

  • People on the move: Investment 19/02/2009

    19 February 2009

    Credit Suisse's global head of fixed income Paul Griffiths will join Aberdeen in the same role after the group's proposed acquisition in June. Griffiths will replace Gary Bartlett, who has departed the company.

  • People on the move: Mortgages 19/02/2009

    19 February 2009

    Nationwide group distribution director Matthew Wyles has been appointed chairman of the Council of Mortgage Lenders for 2009. HSBC head of mortgages Martin van der Heijden and Paragon Mortgages managing director John Heron have been appointed as deputy chairmen.

  • People on the move: Pensions 19/02/2009

    19 February 2009

    Watson Wyatt has appointed Martin Muir as the leader of its insurance and financial services practice UK life team. Graham Fulcher has been appointed leader of the UK non-life team. Muir is a long-time consultant at Watson Wyatt while Fulcher joined in September 2008 from ACE.

  • Polin says crunch rules out single- country funds

    19 February 2009

    Ignis Asset Management director Jonathan Polin believes the current economic crisis proves that the fund industry is not ready for single-country funds from emerging and frontier markets.

  • PosSol sets up IFA practitioner deal

    19 February 2009

    "National IFA firm Positive Solutions is to launch an IFA practitioner programme and is targeting up to 500 recruits to its apprenticeship scheme in the next two years.

  • Pru cuts with-profits bonus rates

    24 February 2009

    Prudential has cut its with-profits annual bonus rates by up to 0.75 per cent this year.

  • Prudential UK's insurance sales up 4 per cent

    20 February 2009

    Total APE sales for Prudential’s UK insurance operations were up 4 per cent last year to £947m.

  • Pru's cash funds invested in mortgage-backed securities

    18 February 2009

    More than a fifth of assets held in Prudential's £222m cash funds are invested in mortgage backed securities and corporate debt.

  • Questions and answers

    19 February 2009

    Understanding people is all about trying to view matters from their perspective. This allows us to find out what really motivates them.

  • Regulator is accused of piling on the costs without benefits

    19 February 2009

    Helm Godfrey says the FSA is providing no regulatory dividends or benefits to intermediaries despite big cost increases for most firms.

  • Ring the changes

    19 February 2009

    The future for the directly authorised IFA is looking pretty bleak. A whole variety of factors are coming together to make life quite tough for the sole practitioner or small business owner who wants a direct relationship with the regulator. If I was a cynic, I could label this as a conspiracy theory against small firms. But I'm not so I won't.

  • Rock to create bad bank

    23 February 2009

    Northern Rock has revealed it will be taking its toxic assets and moving them to a separate ‘bad bank’.

  • Rockingham Retirement given chartered status

    20 February 2009

    Rockingham Retirement has been awarded the Chartered Insurance Institute’s chartered insurance broker title.

  • Rockingham Retirement slams providers for drop in OMO use

    24 February 2009

    Rockingham Retirement has called on pension and annuity providers to step up their efforts in promoting the open market option.

  • Rose-tinted statistics

    19 February 2009

    Certain statistics have been released recently that may lead some to believe the economic situation is getting better. The Halifax house price index recorded a 1.9 per cent increase last month while retail sales showed a big tick up. Unfortunately, I am convinced that both are just blips.

  • Rowanmoor boosts sales team

    23 February 2009

    Rowanmoor Pensions has appointed two new consultants to strengthen its sales and consultancy teams based in regional offices across the country.

  • Scots Wids appoints new chief underwriter

    18 February 2009

    Scottish Widows has appointed former XL Re chief underwriter John Downes as its new chief underwriter.

  • Sense of gilt

    19 February 2009

    Gilts may have had a popular year in 2008 but it turns out that they have done better for longer than just that. According to the latest Barclays Capital Gilt & Equity study, they have provided the best average annual rate of return for the past 20 years, returning 5.5 per cent a year compared with a 4.6 per cent gain from the FTSE All-Share and 3.5 per cent for cash.

  • Sesame deal with Premier Network Group falls through

    18 February 2009

    Premier Network Group has confirmed that the potential deal to transfer its remaining 37 appointed representative firms to Sesame has now fallen through.

  • Shareholder dividends cannot be made over pension contributions, says Pensions Regulator

    18 February 2009

    Companies with struggling pension schemes will not be allowed to cut contributions while they are still paying dividends to shareholders, according to the Pensions Regulator.

  • Sign of the times cuts waiting

    19 February 2009

    Tele-interviewing specialist Morgan Ash is launching an e-signature service.

  • Signs of life

    19 February 2009

    Can anyone please explain to me why the Government has persisted in dropping bank rate to an all-time low?

  • SimplyBiz refund deal on CII exam

    19 February 2009

    SimplyBiz and Compliance First will refund the Chartered Insurance Institute exam fee for every passing grade that its members achieve towards a diploma qualification in 2009. SimplyBiz says it is expecting over 5,000 exams to be taken this year by members.

  • Sipp sliding

    19 February 2009

    The dramatic drop in interest rates and the likelihood that they will remain low for some time is exposing the practice of many Sipp providers in taking a cut of the bank interest on the monies held by the Sipp as trustee on behalf of their clients.

  • Skandia gives policyholders free online healthcare service

    19 February 2009

    Skandia is to give free access to the healthcare service roadtohealth for new Skandia Protect and The Skandia Plan policyholders.

  • Skandia International warning over Qrops misselling

    19 February 2009

    Skandia International has warned that client suitability issues around Qrops could create misselling problems.

  • Small drop for protection crop

    24 February 2009

    The ABI's long-term new business data for Q4 2008 reveals new business for regular premium individual protection policies dropped by only 0.9 per cent in 2008.

  • Small firms get fee respite

    19 February 2009

    Over 10,000 small firms will pay lower regulatory fees than last year.

  • Spring breaks

    19 February 2009

    February and March are key months in which to consider tax planning to maximise the use of an individual's allowances, reliefs, exemptions, etc, for the current tax year. Some of these will be lost if not used before the tax year end.

  • St James’s Place takes profit hit

    24 February 2009

    St. James’s Place Wealth Management Group has revealed a fall of 19.7 per cent in operating profits in 2008.

  • State of shock

    19 February 2009

    By the time you read this, I will have returned to our shores. My experience of life down under has been clouded to a considerable extent by the tragedy that unfolded in the state of Victoria as we concluded our journey in New Zealand.

  • Stonehaven adds interest option on lifetime loan

    19 February 2009

    Equity-release provider Stonehaven has introduced Interest Select, a product that allows people to choose to pay an amount of monthly interest on their lifetime mortgage.

  • Strong focus on high-risk companies

    19 February 2009

    The FSA will strengthen its supervision of banks and "high-risk" firms with "a more intense regulatory approach".

  • Success is not that simple

    19 February 2009

    On October 1, 1962, I took up my place at a desk in Cheapside, London in the pension department of what was then called Yorkshire Insurance Company, now buried deep within Aviva. In my 46-plus years, I have felt that I have been on a perp-etual learning curve, never more so than in recent years.

  • Taskforce wants firms to set out benefit statements

    19 February 2009

    The Income Protection Task Force is expected to lobby the Government for compulsory employee benefit statements in a bid to improve understanding over sick pay entitlement.

  • 'Tax map will stop Isa allowance being lost'

    19 February 2009

    Fidelity Fundsnetwork says advisers must not overlook the importance of this year's Isa allowance in the recession- ary climate.

  • That sinking feeling

    19 February 2009

    In estimating the cost of statutory regulation, most people would point to the cost of the FSA. Their beautiful offices and almost 3,000 well-paid staff cost the financial services industry over £300m per annum. The compensation scheme has during its existence paid out £1bn and has a payroll of £25m a year. That does not include bailing out Northern Rock, Icelandic banks, etc. Billions have been borrowed which the banking industry, if not nationalised, will have to repay.

  • The Asian experience

    19 February 2009

    Robert Lloyd George founded his eponymous firm in 1991 based on his fundamental belief in the power of the Asia and emerging market investment story.

  • Third-way annuity firms plan trade body

    19 February 2009

    Variable annuity providers are looking to create a UK trade body to represent their interests.

  • Trigold offers Encore users free trial

    24 February 2009

    Trigold will be offering a free two month trial to current Mortgage 2000 Encore subscribers.

  • Trigold teams up with CII to offer users special rates

    18 February 2009

    Trigold Business Academy has teamed up with the Chartered Insurance Institute to offer its users cheaper rates on course materials.

  • Tripartite role is criticised

    19 February 2009

    MPs have questioned the tripartite authorities' relationship after the Prime Minister claimed he had no idea the FSA had found failings in HBOS when considering James Crosby as the regulator's deputy chairman.

  • Truestone in gilt alert

    19 February 2009

    Truestone is concerned that sovereign bonds could burn yield-seekers this year and is looking to gradually reduce its clients' exposure to the sector.

  • Trustee savings client bank

    19 February 2009

    Whenever you see an article on trusts, it almost always repeats the same arguments about the benefits, they help avoid inheritance tax, avoid probate, make sure the right people benefit and so on - and it is true that all of these are benefits for the client.

  • Unite and conquer?

    23 February 2009

    A Frenchman, a German woman and a Scotsman walked into a bar...

  • Vision Network offers advisers financial planning software

    24 February 2009

    Vision Network will now offer investments and pensions via the Crystal’s Momentum financial planning software.

  • Vote of confidence

    19 February 2009

    It is true, 2008 was a tough year for many financial services professionals but from a recruitment point of view, I only noticed a change in the final quarter. We registered many individuals and the market became top-heavy with candidates.

  • You can count on the magic numbers of Isas

    19 February 2009

    No financial adviser needs be reminded that an Isa is tax- efficient but because the recession has brought public anxiety about big things such as job security and a general suspicion of financial markets, the importance of using the Isa allowance might be undervalued by the public right now.

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