2 March 2005
Our panel of experts look at the savings tax directive, what it covers, how the tax will be implemented and who is affected.
Abbey Fixed Rate Flexible Plus Mortgage
ABN Amro Asset Management believes its hedge fund assets will grow globally by up to 30 per cent a year for the next two years.
Making use of annual IHT exemptions can help reduce a liability. Towry Law Financial Services financial consultant Matt Pitcher reviews the estate planning process.
Speaking at the FSA retail intermediaries sector confer-ence in Solihull last week, Aifa director of policy Fay Goddard said any professional certification would be hard-earned and not necessarily for everyone but would raise an IFA to the status of an accountant or lawyer.
Skandia's decision to launch a range of asset allocation funds has drawn mixed reactions from the industry.
Don't let the demands of A-Day distract you from the pension planning opportunities presented by the end of the tax year. St James's Place Capital head of pensions Ian Price offers some tips for keeping schemes well funded.
Arc Fund Management Arc Growth Company VCT
Enterprise investment scheme specialist Arc Fund Management is looking to raise up to 15m for Arc growth company VCT, its venture capital trust debut.
AWD has emphasised its commitment to remain independent following its acquisition of Chase de Vere from Bank of Ireland.
Barclays Financial Planning is aiming to increase turnover by 30 per cent this year through its multi-tie with Axa, Friends Provident, Legal & General, Norwich Union, Prudential and Standard Life.
This category recognises the finest work in the business to business press.
Making consumers who don’t want to think of tomorrow understand the importance of financial services products is one of the perennial challenges of our sector.
Attracting over 40 entries, this category rewards the talented agencies that created the most memorable and effective consumer press advertisements of 2004.
This year’s Best IFA Direct Mail Pack category saw stiff competition across 26 entries.
Recognising the work of the agencies that brought financial services messages to public spaces in the most imaginative and powerful way, this year’s winners were drawn from a strong pool of 24 entries.
All this year’s entrants to the best radio advertisement category left judges thrilled by the brilliance of their work.
Drawn from 17 entries, this year’s winning and shortlisted work in the Best TV advertisement category constitutes the very best financial services advertisements seen on UK television in 2004.
This category recognises the best use of new media by an IFA to create a real benefit in the market place that demonstrates e-commerce improving the way people do business.
Four months into statutory mortgage regulation and it is just as easy to find non-compliant financial promotions as compliant ones.
Britannic Asset Managements UK property fund aims for income and growth by investing up to 100 per cent directly in UK commercial property.
Chancellor Gordon Brown has set up a foundation to recognise individuals excelling in charitable campaigning in memory of former Which? director Sheila McKechnie.
The definition of an "experienced" IFA will be the subject of a British Standards Institute committee meeting in Berlin this week on standards within financial planning.
The approach of the end of the tax year appears to be in serious danger of passing unnoticed owing to the prominence of tax in the pre-election debate. There are also pre-Budget tax rumours to contend with.
Cheltenham & GloucesterTwo Year Premium Discount Mortgage
The Pensions Reform Group, founded by Labour MP Frank Field, has attacked the concept of a 105 a week citizen's pension as a derisory benefit that will leave pensioners in poverty.
It is with considerable interest that we have been following the various articles and comments made by a variety of industry commentators in relationship to lenders and the role of mortgage clubs.
The five shortlisted entries to this key category are acknowledged for their ability to consistently communicate a financial services message to the general public across all forms of media.
I am no apologist for the investment trust industry but I was bemused by the comments of John Kelly, head of Abbey multi-manager development, in Money Marketing recently.
Cold mornings, arctic temperatures and a flurry of snow can only mean one thing - it is time to train for the marathon once again.
Invesco Perpetual has cut up front charges for all new Isa investments and Pep and Isa transfers from 5 per cent to 3 per cent. It is also offering a 1.75 per cent discount from 5 per cent to 3.25 per cent for new lumpsum investments and monthly savings plans made outside an Isa into five of its funds.
Mike Felton has finished restructuring M&G's capital fund after changing 50 per cent of the stockholdings.
"You know I am a Stalinist at heart." - ABI head of pensions Joanne Segars.
Conservative Party deputy chairman Howard Flight claims there is an unspoken objective to phase out IFAs with excessive regulation.
The Financial Ombudsman Service says it is getting 400-500 mortgage underfunding cases a year, where borrowers complete the term but have not cleared the loan.
The FSA has outlined its new electronic reporting requirements ahead of implementation of integrated regulatory reporting from July.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has admitted it could reduce the massive 27m split-cap levy on fund management firms after protests from the Investment Management Association.
The investment industry has told the Treasury that the present regulatory structure should not be changed.
The future of financial services is giant product factories white-labelling for the industry, according to back office outsourcer Capita chief executive Paul Pindar.
Financial services has become the UK's biggest industry, employing one million people, earning £17.8bn in exports and paying one third of corporation tax revenues.
Norwich Union sales and marketing director Peter Hales believes it is up to IFAs to deal with the cost of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, claiming that advisers need to take more responsibility for levies because of misselling.
Everybody's talking about commission again. Norwich Union's sales and marketing director Peter Hales says that in a personal capacity, he would like to see pension commission increased.
Contract Marketing Services managing director Richard Lloyd-Jones looks at the importance of IHT in offshore sales.
Financial Services Charitable Foundation founder Paul Hogarth is challenging the industry to complete a three-peak 24-hour challenge in June, climbing the three highest mountains in the UK, to help with aid for countries hit by tsunami.
Recognising the very best work aimed at IFAs in 2004, this year’s shortlist for the IFA Campaign of the Year comes from a strong field of 35 entrants.
We have recently been considering a new strap line for our business - something bold and eye-catching. For some time, we have considered ourselves to be "better and different" than most other IFAs. Now I know this may sound arrogant but we do not think so.
The Scottish Provident brand is here to stay because intermediaries want it and it is generating business.
It seems American consumers are still prepared to put their hands into their pockets.
Like them or loathe them, the IFA Defence Union seems to be striking a chord with a growing group of IFAs disenchanted with the deal they are getting.
Remember Murder on the Orient Express? A luxury train, a collection of exotic and eccentric characters - and a dead body. Whodunnit? That was the clever bit - everyone did.
English sporting painting, 20th Century furniture and modern European painting have seen surges in value, according to the Zurich-AMR art and antiques index.
Noble & Company, one of the leading sponsors of venture capital trusts, which has raised 236m out of a total VCT market of 1.6bn, is sponsoring four VCTs this season, all among the best in their categories.
Jupiter is relaunching its Sipp this week after switching third-party admin to offer a more automated Vat-free service.
Keydata has established the Keydata income VCTs 1 and 2, two VCTs investing in renewable energy.
Legal & General dominated the stage at this year's Lifesearch Protection Awards, taking three honours, including best overall product provider.
Simplifying the anti-money laundering process could deliver major benefits to advisers, providers and consumers.
Abbey is back in profit, turning round a 686m loss in 2003 into a 273m profit last year.
When considering the use of the private residence in planning to reduce the overall inheritance tax liability borne by a family, a married couple should consider how they can ensure that up to the nil-rate band is left to other than the surviving spouse when the first of them dies.
A question of interpretation on offshore portfolio bonds could see a tax shock for investors.
It was with a sense of fatigue that I read the headline concerning Abbey shunning "too risky" investment trusts (Money Marketing, February 17).
Zurich AssuranceMultimanager Protected Profits Fund
The National Association of Pension Funds is calling for the state pension age to be indexed to longevity.
NDF AdministrationNDF Income Plan February 05
Norwich UnionActive Protector Fund
Old Mutual Asset Management has turned its multi strategy hedge fund of funds into a multi-manager fund that will access external managers solely on a managed account basis.
Old Mutual chief executive Jim Sutcliffe has lost out on over 500,000 of share options after the firm failed to meet a performance target that would trigger the bonus.
Hargreaves Lans-down pensions research manager Tom McPhail says the company's research shows that a worrying 80-90 per cent of investors choose level annuities over increasing annuities which could prove a catastrophe in the face of prolonged high inflation.
Shock, horror, BM is encouraging brokers to go direct rather than via packagers. I would have never guessed it.
A pension rescue scheme set up by the Government to help people in collapsed final-salary schemes has been criticised as being inadequate.
Personal Finance Society members will not benefit from lower professional indemnity cover rates with broker NCG despite PFS claims of a partnership with the insurer to provide favourable terms.
Pink Home LoansMortgage Trust MT Select Lifetime Tracker Buy-To-Let
Portman Building Society2 Year Fixed - 4.68%
Newcastle's guaranteed FTSE returnbond provides an interesting example of the way in which structured products can cater for both bulls and bears.
Investec Asset Management's managing director says the fund industry needs to win the trust of customers as consultants rather than using a sales-driven approach and he is looking to the cautious managed sector to achieve realistic returns.
New Star topped the retail fund sales tables in the last quarter of 2004 with a 175 per cent rise in business, beating its nearest competitor by 50m.
I note that a certain David Pritchard has been appointed by FSA head honcho Tiner as an adviser to the "end-to-end" review of the enforcement process - following its losing both to Legal & General and the splits' companies - to "help speed up the fairness of decisions made".
Regulation is stifling brokers' efforts to stimulate new business, according to Mortgage 2000 managing director Sean Hornsby.
Premier Mortgage Service chief executive John Malone believes the FSA does not understand distribution in the mortgage market and is causing problems between packagers and intermediaries
Just Retirement marketing and product manager Nigel Barlow says equity-release plans have been labelled distress purchases but are becoming an integral part of retirement planning.
The spectator sees more of the game than the players and that has certainly been my experience over the last month or two. Following the sale of Charcol, for the first time in 15 years, I had time to sit back before deciding what direction I wanted my career to take.
The Inland Revenue's technical amendments to A-Day rules means investors avoid being tested against the lifetime limit twice, says Scottish Equitable pension development director Stewart Ritchie.
Standard Life has brought out the second issue of the secured capital plan, a capital-protected Oeic established under the European Ucits III legislation.
Aifa says the ABI's proposals to abolish indemnity commission are "nonsense" and would be near unenforceable among its members, particularly when their sales levels start to drop.
I have over 100,000 in three personal pensions with different providers. I am interested in setting up a self-invested personal pension with a possible view to future property purchase. What are the advantages and disadvantages of transferring my existing funds to the Sipp?
Sitka health fund VCT is offering 10 million C1 fund shares for 1 each, hoping to double its size to 20m.
Small firms now represent 97 per cent of the FSA's membership since regulation of mortgages and general insurance, says FSA managing director David Kenmir.
Sourcing systems and lenders' online applications are still not providing the service that intermediaries expect.
An online service offered through estate agents is being set up to speed up the mortgage advice process and end post-sale delays.
Standard Life says it does not see the need for abolishing indemnity commission, as proposed by an ABI study paper.
True Financial Planning director John Baxter says using a wrap platform can save 400 per client a year.
Direct Line started a revolution in the general insurance sector. Can Royal Liver do the same for life insurance with its straight-through processing model?
What a strange letter from Kevin Neil of Parker Kelly Financial Services, saying he does not believe the 5bn lost to pensions since Gordon Brown took over.
Mortgage intermediaries are angry over higher lending charges for sub-prime loans which only make clear the final pay rate at completion.
The grey area between sub-prime and prime lending candidates could result in advisers giving inappropriate advice, say a panel of mortgage industry experts.
An investment IFA is warning that the surge in VCTs is in danger of jeopardising the future status of the asset class.
Thames River CapitalProperty Growth & Income Fund
Expats need to ensure they have PMI cover for their stay abroad.
The Mortgage Works Buy-To-Let Two Year Fixed
One of the main reasons for forming the Personal Finance Society is to improve the perceptions of financial advisers.
The three independent candidates for the Standard Life board have all achieved the 250 votes needed to be considered for election to the life office's board.
Almost four times as many of Axa's tied-agent clients have asked the life office to contract them back in to S2P as those clients contacted via IFAs, according to the life office.
The ombudsman has been quoted as warning IFAs to be cautious over sales of income protection. IP is more of a problem than critical illness. IP needs to be sold and explained carefully because it is not as clear cut as life insurance, because loss of income through disability is not as clear cut as death.
GE LifeSection 32 Transfer Plan
VCTs are especially attractive to investors after the Chancellor enhanced the tax breaks but there are other investment opportunities to consider ahead of the tax year end.
On February 22, pensions minister Malcolm Wicks provided about 60,000 worried people with the reassurance they had been waiting for. Those 60,000 were, of course, the unfortunates whose companies went bust with big holes in their pension schemes before they had retired, robbing them of benefits worth tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Since October 31 last year, the words "clear fair and not misleading" have been echoing down the corridors of that marketing departments of mortgage firms and lenders, leaving them striving to make sure their promotions and marketing are compliant.
Shadow Work and Pension Secretary David Willetts has highlighted the difficulties of abolishing the state second pension.
Woolwich Plan Managers7% Bonus Bond
Yorkshire Investment Group has bought financial advisory firm Manor Financial Management and its Manor Management Services third-party admin arm.
The UK's obsession with property begins at an early age, with 95 per cent of teenagers planning to become homeowners, acc-ording to research by IFA Promotion.