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3 September 2008

Money Marketing

  • LibDems demand pledge from banks

    4 September 2008

    The LibDems have accused the Government of trying to "bribe" people to buy into a falling market. They propose pumping extra liquidity into the market only if banks give assurances that it will be used to maintain credit and not increase reserves or pay dividends.

  • £18M fraud as B&B plunges into loss

    4 September 2008

    Bradford & Bingley madea loss of £26.7m in the first half of this year compared with a £180.4m profit in the same period last year. It says £18m of losses were due to mortgage fraud.

  • 86% of IFAs turn to cash in volatile times, says Virgin

    4 September 2008

    IFAs are advising clients to invest in cash and bonds amid market volatility according to the latest Virgin Money investor intentions index.

  • A taste of the exotic

    3 September 2008

    Disappointing weather is not the only thing currently making people think about fleeing the UK’s shores.

  • Abbey expands guaranteed product range

    8 September 2008

    Abbey has added a new product to its FTSE 100 guaranteed investment range.

  • Absolute return still taking bulk of retail inflows

    4 September 2008

    Absolute return continued to be the most popular UK retail sector in July, according to the Investment Management Association.

  • Accord pulls prime range in one day

    5 September 2008

    Accord has pulled its prime Existing Borrower Transfer range which was launched today with immediate effect.

  • Adviser academy for flex benefits

    4 September 2008

    Employee benefits firm Staffcare is hosting a flex academy for advisers wanting to develop their knowledge on flexible benefits.

  • Advisers slam drama Chancellor Darling

    4 September 2008

    Advisers have dismissed Chancellor Alistair Darling's claims that the UK is in the worst downturn since the end of World War Two.

  • Aegon survey shows that public want cash coaches

    4 September 2008

    Aegon believes the FSA should consider developing new financial advice concepts, including coaches, drop-in centres, personal shoppers and financial superstores as part of its retail distribution review.

  • AIC calls for reform of IASB governance

    9 September 2008

    The Association of Investment Companies has urged the International Accounting Standard Board to raise its global accounting standards to improve the quality of financial reporting.

  • Alliance Trust adds rebates to enhanced wrap

    4 September 2008

    Alliance Trust Savings has revamped its fund supermarket with a new charging structure and the addition of open architecture funds.

  • Alliance Trust Equity Partners expands team

    3 September 2008

    Alliance Trust Equity Partners has appointed Layla Fear as investment manager.

  • AMI looks to convince Cameron on need for help with liquidity

    4 September 2008

    The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries is drawing up plans to persuade the Conservatives that helping to fund the mortgage securities market is a good idea.

  • Annual house price change at 25-year low

    4 September 2008

    Halifax revealed house prices dropped by double figures in the last year which has not been recorded by the bank for 25 years.

  • Balls reveals Crosby report is ready

    9 September 2008

    The Crosby report, on which the Government’s decision over mortgage securities help rests, is reported to have been completed.

  • Banks face raising new round of capital

    4 September 2008

    Alliance Trust is warning that the outlook for banks remains worrying with uncertainty over the strength of balance sheets and the poss- ibility that more capital may have to be raised.

  • Bestinvest axes fund rating on wealthbuilder

    4 September 2008

    Bestinvest has removed its rating on Fidelity's £935m wealthbuilder fund, citing poor performance of the firm's underlying Fidelity-run Oeics.

  • Bless this office

    4 September 2008

    Wrap provider Ascentric's new Indian operation in Bangalore has been given a traditional Hindu ceremony, consecrating the office to provide prosperity and success for all those who work there.

  • Blunkett calls for longer working lives and greater use of equity release

    5 September 2008

    Former Work and Pensions Secretary David Blunkett has warned people will have to work longer in order to pay for retirement.

  • BofE keeps rate at 5%

    4 September 2008

    The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has voted to keep the Base Rate at 5 percent.

  • Broker attacks Openwork AR for telling its clients it had ceased trading

    3 September 2008

    A broker has attacked an appointed representative of its former network Openwork after it told his clients the broker had gone out of business.

  • Broker Talkback

    4 September 2008

    Do you agree with the FSA's call for greater help from brokers in tackling mortgage fraud?

  • Brown's to blame for the state we're in

    4 September 2008

    Hargreaves Lansdown chief executive Peter Hargreaves says the finger needs to be pointed at Prime Minister Gordon Brown for the grim state of the economy.

  • Build solid structures

    4 September 2008

    The Investment Management Association's market statistics are not exactly exciting reading for the investment industry at the moment, with total net sales in the negative by millions, but a bright light shines from the new absolute return sector.

  • CAB calls on lenders to show sympathy

    4 September 2008

    The Citizens Advice Bureau believes lenders must be made responsible for some of the Government's measures. Chief executive David Harker says: "Lenders must show forbearance, treat people in difficulties sympathetically and negotiate reasonable, affordable repayment arrangements with borrowers, ensuring they take possession action only as a last resort."

  • Changing currents in the Pacific

    4 September 2008

    The Far East has been a topic of much discussion for some time now among investors. Led by the giant stories of China and India, the region's rapid rise upward captured attention and had started to change the way people saw investing in Asia.

  • Checkmate appoints commercial director

    4 September 2008

    Checkmate Mortgages has recruited Peter Stimson from Lehman Brothers as commercial director. The lender plans to launch in 2009.

  • Chelsea plays to its strengths

    4 September 2008

    It has been 25 years since Chelsea Financial Services blazed the trail in discount broking.

  • Cheshire and Derbyshire to merge with Nationwide

    8 September 2008

    The Cheshire and Derbyshire building societies have both revealed that they are to merge with Nationwide.

  • CII starts taskforce to plan for RDR

    4 September 2008

    The Chartered Insurance Institute has established a taskforce to plan for possible RDR qualification requirements, following a 60 per cent increase in individuals enrolling in diploma exams this year.

  • Clause and effect

    4 September 2008

    Economic downturns traditionally see an upsurge in claims, or threats of claims, against financial advisers.

  • Clive Cowdery will not rule out Friends Prov bid

    8 September 2008

    Resolution has said it will not rule out a bid for Friends Provident.

  • Close Brothers reshuffles marketing and distribution

    4 September 2008

    Asset manager Close Brothers has announced changes to its marketing and distribution divisions.

  • CML lobby on as first-time mortgages fall again

    9 September 2008

    The Council of Mortgage Lenders have once again urged the Government to help mortgage funding as first-time buyer approvals rates fell again in July.

  • Cofunds' outflows go to platforms with fee facilities

    4 September 2008

    The majority of asset outflows from Cofunds last year were to platforms focused on fee-based advisers.

  • Cowdery rumoured to be eyeing Friends

    4 September 2008

    Entrepreneur Clive Cowdery is rumoured to be eyeing Friends Provident as a break-up target, say press reports.

  • Cru fund to fight African poverty

    4 September 2008

    Cru Investments is to launch an African agriculture fund in the first quarter of 2009.

  • Dawnay Day secures MBO

    4 September 2008

    Structured product provider Dawnay Day Quantum has completed a management buyout of the company's entire shareholding from Dawnay Day International.

  • Deborah Fuhr joins BGI as managing director

    8 September 2008

    Barclays Global Investors has appointed Deborah Fuhr as managing director.

  • Divorcees benefit in pension reform

    4 September 2008

    Standard Life says many divorcees, especially women, are set to benefit from a change to pension legislation.

  • 'Don't kick a man when he's down, Darling' - says Blue Sky

    4 September 2008

    The chancellor’s comments about the economy in last weekend’s press were akin to "kicking a man when he is down", says Blue Sky Asset Management.

  • Doom at the top

    4 September 2008

    Is it really the worst economic climate for 60 years, as the Chancellor Alistair Darling has suggested?

  • Dual deal for care

    4 September 2008

    There are now officially more pensioners in the UK than children The Office for National Statistics revealed last week that the number of people over state pension age has risen to 11.58 million, overtaking the 11.5 million people under 16.

  • DWP rejects qualifying test pleas

    4 September 2008

    The Government has rejected industry calls to broaden the qualifying test for personal account exemption, ignoring warnings that the current plans could lead to mass levelling down.

  • Education, education, education

    9 September 2008

    News that the ifs School of Finance is set to offer the certificate in long term care insurance could finally boost the number of advisers recommending LTC products.

  • End of a trend

    4 September 2008

    With children returning to school, summer holidays little more than a memory and evenings beginning to shorten, it is to be hoped that the listless drift of the market might transpose into something more positive. With sterling weak, there seems reason to expect shares to deliver more robust performance and there is a feel of a floor developing.

  • Enduring interests

    4 September 2008

    I have been banging on for the past couple of weeks about the now seemingly unfashionable flexible interest in possession trust.

  • Entire Wave workforce's jobs on the line

    3 September 2008

    Merrill Lynch has confirmed that up to 30 jobs are at risk at its sub-prime lender Wave but denied it is about to axe the brand.

  • F&C’s Tigue highlights “turning point” for US mortgage market

    8 September 2008

    F&C head of global equities Jeremy Tigue believes the bailing out of US mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae could be the turning point for the market.

  • Formica takes over from Yates at Henderson

    4 September 2008

    Henderson chief executive Roger Yates is stepping down after 10 years to be replaced by current head of equities Andrew Formica.

  • Franklin Templeton names David Smart as global head of sovereign funds

    9 September 2008

    Franklin Templeton Investments has appointed David Smart as global head of sovereign funds and supranationals.

  • FSA bans directors over £3m deficit

    4 September 2008

    The FSA has banned three directors of BPS Insure for failing to notify it of a £3m deficit in its client account. London-based BPS also used client money to pay its general expenses, further increasing the deficit.

  • FSA censures Coventry mortgage broker

    8 September 2008

    The FSA has censured Coventry-based mortgage broker Mohammed Habib for exposing customers to the risk of being recommended unsuitable mortgages.

  • FSA fines broker firm £63k for advice failings

    4 September 2008

    The FSA has fined Derbyshire mortgage broker Approved Financial Solutions Ltd £63,000 for failing to ensure it gave suitable advice.

  • FSA issues warning about broker Swati Patel

    8 September 2008

    The FSA has issued a consumer alert warning customers not to take advice from Leicestershire-based Mortgage Deals 4 U broker Swati Patel.

  • FSA shoppers paid fees but no commission

    4 September 2008

    Sifa is accusing the FSA of leading commission-based advisers "up the garden path" in its recent mystery-shopping exercise by leaving their efforts unrewarded while paying fee-based advisers for their time.

  • FSA wants brokers to be fraud sleuths

    4 September 2008

    The FSA is calling for greater collaboration from mortgage brokers to help tackle mortgage fraud.

  • Gartmore to launch European absolute return fund

    8 September 2008

    Gartmore is set to launch its European absolute return fund at the end of October.

  • GE appoints new specialist mortgage chief

    8 September 2008

    GE Money Home Lending has appointed Ian Ferguson as its new chief operating officer.

  • GHC signs £8m deal with Allchurch Bailey

    4 September 2008

    Investment manager GHC has signed an £8m white-label agreement to run discretionary manager services for Allchurch Bailey.

  • Govt creating £15bn public sector pension gap, claims consultant

    8 September 2008

    The Government is underestimating the cost of public sector pensions by £15bn, a report by pensions consultant John Ralfe is set to reveal tomorrow.

  • Halifax expresses concern over media use of its figures

    5 September 2008

    Halifax has expressed its concern over national media coverage of its House Price Index figures.

  • Hargreaves Lansdown is set to land exclusive deal on HSBC global Sicavs

    4 September 2008

    HSBC is in talks with Hargreaves Lansdown to offer the company exclusive rights to distribute its global Sicav fund range.

  • HBOS prime RMBS arrears rocket

    5 September 2008

    Arrears on HBOS prime Residential Mortgage Backed Securities have rocketed as overall prime RMBS arrears rise by a third.

  • Hedge fund manager fined for insider dealing

    8 September 2008

    The FSA has fined former hedge fund manager Steven Harrison £52,500 and suspended his permission to work as a fund manager or trader for 12 months for insider dealing.

  • Hedge funds increasingly popular for private clients, says APCIMS

    3 September 2008

    The Association of Private Client Investment Managers is changing the model asset allocation for its FTSE indices to reflect a shift towards hedge funds in private client portfolios.

  • Helm Godfrey in talks to buy firms as profits tumble

    4 September 2008

  • Home and away

    4 September 2008

    Financial Technology Research Centre director Ian McKenna on why Friends Provident International's planning tools have elements which could aid investors closer to home

  • Hounded by an unfair regime

    4 September 2008

    As my firm has been mentioned in an article in Money Marketing, I feel that it is reasonable for me to comment.

  • Huge cash differences in wrapper returns

    4 September 2008

    Investors could be losing out on tens of thousands of pounds due to their funds being placed in a bond rather than a collective wrapper, according to Fidelity research.

  • Hugo Thorman

    4 September 2008

    Hugo Thorman believes wrap has barely scratched the surface of its full potential and reckons the market could amount to a staggering £2trillion.

  • IMA issues structured products warning

    8 September 2008

    Restricted information from structured product providers is hindering evaluation of product returns, says the Investment Management Association.

  • Insurers fear impact of EU pregnancy rule

    4 September 2008

    The Association of British Insurers is warning that new European Union rules forcing providers to disregard pregnancy in the underwriting process could cause confusion and is calling for Treasury guidance.

  • Investment bank warns life offices on third way

    4 September 2008

    BNP Paribas has warned that insurers planning to enter the UK variable annuities market should call on the expertise of investment banks to hedge guarantees rather than go it alone.

  • James Hay Sipps to accept protected rights from October

    8 September 2008

    James Hay will accept applications for protected rights transfers into Sipps from October 1.

  • John Devine to join Threadneedle as COO

    3 September 2008

    Threadneedle has appointed John Devine as chief operating officer.

  • Judgement day

    4 September 2008

    The recent case of the IFA who was taken to task over his supervision of a pension transfer specialist brought to mind the whole concept of outsourcing and delegation. In the case in question, the IFA admitted that he was not competent to challenge the advice given by the specialist, so to supervise this individual he would have needed a competent person to review his work. If a principal of an IFA firm is not well qualified or deemed competent, how can they even consider complex enquiries?

  • Keydata enhances dynamic growth plan plus

    4 September 2008

    UK structured product provider Keydata Investment Services has enhanced the investment options on its dynamic growth plan plus.

  • L&G pilots fast-track enhanced annuity with Pos Sols and Hargreaves Lansdown

    9 September 2008

    Legal & General is piloting a fast-track enhanced individual annuity with pricing based on common health risks.

  • Leeds deal adds 30 RIs at Towergate

    4 September 2008

    Towergate Financial has bought Leeds adviser firm Paramount Group as part of plans to have 340 RIs within two years compared with 44 in July. Paramount has 30 RIs and advises in the corporate, trust, medical, family and matrimonial sectors.

  • Lenders face court action over Meafs

    4 September 2008

    The FSA is warning that lenders which continue to vary the terms of the charges within their mortgage contracts may face enforcement or court action.

  • LFC advisers moved to new firm

    4 September 2008

    The wife of banned Liberty Financial Consultants director Darrell Eaden set up a new firm which took on the majority of LFC's advisers months before LFC went into liquidation.

  • London & Capital hits back at IMA

    9 September 2008

    Wealth manager London & Capital has hit back at yesterday’s statement from the Investment Management Association on structured products.

  • LV= in lifetime loan deal with Intrinsic

    4 September 2008

    LV= has set up a partnership with Intrinsic Financial Services to promote its flexible life-time mortgage.

  • LV= life and pensions business up 186 per cent

    9 September 2008

    LV= recorded a 186 per cent increase in life and pensions business on an annual premium equivalent basis during the first half of 2008.

  • Make a difference

    4 September 2008

    September sees the inaugural Financial Planning Week in the UK. While organised by the IFP, this is designed to be the start of a consumer education programme in financial planning.

  • Matter of principle

    4 September 2008

    One common complaint we hear from some parts of this profession is that retail financial services is over-regulated. It is an easy accusation to make. Principles-based regulation appeals enormously but only if it reduces the burden of regulation rather than replacing the rules-based regulation with which we are all familiar.

  • MetLife picks chief for bulk annuity push

    4 September 2008

    MetLife Assurance has appointed Dan DeKeizer as chief executive of its UK pension liability transfer business in a drive for bulk annuity buyout business.

  • MPPI unsuitable for borrowers with medical conditions

    4 September 2008

    Many mortgage borrowers who suffer from pre-existing medical conditions are trapped in unsuitable and often expensive payment protection policies, according to Burgesses.com.

  • New Star looks to emerging markets as profits plummet

    4 September 2008

    New Star chairman John Duffield has reiterated his intent to grow the firm's emerging markets arm, with a Middle East and North Africa fund understood to be top priority.

  • New Star’s Ward points to stagnant UK economy

    4 September 2008

    New Star chief economist Simon Ward has questioned the recent downgrade growth of GDP in the second quarter from 0.2 per cent to zero.

  • Non-dom legislation is far from water-tight, warns Boodle Hatfield

    8 September 2008

    Legislation changes for non-domiciled foreigners in the UK are far from water-tight and are likely to create confusion, warns Boodle Hatfield.

  • NU cuts final bonus rates on with-profits policies

    3 September 2008

    Norwich Union has reduced final bonus rates on its with-profits policies due to poor investment conditions.

  • OBSR acquires Crosby Forsyth ratings service

    3 September 2008

    Old Broad Street Research has completed the acquisition of the international research and ratings business of Crosby Forsyth.

  • Omo? More like slow-mo

    4 September 2008

    Virgin Money this week revealed delays processing pension fund transfers into annuities could eat into pensioners' retirement income by as much as £10,000 depending on movements in annuity rates.

  • One third of investors see opportunities in credit crunch, says IMA survey

    9 September 2008

    One third of investors in Great Britain see investment opportunities in the credit crunch, according to a report from the Investment Management Association.

  • Osborne hits out at Brown survival plan

    4 September 2008

    Conservative Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has attacked the £1bn package, saying: "This is a short-term survival plan for the Prime Minister, not a long-term recovery plan for the economy. They have had months to prepare and cannot tell us how much it costs or where the money is coming from."

  • Overseas funds are boosted to £18bn

    4 September 2008

    Offshore funds under management have increased by 11 per cent in July compared with the previous month, according to Investment Management Association figures.

  • PADA appoints Simon Richards as business delivery director

    9 September 2008

    Personal Accounts Delivery Authority has appointed Simon Richards as business delivery director.

  • Park Row to boost adviser numbers after £1.6m loss

    4 September 2008

    Park Row, the distribution arm of the Royal Liver Group, made a loss of £1.6m in the first half of this year.

  • Pearl reveals plans to restructure NPI's with-profits fund

    9 September 2008

    Pearl Group has unveiled plans to restructure NPI’s NPLL with-profits fund in a bid to boost long-term returns for policyholders.

  • Pearl to merge Phoenix and Pearl divisions- up to 300 jobs at risk

    3 September 2008

    Pearl has announced it is to merge its two life divisions, Phoenix and Pearl, in a move that could affect up to 300 staff.

  • Personal Touch to take on all Prestbury advisers

    9 September 2008

    Personal Touch Financial Services has reached an agreement to bring Prestbury's entire adviser base of around 80 firms into the network.

  • PM calls for cautious optimism over the economy

    5 September 2008

    The Prime Minister has argued there is reason to be “cautiously optimistic” about the country’s economic resilience.

  • Portavista IFA applications reach 100

    4 September 2008

    Bankhall’s Portavista platform has received 100 IFA applications in its first three months of trading.

  • Positive charges

    4 September 2008

    Pada has many criteria for personal account charges but they come down to fairness, attractiveness and commercial viability.

  • PPF chief to leave next summer

    4 September 2008

    Pension Protection Fund chief executive Partha Dasgupta is to stand down in June 2009.

  • Product matters Nigel Callaghan

    4 September 2008

    Standard Life's launch of a structured product - capital guaranteed plus - exclusively within its Sipp wrapper offers the safety net of a guaranteed minimum return together with exposure to equities.

  • Pru has no plans to cut final with-profits bonus rates

    8 September 2008

    Prudential says it has no current plans to cut final with-profits bonus payments following the move by Norwich Union to cut bonus rates last week.

  • Prudential announces £1bn annuity agreement with Cable and Wireless

    3 September 2008

    Prudential has agreed a bulk annuity agreement with Cable and Wireless which covers a book of 5,000 members with assets in excess of £1bn.

  • Prudential in Capita talks on white-label wrap deal

    4 September 2008

    Prudential is understood to be in advanced talks with Capita over launching its own wrap as a white-labelled version of the outsourcer's Enabler platform.

  • PSigma launches balanced managed fund of funds portfolio

    3 September 2008

    PSigma Investment Management has launched a balanced managed fund of funds portfolio.

  • Public sector shift to DC schemes needed, says Hargreaves Lansdown

    5 September 2008

    Hargreaves Lansdown has argued that public sector employees could still enjoy a sustainable retirement if defined benefit schemes were shifted to defined contribution model.

  • Reinsurers rethink as pricing pressure takes toll

    4 September 2008

    The number of reinsurers re-evaluating their position in the UK life market is set to soar, says RGA business development manager Mick James.

  • Rescue package misses target

    4 September 2008

    The mortgage industry says the Government's £1bn rescue package and stamp duty holiday do not go far enough as they fail to address the liquidity problems.

  • Resolution Asset Management to be rebranded as Ignis

    4 September 2008

    The combined £75bn business of Resolution Asset Management and Axial Investment Management is to be rebranded as Ignis Asset Management.

  • Resolution hires ex-FSA chief Tiner in consolidation drive

    9 September 2008

    Resolution has unveiled plans to launch a quoted company with former FSA chief executive John Tiner at its head.

  • Revamp leaves tweak spots in plan

    4 September 2008

    Norwich Union Healthcare's income protection solutions is an individual income protection plan designed for the IFA market.

  • Rogue adviser swindled clients

    4 September 2008

    A Midlands financial adviser tricked clients out of more than £600,000.

  • Royal London moves to combine business

    4 September 2008

    Royal London has unveiled the new structure of its combined international business.

  • ScotProv Intl is confident of outlook for Guernsey Qrops

    4 September 2008

    Scottish Provident International is setting up a new Guernsey-based Qrops and is confident it will not be affected by any Government crackdown.

  • Senior sector has £726bn in home equity

    4 September 2008

    Homeowners aged 65 and over have £726.43bn of equity in their properties, according to Prudential research.

  • Shared opportunity

    4 September 2008

    As we return from our summer breaks for the final push towards the end of the year, it is worth assessing whether there has been any improvement in the mortgage market over the holiday period.

  • Skandia axes its front-end margin on Selestia

    8 September 2008

    Skandia is axing the front end margin it receives on Selestia Investment Solutions.

  • SLI portfolio bond hits sales of £593m

    4 September 2008

    Sales of Standard Life International's portfolio international bond have reached £593m, with sales for the first six months of this year totalling £270m.

  • Small mortgage rescue - not many saved

    3 September 2008

    This week’s mortgage announcements might be summarised as “small rescue operation - not many saved”.

  • Societies see big issues being missed

    4 September 2008

    The Building Societies Association says the reforms fail to address many of the bigger issues faced by borrowers. Its survey earlier this year found that only 16 per cent of people see stamp duty as a big concern.

  • Spouses get more cash on intestacy

    4 September 2008

    Widows and widowers whose spouses die without writing a will are to receive a greater share of their estate in a reform of the statutory legacy laws.

  • Standard Life adds safer options for Sipp

    4 September 2008

    Standard Life has developed new investment options to extend its range of less volatile forms of investment through its individual, group and wrap Sipps.

  • Standard Life appoints NU's Jackie Hunt as deputy finance director

    4 September 2008

    Standard Life has appointed former Norwich Union chief finance officer Jackie Hunt as its deputy finance director.

  • Stroud & Swindon niche deals may go to small clubs

    4 September 2008

    Stroud & Swindon Building Society says that it may focus its niche product exclusives on smaller clubs and networks.

  • Structured thinking

    4 September 2008

    Structured products have grown in popu- larity as investors look for more creative ways to hedge their losses in uncertain markets.

  • Survey calls for evolution of Ucits

    8 September 2008

    Almost two-thirds of fund management firms believe that regulatory concerns are holding Ucits back, a survey by RBC Dexia Investor Services has found.

  • Symponia pilots homebuy scheme to fund LTC

    4 September 2008

    Symponia is starting a pilot scheme aiming at helping elderly people sell their homes to fund immediate long-term care.

  • Take it to the banco

    4 September 2008

    Latin American markets have outperformed the more developed markets over the last year, driven by minimal sub-prime exposure, strength in commodities and strong domestic growth. Until recently, most markets were in positive territory for the year but recent concerns over commodities have seen a subsequent correction which has to attractive valuations.

  • Thank you for the music

    4 September 2008

    I write this column - my last among the ranks of intermediaries, at least for now - having seen, praised, criticised and occasionally influenced much of what our industry has done over the last five to 10 years.

  • The bottom line

    4 September 2008

    Economists recently "celebrated" the first birthday of the credit crunch. Markets have been living with it for a while but the public are only now starting to feel its effects.

  • The Mig issue

    4 September 2008

  • The old favourites

    4 September 2008

    Income unit trusts were badly hit over the year to July 1, being down by an average of around 23 per cent against the average fall in UK equity trusts of about 18 per cent.

  • Thinc, PIFC and SBJ to rebrand as Bluefin

    8 September 2008

    Thinc, PIFC and SBJ Benefit Consultants are rebranding as Bluefin.

  • Third of homeowners will pay more out of fear

    3 September 2008

    One in three remortgagers believe they have no option but to stick with current lender for fear of being turned down for a new mortgage.

  • Third of small firms will level down

    4 September 2008

    One-third of smaller firms say they will reduce pension scheme benefits or close their schemes and move into personal accounts, according to research from the Association of Consulting Actuaries.

  • Tinkering ignores problems, says RICS

    4 September 2008

    The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors claims the Government has "tinkered round the edges of the downturn" while ignoring many of the problems stopping people from being able to get a mortgage.

  • Transact admits defeat and adds Sipp to platform

    4 September 2008

    Transact is adding a Sipp to its platform from October after losing patience with the Government over the possibility that personal pension restrictions could be lifted.

  • Transparency needs more analysis, says IMA

    5 September 2008

    By increasing transparency and publishing firm-specific information the FSA risks “publishing for publishing’s sake” rather than achieving any real value for consumers, according to the Investment Management Association.

  • Treasury appoints valuer for NR shareholder compensation claims

    8 September 2008

    The Treasury has appointed Andrew Caldwell valuations partner at BDO Stoy Hayward as the independent valuer in charge of assessing potential compensation claims of Northern Rock shareholders.

  • Trustee plan offers fixed-term annuities

    4 September 2008

    Living Time is offering a trustee investment plan that will allow clients with Sipp and SSAS investments to buy a fixed-term annuity.

  • UBS set to bring offshore US fund into UK

    4 September 2008

    UBS is looking to bolster its US range by bringing its offshore USA growth fund into the UK market, Money Marketing understands.

  • United stand

    4 September 2008

    As we hear more and more diverse opinions about the FSA's recent RDR interim report, I cannot help but feel that the industry is getting further away from a workable solution to our own domestic problems.

  • US Government bails out Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

    8 September 2008

    The US Government has initiated the biggest financial bailout in history by seizing control of the two US mortgage backers Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

  • Value judgement

    4 September 2008

    Adviser nervousness over the prospects for investment markets is perhaps not surprisingly causing an increased interest in struc-tured products, according to a poll carried out by Keydata last month.

  • Variable view runs a risk

    4 September 2008

    Transact's decision to rule out a variable annuity on its platform could push advisers to rivals, claims Threesixty.

  • Vinke departs JO Hambro

    4 September 2008

    JO Hambro Capital Management European select values and Continental select values fund manager Willem Vinke is to leave after six years. Co-manager Robbie Wouters will run the funds.

  • We’re all dooooooooomed

    5 September 2008

    This week Alistair Darling gave the UK economy a vote of no confidence by suggesting things were worse than we all imagined.

  • William Russell adds moratorium underwriting to expat health cover

    8 September 2008

    William Russell has introduced moratorium underwriting on all of its health insurance plans.

  • Windsor change blows no good

    4 September 2008

    Windsor Life gets worse and worse. We sent in a £1,000 single premium for a personal pension in February. Not only could it not do the fund that GE Life originally had but it also turned out that it would not pay commission, which I know is something that Windsor Life is not really used to. Apparently, with the GE Life contract, it used to do a separate policy for increments and Windsor Life does not have that facility.

  • Witan appoints new CEO and CIO

    5 September 2008

    Witan has announced the appointment of a new CEO and CIO to replace chief executive Jim Horsburgh.

  • With-profits spectre haunts DB proposals

    4 September 2008

    Standard Life is warning that there are significant risks to Government plans designed to help employers keep open the dwindling number of defined-benefit pension schemes.

  • Working model

    4 September 2008

    My IFA claims that what matters with my investments is the asset class allocation model he has created rather than the selection of underlying funds or stocks. Is he right?

  • Zurich launches new guaranteed capital plan

    5 September 2008

    Zurich has added a new plan to its series of guaranteed capital accounts.

  • Zurich revamps regular payment option on Sipp

    4 September 2008

    Zurich has updated the regular payment facility on its Sipp and increased the range of investment options for clients.

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