31 October 2007
Competing and cooperating is the way to restore confidence in the market
The Association of Investment Companies is urging the HM Revenue & Customs to pay back some £300m of VAT paid in the past after the Government gave up it battle on invesmtent trusts being exempt from VAT on management expenses.
In my last few articles, I have been identifying and discussing legitimate reasons why a member of a money-purchase pension scheme might benefit from a transfer to a different money-purchase scheme despite the likelihood of some sort of transfer penalty such as a transfer value below the fund value or initial charges under the new contract.
Alliance & LeicesterFive Year Fixed Rate 5.99%
Moneyfacts recently reported that the number of mortgage products available on the market had dropped by 40 per cent in the last three months. Are we surprised, amazed or just resigned that the end is nigh?
In the absence of your favourite protection hack, I have the pleasure of bringing you all the latest and greatest protection news from the past week.
The chief executive of Distribution Technology is passionate about driving forward the use of IT in the financial services industry and says he has learned valuable lessons about focusing on helping advisers improve their service and business with technology. Interview by Will Henley
The pre-Budget report proposals on inheritance tax were generally welcomed, despite the fact that they seemed to be developed by one political party and implemented by another.
The industry is labouring to find a 'big solution' to the distribution problem but the answer might be as simple as to ask consumers what they want, says Winterthur pensions strategy manager Mike Morrison
The day of the Mifid is now upon us but many advisers are still confused about the effects of the wide-ranging directive which aims to open up the European financial services market, reports Will Henley
Close Investments has introduced a capital-protected fund linked to the performance of an equally weighted basket of commodities over six years.
The Competition Commission has published a consultation document inviting feedback on its views of competition in the payment protection insurance industry in the UK.
Tara Powley reports on a dramatic drop in mortgage products
Dawnay Day QuantumProtected Agricultural Commodities
Edeus has become the latest lender to confirm that it will be making 15 per cent of its current workforce redundant over the next few weeks, totalling 30 job losses.
F&C has appointed Dean Cheeseman as director of the group’s fund of funds division.
Nicole Blackmore reports that the jail sentences in the Independent Insurance case show the courts are prepared to get tough on financial fraud
The FSA has fined Wills & Co Stockbrokers Limited £49,000 for failing to ensure that its customers understood the risks involved with penny shares.
The FSA’s thematic review of Sipps is to tackle potential troubles in the pension transfer market, according to Sipp guru John Moret.
The FSA has announced it is offering additional RDR consultation sessions for small firms in November and December so that more advisers can have their say on the review.
Heritable Bank, the UK specialist banking subsidiary of the Icelandic bank Landsbanki Islands, has announced a 60 per cent increase in profits for the first nine months of 2007.
Coventry Building Society is among the latest companies to enter the equity-release business and its high-street profile should provide a boost for the sector which is continuing on an upward trend with IFAs increasing their market share. Gregor Watt reports
Hargreaves Lansdown has revealed a £400m increase in assets under administration after publishing its first quarter statistics for the 2008 financial year.
Standard Life has released a statement confirming that a disc containing 15,000 clients’ confidential information has been lost after HMRC sent the disc to Standard Life’s pensions department.
HSBC InvestmentsOpen Global Property Fund
James Phillipps reports on an MBO looking to run bespoke multi-manager portfolios
IAF SecuritiesCapital Protected Commercial Property Plan
This week has seen even further job cuts being announced by the mortgage market. In the space of just one week, three lenders have decided to flush the bad news out of their systems and announce exactly how many redundancies they will need to make due to the credit crunch.
Kensington is to make around 65 redundancies and restructure the company’s operating model in light of the current market conditions.
Legal & GeneralGuaranteed Capital Bond 5
Lifesearch managing director Tom Baigrie has launched a scathing attack on the FSA’s handling of the Retail Distribution Review claiming the discussion paper is “intellectually bust” and “dangerously incomplete”.
Accord Mortgages managing director Linda Will is leaving the intermediary lender in order to pursue other career challenges.
The former Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer is planning to sue Prime Minister Gordon Brown because he is refusing to allow him to claim a bigger pension than other former Cabinet ministers.
Lyxor Asset ManagementLyxor ETF Russia
Two weeks ago, I was making my annual pilgrimage to the West Country when I observed the FTSE100 nudge into new high territory. Never one to pass up an opportunity, I rang my broker to take some profits, only to be talked out of precipitate action. He was right, of course, except the market then experienced several days of straight falls, handing back close to 5 per cent of the gains made - peak to trough.
The much-hailed 'doubling' of the inheritance tax nil-rate band in the pre-Budget report is little more than window dressing and advisers would be well advised to continue using the discretionary will trust for married clients rather than letting them trust the new 'Darling method' of IHT planning, says Sovereign Will and Probate Services operations director Nick Plumb
Chris Salih looks at the multi merry-go-round that has been set spinning
With Money Marketing Live taking place this week in Manchester, some industry players might be forgiven to think the usual rain and drizzly October days might have cast a shadow over the mood at the G-Mex.
New StarHeart of Africa Fund
Pink Home LoansAmber Feather Adverse 2-Year Fixed
This week’s Queen’s Speech will include a Bill on personal accounts but it is likely to receive a rocky ride in the Commons with both the Conservatives and Lib Dems strongly opposed to important aspects of the current plans.
Product InnovationsAria Dynamic Growth Protected Fund
Being a professional is not just about passing exams
Higher interest rates, wary lenders and the credit crunch have resulted in the market punishing property companies during Q3 2007, according to LaSalle Investment Management.
Over the past few years, the average pension fund has increased its property exposure significantly,from around 4 per cent at the turn of the millennium, to 7 per cent by 2004 - and this figure is believed to be even higher today.
The Asian bull is still strong and has a long way to run with great walls of cash set for the stockmarkets
I recently addressed a group of people who are not mortgage professionals and it proved difficult to explain some of the facts behind recent news.
SchrodersSchroder Global Climate Change Fund
Sesame has been tracking advisers' attitudes to the service they get from product providers and sales and marketing director Stephen Young looks at some of the key findings from the surveys
Skandia has produced yet another fund with great potential - the UK strategic best ideas fund.
The editor of a share tipping website has turned his hand to fund management with the launch of the SF t1ps smaller companies growth fund.
Adviser firms must up their pace of progress in embedding Treating Customers Fairly if they are to meet next year's deadlines, warns the FSA.
A redundancy payment can be stretched further by investing it in a pension scheme
PSigma Asset Management has added the American growth fund to its range. This fund aims for growth by investing in big US companies.
Do you have what it takes to be called a real professional?
ThreadneedleAmerican Extended Alpha Fund
The new proposed ceiling on indexation is another blow to DB schemes
The effects of rule changes on interest in possession trusts where there is a change of beneficiary
Looking further at the implications of the transferable nil-rate band and how clients can achieve their estate planning goals
UCB Home LoansBuy To Let Prime 10 Year Fixed
I am always wary of someone who either opens or closes a letter with a Latinism. From experience, it implies that the letter's arguments are portentous enough to merit especially serious consideration, when the reverse is usually the case.
I don’t know about everyone else but I am starting to get tired of having to update stories on who is buying Resolution and for how much every five minutes.
This week, our expert panel respond to another reader's question about the RDR. The panel are on hand to answer questions about the potential future market landscape and where firms may want to think about positioning themselves, as well as broader issues underpinning the review. If you have any queries you want answered, or any nagging questions you do not feel have yet been addressed in these pages, email the panel at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan Lakey questions the Financial Ombudsman Service's time-bar stance