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5 November 2008

Money Marketing

  • Tories want inquiry into crisis handling

    6 November 2008

    Conservative Shadow Treasury Financial Secretary Mark Hoban has called for an independent inquiry into the Government and FSA's handling of the Icelandic crisis.

  • 16 % of IFA directors to exceed retirement age next year

    10 November 2008

    The IFA sector is likely to be hit by another round of consolidation next year as 16 per cent of IFA directors will exceed retirement age, according to Plimsoll.

  • A&L chief to head up A&L/Abbey intermediary division

    5 November 2008

    Santander has revealed its new combined Intermediary team with the Alliance & Leicester chief at the helm.

  • Abbey reignites tracker market

    10 November 2008

    Abbey has released a new range of competitive tracker mortgages in the wake of the tracker cull last week.

  • ABI welcomes Government top-up funding plan

    5 November 2008

    The Association of British Insurers has welcomed the Government’s move to allow top-up funding for drugs not available on the NHS.

  • ABI/FSA Pensions Calculator website has been down for two months

    11 November 2008

    The Pensions Calculator used by consumers to calculate how much to save to meet expected income demand in retirement, has been down for two months and neither the FSA or ABI can say when it will be running again.

  • Advisers attack life office support on offshore bonds

    6 November 2008

    Premier Wealth Management has criticised offshore bond providers for not adequately supporting advisers as debate continues to rage over providers' disclosure of compensation arrangements covering offshore bonds.

  • Aegon flexible pension live on Bankhall's Portavista

    5 November 2008

    Aegon Scottish Equitable’s flexible pension plan is now live on Bankhall’s Portavista platform.

  • Aegon questionnaire reduces number of policies not taken up

    7 November 2008

    A pre-sale underwriting questionnaire used by Aegon during its protection sales process has reduced the number of policies not taken out by consumers.

  • Aegon UK net income down 61 per cent in Q3 to £15m

    6 November 2008

    Aegon has reported a drop in UK net income of 61 per cent in the third quarter at £15m compared with £38m in the same period last year.

  • Aggressive cost cuts likely at New Star due to risk of breach, says Citigroup

    7 November 2008

    Citigroup has warned that New Star needs to take corrective action on costs following growing concern that excessive leverage in the group risks it breaching covenants.

  • AIG unveils conditional exit plan for enhanced fund investors

    11 November 2008

    AIG Life has unveiled a conditional exit plan to allow investors in the enhanced fund to pull their investments out so long as the value remains above a given threshold.

  • AMPS elects new committee

    10 November 2008

    Following its recent AGM, the Association of Member-Directed Pension Schemes has announced its new committee for the year ahead.

  • Analysts predict larger UK life offices could circle Just Retirement

    10 November 2008

    Analysts have predicted larger UK life offices such as Legal & General, Aviva and Prudential could be interested in buying Just Retirement, following news that the company has received expressions of interest.

  • AToM calls for more packager partnerships

    11 November 2008

    Mortgage packager All Types of Mortgages has called on the ailing packager industry to either unite or look to alternative investment in bid for the sector to survive.

  • Aviva suspends European property fund

    6 November 2008

    Aviva has suspended trading on its European commercial property fund following a dramatic increase in redemptions over the last few weeks, Money Marketing understands.

  • Avoid banks stifled by government's grip, says New Star’s de Blonay

    5 November 2008

    Investors should be wary of government-influenced banks stocks, says New Star global financials fund manager Guy de Blonay.

  • Axa IM UK set to cut fund range

    7 November 2008

    Axa Investment Managers has announced a major rationalisation of its UK fund range, subject to FSA approval.

  • Axa UK life new business volumes fall 5 per cent

    7 November 2008

    Axa has reported a 5 per cent drop in UK life and pensions new business volumes for the first nine months of the year at £0.81bn.

  • Barclays Private Bank client was told AIG bond was safer than bank account

    6 November 2008

    Barclays Private Bank advised a client the AIG enhanced fund was safer and more liquid than a bank or building society account, in a letter seen by Money Marketing.

  • Barclays Wealth to launch fixed income bond

    7 November 2008

  • Beetle drive

    6 November 2008

    These are difficult markets on which to comment. It is not just that the way ahead is so obscure but the speed at which change takes place and the extent of the moves occurring can also make seemingly informed commentary look seriously misplaced very swiftly.

  • Benefits firm buys EB Consultants

    6 November 2008

    Employee benefits firm SBJ Group has bought actuarial and pension administration firm EB Consultants.

  • Board trio leave at Bankhall

    6 November 2008

    Three board members are leaving Bankhall in the aftermath of Peter Mann's departure as the company continues its search for a new chief executive.

  • Bonds to beat cash

    6 November 2008

    Pension reforms must not create a situation where existing savings are spread more thinly, warns the Association of British Insurers.

  • Bonham Carter and Brough fall in ratings

    6 November 2008

    Bestinvest has dropped its ratings on Jupiter chief executive Edward Bonham Carter's undervalued assets fund and Schroders UK mid 250 fund run by Andy Brough.

  • Bottriell fears CII looking for dominance over standards

    6 November 2008

    Aifa board member Gary Bottriell says he is concerned that the Chartered Insurance Institute may look to curtail the power of the Personal Finance Society in an attempt to take industry-wide control of professional standards.

  • Broker Talkback

    6 November 2008

    Do you think the Bank of England has been too slow in considering interest rate cuts?Yes 62%No 38%

  • Brown pushes the button

    7 November 2008

    Today the Government got its way and many of the high street banks agreed to 'pass on' the whole 1.5 per cent interest rate cut into their mortgage rates.

  • Bupa launches workplace health initiative

    10 November 2008

    Bupa UK Health Insurance is introducing Bupa Positive Health to encourage more firms to create a healthy workplace after research found four out 10 employees are overweight.

  • Capita wins Abbey Life admin deal

    6 November 2008

    Capita has signed a 10-year deal worth £130m with Deutsche Bank to provide outsourcing services for Abbey Life's 1.1 million life and pension policies.

  • Cash concerns bring Scarborough merger with Skipton

    6 November 2008

    Scarborough Building Society is merging with Skipton after the credit crisis weakened its capital position.

  • Cash in the deep freeze

    6 November 2008

    Protection of individual savers' assets has been a key theme in the financial sector since banks started to collapse or fall into government hands. Investors who considered that their savings were solid learned quickly to their immediate pain that high rates of return can come with a substantially increased level of risk.

  • Champion Cummings

    6 November 2008

    Association of Mortgage Intermediaries director general Chris Cummings and his membership were pretty much alone in grasping the severity of the credit situation at the earliest stage when more preventive action could have been taken by the authorities.

  • Change in the mix

    6 November 2008

    The business mix is a constant source of interest to all responsible for revenue generation.

  • Cheap year

    6 November 2008

    Earlier this summer, when the price of oil was above $140 a barrel and Goldman Sachs and others were arguing that the next stop was $200 a barrel, it felt like an unusual and uncertain world.

  • CII merger will create new-style global body

    6 November 2008

    The Chartered Insurance Institute is to merge with the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance and will rebrand as the Chartered Institute of Financial Services.

  • Co-heads leave in Insight shake-up

    6 November 2008

    Insight co-heads of multi-manager Patrick Armstrong and Ana Cukic-Armstrong are to leave the firm following a restructure of the multi-asset desk.

  • Combining health with wealth

    11 November 2008

    The Government's move to allow top-up funding for drugs not available on the NHS could create a rival product to traditional private medical insurance.

  • Corporate awareness of personal accounts is too low

    6 November 2008

    Some 94 per cent of organisations have failed to discuss the issue of personal accounts at a governance, trustee or board meeting, according to Aon Consulting.

  • Crisis management

    6 November 2008

    These are without doubt the toughest of times. Clients have been well educated in equity risk but have been faced with cash risk.

  • Darling causes furore with Isle of Man attack

    6 November 2008

    Industry experts and the Isle of Man government have called on Chancellor Alistair Darling to clarify inflammatory comments he made about the crown dependency.

  • Darling pledges probe into Manx haven status

    6 November 2008

    Chancellor Alistair Darling has warned that the Government will take "a long hard look" at the Isle of Man's position as a tax haven.

  • Default lines

    6 November 2008

    Perhaps workers who blindly tick the default box when it comes to their company pension have got it right after all.

  • Degrees of expertise

    6 November 2008

    It is encouraging to see more advisers going for higher qualifications but I sense a lack of understanding about what the qualification levels mean and how they are likely to apply in a new regulatory environment.

  • Don't let hedge funds raise repos, says FSA

    6 November 2008

    The FSA has called on mortgage lenders and third-party administrators to keep hedge funds that buy mortgage portfolios in line, in response to concerns that the funds may force up repossessions.

  • Fair dues

    6 November 2008

    An acquaintance of mine told me that she was trying to persuade her son to become an accountant. As an ex-accountant myself, I was horrified and suggested she persuade him to become a financial planner instead.

  • Fitch predicts failures among variable annuity providers

    6 November 2008

    Fitch Ratings believes that US insurers are likely to scale back their variable annuity business, with some leaving the market due to capital and earnings' volatility.

  • Fixed income beckons as interest rates fall further, says Henderson’s Pattullo

    5 November 2008

    In an environment of falling interest rates fixed income is “the place to be”, with valuations in investment grade corporate bonds looking particularly compelling, says Henderson strategic bond and preference bond fund manager John Pattullo.

  • Friends extends contract with True Potential

    7 November 2008

    Friends Provident has extended its contract enquiry service through True Potential to enable advisers to obtain real-time valuations for whole of life and endowment policies.

  • Friends Provident poaches Standard Life's chief financial officer

    7 November 2008

    Friends Provident has appointed Evelyn Bourke as chief financial officer, subject to regulatory approval.

  • FSA appeals to High Court on Lautro ruling

    10 November 2008

    The Financial Services Authority has appealed to the High Court over an Information Tribunal decision that could lead to them having to name and shame the Lautro 19.

  • FSA bans and censures Homeplan directors

    5 November 2008

    The FSA has banned and publicly censured two directors from mortgage firm Homeplan for exposing their clients to the risk of receiving unsuitable mortgages.

  • FSA extends Gabriel deadline by seven days

    6 November 2008

    Thousands of adviser firms affected by the FSA's Gabriel glitches last month have been given an additional seven working days to submit outstanding RMAR reports otherwise face a fine.

  • FSA fines AWD Chase de Vere £1.12m for pension misselling

    11 November 2008

    The FSA has fined AWD Chase de Vere Wealth Management £1.12 million for serious failings in its pension transfer, pension annuity and income withdrawal business that lead to misselling.

  • FSA looks at everyday banking

    6 November 2008

    The FSA is considering whether to extend its remit to the regulation of "everyday banking" when it takes on new powers for banks and building societies in November next year.

  • FSA tells Abbey Life to change "unfair" OMO contract term

    7 November 2008

    The FSA has made Abbey Life change a term in its open market option application forms, after the regulator found it to be “unfair”.

  • FSCS opening Icesavers to threat of fraud, says First Cyber Security

    6 November 2008

    The Financial Services Compensation Service has put UK Icesave retail depositors in danger of being targeted by fraudsters, according to online security company First Cyber Security.

  • FSCS sends compensation letters to Icesave customers

    5 November 2008

    The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has sent the first of two emails to UK Icesave customers with more information about how to claim back their savings.

  • Fund managers should make the case for fund management.

    5 November 2008

    At Money Marketing we have spent the last few weeks politely telling IFAs to resist the urge to hide under their desks and to keep talking to clients.

  • Goddard says one exam can't test breadth of knowledge

    6 November 2008

    Personal Finance Society chief executive Fay Goddard says she does not believe the ifs School of Finance diploma tests the breadth of knowledge required of advisers.

  • Government offers concessions on personal accounts exemption

    6 November 2008

    Employers will now be able to ‘self certify’ that their pension scheme meets the quality standard required to exempt it from personal accounts.

  • Government to scrutinize small business lending

    11 November 2008

    The Government has launched a new small business panel to scrutinize the lending practices of the UK’s largest banks.

  • Govt changes wording of self-cert Pensions Bill amendment

    7 November 2008

    The Government has changed the wording of its amendment to the Pesnsions Bill on the self-certification of workplace schemes.

  • Govt plans tax cuts for pre-Budget speech

    10 November 2008

    The Government is expected to unveil tax cuts in the forthcoming pre-Budget speech.

  • Green shoots emerge in markets

    6 November 2008

    The first smallest green shoots may have appeared in the UK wholesale markets as HBOS, Barclays and RBS all successfully sold Government-backed bonds.

  • Guarantees on income and capital important for clients, says Aegon

    7 November 2008

    Advisers say that guarantees on income and capital are important to clients in times of market uncertainty, according to preliminary findings of Aegon’s IFA Insights survey.

  • Guernsey clamps down on Qrops with others set to follow, says Baker Tilly

    7 November 2008

    Guernsey is set to introduce tightened restrictions on Guernsey-based Qrops and other jurisdictions are likely to follow, Baker Tilly has warned.

  • Gulf region in more powerful financial position than ever, says Ansbacher

    10 November 2008

    News that Barclays has gone cap in hand to the Gulf reflects the changing reality of post-credit bubble economics according to Ansbacher chief investment officer Mike Hollings.

  • Half of borrowers avoided stamp duty in September

    11 November 2008

    Half of mortgage borrowers avoided stamp duty levies in the wake of Government reforms.

  • Hargreaves fends off criticism of his firm's structured sales

    6 November 2008

    A number of structured product providers have questioned why Hargreaves Lansdown does business with them after last week's condemnation by chief executive Peter Hargreaves.

  • HBOS rejects alternative takeover proposition

    10 November 2008

    HBOS has rejected the takeover concerns from two former bank chiefs with a strongly worded open letter.

  • Healthfund aiming low-cost combined PMI plan at scheme leavers

    6 November 2008

    Healthcare specialist Healthfund is combining insurance and savings in a product which it claims will dramatically reduce the cost of private health cover.

  • Hedge fund buys Edeus

    11 November 2008

    A hedge fund that made billions hedging against the US sub prime mortgage crash has bought Edeus.

  • Homeowners must take out UK-based insurance policies abroad, warns Tonic

    5 November 2008

    Consumers buying insurance for property overseas should look to UK-based firms for cover to ensure they are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, warns insurance provider Tonic Underwriting.

  • Ian Pearson to talk at AIFA dinner

    11 November 2008

    The Association of Independent Financial Advisers has announced that Economic Secretary to the Treasury Ian Pearson will be the keynote speaker at its AGM and Annual Dinner in London next week, replacing Kitty Ussher MP.

  • ICMA appoints David Hiscock to regulatory policy team

    6 November 2008

    The International Capital Market Association has appointed David Hiscock to its regulatory policy team as senior advisor.

  • IFAs feel strain as UBS shuts platform

    6 November 2008

    Concerns have been raised over the timeframe imposed on IFAs moving clients off UBS's platform after the firm announced it is shutting its wrap.

  • IFAs levy more likely as B&B book deteriorates

    6 November 2008

    Mortgages on one of Bradford & Bingley’s loan books have taken a downturn which could lead to IFAs having to help pay for the bank’s nationalisation.

  • IMA Q3 stats reveal 6% fall in fund of funds

    6 November 2008

    Funds under management in fund of funds fell almost 6 per cent in the third quarter of 2008 as balanced funds continued to be the popular choice for investors, according to the IMAs quarterly statistics.

  • IMA tells MPs toxic asset fears prevent its members investing in bank reconstruction

    11 November 2008

    The Investment Management Association told MPs that some of its members are not prepared to invest in bank reconstructions because they feel institutions have yet to disclose exposure to toxic assets.

  • IMA to add property sector

    11 November 2008

    The Investment Management Association and the Performance Category Review Committee is to launch a new property sector, covering both direct and securities funds.

  • India fund pondered by Currie

    6 November 2008

    Martin Currie is looking at launching an India fund.

  • Insurers' risk management lacking, says FSA

    7 November 2008

    The FSA says that while the insurance industry has embraced changes to the capital regime, some insurers are falling short in their risk management procedures.

  • Interest rates drop by 1.5%

    6 November 2008

    The Bank of England has dropped the base rate by 1.5 per cent in an attempt to ease lending as the UK heads into a recession.

  • Investec head sees 20% annual returns for corporate bonds

    6 November 2008

    Investec Asset Management co-head of fixed income John Stopford believes that investors could make up to 20 per cent annually in the corporate bond market in the next two years.

  • Isle of Man chief minister and Jack Straw to discuss relations

    7 November 2008

    Chief Minister Tony Brown MHK is meeting with Lord Chancellor Jack Straw next week to ensure that relations between the Isle of Man and the Government remain mutually positive and productive.

  • Job cover still available

    6 November 2008

    The article, NU quits unemployment cover over recession risk (October 30) links Paymentshield with the withdrawing of unemployment-only cover. This is incorrect through our intermediary channel.

  • Just so advice

    6 November 2008

    The stockmarket appears to be in terminal decline, my cash may or may not be safe in the bank, inflation is rife and the economy appears to be heading into recession, if it isn't there already. Help.

  • L&G launches exclusive tie in with Connect Mortgages

    5 November 2008

    Legal & General Mortgages has launched a partnership with mortgage administration outsourcer Connect Mortgage group.

  • Leadbay to offer life assurance leads

    11 November 2008

    Leadbay if now offering life assurance leads to advisers, with the promise of a refund on any lead they confirm as uncontactable.

  • Libor reacts well to rate drop

    7 November 2008

    Libor rates have reacted positively to the Bank of England’s shock 1.5 per cent drop in interest rates.

  • Little pot boiler

    6 November 2008

    The Personal Accounts Delivery Authority consulted on different charging structures for personal accounts during January to April and published a summary of responses in July. Further consultations are to take place on investment, rules and decumulation which will give stakeholders the opportunity to influence the design of the scheme. The imminent consultation on decumulation will be of particular interest.

  • Lloyds denies Clerical is up for sale

    6 November 2008

    Lloyds TSB group chief executive Eric Daniels has rejected rumours that Clerical Medical will be sold and is highlighting the strength of the Scottish Widows' brand.

  • Lloyds TSB to follow rising tracker pack

    5 November 2008

    Lloyds TSB has revealed it will follow its competitors in their tracker rate strategies next week.

  • Medical Care Direct launches healthcare scheme

    10 November 2008

    Medical Care Direct has launched its Inclusive Healthcare scheme today in a bid to cut private medical bills.

  • Merger board quizzes Spowart

    6 November 2008

    The merger and acquisition board is questioning Scottish financier Jim Spowart over his claims that another party is set to bid for HBOS.

  • Mott reacts to rate cut decision

    10 November 2008

    Imagine the hypothetical Smith family sitting at home in their 3 bedroom house in middle En`gland. They had a 70 per cent mortgage on their home a year ago but house price collapses of the past year have eroded much of this cushion. Unfortunately, their existing fixed rate deal came to an end this summer. They received a letter from their lender which politely suggested they look elsewhere for a new mortgage as the new rate they could offer the Smiths had increased dramatically.

  • MP says BoE evidence "did not stand up" in hindsight

    11 November 2008

    Treasury select committee MP Jim Cousins said Bank of England governor Mervyn King’s evidence to the committee in advance of Lehman’s collapse did not stand up in hindsight.

  • Munich records 99 per cent profile slide

    7 November 2008

    Munich Re has recorded a 99 per cent slide in profits during the third quarter of this year, with profits falling from €1.2bn to €1.2m year-on-year.

  • Mystery shopping of banks reveals poor service standards

    7 November 2008

    Only 20 per cent of customers rated bank staff as having excellent product knowledge, according to research by Grass Roots.

  • Nationwide profits up as it reigns in lending

    10 November 2008

    Nationwide has revealed an 11 per cent rise in profits as it reveals a two thirds reduction in mortgage lending.

  • Needs must

    6 November 2008

    Plummeting stockmarkets are reducing the values of defined-contribution plans and adding to the concerns of employers with defined-benefit schemes. It is important that the industry and Government work together to help those most affected. Under specific scrutiny are those who are close to retirement and facing difficult decisions.

  • New firms paying over the odds in second-year fees, says FSA

    6 November 2008

    The FSA is proposing new rules to ensure that recently authorised firms and those extending their permissions are not paying too much in fees and levies in their second year.

  • New IFA rating website to launch

    5 November 2008

    Rubii.co.uk is launching a new website allowing consumers to search a database of regulated financial advisors and publicly rank them on the quality of their service and advice.

  • Norwich Union set to payback £11m to clients after admin blunder

    10 November 2008

    Norwich Union will have to repay around 34,000 stakeholder pension customers around £11m after an administrative error.

  • Number of schemes in PPF increases yet again

    11 November 2008

    The Pension Protection Fund has taken on five more schemes over the past month resulting in a further 1,313 people in the UK having to receive pension compensation.

  • Obama seeks £32bn in offshore-crackdown

    10 November 2008

    US president-elect Barack Obama is reported to be planning a crack down on international tax havens including Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man when he assumes office in January.

  • Obama should focus on housing market, says JPMorgan

    5 November 2008

    One of the biggest economic challenges for Barack Obama will be to bring stability to the housing market, according to JPMorgan Asset Management global strategist Tom Elliott.

  • Odey and Lancaster lead way with Insynergy fund launches

    6 November 2008

    Crispin Odey and Gulf Finance House’s Ian Lancaster will manage Insynergy Investment Management’s first two fund launches.

  • Old Mutual UK life sales down 18 per cent as group finance director quits

    6 November 2008

    Old Mutual has reported an 18 per cent drop in UK life sales on an annual premium equivalent basis at £464m.

  • On the breach

    6 November 2008

    The era of split-capital investment trusts which saw forced wind-ups leaving many shareholders out in the cold may soon be revisited, only this time it may be the once stable property area of the market.

  • Opening up Options

    6 November 2008

    The importance of annuities to millions of people is hard to underestimate. They provide retired people with a guaranteed income for the rest of their lives, using funds built up in money-purchase pensions. Product providers and the Association of British Insurers are acutely aware that standards of customer service on annuities have been mixed. The industry is working hard to improve the customer experience and recently launched major initiatives in two key areas.

  • Paul Harris

    6 November 2008

    Paul Harris's career might have been very different had he not listened to his mother who likened him to "a young Basil Fawlty" in a bid to dissuade him from studying for a degree in hotel management.

  • Penalty shoot-out

    6 November 2008

    In the last few weeks, I have been mugging up on investor psychology. Basically, what I am trying to understand is why I have stopped looking at how my pension funds and Isas have performed since the middle of the year.

  • Pension boost for St James's Place

    6 November 2008

    St James's Place has seen a 2 per cent increase in new business for the first nine months of 2008 to £322.6m. Pension business rose by 20 per cent but funds under management have fallen from £18.2bn to £16.5bn.

  • Pension Funds look elsewhere out of equities

    11 November 2008

    Pension funds are continuing to move their assets out of equities and into other investment classes, according to the National Association of Pension Funds.

  • Pension questions that need answering

    6 November 2008

    1: Clarification on pension schemes structured as an insurance contract There may be different treatment for Sipps written as insurance contracts as they may fall within the FSCS insurance scheme, not the investment scheme.

  • PFS conference: Businesses relying on assets under management to take huge hit

    10 November 2008

    Torrential rain, gale-force winds and freezing temperatures couldn’t keep the delegates from gathering at the Personal Finance Society’s annual conference in Birmingham this morning.

  • PM reveals small business and mortgage reforms

    11 November 2008

    The Prime Minister Gordon Brown has today revealed the Government is to make reforms to the Mortgage Conduct of Business rules and to the UK banks’ principles towards small businesses.

  • Pos Sol director pay more than doubles in 2007

    7 November 2008

    The salary for Positive Solutions’ highest paid director more than doubled in 2007 to £722,000 from £308,000 the previous year.

  • Positive Solutions and Origen push Aegon to £4m distribution loss

    6 November 2008

    Positive Solutions and Origen have lost up to £4m between them so far this year, according to Aegon’s latest results.

  • Products need regulation

    6 November 2008

    Two weeks ago, I lamented the lack of customer care behind income protection plans which are burdened by the "any occupation" design flaw. This claim definition is used for higher-risk occupations and the insurer can decline the claim if it considers the policyholder capable of performing any other occupation.

  • Prudential hires Barry O'Dwyer as life and pensions MD

    5 November 2008

    Prudential has appointed Barry O'Dwyer as managing director of retail life and pensions.

  • Rate cut trickles into mortgage market

    7 November 2008

    Several UK high street banks have agreed to ‘pass on’ the full 1.5 per cent rate cut into their mortgage products after a meeting with the Prime Minister.

  • Release valve

    6 November 2008

    Do you agree with the view of Which? that equity release should only be used as a last resort and that it is "very expensive, inflexible and leaves people with little or no equity in their home"? Do you think the view that Which? is promoting will put consumers off equity-release products?

  • Rock to meet charities over repossessions

    6 November 2008

    Northern Rock is set to meet debt and homeless charities to discuss its much criticised repossession strategy.

  • Santander in 7bn Euro rights issue

    10 November 2008

    Santander, owner of Abbey and Alliance & Leicester, has revealed it is in a 7.2bn Euro (£5.89bn) rights issue.

  • Schroders set to merge Buxton funds

    10 November 2008

    Schroders is to merge Richard Buxton’s UK large-cap fund into its UK alpha plus vehicle.

  • Self-cert brings smiles for once

    6 November 2008

    It has been a long time since the term self-certification has been used in a positive headline as anyone in the mortgage industry will attest.

  • Skandia ditches ABI to join Aifa

    6 November 2008

    Aifa has reassured advisers that Skandia will have no influence over the way it is run after the company quit the ABI this week to join the trade body.

  • Skandia makes the distinction

    6 November 2008

    In these turbulent days, is Skandia's decision to quit the Association of British Insurers and join Aifa a storm in a trade body teacup or a sign of the times? Skandia was always semi-detached from the hunting pack of insurers and some may suggest it is seeking publicity.

  • Skipton Financial Services appoints Mark Fleet as managing director

    10 November 2008

    Skipton Financial Services has appointed ex-AWD Moneyextra managing director Mark Fleet as its managing director.

  • SocGen to merge European offerings

    5 November 2008

    Societe Generale is to close its £27m Europe fund and merge the assets into its £69m European special opportunities fund, subject to FSA approval.

  • Societe General to merge Euro funds

    6 November 2008

    Societe Generale is to close its £27m Europe fund and merge the assets into its £69m European special opportunities fund.

  • Standard cuts bonuses and adds MVRs

    6 November 2008

    Standard Life is to cut final bonuses while increasing and extending market value reductions on its with-profits plans, meaning most of the firm's with-profits policyholders will see a fall in the value of their plans.

  • Standard Life adds automated trusts suite to wrap

    5 November 2008

    Standard Life has added an integrated automated trusts suite to its wrap platform.

  • Structural defences

    6 November 2008

    I have always had an immense amount of respect for Peter Hargreaves and his operation but I was somewhat disappointed, to say the least, when I heard that he had effectively stated that "all structured products are poor".

  • Supporters' clubs

    6 November 2008

    It is very clear that the major advice firms have begun thinking in very different ways about how they select the organisations they will be partnering with as suppliers in the future. This is due in no small part to the retail distribution review.

  • Tailor tests to fit your needs

    6 November 2008

    It is now over six months since the Chancellor's ham-fisted attempts to reform capital gains tax delivered managed funds providers a major commercial advantage over life insurance investment products. This has resulted in a major commercial opportunity for every IFA as any existing investment bond product now needs to be reviewed to assess its ongoing suitability.

  • The mystery thickens

    6 November 2008

    The FSA has lost another stage of its battle to avoid naming and shaming firms that performed badly in mystery shopping in a ruling that could threaten the regulator's use of mystery shopping.

  • The start of a journey

    6 November 2008

    The last resort" or "not repayable in your lifetime" and "lifetime mortgage", all of these terms or phrases have been used in connection with equity-release mortgages.

  • The structured fallout

    6 November 2008

    The failure of Lehman Brothers and other institutions which offered structured products or guarantees for the products has left IFAs worried about a sudden slew of complaints.

  • The wild frontier

    6 November 2008

    One victim of the current economic climate has been emerging markets. Many of these are exporters to the world and much of the sell-off here has stemmed from fears of what will happen to corporate profits in an environment of slowing global economic growth.

  • Tories unveil tax breaks for businesses as Govt hints at cuts

    11 November 2008

    The Conservatives are pushing the Government to introduce tax cuts targeted at boosting employment as Prime Minister Gordon Brown fuels speculation he is planning to reduce taxes.

  • Tracker mortgage rates rise to near-SVR levels

    6 November 2008

    Abbey has followed other high-street banks in raising its tracker mortgage rates for new customers on the eve of a possible base rate drop.

  • Trash cash

    6 November 2008

    Last weekend, I was flicking through the best-buy tables and was surprised to see rates of 6 per cent still available on instant access accounts. With the base rate at 4.5 per cent, this seems out of kilter. I am concerned that investors assume these attractive rates will remain.

  • Treasury announces new asset management and insurance groups

    11 November 2008

    The Treasury has announced the launch of two new government-industry groups that will look at the insurance and asset management sectors.

  • Trusts face breaching covenants

    6 November 2008

    Midas Group investment director Nick Greenwood is warning that banking covenant issues could see the investment trust industry set for a repeat of the split-cap debacle.

  • Turning points

    6 November 2008

    It is interesting watching a market turn. One should collect the headlines and indicators and keep them so one can spot the trends faster next time.

  • Two thirds of Brits unaware of IHT changes, says research

    10 November 2008

    Nearly two thirds of British people are unaware of the changes made to the inheritance tax nil rate band in October 2007, according to research from life insurer Zurich.

  • Watson Wyatt launches online financial education portal

    7 November 2008

    Watson Wyatt has launched a new online service designed to help employers and pension scheme trustees engage their employees about retirement savings.

  • Welcome break

    6 November 2008

    With stockmarkets still in turmoil, a lot of people are turning to a safe investment in holidays. The holiday property bond has been going for 25 years, with all the assets held by HSBC.

  • Were investors warned?

    6 November 2008

    Scottish Life International says its literature does not include any particular reference to the fact that individuals are not protected by any protection scheme if the underlying investments fail. However, the company says it may update its literature in future to highlight the lack of cover.

  • What is CII's agenda for the PFS?

    6 November 2008

    Amid the spectacle of failing banks, falling stockmarkets and a felled currency, the Personal Finance Society has issued the agenda for its forthcoming AGM on November 11.

  • What women want

    6 November 2008

    Over 63 per cent of the population over state pension age are women. Compared with men, they earn less, save less and live longer on lower pensions. Will auto-enrolment into personal accounts solve this problem for women of the future or will they once again be the unlucky sex?

  • Wholesale murder

    6 November 2008

    The Bank of England called on the mortgage industry last week to face up to life without wholesale markets.

  • Zurich removes family history questions from some life policies

    7 November 2008

    Zurich is removing family history questions from the application stage for life plans due to cease before the policyholder turns aged 55.

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