7 November 2007
Seventy-six per cent of National Association of Estate Agents members have reported decreases in excess of 10 per cent in instructions for three or more bedroom properties since the introduction of Hips.
Controversy continues over personal accounts this week, as the Government made the startling admission that it is planning to get around EU laws by auto-enrolling employees into group personal pension schemes, even though this is prohibited under EU law.
At the end of last month, I published the interim report of the independent review of generic financial advice that I am leading on behalf of the Treasury.
Aegon UK has announced that the value of new business has increased by 41 per cent to £118m in the first nine months of 2007, compared with the same period last year.
The Association of Independent Financial Advisers claims RDR proposals for changes to firms and the advice system are likely to have a detrimental impact on consumers, in its fifth and final Retail Distribution Review issues paper released yesterday.
Women tend to lose out financially, compared with men, according to the Fawcett Society.
Bank of Ireland Isle of ManInternational Kick Out Bond
If the Bank of England was somewhat downbeat in its assessment of financial stability issues last month, the Federal Reserve Bank delivered a more upbeat message. Announcing a further quarter-point rate cut last week, the clear implication in the accompanying statement was that sufficient had been done to keep growth on track.
Barclays Capital has established a capital protected product linked to the performance of the Swip European real estate fund for investors with offshore bonds.
There have been concerns that if the RDR proposals come into force, it will play into the hands of the banks and building societies - a move that some say will not be in the best interests of the consumer. I am wondering if the critics have a point.
Chris Salih says the best ideas strategy is gathering momentum, with more fund companies set for launches. Now, the originator, Skandia, plans two additional vechicles
The buy-to-let market is now so inaccessible to the average investor that only the wealthy can afford to be become landlords, according to RICS.
It has been said many times before over the years by lots of different people for a variety of reasons but I feel I am on pretty safe ground when I say that the financial advice market in the UK is on the cusp of serious change.
China now boasts at least one top-ten company by market valuation in six industrial sectors, according to an analysis of Morgan Stanley Capital International data by Fidelity International.
When Brooks Macdonald launched as a fee-based business back in 1991, the widespread industry expectiation was that the firm would fail but the company's chief executive explains that not only has it thrived, particularly with the introduction of Sipps, and built up to 100 staff and nearly £1bn under management but it also went against industry sentiment again with a successful market flotation which raised the firm's profile. Interview by Gregor Watt.
One of the constants in the world of personal finance is the way in which changes in personal taxation have an impact on future financial decisions.
Close InvestmentsAgricultural Commodities Trust
Defaqto’s Retirement Savings and Income Report 2007 shows that many consumers still trust themselves, their family and friends for advice on retirement planning.
The Skandia UK and Offshore Group has announced the appointment of Michelle Cracknell as its new strategy director.
With-profits is proving to be a more resilient animal than many commentators in the market expected.
Downing Corporate FinanceDowning Protected VIII and IX
Edeus has announced the addition of two new buy-to-let products and three new self-cert deals.
Having been canvassed across most newspapers and television screens in 2007 it seems that the push towards becoming more ethically aware has finally seeped through to the investment market.
The European Union’s economic growth is expected to decline from 2.9 per cent in 2007 to 2.4 per cent in both 2008 and 2009, according to the European Commission’s autumn economic forecast.
So Money Marketing has caught wind that Fortis is planning to enter the protection market with a combined life, critical-illness and income protection plan.
Sesame chief executive Patrick Gale is standing down next month after seven years with the company.
There is little doubt that something has changed this year. It may be early days but the concern for environmental issues and, in particular, climate change does seem to have stepped up a gear.
HSBC Investments has brought out the global climate change fund, a Sicav that will invest in a portfolio of approximately 60 companies that are addressing and developing solutions to climate change.
Insight Investment has moved the absolut insight fettered fund of funds and its underlying funds from fortnightly to daily pricing.
Jamie Allsopp is manager of the successful New Star hidden value fund.
Jupiter has added the new Europe fund to its Sicav range.
It seems increasingly likely that we are approaching the end of the current economic and market cycle. The impending end game, while ultimately a cause for concern, may provide opportunities for profit as well as risks. The final stage of a bull market is often the most exciting phase although most of the profits made in the last upswing prove to be temporary in nature.
Is it possible to have too much openness in financial services? Almost never, I would argue, which is why the Information Commissioner is proving to be a godsend.
The management team at Gissings Advisory Services has effected a management buyout, announced today.
Cazenove's new multi-manager Robin McDonald says the changes he will be making to the portfolios he has inherited from Mark Harries and Simon Wood will be evolutionary, not revolutionary.
US investment consultancy Mercer is in discussions with potential strategic partners to distribute its new multi-manager funds to the UK retail market.
One week after the arrival of the mighty Mifid, I ask you how much of your business has changed? Mifid is one of the most important European regulatory changes in as long as I can remember. For any of you who remain blissfully unaware of the arrival of this huge European directive, let me update you.
Nationwide Building Society25 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage
Nationwide Building SocietyFive Year Fixed Rate Remortgage
NDF AdministrationAccelerated Growth Plan October 07
New Star Asset Management has appointed Dan Ford as the firm’s director of product development.
Well, my ‘people on the move’ section of our esteemed Professional Brief supplement certainly was a breeze to write this month.
I was pleasantly surprised when talking recently with Keith Robinson, support director at Origen, who is very happy with the recent deployment of Quay Software's customer care desktop product in his organisation.
The FSA's use of mystery shopping has been thrown into doubt after the Information Commissioner ruled the regulator must name and shame advisers who performed badly in one of its mystery-shopping exercises.
Trading in Barclays shares was temporarily suspended today after a sudden drop in its share price of more than 9 per cent to 442p.
In this week's question for Money Marketing's expert panel, an adviser seeks views on whether Mifid is a potential escape route from the RDR requirements. Our 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 ...
Pink Home LoansAmber Feather Adverse 2-Year Fixed
Rising global demand has pushed oil prices to record highs but investors may find it difficult to tap into the boom, reports Will Henley
The Pensions Policy Institute has proposed a "pension income disregard" to overcome the means-testing problems many commentators believe to be the major barrier to the successful implementation of personal accounts.
A Protocol amending the exchange of information within the UK’s double taxation convention with New Zealand was signed in London today.
PSigma Asset ManagementAmerican Growth Fund
Psigma Asset ManagementEuropean Income Fund
Rating agencies have confirmed they are looking into whether they will provide a separate rating or tool for liquidity risk, after a grilling from the Treasury Select Committee today.
We have now had over 20 years of regulation. There have been a dozen regulators, hundreds of consultative documents and thousands of pages of rules and yet very little has changed. There has been a huge, if unheralded, improvement in the professional standards of advisers. Apart from that, consumers have been burdened by a system that fails most of them.
Nicola York asks whether the rise of group Sipps will spell the end for group personal pensions.
The importance of technology should not be underestimated in the mortgage industry. It has been crucial in speeding up business, cutting costs and providing an audit trail for the adviser from the fact-find through to completion. Good IT systems make the broker's life much easier, reducing hassle and leaving time to get on with the main job of advising clients.
Advisers should have a six year window to obtain the Diploma in Financial Planning and must be part of a professional body who will police behaviour, says the Chartered Insurance Institute.
The resilience of property prices is shown in Nationwide figures which reveal prices bouncing back in October.
Standard Life has pulled out of a £4.9bn battle for Resolution after its share price fell to its lowest levels since August 2006 last week.
Stroud & SwindonThree-Year Fixed Buy-To-Let
Scottish Widows Investment Partnership has appointed Dean Buckley as the firms new chief executive officer.
t1ps Investment ManagementSF t1ps Smaller Companies Growth Fund
Over the past couple of weeks, I have looked at the changes proposed on inheritance tax in the pre-Budget report. I would like now to look at the capital gains tax proposals.
Thames River Capital has announced the launch of a long/short property fund focused on pan European real estate securities.
Will Henley reports on the implications of a predicted big rise in house repossessions and mortgage arrears.
A number of climate change funds have been launched recently, with Virgin's offering the latest. Do you expect anyone to make money from these funds or are they being created to meet the public's demand for all things green?
Tom Baigrie, Lifesearch managing director takes a wide-ranging look at the controversial retail ditribution review and says the FS must focus on the value of advise
Russia is to become one of the top 10 global economies by GDP in the next 12 months and the third-biggest contributor to global GDP growth in 2007, only behind the US and China. Can you afford not to consider Russia in your long-term investment plans?
Trustnet is to launch a new life and pension service which will allow investors and advisers to name a fund or funds and search what pension and bond wrappers they are available in and on what terms.
Iam 28 and have just joined a small firm which does not offer any form of pension scheme to its employees apart from access to a stakeholder scheme to which it does not contribute. I have heard about a new type of pension called personal accounts. How will these work and will they apply to me?
Economic Secretary and City Minister Kitty Ussher has rejected a one-size-fits-all regulatory approach or pan-European regulator for financial services.
The impact of the credit crunch and the Northern Rock crisis on the UK mortgage market continue to be the hot topics in the mortgage industry.
This week has seen the shock announcement that Linda Will, managing director at Accord Mortgages, has left the lender. The move - which took many brokers in the mortgage market by surprise - has led to speculation over where her next role will be.