Online - April 2010
Actions bring the total number of mortgage brokers banned to 84.
Industry consultant Campbell Macpherson offers some advice to IFAs on the road to the RDR.
Trade body calls to reject remuneration report after Eric Daniels offered £2.3m bonus in £6.3bn loss-making year.
The Association of Consulting Actuaries claims the major parties’ policies for pensions and elderly care are “threadbare at best and damaging at worst”.
Law firm Ison Harrison gives advisers access to online divorce service
In a pensions manifesto released today, the firm suggests pulling the lowest earners and those over 55 out of auto-enrolment.
Mortgage available from April 23.
Allianz Global Investors to launch what it claims to be the first British-domiciled, actively-managed Brazil Oeic. The fund will invest in Brazilian companies but also has the flexibility to invest in other countries.
The Association of Independent Financial Advisers has today announced plans to launch an exam-free QCF level five qualification for advisers.
Aifa advises IFAs to pay their share of the £80m interim levy in the hope that money will be refunded should the decision be overturned.
Aifa rallies the troops to support its challenge of the FSA’s budget.
Broker warns panels are restricting access to the best rates.
Asian stocks fell to a two month low after the Securities and Exchange Commission sued Goldman Sachs for fraud on Friday.
Australian regulator ACCC has blocked the proposed takeover on competition grounds.
Aviva Investors has added to its absolute return range with a global convertibles fund, seeking 10 per cent gross performance a year via long and short positions.
Andrew Lake has joined Aviva Investors to take on the management of the group’s high yield bond fund.
Aviva and RAC schemes face £3bn combined deficit.
The firm paid out £118m in claims over 2009.
Aviva will be reducing the annual management charge for all new business and re-registrations onto its wrap for one year.
Aviva Wrap head of marketing Nicholas Burton says imposing cash account charges is “like a back door to take additional charges from customers”.
Bankers are calling on UK Financial Investments to consider a convertible bond for Government-held stakes in both Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland ahead of next month’s election.
New service will aim to support advisers looking to buy other firms or exit the market.
Major banks account for two-thirds of UK mortgage lending.
Cofunds says banning bundled pricing will confuse the end customer and hinder the independent advice process.
Barclays has announced a pre-tax profit of £1.82bn for the three months ending March 31, an increase of 47 per cent from the same period in 2009.
Financial services lawyers have written to City minister Lord Myners warning that some new FSA powers proposed under the Financial Services Bill could breach the rule of law.
Education secretary Ed Balls’ brother, Pimco managing director Andrew Balls, says his firm is underweight on UK gilts.
Black Katz has announced the launch of a London residential property fund.
US private equity giant and charity launch a joint bid for the state-backed bank’s 318 branches
The Monetary Policy Committee keeps base rate and fiscal stimulus programme unchanged.
Anthony Bolton’s newly launched Fidelity China special situations trust hasraised £460m in its initial public offering, failing to meet the £630m itinitially targeted.
PM attacks US investment giant in wake of SEC fraud investigation.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has pledged to give the FSA powers to quash bankers’ contracts if they incentivise risk.
Trade body says approved persons regime for mortgage advice could have to be ammended soon after it is introduced.
Lender also increases maximum amount for mortgage porting, rising from £0.5m to £1m.
Tory leader David Cameron warns voters that supporting the Lib Dems will see the UK “stuck” with Labour.
The body is calling for an independent commission to investigate the true cost of public sector pensions.
Move aimed at attracting first-time buyers.
The Chinese authorities are laying the groundwork to remove the renminbi’s currency peg and allow it to appreciate, reports say.
The industry paid a record number of claims in 2009, research from Moneyfacts reveals.
Professional body sees revenues increase 7 per cent in 2009, while net surplus fell from £1.9m to £1.1m.
Fund managers warn the law could hit pension fund returns.
Trade body says addressing the funding gap is one of the biggest challenges for the new government.
The trade body says savers in most private sector schemes will be better off for at least six years.
Zahid Bilgrami joins the financial research company from Balfour Beatty.
Direct only products account for over 50% of market, compared to 22% in 2007.
DLP’s Michael Ward resigns as managing director and Rob Quayle takes up the post.
Yesterday’s Labour party manifesto left social care spectators with more questions than answers.
More than 50 economists have signed a letter warning Tory cutbacks could tip the country back into recession.
Principal is taking £3.2m weekly into preferred securities through its Spectrum fund.
Most UK businesses say scrapping the FSA is a must after the general election.
Total assets on the platform is now £850m, with around 500 IFAs signed up.
Euro rises against the dollar and pound after loan package is agreed.
Grahame Whitehead pleaded guilty to defrauding 46 victims through a pyramid investment scam.
Former Schroder Tokyo star manager Denis Clough has joined Morant Wright.
F&C adds senior GSI hire.
F&C Asset Management is set to buy investment boutique Thames River Capital in a deal worth up to £53.6m.
The board of the F&C UK Select Trust has announced proposals to to reconstruct and wind up the investment trust.
First State Investments has launched an offshore fund investing in a concentrated portfolio of agribusiness companies today.
Renewed sovereign debt fears push ratings agency to downgrade.
Average two-fixed has fallen by 3.36 per cent.
Tenet distribution and development director Keith Richards calls for more focus on the effects of the wide-ranging changes looming for financial services.
Jail term handed down after Serious Fraud Office successfully appealed earlier judgement.
The provider paid £34.5m in CI claims last year, representing 92.6 per cent.
Tony Hobman to lead newly-created body responsible for roll-out of Money Guidance.
The FSA has appointed Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Tom Kelly as its new communications director.
Powsney & Co Ltd director Martyn Powsney banned after “serious failings” were not remedied.
The FSA has today charged ex-hedge fund trader Anjam Ahmad over trades made between June and August 2009.
FSA accuses seven men of obtaining £2.5m of profits through insider trading.
Three FSA directors have claimed for hotel stays within walking distance of the regulator’s Canary Wharf office at a cost of more than £100 per night over its handbook guidelines.
The FSA has fined spread better Sameer Patel £180,541 and Evolution Securities research analyst Robin Chhabra £95,000
Former deputy chief executive David Baker and former managing credit director Richard Barclay were found to have misreported mortgage arrears figures.
For two years Commerzbank either failed to report or reported inaccurately almost all transactions.
Credit Suisse has been fined £1.75m, Getco Europe £1.4m and Instinet Europe fined £1.05m for transaction reporting failures.
The London IFA becomes the third firm to face fines for pension switching advice and may have to pay redress to customers.
FSA fines and bans Lifestyle Mortgages Limited broker Gary Lester, and bans his colleagues Julie Hutcheson and Martin Winer, for false mortgage applications.
Ex-finance director David Jones is understood to be centre of investigation after former colleagues fined, according to reports.
The FSA has announced it is to commence a formal enforcement investigation into Goldman Sachs International, in relation to the recent Securities and Exchange Commission allegations.
The FSA says a number of firms are still giving high levels of unsuitable advice.
The firm is believed to have addressed the regulator’s concerns after aspects of its investment strategy were queried.
Two of the banks have been referred to its enforcement division for poor complaint handling.
Regulator says redress not available for those who do business with firm run by the former Mortgage Times directors
Winterflood plus two traders must pay a combined £4.25m fine, plus the FSA’s legal costs of £52,500.
The compensation scheme has received eight complaints about the firm totalling £130,000.
FSCS pays out to some direct Keydata investors in secure income bond plans who relied on misleading product literature.
NIESR says next government needs tax hikes and spending cuts of 2% GDP while BNP Paribas predicts a 50% chance of a AAA UK downgrade.
Gartmore under investigation by US regulator but insists Guillaume Rambourg and Roger Guy are not involved in the inquiry.
Gartmore has revealed that the investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission is for a single inadvertent breach made in May 2009.
GE chief Jeff Immelt praises GEMHL for moving back into the black.
Lender denies this is a return to sub-prime lending.
Aegon Asset Management has confirmed the departure of Gerardine Davies, director of property.
GLG is to close the Ucits III version of its UK alpha select fund on May 5, 2010, after the fund reached its asset target of £195m.
The firm will also assume responsibility for the Tisbury Liquid Event Master Fund, which will be renamed.
The deal signals the lender’s exit from Europe.
Two-year fixed-rate buy-to-let mortgage reduced by 0.15 per cent.
Godiva has slashed its two-year buy-to-let tracker by 0.5 per cent
US Senate committee refutes Goldman’s claim that it lost money as a result of the sub-prime mortgage crash.
Investors lost $1bn after the investment bank allowed a hedge fund to pick and then short sub prime assets within a CDO.
The bond trader at the centre of the Goldman Sachs fraud case has been removed from the FSA register.
FT report questions conflict of interest in last year’s £23.5bn bond issuance.
Indebted nation forced to resort to lifeline after debt yields rocketed.
Experts say EU nations must give €30bn rescue loan greenlight before next week.
Debt yields rocket after IMF sends delegates to Athens.
Markets react poorly to Greece’s prospects even after €45bn EU IMF bailout pledge.
Following a lively debate on our website last week, Friends Prov’s James Ward responds to critical comments from some advisers and sets out his vision for the future.
Amendments to the lender’s fixed-rate range rewards those choosing repayment mortgages
Estate agency says levels reached highest since the ’peak’ of 2007.
Standard Life Investments’ global absolute return strategies fund joins Hargreaves Lansdown’s recommended funds.
Hargreaves Lansdown new Isa sales double from £412m to £812m.
Hays Financial Services and Money Marketing have launched a new survey tracking the latest retail distribution review trends.
Henderson is in talks to buy US asset manager RidgeWorth from SunTrust Banks in a deal tipped to be worth £260m.
Henderson has unveiled a raft of mergers across its UK equity and multi-manager ranges following the acquisition of New Star Asset Management last year.
Financial planner Heron House warns of ’calm before the storm’ for tax planning ahead of election.
Scarborough site to close as firm looks to trim down workforce.
HMRC tells Isa managers not to take any more action to identify kick-out holdings until it has completed its review.
HomeLoan Partnership warns Home of Choice appointed representatives to “look before they leap”.
Mortgage network in talks with ’significant investor’.
Network files for administration after takeover talks collapse at the last minute.
RICS survey shows homeowners wishing to sell reaches highest level in three years.
But prices still remain 10 per cent below their October 2007 peak.
Govt figures show prices fell 0.1 per cent in February but up 7.4 per cent year on year.
After eleven consecutive months of house price rises, the average price reaches August 2007 levels
Following our recent article assessing the potential dangers of LibDem influence in the next administration, compliance expert Adam Samuel raises regulatory concerns about a Tory win.
With the LibDem’s gaining significant traction following last week’s leadership debate, what would be the effect on your clients’ finances if the LibDems had influence in the next administration?
Following articles on the LibDems and the Tories, we ask what IFAs have to fear if Labour retains power in the next administration.
HSBC Global Asset Management is preparing to add two new products to its passive fund range-a global bond and a gilt index tracker.
Borrowers can fix some of their mortgage and leave remaining percentage variable.
HSBC has launched its own FTSE 250 exchange traded fund.
Structured product provider Jubilee head of distribution leaves firm.
New report points the finger at Icelandic politicians for overseeing rapid over-expansion of banking system.
IFAs offer the three main parties advice on improvements that could be made to their manifestos.
Advisers offer their views on what the three main parties should have included in last week’s manifestos.
Tributes pour in for IFAP’s David Elms.
The International Monetary Fund is set to call for two new bank taxes to compensate taxpayers for money lost in the credit crunch.
CPI leaps from 3% in Febraury in defiance to Bank’s assurances.
Intelliflo says more software providers will consider launching an automated internet offering for simplified advisers following the RDR.
Invesco Perpetual has hired veteran Nick Mustoe to take on Bob Yerbury’s chief investment officer responsibilities from later this year.
Investec Structured Products launches new collection of plans and provides separate guide for deposit/structured investments.
The Institute of Directors is calling for an emergency Budget and an overhaul of regulation in the first 100 days of a new government.
The firm will also pay out more than £1m in redress to customers who were in arrears and charged specific unfair or excessive charges.
The forum has been set up to to address operational issues in the protection market.
Keydata action group Keydatavictims calls for non-Isa investors to unite to launch a judicial review of the FSCS’s position on compensation.
SFO yet to trace ultimate destination of all SLS funds but identified “sizeable proportion”.
Lowes Financial Management managing director Ian Lowes spots a contradiction between the Isa rules and HMRC’s application of Bulletin 19.
Ex-FSA project manager David Dickinson joins KPMG as head of people strategy for the RDR practice.
The software alerts advisers to new mortgage products.
The mortgage club has launched product in conjunction with Hanley Economic Building Society.
The new site is designed for advisers combining all of L&G’s employee benefit propositions.
Legal & General is to offer Bupa medical insurance through its network.
Delivering his party manifesto today, Prime Minister Gordon Brown failed to fully explain how his proposed National Care Service will be funded.
The Labour party has promised it will not raise the basic, higher and new top rates of tax in the next Parliament.
Labour has committed to increasing the basic state pension in line with earnings from 2012 rather than waiting until 2015.
Labour to tax banks to increase access to affordable lending.
Labour announces plans to remutualise the Government-backed bank
A private bank has provided the lender with funding for multi-currency offset
L&G in deal to distribute ING Direct range of mortgage products.
Former Lehmans CEO Dick Fuld will deny knowledge of repo 105 ’gimmick’ accounting.
LGT Capital Partners is to launch a Ucits version of its crown managed futures fund.
The Liberal Democrats say the poorest 20 per cent of people are paying more income tax, while the richest 20 per cent are paying less under Labour.
The Liberal Democrats have called for a ban on banker bonuses of more than £2,500 as part of their plans to shake-up City pay.
The Liberal Democrats have promised to immediately establish an independent commission to develop future proposals for long-term care.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for an independent commission on public sector pensions, with police pensions projected to rise by 14 per cent in three years.
The Liberal Democrats say they will pass a new Mutuals, Co-operatives and Social Enterprises Bill.
The Liberal Democrats pledge to introduce a tax on the banks and split retail and investment banking if elected.
Leader Nick Clegg promises to end “super-bank” culture and champion mutualisation.
UK Structured Products Association announces two new members.
The number of home purchase loan approvals increased by 12 per cent to 35,000.
LV= has reported an IFRS loss before tax of £91.4m for 2009, and an underlying profit of £44.2m.
LV= has enhanced its protection range, including cutting the rates of accident and sickness cover.
Macquarie Funds Group has launched three Ucits III funds into the UK retail market.
Kim Catechis, head of global emerging market equities at Swip, and Alistair Reynolds, investment director, global emerging market equities, are both leaving the group to join Martin Currie.
MC Trustees Limited is launching what it believes is the first QROPS based in Malta.
Keydata plans excluding Lifemark, SLS and Hometrak plans transfer to Merchant Capital.
MM launches series of events across the country to help advisers getting to grips with the RDR.
Budget deficit more than 1% of GDP worse than first thought.
Ratings agency says hung Parliament may aid deficit fight, in opposition to Tory warnings.
Morningstar UK has acquired Old Broad Street Research for £11.95m subject to post-closing adjustments.
Venture capitalist John Moulton takes stake in specialist mortgage broker.
The Treasury select committee says women are poorly represented in the sector, particularly at board level.
City minister Lord Myners has submitted amendments to the Financial Services Bill that would scrap proposals to allow class actions against financial institutions.
Nationwide is proposing to close four mortgage service centres and is placing 145 staff in consultation.
Keydata SLS LSC Investors’ Trust Action Group prepared to take legal action against institutional counterparties who were paid to protect investors’ assets.
BVI enacts a new mutual funds and investment services act providing further legal and regulatory support.
LibDem leader beats Brown and Cameron according to most commentators and all the polls, including MM’s.
David Jones has left the company with immediate effect to concentrate on the ongoing FSA investigation.
Nationalised bank says online execution-only service is unique to the market.
Old Mutual Asset Managers is planning to merge its Old Mutual ethical fund into the Premier fellowship fund.
Bank analyst argues that other nations’ debt obligations are more severe than Greek problems.
What is key for any successful small IFA business is for the adviser to make himself or herself dispensable.
Panthera signs distribution agreement for new Maltese qualified recognised overseas pension scheme.
Whitechurch Securities compliance manager Neal Smith and St James’ Place Wealth Management partner Danny Arthurs join the platform.
The online application asks 10-12 simplified yes or no medical questions, designed to cover the majority of smaller enhanced cases.
Neil Pegrum, manager of the Cazenove UK dynamic fund and two dynamic long/short funds, has left the group to join Soros Fund Management.
Ian Wilkinson continues to be Rutherford Wilkinson managing director.
Peter Hargreaves is to step down as chief executive of Hargreaves Lansdown later this year.
Mike Sargeant, the managing director of Pharon Independent Financial Advisers, is to retire at the end of September.
Pictet Funds has launched a Ucits III European long/short equity fund based on an existing Cayman Islands-domiciled hedge fund strategy, the Corto European fund.
Chief Tidjane Thiam insists he would only sell UK arm if the price is irresistible.
Chief executive Tidjane Thiam suggests the firm is succumbing to pressure from circling Resolution.
UK economy avoids ’double dip’ but growth falters on last quarter’s figures.
Suspended manager returns as analyst with Darrell O’Dea taking over as co-manager of the European absolute return fund.
Royal Bank of Scotland chairman Sir Philip Hampton has admitted that too many bank employees are overpaid.
Novia chief executive Bill Vasilieff welcomes proposals for greater transparency post-RDR and applauds the FSA for not crumbling under pressure.
Wesley was previously a UK equities fund manager at Aviva Investors.
Chief operating officer Sean Tompkins has been named the new chief executive.
Two-thirds of advisers who recommend active, balanced and cautious funds believe they will replace risk rated funds.
Gartmore star fund manager Roger Guy has slammed the firm for its “excessive” internal compliance rules, which he says led to the suspension of co-manager Guillaume Rambourg.
Royal Liver has fired its finance director George McGregor, claiming that he sanctioned unauthorised payments.
Greek bonds drop to junk status as FTSE drops.
Ratings agency warns Spain will not be able to reduce deficit with high unemployment and high private sector debt.
Standard & Poor’s has put F&C’s credit position on watch over concerns over the firm will be highly leveraged should the deal with Thames River be completed.
George McGregor accused of signing off contracts with an investment advisory firm Utility Capital Management.
Web solutions provider Sammedia Limited announces the acquisition of technology firm FinQS.
Santander has recorded a 15 per cent increase in profits in the first quarter of 2010, with the Spanish bank recording a £426m pre-tax profit.
Schroders European economist Azad Zangana expects VAT to rise to 19 per cent after the general election.
Schroders is planning to launch an Asian income maximiser fund, which aims to give retail investors access to capital growth with a high exposure to Asian ex-Japan equities.
Low stock market expectations create positive scope for domestic/consumer stocks, says Schroders’ head of UK equities.
CB Richard Ellis Investors, a global real estate investment management firm, has launched the second Property Authorised Investment Fund into the British market.
Sesame Bankhall Group is set to offer the Association of Independent Financial Advisers’ new RDR qualification to its members.
Equity release body says the Department of Work and Pensions guidlines for older people are “confusing”.
Skandia has made its European best ideas fund available to UK investors by listing it on the Skandia Investment Solutions platform.
Nigel Dunne succeeds Audrey McLaren as chief executive of Standard Life International.
Skeoch’s £2.1m, helped by a huge bonus, higher than pay of Crombie or Nish.
Over-reliance on “star managers” could be bad for investors, judging from the disappointing performance of some prominent managers’ funds.
FSA says firm’s commission-driven “aggressive sales culture” led to penny shares failings.
“No other market has attracted as much wildly speculative, misinformed and ultimately incorrect commentary as the platform space,” says Nucleus’ David Ferguson.
Delinquencies in transactions issued by Preferred and Money Partners have increased.
IFA consolidator Succession Advisory Services has made five senior appointments to its team as it looks to speed up its transition programme.
Supermarket giant’s banking subsidiary acquires new premises for financial services.
The supermarket giant says it has “long-term” plans to capture 10 per cent market share.
The Association of British Insurers’ protection strategy committee has set out its agenda for 2010.
Two leading gold fund managers go head to head on the best way to expose your clients to gold.
IFS says all three parties have multi-billion shortfalls in spending cut plans.
Threadneedle is preparing to launch its second absolute return American equity fund in the retail space, targeting annual performance of 8-10 per cent.
Succession gains £500m under management with three new member firms.
The mortgage club is to offer semi-exclusive deals from Abbey for Intermediaries
The Tories have named Bank of England directors Paul Tucker and Andrew Bailey as the men they would appoint to lead the break-up of the FSA if elected in May.
A Conservative government may fast track bank inquiry in bid to sell state bank stakes.
The Conservative party manifesto lacks details of when the basic state pension would be linked to earnings.
New agency would replace Serious Fraud Office and take over certain powers from the FSA and other regulators.
The Conservatives have pledged to support married couples on low to medium incomes.
Vince Cable brands Osborne’s statement “scaremongering of the worst kind”.
Lower taxes and less public spending will boost economy after 2015, says CEBR.
Towergate Finance offers £365m senior secured notes and £300m senior notes to the market.
Towry Law has been granted an interim injunction against six former Edward Jones advisers.
Raymond James Investment Services Limited and six former Edward Jones financial advisers have been hit by the court order.
Friends Provident chief was formerly president of the CII.
A second investor is understood to have entered talks to acquire the mortgage network.
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research estimates output grew by at least 0.4 per cent in the first three months of 2010.
Government borrowing reaches heights not seen since the end of World War Two.
The number of people unemployed in Britain hit its highest figure since 1994 during the three months to February according to the Office for National Statistics.
Unite says Aviva is “stabbing employees in the back” with move to shut final salary scheme.
Unum is enhancing its group income protection proposition to include an associated business cost cover option.
SEC is proposing lenders hold at least 5 per cent of repackaged loans in a bid to reboot the sector.
Venture Capital Trust have raised a total of £340m in the last tax year, more than double the amount raised in the previous tax year, according to figures from the Association of Investment Companies.
Standard & Poor’s says Basel III proposals could create unintended consequences for the sector.
Towers Watson says draft legislation does not include inflation-linked uprating so people on £100,000 could be caught by 2020.
Witan Pacific reports NAV total return of 33.4 per cent as at January 31.
Experts argue that a minority Government might be best to fix the deficit.
Online property data network launches service as part of structural overhaul.