Online - August 2010
Matthew Morris says that in today’s market those who take the high price road could end up losing out in the long term.
Can all the industry experts who missed Lehmans be relied upon to predict the future?
Offering glittering prizes to complainants is no way to promote a responsible complaints culture.
Peter Hamilton says the relationship between the FOS and the CPMA should be severed.
Sally Laker says that a shortage in new properties should help prevent a double dip in house prices.
Rob Williams says it should be easier for advisers and investors to find the total expense ratio of a fund.
Panelists at our retirement planning summit discuss whether the current system of tax relief is working.
Friends Prov’s Ed Stuart-Brown says people must adopt healthier lifestyles to avoid the penalties in the future.
Kim North says a 10-page paper by the HM Revenue & Customs and the Association of British Insurers on VAT liability could undermine the RDR.
2plan accessing external funding at £900,000 less than forecast.
Combined intermediary products will be branded Abbey for Intermediaries from October 15.
Aviva Investors chief executive Alain Dromer appointed ABI investment committee chairman.
Trade body says even if auto-enrolment parameters were adjusted it is unlikely the private sector could replace Nest.
ABI removes implication that advice fees must be paid upfront to be eligible for a VAT exemption.
Findings contrast with research recently released by the DWP downplaying levelling down threat.
Aifa paper says RDR could lead to a clearer split of responsibilites within IFA firms.
The Association of Investment Companies points to ten new fund launches, six management changes and three investment policy shifts in 2010.
Trade body says firms must clearly separate advice from execution-only services.
Trade body paper warns restricted advice should not be seen as a soft option.
But trade body says it is still worth considering given the tax plans of the UK Government.
Lender has made numerous changes to range, including increasing maximum loan size.
Members of final salary schemes could see the annual benefits they are able to build up slashed by a third, says Towers Watson.
Annuity rates continue to slide download
Latest data compiled by The Retirement Partnership for Retirement Strategy shows annuity rates continuing to slide downwards.
Standard Life’s Jeff Spence is joining Nucleus as wrap operations director.
True Potential users can now view up-to-date portfolio valuations alongside existing client data.
Provider says £5bn is too low and that the GI and life model offers significant capital benefits.
Top investors urge Aviva to reconsider £5bn offer from Canadian insurer.
Aviva renegotiated joint venture to distribute protection and pension products through RBS, as it reports a 31 per cent increase in profits for the first half of 2010.
Axa linked with Aviva bid following insurer’s rejection of RSA bid for its GI arm.
Santander agrees five-year life insurance distribution agreement with Aviva from June 2011.
Lender says solicitors failed to disclose important information in the transactions.
Bank of England governor warns of years of slow growth.
Deputy governor Charles Bean also hints at further quantitative easing.
Bank of Scotland Ireland to be wound down following loses in Irish property crash.
The British Bankers’ Association says scrapping the FSA will give too much power to the BoE.
Pre-tax profit jumps 44 per cent.
Head of small business Steve Cooper says it encourages irresponsible lending.
Georgeson moves to Axa Wealth’s multi-manager to drive growth
New Basel III rules could see bondholders’ investments written off in the case of a bailout.
Sales director Clive Wilson still confident lender can secure funding.
Chairman of the Federal Reserve expects American economy to expand in second half of 2010 and continue growing into 2011.
Curtis Arledge will join BNY Mellon as vice chairman of the corporation and chief executive officer of BNY Mellon Asset Management.
Anthony Bolton’s Fidelity China special situations lagged its MSCI benchmark over its debut two months in net asset value terms, although its shareprice outperformed.
John Charcol senior technical manager says most lenders try to stop shopping around by leaving hard footprints, in breach of FSA rules.
Bright Grey’s average pay-out was almost £90,000 for the first six months of the year.
New customers who buy a Bupa income protection plan and their introducing intermediaries will receive a free health assessment.
Advisers can select up to 30 per cent commission on all group risk sales.
Law firm and IFAs help orchestrate deluge of complaints against the authorised corporate director of the fund range.
The US hedge fund continues due diligence over a lifeline restructure deal for Lifemark.
Talks between CarVal and Lifemark’s administrator KPMG have broken down after the US hedge fund was demanding costly due diligence.
Cazenove head of strategy and economics says several pressure points heave caused inflation to be higher than expected.
Japan posts Q2 GDP of $1.288trn, lower than China’s Q2 figure of $1.337trn.
Lipper calls for clawback feature for funds if the manager fails to achieve targeted returns.
Deputy Prime Minister says the think tank ignored other policy initiatives.
Close Asset Management has appointed Andrew Gillespie as marketing director and Anita Juneja as head of strategic relationships.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders has revised down its lending forecast for the year while reducing its arrears and repossessions forecasts.
Sales duo exits Cofunds as it merges sales and marketing departments.
The Co-operative Bank is in exclusive talks with a potential buyer for its IFA arm.
Building Society profits up £43.5m as its mortgage and savings balances increase.
Society will use its own intermediary brands following Stroud & Swindon merger with all S&S board members leaving the business.
Labour leadership candidate David Miliband calls for a tax on homes worth more than £2m.
Osborne: “Denial about the scale of the deficit is the surest way to disaster.”
Acquisition takes PruHealth’s market share to 11 per cent.
UK advisers and managers with American clients may face dual regulation under the country’s financial reform bill, a leading American lawyer says.
Labour leadership candidate calls for £6bn affordable housing spend and lower VAT on housing repairs.
Labour leadership candidate says political and media cost-cutting consensus has no mandate from the electorate.
Pensions expert Ros Altmann calls on John Hutton to look at reforming contracting out as part of his public sector pension review.
The accountancy firm says nine out of ten wealth managers will choose the restricted advice channel.
F&C has reported a £19.5m loss after tax for the first six months of 2010.
Insurer refuses to rule out future break-up of the group.
The US Federal Reserve puts its monetary exit strategy on hold
The group is to ask the IMA to include the fund in the Asia Pacific ex Japan sector
The manager is handing his Luxembourg-based European larger companies fund to rising star Matt Siddle.
Fund is designed to offer growth while protecting capital and growth from full impact of market declines.
Yellowtail Financial Planning managing director Dennis Hall says it has taken him five years to move to a fee-based model and start earning a profit.
Portal allows advisers to produce online quotes and submit applications online.
Director paid himself up to £61,000 per month and entertained staff in lavish restaurants.
Former Edward Jones clients complain about transfer charges they say were introduced in July.
Charles Overend inflated house valuations to borrow more than the maximum 85% LTV.
The building society told to pay out £28,000 to an elderly couple after advising them to invest in a Keydata product through Lifemark.
The FSA has apologised for the mistake which saw 400 firms issued with a £250 fine.
The Financial Services Authority saw 121 staff quit in the second quarter.
The FSA has issued fines totalling £200,000 to two brokers involved in insurance fraud.
The FSA has fined one broker £31,500 for mortgage fraud failings and banned another.
The FSA imposes its biggest fine to date on RBS Group.
The regulator says the firm’s London branch failed to provide it with accurate transaction reports.
Zurich’s systems and controls failed to prevent the loss of 46,000 customers’ confidential information.
FSA says moves to improve complaint handling processes could cost the industry £3.2bn.
The FSA has launched an investigation into Coutts & Co over the sale of the AIG bonds.
Regulator says Mark Ainley acted beyond his regulated permissions in advising on rentback contracts.
Regulatory Legal has secured a court date for its judicial review of the FSCS levy.
IFAs could be in line for another FSCS levy if it decides to cover losses from the groups’ capital at risk products.
Gartmore has appointed Nick Anderson as head of research for global equities.
Net outflows double from same period last year.
ONS revises growth figures up slightly.
Asset allocators offer most positive stance on UK equities for over three years, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Fund Manager survey.
The Government has insisted that pricing remains a commercial decision for banks and building societies.
Government says new regulator will ensure firms are “responsibly managed and regulated”.
Chloe Smith wants to grill Hector Sants over the FSA’s handling of the Keydata crisis.
Hargreaves Lansdown managing director of Vantage and broking operations Andrew Christian has left the firm after 19 years.
Advisers say there would be a considerable overlap in fund ranges.
Chief executive Andrew Formica refuses to comment on Gartmore bid rumours.
Rumours within the City that Henderson is targeting Gartmore.
Economist Simon Ward says Government borrowing will fall adequately without tax injection.
Hargreaves Lansdown says Artemis income, managed by Adrian Frost and Adrian Gosden, is a better alternative in the same space
Hargreaves Lansdown has suggested that investors switch out of both the Scottish Widows UK equity income and Swip UK income funds.
The ABI and HMRC have reiterated that VAT is only payable on advice, not on the sale of a product, in new guidance.
Hodge Lifetime managing director Jon King is leaving the firm amid a restructuring of its equity release business.
Further data points to housing downturn as RICS says prices fell for the first time in a year.
Chartered Institute of Housing urges Government to provide more options for those unable to get on ladder.
Bank looks to acquire 70 per cent stake in South African bank Nedbank Group in £4.4bn deal.
British bank posts H1 pre-tax profits of more than £7bn
Aifa research looks at why advisers choose to use a platform.
The Institute of Financial Planning is offering help on the RDR in London next month.
The Institute of Fiscal Studies challenges Government claims that the Budget was progressive.
The IMA has decided not to make any changes to the absolute return sector as part of its annual review.
Trade body says impact of Ucits III and the RDR means an overhaul of sectors is required.
Impax Asset Management winds up its environmental fund after being handed a bigger mandate by Skandia
CPI at 3.1% in July, more than 1% above the Bank’s target.
Shantanu Tandon will focus on investment research and stock selection at Insight
The Association of British Insurers is lobbying against US tax evasion rules that the trade body says are “impossible to fully comply with.”
Intelligent Pensions has recruited Andrew Pennie as marketing director.
FSA updates its register to clarify Cyprus-based firm Inter-Alliance Worldnet Insurance Agents and Advisors is not permitted to conduct Sipp business in the UK.
The Policy Exchange says inflation may hit 10 per cent, forcing interest rates to rise.
George Higginson was one of the network’s founders and chairman of Mint Financial Services.
Invesco has launched an offshore version of the Invesco Perpetual Latin American fund, managed by Dean Newman.
Invest & Give is winding up after failing to attract enough assets to make it viable.
Absolute return funds toppled in best selling list.
Will the US act now to curb a possible downturn?
Jupiter’s assets under management grew 28 per cent to £19.8m.
Just Retirement has reported a 33 per cent increase in annuity and equity release business to £1bn for the 12 months to June 30.
Deal with J.C. Flowers will create a banking subsidiary of Kent Reliance Provident Society.
The Keydata Victims’ Forum has been taken offline after Keydata founder Stewart Ford called in his lawyers.
Forum has been relaunched after being taken down earlier this month due to a complaint by Stewart Ford.
L&G recorded a profit before tax of £583m for the first half of 2010, a significant improvement on the £1bn loss made during H1 2009.
Shares in Legal & General rise after rumours that Zurich Financial may be preparing a bid for the insurer.
Building Society attracted 34,000 new members in the first half of 2010.
Lawyers charge millions of dollars while investors fear no redress.
Four traded life settlement policies have been sold and another 10 are being lined up for sale to prevent Lifemark from collapsing.
IFA group sells City Pensions/City Trustees for £1.85m.
Departure of chief executive Nigel Legge cost the firm £665,000.
Bank moves back into black after £4bn loss in the first half of 2009.
Bank receives around 2,000 complaints a day.
LSL is looking to increase the scale of its mortgage proposition after Home of Choice deal.
Framlington innovative growth shareholders have voted against a proposal to restructure the £90m investment trust as a small-cap equity income vehicle.
LV= Asset Management has appointed Matthew Wright as head of sales.
Lipper Feri’s latest UK Fundflash finds M&G racked up the biggest gross retail sales.
The asset manager says it took a 10 per cent share of total UK retail industry sales.
Improvements include the way client assets are uploaded to the platform and the ability to add, edit or delete model portfolios.
MEP Godfrey Bloom: “Most of middle England will be left with no advice whatsoever.”
Stephen Message has turned over 45% of the Old Mutual extra income fund since he took over the management in December.
Margins between average rates and current swap rates doubled in two years, says Moneyfacts.
Norwich & Peterborough Building Society chief executive Matthew Bullock insists the firm is not to blame for client losses.
N&P chief Matthew Bullock points finger at Keydata management.
Biggest cuts are on mortgages available up to 85 per cent loan-to-value.
Lender also reducing the rate on its 60% LTV corporate remortgage.
Fund launched for returning fund manager Shelley Kuhn.
John McFall and Lord Levene have raised £50m for their new high street bank, NBNK.
Lloyds Banking Group sales director of mortgages to join Countrywide as financial services development director.
Buy-to-let deals slashed by up to 0.60 per cent.
Fee slashed from £250 to £99.
’Design your own mortgage’ competition won by Mark Watson.
Lender says internal system error responsible.
But the so called “good-bank” recorded a loss of £142.6m for the first half of the year.
Leanne Prowse joins from Standard Life to take up the newly created role of head of legal, risk and compliance.
FT freedom of information request reveals number of staff earning over £100,000 has trebled in four years.
The firm also announces the sale of its US life business for £220m.
Chancellor warns banks must increase lending to small firms while Ed Miliband says Labour must become a small business champion.
Lyttleton expresses disappointment with short-term performance but refutes concerns over fund size.
Bluefin Wealth Management revenues down 19 per cent after 20 offices closed and 200 employees leave the firm.
IncomeShield covers any outgoings up to 65 per cent of income.
Think tank argues that official figure of £816bn ignores UK’s pension liabilities.
The Pension Protection Fund hopes to be self-sufficient by 2030.
TPR has appointed NAPF’s Nigel Peaple as head of corporate and international affairs.
Aegon’s distribution businesses post losses of £2m for the second quarter but the insurer has reported a 25 per cent jump in earnings.
Lender also launches new two-year fixed-rate deal at 65 per cent LTV with a rate of 2.85 per cent.
Programme led by team of eight mentors to help lifestyle financial planners prepare for the retail distribution review.
Protection business makes a loss of £2m for the first half of the year.
RAB Capital is to close its £2.8m European dynamic fund as it is no longer economically viable to run.
Bank of England holds base rate at 0.5% and QE is held at £200bn
RBS reports pre-tax profit of £1.1bn for first half of 2010.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation wants greater flexibility for temporary staff.
Mike Yardley is stepping down after 12 years in the job.
Royal London says Scottish Life has performed well but protection continues to be very challenging.
Ruffer has almost half the equity exposure of its flagship investment trust in Japan on the expectation of a substantial rally in Japanese financial stocks.
Standard & Poor’s has downgraded the Irish Republic to its lowest sovereign rating in 15 years.
Deal to complete in 15 to 18 months once approvals are obtained.
The figure equates to 245,000 for the first half of 2010.
SLS is to stop taking new business with immediate effect.
Difficult trading conditions cited as reason for the move.
£14.4m per-tax profit in first half 2010, compared to £0.1m in first half 2009.
MPC hawk calls for a rate hike for the third time.
The joint venture between Paradigm Partners and Octopus Investments has been added to a major platform.
Building Society withdrew pervious range due to high demand.
Building Society says demand has caused concerns about service levels.
The wealth manager is suing Peter Carron, who is accused of mis-selling investments in his own failed businesses, to recoup a loan it allegedly made.
The wealth manager is writing to clients to offer payouts for those who lost out when a former partner mis-sold them investments.
Pay-outs for investors who lost money through investments by former partner Peter Carron.
Standard Life has seen a 10 per cent rise in group profit before tax for the first half of 2010.
Stephen Lansdown has stepped down as executive director of Hargreaves Lansdown.
A consortium led by Keydata founder Stewart Ford is proposing a lending package to prevent Lifemark from collapsing.
Offshore account holders warned to speak to their adviser before responding to HMRC.
Personal Touch has already terminated relationship with PAA Leads following website’s direct only claims.
NIESR says UK GDP grew by 0.9% but depressed economy will continue on.
House prices predicted to be £226,900 by 2014.
Threadneedle has appointed Jonathan Pitkänen as head of investment grade research.
Steele has taken over from Rob Jones on the £102m fund as he heads to Union Bancaire Privée.
More than three quarters of consumers have no financial adviser and 86 per cent of UK adults have no written financial plan for retirement, according to Sun Life Financial of Canada.
Dan Russell joins as director of client proposition.
Osborne plans to lead the way with spending cuts in his own department.
Buyout specialist increases stake in F&C to 9.4%.
The number of people unemployed in the UK fell by 49,000 to 2.46 million in the three months to June.
The UK Structured Products Association says the IMA “needs educating” on the products
The US rate of economic growth during the second quarter of the year has been revised down to 1.6 per cent.
The concept of adviser charging introduced under the RDR makes the whole question of VAT in relation to remuneration received by financial advisers, regardless of HOW they receive it, even more relevant…
Skandia says advice will be cheaper if clients pay for it up-front with the sale of a product.
Witan Investment Trust is taking on Lindsell Train and NewSmith Asset Management to run £100m mandates.
ICO finds against Yorkshire after an unencrypted laptop was stolen containing customers’ details.
Zurich reports a 10 per cent drop in business operating profit to £1.43bn for the first six months of 2010.
Sally Davies joins 1st Exchange as head of marketing.
GPRs no longer required for applicants under 35 applying for less than £1m life cover.