Online - February 2011
FSA propaganda about FOS complaints adds nothing to the RDR debate.
Industry consultant Mike Fenwick says the time has come for radical alternatives to be debated as an alternative to IFAs continuing to pay for the failures of others.
David Trenner says providers have time to consider how to underwrite annuities more effectively.
Nic Cicutti says IFAs are head and shoulders above bank salespeople in terms of their overall quality of advice and asks why the FSA is adopting embarrassing schoolboy tricks.
PruProtect head of account development Phil Jeynes says eliminating gender differentiation for insurers could result in the “worst of both worlds” for the industry.
Mike Fenwick says advisers and asset managers should be pushing for FSCS costs to be recovered.
Bhupinder Anand says UK advisers are busy coping with over-regulation while advisers around the world are learning new skills.
The “polluters’ competitors pay model” for compensation based on current sub-classes has stretched advisers’ tolerance levels to breaking point.
Axa has introduced two new pricing tiers to its wrap platform Elevate to accommodate for advisers wishing to place busines from high value clients.
Trade body calls for harmonised approach to selling practices.
Principal to combine with Border Asset Management to create £1.5bn national discretionary investment managment business.
All Screen Business employees will transfer to new organisation.
There are 36 compulsory redundancies and 54 voluntary redundancies.
Lender also reducing rate on a four-year fixed.
Updated statement of best practice for critical illness cover follows lengthy industry consultation.
Trade body says FOS should explain why an overdraft cannot be used to pay for PPI complaint handling rather than raising the industry levy.
Labels will be replaced by “mixed investment” from April, ABI says.
Bowe joins provider as UK group compliance director.
Aegon targeting annual return of 10% over three years.
Policy director Andrew Strange says plans to publicise details of ongoing enforcement investigations are worrying.
Trade body says buy-to-let finance to improve this year.
Nomura says shift from insurance to asset management products will favour Legal & General most.
Architas, the multi-manager division of Axa, has said it will add three more passive funds of funds to its existing range.
Ascentric has launched a “driving test” to assess advisers’ understanding of the platform.
Aviva plans to increase its share of intermediary business from 80 per cent of total UK business to up to 90 per cent by 2014.
Andrew Moss says it’s “too early” to conclude male annuity rates will plummet from December 21, 2012.
Pre-tax profits up 35% to £2.44bn.
AWD Chase de Vere has reported a 425 per cent increase in earnings, from £1.02m to £5.36m, for 2010.
Axa Elevate adds Premier Asset Management and Richmond House Group to the platform.
AXA Investment Management has today announced its intention to launch a UK mid cap fund.
Asset manager says it will soft-close fund in April, after it recently passed the £1 billion barrier in size.
Shadow Chancellor warns Bank of England governor to stay out of political and fiscal matters, say report.
Bank of England governor Mervyn King says new regime will look to address this problem.
Government publishes details of Project Merlin.
Egg has around 1.15m credit card accounts with £2.3bn outstanding credit.
The UK retail bank has seen pre-tax profits increase to £989m, up from £710m.
Quantitative easing held at £200bn.
BBA chief executive Angela Knight has written to the FSA over concerns about access to advice after 2012.
BlackRock UK equity manager Mark Lyttleton says he is not concerned by any plans the IMA may have for changing the absolute return sector.
BNY Mellon absolute return fund is the first fund in its range to be managed by Insight Investment Management.
Investors are right to be concerned about China’s medium-term future, according to Anthony Bolton, the manager of the Fidelity China Special Situations trust.
China special situations investment trust has raised a maximum £166.25m through a C-share offer.
Chief finance officer David Hill replaces Knight as chief executive.
Building societies say deal with Genworth Financial will help them to offer high LTV deals to first-time buyers.
Business secretary Vince Cable says retail and investment banking will be “radically” reformed.
IFA firm Cavanagh has announced that it is in takeover talks that could lead to the firm being acquired.
Sunny Lo previously held the post six years ago before leaving the lender.
Specialist mortgage and protection firm Citri is to become an appointed representative of Openwork.
Investment trusts have outperformed open-ended funds in eight of nine key sectors over 10 years in NAV terms, according to research from Collins Stewart.
Coogan has been in role since December 1996.
Cofunds says it is not moving towards the direct to consumer market.
CML and Imla believe borrowers should have a choice.
FSA has banned David Massey from working in regulated financial services for market abuse.
CBS reports pre-tax profit of £100.6m.
The CPMA will be renamed the Financial Conduct Authority.
Redwood says the way regulation is put on the statute book needs reforming to slow “ferocious” pace of regulation.
Andrew Doyle has over 25 years experience in financial services.
Danish pension provider consults with former Conservative pensions spokesman Nigel Waterson ahead of low-cost product launch.
Harris says distribution deal signed with MetLife means logical step is to move on.
Baigrie Davies LifeSearch has appointed David Child as non-executive chairman.
Davis says “a number of other commitments” have prevented him becoming director of investment affairs.
The Institute of Fiscal Studies says Govt should not react to last week’s poor GDP figures.
Guernsey Association of Pension Providers has launched a draft code of practice on Qualified Registered Overseas Pension Schemes, which aims to clarify what is allowed under the scheme.
Ruling comes into effect from December 21 2012.
Lifesearch says ECJ made a “horrible mistake” in ruling insurers cannot use gender to price products.
Equities replaced bonds as the most popular asset class among investors in 2010, attracting net retailsales of £7.5bn in 2010.
The head of Europe’s new banking authority will look to prevent regulatory competition between member countries and strictly enforce a “single rule book”.
A consortium of private investors led by ex-Capita financial services head Graham Coxell has acquired Rowan Dartington from Astaire Group.
JP Morgan Chase has appointed former FSA head of risk Sally Dewar to work within its risk division.
Rajat Gupta alleged to have leaked details learnt at Goldman board meetings.
But only one organisation will be responsible for collecting the levies.
Treasury says this does not mark a shift towards product pre-approval.
FCA will be able to publicise warning notices against firms and individuals.
Fidelity will this week launch an open-ended fund for investors seeking exposure to the growing Chinese commodities market.
Former advisers who joined Merchant House and Money begin to be granted CF30 authorisation from the FSA.
FSCS levies may be reviewed where there is found to a ’mistake of fact or law’ in orginal tariff data.
Places at the nationwide roadshows are limited to one person per firm.
Regulator says advisers are wrong to suggest that FOS stats show they provide a better service than the banks.
Regulator warns on conflict of interest issues and complex charges.
DB Mortgages must pay £1.5m redress to customers for irresponsible lending practices and unfair treatment of customers in arrears.
Enforcement fines levied by the FSA during the last year mean that firms will pay 2 per cent less than last year.
Perspective Financial Management and Cricket Hill Financial Planning failed to check the suitablility of the tranfers.
Regulator says it found poor practices after analysing wealth management activities of banks’ wealth management arms and independent wealth managers.
Sants says routine supervisory activity will reduce as FSA focuses on transition towards ’twin peaks’ regulation.
Regulator says systems and controls weaknesses and low profitability mean networks are an emerging risk.
Bank of England governor Mervyn King says that FSA staff who were responsible for challenging banks’ risk-taking strategies were too junior for the role.
Sants admits simplified advice services will be crucial post RDR.
FSA chief executive Hector Sants says the regulator does not hold pay information in “banded” form.
FSCS warns consumers to be on guard from bogus callers or people preporting to be from the compensation scheme.
FSA chief executive Hector Sants says make-up of sub-classes will form part of FSCS funding review.
Investment industry says inquiry is needed to ensure lessons are learned.
Research suggests 40 per cent of fund managers are unhappy with scrutiny of natural resources on AIM.
GAM is launching a technology fund to take advantage of new trends and “deep distrust” of the sector.
Conservative MP and Treasury select committee member Mark Garnier will be among panelists on 7th March
Gartmore reveals £2.1m interim interim levy bill.
Treasury considers new levy on non-doms to fund lifting income tax threshold to £10,000.
Work follows call from the auto-enrolment review team to address the issue as a matter of urgency.
The Government is to increase the bank levy for 2011 from 1.7bn to £2.5bn.
Sir Richard Lambert has been named as one of the external members of the interim Financial Policy Committee.
Big Society Isas will give tax-free returns for backing community projects.
Gross lending up 5% on January 2010, says CML.
Lender also launches new two-year fixes.
Firm calls for a review of FSCS after recording record revenue and profits.
Sants will face the Treasury select committee next week.
Underlying profit before tax stood at £100.7m for 2010.
HM Revenue & Customs has warned business owners they could be fined if they fail to register for a particular tax or pay tax on undeclared income.
Martin Wheatley is to head the Consumer Protection and Markets Authority.
Nationwide says average price now £161,602.
Prices up 0.9% on annual basis, says Land Registry.
Average house price now £164,173.
20 roles axed as part of restructure, although provider says 200 new jobs have been created.
NMG Consulting found that 41 per cent of advisers have seen their income go up over the past year.
Ignis Asset Management has removed head of UK equities Neil Richardson as part of a restructure of its UK desk.
Ignis Asset Management is preparing the launch of its Ignis absolute return government Bond fund, scheduled for the end of March.
Trade body is considering the move in response to £233m interim levy on fund managers.
The Investment Management Association says it may look to link the absolute return sector with the managed sector in a bid to categorise the risk level of funds.
Chief executive Strauss-Kahn warns recovery is “beset by tensions and strains”.
Today’s Financial Services Practitioner Panel survey suggests support for the review has fallen by more than 10 per cent
CPI up from 3.7% in December.
Canada Life will stop offering a guarantee period for annuity quotes from Feb 25 with others likely to follow.
The Bank of England could raise interest rates by as early as next week, warns Skandia Investment Group.
FSCS announces a total levy bill of £240m for 2011/12, with investment intermediaries accounting for about £40m.
Christian Littlewood was sentenced to three years and four months in custody.
Two Channel Islands move to quell EU concern over tax system.
Decision follows letter warning costs of interim levy could be passed to investors.
M&G fixed interest head says he expects an interest rate hike in June which would be damaging to the economy.
JO Hambro Capital Management has soft-closed its JOHCM UK equity income fund after it passed through the £750m barrier.
Former TSC chairman Lord John McFall will spearhead a six-strong commission investigating why the UK saving system fails workers.
Provider launches new phone underwriting service designed to improve the way people shop around for retirement income.
Strong equity release performance spurs sales growth in second half of 2010.
Rates start from 5.24 per cent.
WorkSave cash Isa will allow employees to make contributions directly from payroll.
“Biggest is not always best”, says Moneyfacts.co.uk.
Simon Baker founded Leadbay in 2004 and left in 2008.
Product encourages saving by offering double interest when money used for LBS mortgage.
The society plans to increase new mortgage lending by 25 per cent this year.
Lib Dem Treasury spokesman in the Lords, Lord Oakeshott stands down over unhappiness with Merlin deal.
Administrators given extra three months to secure the long-term future of life settlement portfolios- IMA warns of no “magic solution”.
Victims of the Lifemark collapse with more than £50,000 invested ready themselves for “alternative action”.
Lindsell Train Investment Management is considering adding a sterling-hedged share class to its Japanese equity fund and is winding up its second Japan fund.
Firm sees £76m of net inflows in last three months of 2010.
Chief executive Kim Lerche-Thomsen says decision to equalise at the higher male rate end will be reviewed after ECJ ruling on March 1.
Lloyds Banking Group has struck 900 mortgage brokers off its panel over the last three years.
Bank reveals a £70m charge from its decision to stop writing new PPI business.
Lloyds Banking Group has agreed with the FSA to undertake a review of past mortgage contracts which could cost the lender up to £500m.
Lloyds TSB Bank had 12,234 complaints for the second half of last year, mainly related to GI and PPI products.
The London Stock Exchange has agreed to merge with Canada’s TMX Group.
The Care Fees Advice Agency has launched a specialist long-term care paraplanning service for IFAs.
Lowes issues open letter calling on Hargreaves to stop blaming structured product for FSCS levy hike.
Group pre-tax profits of £25.8m in 2010, up from £17m in 2009.
Scottish Widows, Friends Provident, Royal London, Prudential and Aegon will not make the April 6 deadline.
Bernie Madoff has stated that as yet unidentified banks and hedge funds were “complicit” in his ponzi scheme in his first interview since he was arrested in 2008.
Treasury minister Mark Hoban tells MPs it is important the cost of failure is picked up somewhere.
Axa Wealth has created a new intermediary distribution division, including Elevate, reporting to managing director David Thompson.
Merchant Securities paid £2m for the wealth management firm.
Bank of England governor Mervyn King says inflation will fall assuming the bank rate rises “with market expectations”.
Spokesman says contract extension demonstrates provider’s long-term commitment to the UK retirement market.
Moneyfacts.co.uk says lenders passing increasing funding costs to borrowers.
Martin Weale says a gradual rise now would avoid damage from sharp rises in the future.
Treasury select committee says Govt should scrap plans to promote CPMA as a consumer champion.
Henderson Global Investors has made star multi-manager duo Mark Harris and Craig Heron redundant after proposing mergers for five multi-manager offerings.
Myners says reduction in economic output is forcing the committee to allow inflation to rise.
Treasury looking to replace Andrew Sentance, with Chancellor concerned over lack of female candidates in past.
Around 100 staff work in the branches.
Mutual says 150 jobs will be created as it looks to become “leading high street provider of financial advice”.
Lender increased certain fixed rates by 0.3%.
Natwest Intermediary Solutions has added two 85 per cent LTV fixed rate mortgages to its core range.
National scheme begins building shopping around process with focus on members with small pension pots.
Nest reveals the five mandates for its default fund offering.
The Treasury select committee warns the development of the new regulatory architecture should not be rushed for fear of creating flawed regulation.
?Newton Investment Management will close its Japan fund, after deciding that it is no longer economically viable.
Lender has not offered above 85% LTV since Government bailout.
Platform appoints former Skandia UK sales director Dave Chessell as its regional sales manager for London and the south east.
The administration of American president Barack Obama today moved to abolish Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Lazenby with Kent Reliance for 11 years.
Products first to be introduced since Paragon’s return to new lending.
John Pattullo looks back at the fixed income markets in the last few weeks and discusses the positioning within his funds.
Managing director of UK corporate replaced by Colin Williams with immediate effect.
Former HSBC managing director replaces Jonathan Moss as firm looks to capitalise on further consolidation in life sector.
FOS raises concerns about the handling of PPI complaints.
Campaigners descend on Barclays after the bank revealed it paid £113m in corporation tax on a profit of £11.6bn.
Decision to ban gender pricing for annuity products will cost a man with a £100,000 pension pot £12,000 over their lifetime, according to A J Bell.
Pru says Curran will not be replaced.
Insurer maintains guaranteed bonus rates for over 4 million investors as 2010 returns breach 10 per cent mark.
Losses for the bank for 2010 have improved from £3.6bn for 2009, and £24bn for 2008.
RCM is planning to launch a low volatilty global emerging markets multi-asset fund in the second quarter of 2011.
Numis Securities has warned the implementation of the RDR could have a more mixed impact on the investment trust sector than some commentators suggest.
Firm has called for review of exam structure.
Shadow pensions minister Rachel Reeves says telling women waiting for the state pension to claim the dole is an insult.
There were 36,300 repossessions from first-charge lenders in 2010.
But HML says repossessions will rise in second half of 2011.
Chief executive John Tiner says Resolution could split front and back book businesses.
Company says targeted returns can be met without further acquisitions.
Mark Lund replaced by current chief operating officer Richard Pearson.
Clifford previously Virgin Money managing director.
Pension provider says “exceptional” interim payment will not be passed on to customers as Suffolk Life predicts further Sipp market consolidation as a result of FSCS levy.
Scottish Life, Ascentric and Royal London Asset Management among the group’s strongest performers for 2010.
RSM Tenon has appointed former Santander multi-manager Keith Speck to its investment team.
The Platforum says lead-up to RDR could be hindering the short-term growth of the platform market.
Schroders head of multi-manager Andrew Yeadon has left the firm after the group announced plans to merge the multi-manager and multi-asset teams.
Sesame Bankhall has launched a new panel management service for mortgage valuations.
Group will recomend platfoms provided by Aviva, Ascentric, Cofunds, Fidelity and Skandia alongside its Sesame One proposition.
Sesame members will be able to spread the cost of the levy over two years.
The Shadow Monetary Policy Committee has ruled by a majority of five to four in favour of raising the bank rate to 1 per cent later this week.
Sherborne founder Edward Bramson’s proposal to replace F&C Asset Management’s chairman was met with success at a general meeting of shareholders today.
Tenet Group’s investment arm Sinfonia Asset Management has placed its five IFSL risk-rated funds on the Cofunds platform.
Police arrest six for money laundering and fraud and link inquiry to collapse of cash for gold firm.
Chief executive David Bellamy says SRA should realise that most of the industry sits in the restricted space.
Firm says 700 advisers have QCF level 4 with a further 700 close to achieving it and FSA has confirmed its charging and remuneration structure is RDR-compliant.
Skandia only platform to respond in favour of the proposed cash rebate ban with the majority of other platforms submitting a joint response to the FSA calling for a rethink.
Product is two-year fixed at 6.49 per cent.
2010 pre-tax profit £35m, up from £18m in 2009.
Standard Life has reduced the bonus rates for half of its 1 million with-profits customers.
Lifelens set to roll out across six employers, including Standard Life itself.
Deal will allow Sipp clients to invest directly in gold bullion using GoldMoney’s website.
Nish says new visual identity forms part of group wide transformation programme.
James Syme and Paul Wimborne, emerging market fund managers at Barings, are leaving the firm for JOHambro Capital Management.
Cheshire appointed interim CEO in December following resignation of Jonathan Freeman.
Syndicate to focus on wealth management sector and plans to sell Epic Asset Management.
Tenet director Keith Richards says the FSA’s comments that networks present a growing risk of consumer detriment will damage consumer confidence.
Losses are 60 per cent down on the £1m loss posted for 2009.
Network says loss due to decreased profit margin and increased operating expenses.
Thames River Capital, which was recently acquired by F&C Asset Management, is to soft launch a Ucits III absolute return fund investing in European equities.
Andrew Sentance, Martin Weale and Spencer Dale voted for a rise in interest rates of between 0.25 per cent and 0.5 per cent.
Chair of the Local Government Association Baroness Eaton warns of mass opt-outs if 3 per cent contribution increase is implemented.
Transact has been rated highest in the latest survey of adviser wrap sentiment based on users of The Platforum website.
Government says people can use savings to pay charges over £2000 if they exceed £50,000 annual limit.
The Financial Conduct Authority must secure “appropriate degree of protection” for consumers.
Labour MP George Mudie says MMR seems personal and will rob lenders of discretion.
The UK economy shrank by 0.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, revised down from the previously estimated fall of 0.5 per cent.
Informed Choice wins “best IFA firm”.
The first head of the CPMA oversaw 170 prosecutions for market manipulation in Hong Kong but suffered consumer protests following the failure of products linked to Lehmans.
Government launches online portal for public to send in ideas on what should be included in the Budget.
Which? to campaign against companies charging excess fees for card payments.
Which? calls for FSA clamp down on sale-and-rent back firms after uncovering poor advice in the sector.
The society says it has not had any income protection cases referred to the FOS since 2005.
Building Society also triples mortgage lending year-on-year.
Former Macquarie head of product and proposition for wraps Adrian Nash will lead the development of Zurich’s platform.