Online - March 2011
Justin Modray says the Government is hoping that private sector growth will offset public sector cuts.
IFA Ian Highton, who was part of the CII’s alternative assessment pilot, offers an insight on how the process works.
Could a little pressure from the TSC see the FSA have another think about what the RDR is looking to achieve.
The president of the European Central Bank has said that interest rates could rise in the Eurozone as early as next month.
Chris Taylor, head of research at Neptune and manager of the Neptune Japan opportunities fund, has declared that “Japan is bust”.
Ahead of the Budget, Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke sets out 10 tax and regulation policies he believes will stimulate economic growth.
The combined businesses of 1st Exchange, N4 and Screen Business are to rebrand as Avelo.
FSA chief exec Hector Sants tells TSC 4 banks are declining to disclose info requested by commitee.
Self-employed income can now be proved with accountants letter for loans under 90% LTV.
Scotland on Sunday says Thoresen will be replaced by Adrian Grace.
Provider will use Novia for wrap administration.
Director general Stephen Gay says FSCS should formally consult on how refunds are allocated to levy payers.
Trade body says professional advice sector could be separate from stockbrokers or firms where intermediation is a secondary activity.
Pritchard says commute to London reason for resignation.
Standard Life senior pensions policy manager Tully takes on newly created position of retirement income technical manager at MGM Advantage.
TSC chair says they will be used to judge Court’s role in the crisis and if it is appropriate body to scrutinise FPC.
Curran joins as UK life retail and partnerships director.
Director Helen Weir also leaves as the group’s insurance division is split in two.
Ascentric has appointed Rob Baillie as head of technical sales.
Aviva Investors has hired Ian Aylward and Peter Fitzgerald to run its multi-manager investments in house.
One in five people over 55 still need to repay their mortgages and owe an average of over £65,000 according to Aviva.
Axa Elevate has added the Friends Provident offshore bond and Talbot & Muir Sipp and plans to double its platform consultants to 36.
Brazilian staff member given nickname by colleagues who mocked her accent.
Northern Rock’s ’bad bank’ is in profit after Northern Rock plc reported a £232m pre-tax loss.
Bambos Hambi, the former head of multi-manager funds at both Gartmore and Rothschilds, has joined Standard Life Investments on a full-time basis.
Chairman Sir John Vickers is also expected to recommend that retail banks should be separately capitalised.
Over half of the bank’s closed complaints between July and December 2010 were upheld.
Second anniversary of record-low base rate.
Parent company Bluefin alleges that former IFA set up a new firm while still under contract.
Details appeared within an internet search after an error made by a third party support services provider.
Investors pushed for bank details by scammers claiming to be from the FSCS.
British Friendly is offering an income protection plan through advisers for the first time.
CIFAS says mortgage fraud up 18% in 2010.
Firm posts £3m profit and unveils plans to launch new funds business led by former SWIP sales and marketing director Simon Wombwell.
BSA also calls for Northern Rock remutualisation ahead of next week’s Budget announcement.
Those who leave 10 per cent of their estate to charity will receive a 10 % discount on IHT.
Osborne says annual growth in 2011 will not reach 2.1 per cent as predicted.
Venture capital trusts and enterprise investment schemes look set for a surge in investor interest after new investment and tax relief rules set out in the Budget.
Chancellor will set his sights on Non-doms, private jets and pot-holes in tomorrow’s Budget.
Chancellor George Osborne says tax cut is not an opportunity for banks to pay less, as bank levy will rise.
Skandia says Government plans to merge National Insurance and income tax could see higher rate pensions tax relief phased out.
Capital Economics and NIESR say factors pushing up inflation now will largely disappear in 2012.
The Government has announced plans to refocus both EIS and VCTs to ensure they are targeted at genuine risk capital investments.
MPs’ pensions to be reformed in line with Hutton’s proposals.
Move will help up to 10,000 FTBs raise a deposit for a home.
Standard Life says a 25-year old might not receive their pension until they reach 75 if the Government links the state pension age to longevity.
Osborne says national insurance will not be extended to pensioners.
Osborne says Government will seek a “more automatic mechanism” for increasing state pension ages.
Chancellor says DWP is working on £140 flat-rate state pension as an ’option’ although reform will have to be cost neutral.
Additional funding means the green investment bank can start investing a year earlier than planned.
Full run-down of what to expect in today’s Budget.
Personal income tax allowance will rise to £8,105.
Osborne says decision is in line with RPI-CPI switch for public sector pension payment increases.
Labour attack Budget as growth figures are revised down.
Association of Financial Mutuals calls for mutuals to be able to issue bonds and invest more widely.
Nationals, networks and support service firms give their views on what they would like to see in Wednesday’s Budget.
The Government is to consult on reforming legislation around real estate investment trusts to boost investment in UK property.
Rate will apply after 12 years.
NS&I to re-introduce inflation-linked savings following new issuance target for 2011/12
Chancellor says no further tax increases and no more spending cuts in this week’s Budget.
HMRC has been asked to review the revenues raised from the top rate of tax.
HMRC has consulted on the move, which will be effective from January 1, 2013.
RGA says I-E changes, the ECJ ruling and Solvency II could combine to drive up cost of cover.
Reform of the discount rate used to calculate public pension liabilities could increase annual employer contributions to unfunded schemes by over £8bn at today’s prices.
Employer salary sacrifice schemes could be in jeopardy after the Government confirmed its intention to merge National Insurance and income tax.
Chancellor George Osborne says move will help up to 100,000 jobless home owners with interest payments.
Osborne could also indicate directions of travel for early access and public sector reform.
NIESR says weak consumer spending will drag growth down to 1.5 per cent in 2011/12.
Business secretary Vince Cable says he will look to remove barriers for small businesses in an attempt to boost the economy.
Business secretary to make pledge as part of Government drive to reduce red-tape for small firms.
First four funds will carry 0.25 per cent AMC and will access assets primarily through ETFs.
Money Marketing publisher Centaur has launched a new online fund news service brought to you by the news team behind Fund Strategy.
Pension & Wealth Planning name to remain.
Product is two-year discount at 4.99%.
Advisers can use free diagnostic tool to see if alternative assessment is suitable for them.
New service aims to get refunds for customers who believe they were mis-sold mortgages.
Ageas Protect have factored in expected lapses in the one-off impairment charge.
Close Brothers sells offshore business to Kleinwort Channel Islands Holdings for £29.1m.
Move follows Close Brothers acquisition of Chartwell Group and Allenbridge Group and will see Cavanagh become part of Close Asset Management.
Close Brothers has announced the sale of its Cayman Islands trust, fiduciary services, fund administration and banking business to Intertrust Group Holding.
75% of MPs say those with stable income but not 10-20% deposit should have access to mortgage finance.
EC also estimates ongoing costs to be in the region of £236m and £290m.
European Commission responsible lending and borrowing directive sets out new rules.
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls says Labour should have been tougher with the banks.
Mutual announces “first step” in distribution of capital to 400,000 policyholders.
Major grouping in EU say Commission must back the move or it will withdraw support.
Eurozone officials have agreed on the new structure of the financial bailout fund to protect the area from its worsening debt crisis.
Skandia Investment Group has awarded a £21m mandate in its Skandia UK best Ideas fund to Peter Lees of F&C Investments.
F&C has reported an 8 per cent jump in assets under management and launched a strategic review in order to “maximise the value to shareholders”.
Treasury says resulting funds could be up to £80,000 if the maximum is contributed over 18 years.
Legislation hidden in the Finance Bill prevents use of scheme pension to fund £20,000 minimum income requirement.
Former FSA managing director of supervision Jon Pain is to join KPMG in July.
Former Money Portal director and GP Noble principal Tony Morris has been charged for his role in defrauding nine pension funds of £52m.
Reports suggest Eric Daniels is one of five candidates in the running.
Building society could face up to £10m in compensation costs for Lifemark investors.
Sutherland has 36 years experience in retail banking.
Experience Counts is currently being piloted and will be available from the end of March.
FSA says defendant lacks “honesty and integrity”.
The FSA has confirmed that overall regulatory funding will see a gross increase of 10.1 per cent over the next year, from £454.7m in 2010/11 to £500.5m for 2011/12.
European fund star Guillaume Rambourg targets return to fund management after being cleared by the FSA.
FSA has fined ActivTrades Plc for breaching client money rules.
Hogg will join the reinsurer as chief actuary and financial officer for the UK.
Sants tells TSC he has sympathy with those arguing for long-stop.
’Flawed’ risk profiling tools and poorly described risk categories among areas that need to improve.
Levy will be allocated to different fee blocks in May.
Several auditors have been referred to their relevant auditing bodies after the FSA found failings in client asset reports.
Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank chasing customers for shortfall relating to miscalculated repayments.
Average senior management salaries have risen to £236,950.
The FSA says new regulation, increased annuities and decreasing long-term savings products will squeeze sector.
Joint committee highlights ETFs, Sipps and debt freeze products as areas of emerging risk.
The Financial Services Consumer Panel has called for a total ban on platform rebates.
FSCS says it is considering what this means for levy payers.
TSC member Mark Garnier says banks fear reprisals if they attack FSA.
British GDP contracted slightly less in the fourth quarter than previously estimated.
The Bank of England may be less likely to raise interest rates in May because of revisions to last year’s GDP figures, according to Lombard Street Research.
Gemini Investment Management - Gemini MOSt India Fund
Aide to the Chancellor says he believes the ICB is “going in the right direction” with its expected recommendations to reform the banking sector.
Treasury announces Goldman Sachs MD Ben Broadbent will replace Andrew Sentance from June.
Google has acquired comparison site Beatthatquote.com for £37.7m.
Treasury and DWP officials look at “practical implications” of making shopping around the default for investors.
EU document says low volumes of take-up would force Government to hand a grant of £379m to the national pension scheme.
Proposals will see the merger of the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission.
The IFS says fall in public sector borrowing down to local authorities and public corporations spending less.
Inflation-linked increases will push up the flat rate state pension to around £155.
Chancellor tells Parliament around £5m will be made available to help encourage savings of “looked-after” children.
Iain Duncan Smith to lay the ground for the introduction of a flat rate benefit for future pensioners.
The Start Up Britain initiative will be launched today by David Cameron, George Osborne, and Vince Cable.
£9.5bn gross lending in February.
Revenue acknowledges VAT and tax implications of adviser charging need to be clearer.
Honister Capital is setting aside £3m to cover the costs of a past business pension switching review.
Average price now £162,657.
Average price now £164,751.
Value of purchase lending down from £5.7bn to £4.2bn.
However the former Labour minister tells Money Marketing Government must implement entire reform package to ensure long-term sustainability.
Final report says switch from final salary to career average provision for all employees should be made by 2015.
IFA who used clients’ money to pay off debt is banned from being company director for 5 years.
Insynergy Investment Management has unveiled a fund which seeks to generate an income from current and former emerging market stocks.
Invesco Perpetual is aiming to raise £100m in a new global equity income investment trust, to be managed by Paul Boyne and Doug McGraw.
IFAs have just 12 days to take advantage of new drawdown rules which allow clients to lock into 120 per cent GAD rate for five years.
Left-leaning think tank calls on the Chancellor to revise his plans for deficit reduction ahead of next week’s Budget.
Ireland’s four main banks have a €24bn gap between their current and ideal capital positions.
The ongoing crisis in Japan will have an “inevitable” near-term effect on Africa’s economy, a new paper claims.
Industry reaction on the impact of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
The slowdown in Japan’s economic growth expected as a result of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami is likely to be temporary, according to the World Bank.
Fund managers and economists assess the impact on Japan as shares slump another 10 per cent.
As the events in Japan continue to escalate, multi-managers in UK have spoken about their future plans regarding exposure levels.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 is up 5.7 per cent following heavy losses earlier this week.
Nikkei 225 slumps to 8,605 as concern mounts over nuclear radiation leaks in Fukushima.
T. Bailey chief investment officer Jason Britton is leaving the firm after 12 years to take a break from the financial services industry.
Dunn takes over from Lloyds Banking Group head of housing development Douglas Cochrane.
John Lewis partnership bond has reached its investment target of £50m.
Bond available to customers who hold parnership cards and account cards paying 4.5 per cent plus 2 per cent in John Lewis vouchers.
The maximum contribution level for junior Isas will be set at £3,000 ahead of their launch in November.
Fund management firm reports profits of £42.4m as assets under management grow to £24.1bn.
Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld’s third refusal to attend committee hearing on Cadbury takeover sparks fury.
Rates start from 3.49 per cent.
Labour says current plans are derailing recovery and Budget should focus on jobs and growth.
LEBC has restructured its business into four divisions.
Gazard was previously Falcon Group managing director.
Lighthouse reports pre-tax profits of £129,000 but sees adviser numbers fall almost 10 per cent as RDR approaches.
Liontrust Asset Management has reported £39m of net inflows between January 1 and March 29, 2011.
Pressure to perform and justify fees may be pushing fund managers into excessively short-term investments, Lipper warns.
C&G for Intermediaries will no longer accept new and existing mortgage applications from March 31.
Lender currently lends to 85% LTV on interest-only.
Antonio Horta-Osorio to receive payment as part of £13.5m total package.
’Local Lend a Hand’ initiative will allow first-time buyers to access a mortgage of between £25,000 and £350,000 with a 5 per cent deposit.
New chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio wants the deal completed before the November 2013 deadline.
JP Morgan and Citigroup are to provide the loan, as they are announced as joint advisers to the sale.
Company says loss is as a result of decision to reserve additional £165m for future bonus payments.
Tomlins joins on June 20.
M&G Investments has made an operating profit of £284m in 2010, up from £238m in 2009.
The two main energy funds open to UK retail investors have limited holdings in nuclear power.
MAM Funds has unveiled plans to launch its diverse income trust, which will be headed by former Gartmore fund manager Gervais Williams.
Head of enforcement Margaret Cole will head conduct unit until CEO designate Wheatley takes post.
Eurozone leaders’ decision not to cut rate for Ireland before it raises corporation tax “holds nation to ransom”.
Firm raises £345,000 of capital to help develop the business.
Move likely to be in third quarter.
MP Anne Begg on the flat rate pension, the Hutton report and why advisers need clarity ahead of auto-enrolment.
Leicester-based pensions administrator says clients’ Sipp and SSAS assets will not be affected.
Moody’s say the UK’s AAA status could be removed if growth slows and hits austerity plans.
The OFT believed deal would affect competition and innovation in sector.
Two men jailed for £7m mortgage fraud and attempted £12m VAT fraud.
Club launches on April 4.
Brokerage awaiting FSA approval to finalise MBO.
Deal was agreed in May last year.
TSC member Mudie attacks Sants for not having stats despite RDR hitting over 60s.
Conservative MP Harriett Baldwin says small IFAs should be exempted from the RDR.
Dr Paul Fisher replaces interim chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown.
Adam Posen only member to call for QE increase.
Treasury select committee says it will judge future tax policy on six points including fairness, coherency, stability and practicability.
Society has set aside £57m to pay Keydata investors following talks with FSA and FSCS.
Reports suggest NAB, which owns Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks, has made the acquisition a top strategic priority.
Nationwide has increased its upper lending limit from £1m to £2m on its fee-free mortgages of up to 75 per cent loan-to-value.
National scheme’s low-risk default fund will target returns of CPI plus 3 per cent.
FSA figures show net advances for Q4 are down 57 per cent on the previous year’s figures.
Simmonds has been appointed chairman of Bluefin Corporate Consulting and Bluefin Wealth Management.
Deputy prime minister says scrapping top rate of tax will be achieved through levies on high-end properties.
The Nikkei 225 lost another 1.4 per cent today, closing at 8,962, as concerns over damage to a number of Japan’s nuclear reactors continue.
Nine men have been arrested in London and Reykjavik in relation to the Serious Fraud Office’s ongoing investigation surrounding the collapse of the Kaupthing banking Group.
Rates reduced on selected two and three-year fixed rates.
Bank still pays out £13.1m in bonuses which it says reflects objectives being met through 2010.
State-backed bank planning to re-enter the securitisation market for the first time since receiving its Government bailout.
Bank has entered into formal consultation with unions.
OBR chairman Robert Chote says Treasury did not influence its forecast.
OTS also calls for a merger of income tax and national insurance as part of its tax relief review.
Mortgage Brain chief executive Mark Lofthouse “disappointed” by OFT’s decision.
Platform will be available to all of Openwork’s single-tie, multi-tie and IFA businesses towards the end of 2011.
Firm refuses to comment on the reason for the departure of Alireza Emamy Foroushani.
Osborne plans to scrap tax rate after evidence showed individuals were going to great lengths to avoid it.
Chancellor says he was advised by the industry against increasing the Government’s new first-time buyer scheme beyond 10,000 homes.
Chancellor set to tighten the noose on Employer Financed Retirement Benefit Schemes, The Sunday Times reports.
Adrian Grace replaces Thoresen as Aegon UK chief executive.
McMahon will work on proposition with sales director Duncan Jarrett.
Whitehall officials are pushing a three-way deal between the Government, big banks and the Independent Commission on Banking.
Perspective Financial has received a multi million pound boost to its ‘buy and build’ strategy after raising £10.6m.
ABI’s assistant director of consumers and distribution has decided to leave the trade body.
Life fund consolidator expects firms operating closed with-profits funds to seek exit.
All advisers now come under Pink banner.
Co-operative Financial services profits up 2.9 per cent from £124.5m to £128.1m.
New selection of two-year fixed and trackers available next Tuesday.
Adviser firm run by former Co-op IFA chief bought for over £10m and looks to emulate Towry Law model.
Group increases dividend by 20 per cent, UK figures show 7 per cent profit increase.
PruProtect has developed cover that pays for a children’s education through school and university in the event of a parent’s death.
Network will not be passing on FSCS levy costs to members.
FSA says consumer contract terms had the potential to cause consumer detriment.
Government-backed bank will disclose 2010 pay deals for 300 senior staff averaging £1m each.
IFS report says people feeling biggest squeeze on incomes since 1983.
Sales in North American funds jump five-fold to reach £222m.
Resolution could target asset management consolidation as part of UK life project.
Group hires new partner to focus on consolidation opportunities in Continental Europe and elsewhere.
Corporate bond and absolute return funds suffered outflows of £390m and £43m respectively in January 2011.
Morris leaves Affirmative after over two years as sales and marketing director.
Lloyds Banking Group managing director of life, pensions and investments will take up role in October “at the latest”.
Some final bonus rates raised although provider warns payouts on longer-term regular premium life policies could be lower than 2010.
The company is paying a mutual dividend of £85m, compared to £25m in 2009.
Standard & Poor’s has lowered Portugal’s long-term sovereign credit rating from A- to BBB but maintained its short-term credit ratings at A-2.
Technology firm will also offer updated version of Moneyinfo.
Chief credit officer Laing expected to start in August.
AfI managing director Alan Matthewson assumes Brittain’s role on temporary basis.
Sants says he is sorry for causing offence and that he was laying out cost benefit analysis data.
FSA chief executive Hector Sants told the Treasury select committee qualifications will be kept “under review”.
Group pre-tax profit up 173% from £13.5m to £36.8m.
Schroders has launched a second low-cost, active managed fund as an alternative to passive investment.
Schroders is seeking investors’ approval to merge its Pacific fund into its Asian alpha Plus fund, following a review of its product range.
John Anderson, Leigh Himsworth and Dan Roberts will not move over to Henderson after the firm completes it takeover of Gartmore on April 25.
MPC member warns failure to take timely monetary policy action risks a more abrupt interest rate rise in the future.
Increase of £2m compared to 2009 figures.
Support service firm says it will be the “champion of Independent advice”.
Company says growth is a result of increased funds under management and tighter costs.
Additions include two, three and fiver-year 90% LTV fixed rates.
Building society launches two and three-year deals after withdrawing from buy-to-let two years ago.
Life and pensions firm increases dividend to 13p and says £100m cost-cutting programme remains “on track”.
Serious Fraud Office brings 16 charges against stockbroker relating to alleged investment fraud.
Lender suspended new lending in March last year.
Hart joins from Standard Life where he spent over 20 years.
Tenet says the TSC is too focused on qualifications and commission.
The Good Mortgage Company searches for financial support after Octopus pulls funding.
Napier has formerly worked with Origen and most recently as Regent IFA Services chief operations officer.
Threadneedle has further increased its allocation to Japanese equities after the earthquake earlier this month, taking it to overweight from neutral.
The Luxembourg police have searched three business premises and two residential premises on the back of the Serious Fraud Office Kaupthing investigation.
The Tax Incentivised Savings Association has commissioned an independent review into distributor influenced funds.
The bulk of Towry’s complaint figures relate to its takeover of Edward Jones.
Transact has incorporated wealth manager London and Capital’s managed portfolios onto its platform.
Software firm says it plans to invest in products and services.
As the Bank of England’s powers are set to increase, the Treasury select committee launches investigation into its accountability.
Turner says ideal capital requirements would be between 15% and 20% of risk weighted capital.
However, two-year fixed rates at highest rates in ten months.
Swiss bank accused of “improper attempts” to manipulate interbank lending rate, the BBC reports.
FSA says it is too early to predict losses for insurers.
EU stats show UK inflation is higher than Greece and lower than only three other countries.
The UK inflation rate his risen to 4.4 per cent, the highest level since 2008.
Unemployment rate reaches 8 per cent, youth unemployment reaches highest levels since comparable records began in 1992.
IFA technology firm Voyant UK has integrated its platform, Voyant Adviser, with FinaMetrica’s psychometric risk profiling.
Pensions minister Steve Webb says slowing increase in state retirement age would cost £10bn.
Advisers call on the Chancellor to encourage long term savings and investment in Wednesday’s Budget
Leading income manager Neil Woodford says growth forecast by the Chancellor is too optimistic on his expectations for UK growth.
Spokeswoman says deal is not certain.
Building society reduces 90% LTV fixes by up to 0.4% for direct customers only.
Provider increases loan facility to £30m and offers the network’s staff and advisers 30 per cent of preference shares in funding restructure.