Online - November 2009
Aegon is running a tele-claims pilot in a bid to reduce the time it takes for claims to be paid.
FSA searches three properties and freezes £350,000 worth of assets in investigation into boiler room share fraud activity.
Fortis Life UK is teaming up with Sesame to give advisers access to its protection product range.
HMRC’s Dave Hartnett warns he will get tough on those who fail to meet the disclosure deadline.
Standard Life Wealth appoints James England as senior business development manager.
New figures show 7 per cent more people expect their standard of living to decline compared to last year.
Lloyds is cutting 570 staff following termination of Equitable Life contract.
Justin Modray weighs into the Towry Law trail commission debate.
Abbey brings out a range of lowered trackers and fixed rates.
Currently CEO of the Insurance Council of Australia, Kelly will take up the position in February.
Responding to the Queen’s speech, the ABI claims the Personal Care at Home Bill undermines the Government’s July Social Care Green Paper.
The ABI is to rebrand and standardise the total permanent disability definition.
The two bodies have launched a new good practice guide for Sipp providers.
SMEs face significant increases in costs and administration due to workplace pension reforms according to ACCA.
Provider launches new range of multi-manager funds.
Insurer’s new life sales fall by a quarter.
Aegon calls for stronger simplified and basic advice processes and standardised factoring terms under the RDR.
Association of Investment Companies says there are signs people are listening to its concerns on European directive.
Trade body is pleased with improved clarity on AIFM for member states.
Trade body has “real concerns” about the assumptions made by the regulator.
Judicial review threat at FSA’s “arbitrary supervision”.
Aifa fears the requirements will produce a less sustainable sector and is creating a working group to respond to the consultation.
Aifa calls for financial suport through the Government’s Train To Gain scheme to help IFAs reach QCF level four qualification.
The mortgage brokerage and estate agency have yet to file their accounts with Companies House which were due at the end of October.
Investment firm Alliance Trust makes new appointment.
AMI is urging the Government to extend the stamp duty holiday until the housing market has recovered.
Logica UK follows ATP in withdrawing from the competitive dialogue process.
Investment guru to relocate to Hong Kong to launch new offering.
Arc to transfer to London-based Merchant Capital.
Catalogue vendor to launch price comparison site covering mortgages, pensions, insurance and other financial products.
Tonic Marketing Solutions managing director Jeff Knight asks whether the new Argos comparison site will be a friend of the intermediary.
Multi-asset vehicle to be first launch for new boutique.
Ascentric has appointed former The Hartford sales operations director Alan Ferguson as a business development manager.
Debbie Steer joins from 1st – The Exchange, where she was ebusiness product manager.
Aviva has appointed Phil Willcock as managing director of its UK Health business.
Enhancements include temporary accident cover and an increase to commission from 130 per cent to 150 per cent.
Investors offered money-back guarantee after 5 years at a cost of 0.7%.
Aviva UK Life has promoted chief operating officer Toby Strauss to chief executive.
Andrew Moss says acquisitions could come in the distribution space.
Hodge, Home & Capital and Stonehaven have also stated their commitment in the wake of Prudential’s withdrawal yesterday.
A$11bn deal announced as Axa prepare for a €2bn rights issue.
England rugby player Kyran Bracken and 13 others have agreed to live on a state pension for one week.
Axa Wealth establishes an IFA distribution sales team.
Axial Investment Management has rebranded under Ignis Asset Management.
The Monetary Policy Committee votes to increase quantitative easing programme by £25bn.
Banks need limits to ease future pressures on the state, says Andrew Haldane.
Bankhall has dumped Capita’s Enabler technology, which powers its Portavista platform.
Sir David Walker’s review recommends that banks should disclose the number of employees who earn more than £1m a year.
UK and US banks alone will owe £1.2 trillion within two years, says Moody’s.
The Supreme Court has today ruled in favour of high street banks in the bank charges test case.
Barclays head of retail Frits Seegers quits in surprise move after restructure.
Bank profits from international business after 2008 Lehman acquisition.
Barclays Wealth launches new option for investors looking to roll over their capital.
Barratt Developments expects to cut its debt by £722m from £1.4bn to £700m by the end of the year.
Beacon Homeloans is understood to have stopped new mortgage lending.
L&G’s Adrian Boulding says a uniform 30 per cent rate of tax relief would reduce the total amount set aside for retirement.
Adam Avigdori appointed as co-manager.
Firm transfers management of two funds of funds following the departure of lead manager.
Blue Sky unveils two new structured products.
16 development managers have been put on redundancy notice as part of a strategic review.
Bluefin’s Ian Shipway leaves the company.
Fidelity fund guru discusses the way his China fund will be run and the possibility of a cap.
Virgin chief reveals interest in state-aided bank asset sale.
PM’s G20 proposals slammed by global financiers.
Speirs joins the South African insurer on a part-time basis.
Bupa UK care homes director Alistair How has been appointed managing director.
Aegon wants level playing field between platforms and product providers.
The Budget would be held within 50 days of the election and would focus containing the deficit and on growth.
The new area will offer 12 plans from nine providers.
Capita chairman Eric Walters is to stand down from the board next year.
Firms need to hold three months worth of annual fixed expenditure, with a minimum of £20,000.
Managing director of retail markets Jon Pain says the market correction is somewhat of a “mirage”.
Chancellor Alistair Darling has announced steps to boost competition in the banking sector.
Group’s profits up 6.8 per cent on 2008’s figures.
The D2C proposition will target over 2,000 clients.
Warning that America faces Japanese-style deflation.
Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment finds 60 per cent of firms will hire more staff this year.
Finance and Technology Research Centre director Ian McKenna says client management systems could start to cannibalise the platform industry.
Director general Michael Coogan questions impact of FSA’s mortgage market review and Tory proposals for CPA.
Mortgage council says lending will be up and arrears down next year.
Threadneedle to launch number of researched fund solutions.
Stephen Wynne-Jones joins the platform from Assureweb, where he was director of product marketing.
Paul Rose joins the platform from Zurich.
In its fund sales report for Q3, Cofunds gross sales topped £2.2bn.
Towergate Financial has selected Cofunds to power its Choice platform.
Research from Which? shows comparison sites are not providing their users with a good enough service for financial products.
Research from Lloyds TSB shows confidence amongst British businesses in October slipped for a second month in a row.
The Nationwide Consumer Confidence Index shows confidence levels stayed the same in October.
The rating agency says contingent capital is not being designed to repair weak balance sheets.
Trustees wanted to use remaining assets of failing schemes to top up pensions of wealthy.
The FSA toughens up minimum liquidity requirements for credit unions.
Fund to be managed by Andrew Dalton and Rupert Caldecott.
The Chancellor is expected to reveal in his pre-Budget speech that the economy has contracted more than forecast.
Pensions Regulator research shows trust-based occupational scheme members aren’t always given much needed information.
Although protection is likely to escape an RDR commission ban, providers say greater professionalism is needed.
Asset manager says Dubai shock highlights market fragility.
London, Paris and Frankfurt stock exchanges all open more than 1 per cent lower.
Emotional Assets Management & Research sets fund targets.
Ratings agency says debt problems of Dubai World will not hurt the UAE.
Warning that ending the stamp duty holiday will damage housing recovery.
HCL will take over policy administration from March 2011.
Experts are unsure if the EU’s new powers will mean it can force member states to bail out banks.
Govt set to move forward with divestment plans.
Mortgage servicing firm gains what it says could be the first administration permissions.
New service “If I Were You” will offer guidance and link to advisers for mortgages, pensions and investments.
F&C stalwart Ted Scott offers his outlook for 2010.
Fidelity plans multi-asset launches for Trevor Greetham.
Aberdeen, BlackRock, Schroders and Henderson are all believed to have tabled bids.
Stabilising arrears are a positive sign for non-conforming RMBS transactions.
Foresight unveils tax efficient investments.
Matthew Uberoi and his father Neel Uberoi made around £110,000 profit on the basis of inside information.
Industry pays tribute to IFA champion.
George Patellis to head up lender as it enters the buy-to-let market.
IFA consolidation vehicle Succession announces four adviser firms to join.
Majority of pension funds set to change before personal accounts become mandatory.
Internal markets post could heavily influence the outcome of the RDR although role may be split.
The European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has announced his new team of commissioners.
The service offers employees advice on a range of topics, including retirement planning and money management
The regulator says Andrew Cumming helped to document false loans made with UBS client money.
FSA strikes off mortgage broker for not being fit and proper to carry out regulated activities.
The regulator has banned broker Rashid Farid from carrying out any regulated activity.
FSA bans broker for fraud and concealing his involvement in running of firm
Regulator warns it will have power to remove advisers’ right to trade if they fail to comply.
Regulator also challenges dual pricing, but will not intervene.
Stockbroker used insider information to encourage clients to cash in on expected share price increase.
Regulator fines Japanese bank for failings in derivatives business.
FSA issues third largest fine after UBS employees carried out unauthorised transactions on customer accounts.
New measures are expected to be outlined in the Queen’s Speech later this week.
The FSA has appointed Nomura chairman Colin Marshall as a senior adviser on corporate governance just two days after it fined the firm £1.75m for systems and controls failings.
FSA chairman Adair Turner says the regulator has become more cautious when judging the riskiness of trading activities.
Regulator says it wants to see ongoing advice.
The FSA says it will take action on small IFA firms inserting a long-stop clause into their terms of business.
CML says the FSA regards lenders and brokers as the “drug-dealers” at the school gates.
The regulator says it will pay particular attention to firms that use middle-men in countries known for systemic corruption.
Regulator reduces minimum annual fee from £1,850 to approximately £1,000.
The paper will look at potential read across to pure protection and group personal pensions.
Brokers could put themselves in breach of data protection rules.
Regulator determined to stay one step ahead of phoenix firms.
Sants admits TCF has failed and says industry has yet to take responsibility for the economic crisis.
AMI says the FSA is likely to survive until 2014 if the Tories win the next election.
Proposed reforms could make it harder for non-prime borrowers to remortgage, increasing arrears.
Core standards are finalised and draft specialist standards enter consultation.
Abu Dhabi and Dubai markets suffer heavy falls after four day religious holiday.
Former Credit Suisse UK chief executive David Norman calls for greater transparency of fund charges.
Gartmore has announced it is to float on the London Stock Exchange.
Skandia International research into future offshore investment business.
The Prime Minister is expected to again back calls for a Tobin tax at the Confederation of British Industry annual conference today.
The Government and RBS both want power over any decisions made under the asset protection scheme.
Broken up parts will represent 10 per cent of the retail market.
Government plans to halve its £175bn budget deficit by 2014, and balance the books by 2018.
Borrowers whose mortgages are sold on to third parties would also get more protection in Government plans.
de Blonay will co-manage £1.4bn fund from summer 2010.
Aegon research suggests not enough people are aware of unit-linked guarantees.
New savings vehicle would complement the Government’s pension reforms.
Blue Sky Asset Management repsonds to the FSA review of the structured product market.
Hedge funds expected to win ground on EU directive.
London & Colonial attacks Revenue on delays to resolving Gibraltar Qrops issue.
HMRC airs a warning to offshore tax evaders via YouTube.
The news follows the extension of the amnesty on secret offshore accounts last week.
House prices increased by 1.2 per cent last month.
Andy Milburn says the industry must learn from its past mistakes when addressing critical illness reform.
IFA says his client travelled 670 miles to seek out his business.
Bank might be interested in “certain portfolios” that the bailed-out banks will be forced to shed.
HSBC says 1,700 jobs are at risk of redundancy.
Former Bluefin’s Ian Shipway joins Simon Chamberlain’s IFA consolidation vehicle Succession.
ifs is now able to award undergraduate and post-graduate degrees.
Savers could face inheritance tax of 40 per cent unlike the majority of workplace scheme members.
Myners provokes response from IMA over lack of contrarianism comments.
The IMA announces changes to the protected/guaranteed sector.
Mortgage lender body to be run by a board of directors alongside executive chairman Peter Williams.
Peter Williams says the regulations could exacerbate the funding shortage.
ONS says CPI rose to 1.5% in October, RPI rose to -0.8%.
BoE Governor says interest rates to stay at 0.5 per cent until latter part of 2010.
Invesco is understood to be considering a pure strategic bond launch to complement the existing product range.
New trust to be managed by Martin Walker.
Bank deputy says buying CoCos would help protect other assets in portfolios.
Provider to follow Axa into specialised sector.
Nine offices could close their doors and 100 sales staff could face the axe.
JP Morgan is expected to unveil its plan to acquire investment firm Cazenove.
JPM to make changes to sterling corporate bond fund from February 1.
Jubilee cancels early redemption plan issue 4 following consultation with external legal advisors.
Sicav to be managed by Sabastian Radcliffe.
Firm offers free switch into Jupiter absolute return and international financials funds.
Ex-Bestinvest adviser returns with consumer website.
Kensington launches new prime mortgage via L&G, Pink and Openwork.
The provider has added five new conditions and increased the maximum free limit.
The provider is now offering four different interest rates to match clients’ requirements, budget and appetite for risk.
Pre-RDR changes see share of business through IFAs fall 10 per cent.
The former long term care commission member labels reforms a “demolition job”.
Lazard announces successor to Bruce Wasserstein.
More delay for the repayment of Lehman assets to creditors after UK Court of Appeal rejects plan.
Mortgage lending up nearly £1bn in October, says Bank of England.
The new code outlines the relationship between lenders and borrowers.
Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable has proposed creating a new levy on bank profits at a rate of 10 per cent.
Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable says this would tap into demand from institutional investors like pension funds.
Party increases threshold after fears of alienating voters.
Mark Stuart Ross joins the Lighthouse board.
New fund for former Invesco Perpetual stalwart.
Lloyds Banking Group is selling 36.5 billion new shares in a bid to raise £13.5bn in new capital.
This further round of job cuts resulting from the HBOS merger is due to take place by the end of 2010.
Bank sees increased interest in new asset class.
L&C hired as investment adviser to charity, Age Concern.
Product benefits from less stringent tax rules and wider investment choice, says firm.
City Minister acknowledges progress but says more needs to be done.
FSA issues update on Lifemark, which issued bonds for several of Keydata’s products.
Advisers can now report on historical transactions for assets that have been transferred to the platform.
Group appoints Christine Montgomery and Neil Robson.
Ex-Legg Mason head of UK retail sales to join as regional sales.
Structured product provider Meteor to launch separate regulated entity for admin/plan management to boost investor protection.
Investors can now choose annual step-ups on income and capital guarantees.
George joins the enhanced annuity provider from Watson Wyatt.
Aifa’s proposals for regulatory incentives deserve a fair hearing from the FSA.
Bank of England says it must be given macro-prudential powers to help stop future boom and bust cycles.
Bank downgraded after it pulled out of Government scheme.
The business to consumer sourcing system will launch next year.
AMI says mortgage insurance products will return if high LTV remains stunted after the election.
Figures from the British Bankers’ Association show total mortgage lending remained at £3.1bn last month.
Auditors have concerns that The Mortgage Times Group’s results for 2008 may impact it ability to continue as a going concern.
Income guru says we are set for a square root recovery.
The chairman of the Public Accounts Committee has written to the Chancellor asking why he was not informed of the indemnity provided for emergency loans.
Treasury Select Committee MP raises concerns over customers trapped in Northern Rock’s ‘bad bank’
Experts predict economy needs further fiscal injections to move into positive territory.
Members of the MPC shared separate concerns over the Bank’s decision to pump an additional £25bn into QE.
MPs have produced a report expressing concern over the EU’s proposals for macro and micro-prudential financial regulation.
The German reinsurer has recorded a £1.6bn profit from January to September.
Lord Myners says the asset management industry needs more contrarian views.
Lord Myners says the EU could force the UK to bail out banks in future if draft proposals go ahead in their current form.
Lord Myners is to look into allegations that RBS and Lloyds Banking Group are “bullying” corporate clients.
Fund group writes to top bosses in warning against excessive remuneration.
UK’s largest building society warns of a tough 2010 after H1 2009 profits plummet 64%.
Rob Sargent joins as head of asset management in the UK.
Robert Pickering joins the fund group as a non-executive director.
Neptune founder warns of size and scope of capital raisings.
The Society of Equity Release Advisers is a new trade body for the sector.
Paul Holland anticipates a huge battle in the online advice space.
NFS to merge with Oddfellows.
Nucleus finance director Neil Howitt is leaving the platform.
Nucleus has reached £1bn in assets under administration on its platform.
Old Mutual has denied that cutbacks in Skandia’s support to advisers are a precursor to a sale of the business.
Stats office reviews October’s surprising GDP result.
Shadow Chancellor George Osborne says he would narrow the focus of the Treasury if the Conservatives get into power.
Buy-to-let lender is optimistic that wholesale funding will return soon.
Buy-to-let lender bucks trend with profits increase in Q3.
Paymentshield has issued redundancy notices to over 60 members of staff.
Pension reforms expected in 2012 will present a great fee-charging opportunity for advisers.
Pensioners urged to claim back overpaid tax on interest from savings.
Without Omo life companies are cashing in, says Annuity Direct.
Money Marketing understands Wilson has been suspended pending an internal investigation.
Perspective Financial Group has acquired Professional Investment Management Services, its tenth acquisition to date.
The Personal Finance Society appoints Mike Fosberry as 2010 president.
David Norman hits out at fund charges and claims money is better off in a building society.
Prof body supports robust and independent work-based assessments.
Recruitment agencies seek common date for auto-enrolment.
Advisers who cannot get cover for certain business lines and FSA reviews face further capital adequacy increases.
Platform will withdraw from the self-cert market at the end of the week due to the FSA’s crackdown.
Founder Tim Woolley to step into the role.
Positive Solutions gives partners access to promotional support via the PosSol extranet.
Increase casts doubt over the future of the lifeboat.
1st - The Exchange is to integrate its Exweb portal service with Premier’s internal CRM system.
Premier’s Chris Wright sees value in Euro telcos and utilities
In the first of a regular Cicero Consulting political blog for Money Marketing, director Iain Anderson assesses the outlook ahead of next week’s Queen’s Speech.
The online protection provider has introduced new features and streamlined the navigation.
Estate agent research suggests there are five house hunters to every available property.
The new business will comply with Islamic law and target the Shariah institutional asset management market.
The new Essentials Plan includes life cover only and life with serious illness cover.
Pru Protect has relaunched its website in a bid to make it easier for advisers looking for product information.
One hundred jobs could be at risk of redundancy as the latest lender pulls out of the sector.
Overwhelming majority of adult Britons do not believe political parties can solve the nation’s pensions issues.
Firm sees more growth despite the huge rally seen in 2009.
Lender also launches new exclusives through Concordia and Legal & General.
The bailed-out bank has recorded a pre-tax loss of £2.1bn during the third quarter this year.
Bailed bank reveals staff cuts on eve of restructure.
Transact says the RDR has forced platform providers to re-examine the way in which they operate.
Ceiops chair has “provided solutions” to concerns regarding the European directive.
Friends Provident parent posts new business slump of £200m.
Craven, along with Swaines director Allen Swaine and ex-Bates’ head Glyn Clarke are setting up a new national IFA.
Verdin warns the views of certain protection commentators can create a distraction from the important issues.
Rightmove says it expects house prices to fall over the next three months.
The parent company of Ascentric says advisers can adopt one single platform.
Peter Beaumont’s “ethical” sale and rentback firm secures authorisation.
RSM has acquired the IFA division for an undisclosed sum.
Group says overlap is concerning a number of leading managers.
Fund manager reports profit dip but sees fund inflow increase.
Enhancements include marketing tips, statistics and non- branded letter templates on CI.
Scottish authorities consider means testing after costs rose 11% in 2009.
Scot Wids says simplified model needs to be developed to serve the mass market.
New report calls for committee chairs and members to be directly elected.
MorganAsh believes low price preferred lives could increase sales of protection.
SEI Investments says commission should be limited rather than scrapped.
Serious Fraud Office probes fund promising a guaranteed return of 20 per cent a year.
Sesame Bankhall Group hosts the first round of consultation meetings as part of its internal restructure.
SFO to investigate offshore hedge fund.
Ex-FSA legal adviser Noline Matemera warns the FSA’s new powers over significant influence funtion roles is an “ominous” sign of things to come.
Ignis Asset Management sees contrarian opportunities in the US and Japan.
Former Lloyds chairman is thought to be considering backing one of the new banks looking to come to market.
Skandia backs Aifa’s call to scrap new qualification requirements for existing advisers, while the ABI rejects the proposal.
Mortgages Direct rebrands to Spicerhaart Financial Services in the move to join Sesame.
St James’s Place announces new investment appointments.
Hunt takes over from newly appointed chief executive David Nish while a permanent successor is found.
Advisers say the pension guru’s departure will leave a big hole.
Blemain Finance agrees six-year forbearance deal in landmark case.
At the start of National Ethical Investment Week, UKSIF chief executive Penny Shepherd says advisers should help their clients capitalise on this market.
SVM has started to utilise Ucits III wider powers in its UK opps fund.
Swiss Re managing director of life and health UK Craig Thornton is leaving the reinsurer.
Talbot & Muir director of pension consultancy Nathan Bridgeman hits back at “ill-informed” comments in the media.
Tesco Bank has selected Fiserv and its Signature platform to provide its core banking solution.
Institute of Fiscal Stimulus says an independent forecaster is needed.
IFDL is currently reviewing the strategy of its B2C platform Fundsdirect.
Ex-FSA head John Tiner says regulatory changes will increase costs for consumers and companies.
Opposition wants FSA chief to move to Bank after it dissolves the regulator.
Nigel Waterson questions whether 2012 is practicable.
Shadow finance minister Mark Hoban says a move towards product regulation could harm competition and innovation.
Towergate launches multi-asset portfolios with risk-rated outcomes.
Towry chief Andrew Fisher argues it is right to take trail on historic business.
Policy Selection Limited argues that traded life settlement funds are a proven asset class when properly managed.
Association for Financial Markets in Europe chief is appointed by the Treasury.
TUC calls for tax on banks to “pay their share” of the financial crisis.
Former OMAM head of fixed income joins Swip.
FSA chair argues that simply splitting banks will create more instability.
Barclays, Aviva and RBS amongst those on Financial Stability Board’s ‘risk list’.
MPC member Andrew Sentance says most evidence contradicts ONS’ latest figures.
New structured product association launches in the UK.
The unemployment rate in the UK has remained steady during October.
The trade union has launched a campaign for Lloyds Banking Group staff to fight for change.
The income protection provider will be rolling out the service through 1st - The Exchange and Webline.
A judge in New York has written off a couples’ arrears debt and has left them mortgage-free.
Democratic senators draft bill to create raft of federal regulatory bodies.
Brokers believe new regulations will not create a sustainable and flexible mortgage market.
Money Marketing editor Paul McMillan chairs an Unbiased.co.uk/Money Marketing panel debate.
Jerry Brown asks: Why can I buy most other insurance products in the same day, more quickly than I can a simple term policy?
Whitechurch survey shows 20% IFAs considering an exit from the market.
The Investment Quorum chief executive says the move to wrap will benefit clients.
Zurich global life new business after tax increased 5 per cent on an annual premium equivalent basis.