1 December 2004
Researchers at property consultants FPD Savills are forecasting that the value of the average house will rise by just 2 per cent next year, the lowest growth level in nine years.
The almost wilful refusal of the vast majority of the public to learn about and take an interest in their financial aff-airs must be a continuing cause for concern for IFAs who have to advise them, and the regulator, charged with the unenviable task of educating the general public about money matters.
I have a paid-up executive pension plan which offers me the potential of taking a substantial amount of tax-free cash. I am actively contributing to other pension policies and am thinking about consolidating the arrangement. Will the new pension legislation have any effect on this?
The Association of Investment Trust Companies is backing FSA moves to regulate investment trust companies following the split-capital debacle.
Catherine Boyle looks at the final four for the IFA Woman of the Year 2004 award.
American Express Financial Services has added Insight Investment multi-manager portfolios onto its wrap platform for IFAs.
Assureweb says it is the first IFA portal to gain a British standard for security practices and is calling on its competitors to work harder to demonstrate the same level of commitment to improving security.
The depolarisation rules have been released, giving the go-ahead to brokers to multi-tie and allowing banks to widen their offerings.
Bradford & Bingley has confirmed the sale of Charcol to a consortium of investors including the former founders, as exclusively revealed by Money Marketing Online.
The pressure is on Britannic Asset Management to shape up after it lost an exclusive distribution deal, says Rowan analyst Tim Cockerill.
Former Misys head of marketing and Sesame sales director Andrew Bedford has been appointed managing director at IFA Worldwide Financial Planning.
Bristol & West Mortgages5.05% Five Year Fixed
Bristol & West Mortgages5.59% Three Year Fixed Buy To Let
We have got a client flying in tonight from Dubai. Odd for a telephone-only operation, you might think. I would love to tell you that she is really flying over to pick up the keys of the new Mercedes she won in the infamous Dubai airport raffle but, sadly, she has to come here to prove her identity under the most bizarre interpretation of money laundering that HBOS is forcing upon us all.
Purely Mortgages chief executive Mark Chilton believes the current market is a difficult one for a newly independent Charcol to make a success of.
This is the end of the line for polarisation. Following a long and detailed consultation with industry, the FSA's new rules come into effect this week.
With the residential market slowing, clients and brokers are turning to commercial property.
Overall life and pension business showed a 5 per cent rise in the third quarter to 2.5bn from 2.4bn in the same quarter last year.
Bradford & Bingley commercial director Ian Darby is understood to be on gardening leave from B&B with the possibility of joining Charcol next year.
The financial industry is hard-pressed to react with no time to prepare for new rules.
The publication of marketaverage commission levels could give rise to anti-competitive behaviour, warn product providers.
DWS Investments is aiming at cautious investors with a capital-guaranteed cash plus fund looking for a 7.75 per cent return.
Industry reaction is that the FSA's calculation of market average rates errs on the low side.
Consolidating IFA group Consifa is set to relaunch to the IFA market with ex-Winterthur Life chairman John Finan as chief executive.
Former Cabinet minister Stephen Byers is urging the Government to adopt a policy to help first-time buyers get on to the housing ladder with interest free loans.
Friends Provident International Zenith
The removal of the better than best rule makes it easier for product providers to invest in intermediaries but providing software or training will be restricted under FSA guidelines.
The FSA has published the market-average figures for the cost of financial advice which firms must provide for all consumers by June 2005.
All of the small and medium-sized IFA firms surveyed by the FSA say they plan to stay independent.
The proportion of first-time buyers in the UK has fallen more rapidly than in any other country, according to research published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
FundsDirect has appointed Prudential director Simon Bratt as chief executive after Sean Ewing left the company.
Performance seeker is a capital protected bond designed by German bank West LB and administered by Keydata Investment Services. It is linked to the performance of a weighted portfolio of three stockmarket indices - the FTSE 100, S&P 500 and Nikkei 225 over a six-year term.
Hargreaves Lansdown chief executive Peter Hargreaves says his firm will fight hard against performance fees as he pours scorn on the results of an AITC survey.
Hargreaves Lansdown chairman Peter Hargreaves is challenging the AITC to prove the results of its recent survey on performance fees.
IFAs say the way the FSA has calculated market-average commission is flawed because it has included execution-only business.
The initial panic over mortgage regulation has subsided but borrowers are being advised to wait for the best deals to arrive in the New Year.
The Government got it spectacularly wrong on pricing so maybe it is time to at least try leveraging distribution.
The dollar slide is not having too great an effect on markets - perhaps it is the seasonal factor, says Brian Tora
Billions of pounds are being left in underperforming funds as UK investors miss out on top-ranking funds, according to a report by Rowan.
The Exchange has been formally put up for sale after parent Marlborough Stirling had its shares suspended and its chairman quit.
JO Hambro Capital ManagementJOCHM UK Equity Income Fund
JPMorgan FlemingJPMF Europe Dynamic (Ex UK) Fund
JPMorgan FlemingJPMF Europe Dynamic (Ex UK) Fund
JO Hambro has attracted yet another top fund manager, Clive Beagles, former manager of Newton higher-income fund.
Lenders should assess and price risk for non-conforming borrowers rather than exclude them, says a new study of the market.
A large number of packaging operations will disappear in the new regulated environment as transparency measures expose what they are earning, warn mortgage intermediaries.
Manor Park has unveiled the Manor Park guaranteed global growth fund (January 2005 series), a capital-protected offshore investment trust.
Treasury select committee chairman John McFall has taken the lead in establishing a new industry forum to help boost confidence in longterm saving.
Bruce Love looks at how international PMI business is growing and how advisers need to get to grips with complex issues rather than just dabble in the market.
Banks' tied salesforces must disclose the commission they get to consumers in the same way as IFAs and multi-ties, the FSA confirms.
Protection has been left off the payment menu and IFAs fear this may lead to confusion among clients.
Money Marketing is collaborating with sister publication Fund Strategy, conference organiser Sway and the AITC for a Senate conference on investment trusts.
Last week, I considered the choices that advisers need to make regarding regulatory status approaching D-Day. This week, I will continue to explore the two key components in the overall financial plan - investment management and tax planning.
Nvesta has brought out the bull & bear tracker plan, a guaranteed equity bond that provides capital growth linked to the rise or the fall of the FTSE 100 index.
The Office of Fair Trading is to review the effects of depolarisation because it is concerned that the new rules could have an anti-competitive effect on the market.
The news that IFAs have been deemed ineligible by the Association of IFAs to serve as director general will come as a great shock to most advisers.
Any Out of Contexts or Diary stories? Send them to Diary editor Alison Bone, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 0207 943 8037
In my last few articles, I have identified the nature and extent of the main three risks of pension drawdown - interest rates, increasing life expectancy and investment performance. In this article I will pay attention to strategies which not only seek to minimise the investment performance risk but turn it into a calculable advantage.
Shadow chancellor Oliver Letwin has accused Gordon Brown of breaking his own 'golden rule' on public spending.
The UK economy will grow at between 3 and 3.5 per cent in 2005 says Chancellor Gordon Brown.
Trade bodies and IFAs have welcomed the Government's plan to extend Isa limits until 2009 but want further measures to increase savings.
Chancellor Gordon Brown says the Treasury will consult on extending the 7,000 Isa tax break for a further five years.
The Chancellor has unveiled a plan for a second Child Trust Fund payment to be made to children on their seventh birthday.
Property is disappointingly absent from Gordon Brown's pre-budget report says Hampton's International Mortgages broker Jonathan Cornell.
The FSA is in danger of discouraging investors from picking performing funds by constantly highlighting costs, according to Whitechurch Securities investment director Gavin Haynes.
IFA delegates at the Sofa conference last week voiced concerns that placing residential property in a pension is a disaster in the making.
Product providers need to improve their service standards and pay more attention to IFAs.
I realise it is nearly Christmas when the Money Marketing boat party arrives. The glitterati of financial services were there to set the sector to rights and to consume food and drink as if it was their last meal. It would be easy to appraise the well-dressed ass-embly and assume that, to them, image was all important. Yet we find ourselves with an image that the public could reasonably cite as a key blocker to them saving as opposed to spending.
Resolution Life is to write to Royal & Sun Alliance with-profits policyholders alerting them when MVR-free redemption days come up.
Investment product risk warnings are set for an overhaul after FSA research found that consumers ignore small print, believing it is only there to cover providers.
Thinc's new strategic relationships director credits his six months as a door-to-door insurance salesman with giving him confidence and an ability to engage with people.
IFAs have reacted angrily to FSA predictions that depolarisation will force some advisers to leave the market.
Salaries among life insurance offices' intermediary salespeople have soared by more than 21 per cent in the past three years.
Schroders has made its institutional recovery fund available to retail investors in the UK.
Scottish Widows Investment PartnershipSwip Property Trust
Selestia has leapfrogged HL Vantage into fourth place in the fund supermarket sales race and is closing in on Skandia.
Budget changes are making it easier to market offshore funds in the UK.
I am starting to think that people like me in our industry have spent too much of our time concentrating on the way the new pension legislation will impact on the higher-paid people in the UK workforce and not enough time on how the new tax rules will complicate the lives of average pension savers and pension scheme members.
Retirement planning could be marching to a different beat after A-Day, reports Amanda Newman.
The FSA called time on polarisation this week, bringing an end to more than 15 years of a market that has been clearly divided between independent advisers and tied salespeople.
Leading investment advisers hope that new sales figures will persuade fund managers that they need to pay more attention to retail sales.
The Mortgage OperationWoolwich 4.99% Fixed Rate
Thinc is in pole position to become the first intermediary business to offer a multi-tie with a January 15 launch date for its limited market proposition.
Tilney Investment Management is introducing a structured product which combines a multi-manager fund of funds and a hedge fund of funds with full capital protection.
The Conservatives say they will offer an option menu to make stamp duty fairer for housebuyers.
Conservative regulation tsar John Redwood has attacked the FSA's "epic" costs to implement the payment menu.
Tributes have been paid to Legal & General investment managing director John Monckton who was stabbed to death in his home on Monday.
Winterthur Life is predicting that over two-thirds of IFAs will be using multi-manager platforms by 2007.
For obvious reasons, the Government limits the amount that your clients can invest in tax-favoured investments.
Independent and tied advisers will have to provide clients with a statement of demands and needs for protection policies sold from January 14, 2005.
Wesleyan AssuranceWesleyan Growth Bond
Wesleyan AssuranceWesleyan Growth Bond
West LBPerformance Seeker
Post-A-day strategies are taking shape, with providers being influenced particularly by the imminent changes to the stakeholder regime and the potential for tiered levels of advice.
Woolwich Plan Managers has introduced cherry picker issue 1, a guaranteed equity bond linked to a weighted basket of three stockmarket indices over a five-year term.
Woolwich Plan ManagersCherry Picker - Issue 1