21 November 2007
The Association of British Insurers is working on a new set of guidelines to push insurers to pay a proportion of claims which may otherwise be declined for non-disclosure.
A number of fee-based financial planners and advisers have launched the Forum for Fee Based Advice, which aims to give consumers access to impartial, unbiased and independent advisers.
FSA chief executive Hector Sants faces his first big IFA gig at the Aifa dinner this week.
Aon Consulting is accusing the Pension Protection Fund of overcharging companies by millions of pounds on their levy payments.
Arc Capital & IncomeBull & Bear Tracker Plan 4
The banking industry has moved to allay concerns that HM Revenue & Customs loss of the personal information, including bank details of 25m people will result in mass identity fraud.
Brokers should offer threeyear fixed-rate mortgages to first-time buyers in the current property market, according to John Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger.
Mortgage guru Ray Boulger has dismissed forecasts from futures and options traders in the City that house prices will fall by as much as 7 per cent next year.
Informed Choice joint managing director Nick Bamford says he believes clients actively wish to pay fees for financial advice and describes the system of customer- agreed remuneration put in place by his own firm
The credit crunch could offer an opportunity to demonstrate the value of advice to clients.
Too little attention in the RDR debate has been focused on the consumer. Ultimately, there is a need to look back at the RDR and its core objectives. There is a need to make sure that we get a better and not just different outcome from this review. There must be a recognition that consumers share responsibility. We, as IFAs, have a unique level of access to consumers' wants and needs.
Black November continues for the Government with Conservative incompetence jibes beginning to stick and pressure growing on the Chancellor over Northern Rock, HMRC and capital gains tax.
Cofunds has completed a deal with Australian wrap offering Praemium which will see them bring a number of new services and reporting tools onto the UK platform.
From April next year, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme will have a new funding model which could lead to IFAs paying less than they do now.
Standing in the dealing room of a firm of London stockbrokers last week, I became aware that people were clustered around TV screens showing pictures of a plume of smoke over central London. As the news came in of a serious fire close to Canary Wharf, so the earlier bullish mood of the market evaporated and shares moved into freefall.
The Competition Commission's Emerging Thinking document on payment protection insurance has given the insurance industry and intermediaries a clean bill of health.
When crafting this column, there is usually a simple choice to make - to criticise or to praise and perhaps even honour something or someone. This article is not a shower of praise but a tsunami of plaudits on several insurance companies.
The Government will publish its final proposals for Capital Gains Tax in the next three weeks and says it is still listening to business arguments against the plans.
Chancellor Alistair Darling knows how to make friends and influence people. It seems that he is intent on blaming mortgage lenders and brokers for no end of society's ills.
The shrinking number of mortgage products on the market has brought problems for first-time buyers.
In 2005 Adair Turner's Pension Commission identified the KiwiSaver, a national pension scheme that was being set up in New Zealand to encourage higher levels of pension saving, as a possible model for a similar system in Britain.
FSA chief executive Hector Sants will send out a conciliatory message to IFAs tonight telling Aifa members he is well aware of their RDR concerns and acknowledging the regulator has not made its intentions clear at times.
The FSA is to keep its waiver on complaints over unauthorised overdraft charges after completing a review of the decision.
Henderson's multi-manager team has replaced the Artemis European growth fund with Artemis global growth in its independent growth portfolio fund to gain further exposure to Asia and emerging markets.
Insight Investment's diversified high income fund aims to boost its dividend by investing in derivatives and Asian real estate investment trusts which it says have higher yields than available in the West.
Kensington Mortgages is temporarily pulling out of the adverse credit market due to the current market conditions.
The last month has seen Sainsbury's and Tesco running promotions through their loyalty programmes to promote their life insur-ance but the move has been criticised by some advisers as a gimmick.
LV= Asset Management (LVAM) has continued building its fund management arm with the appointment of Neil Worsley as head of UK equities
Ever since the sub-prime crunch took hold in the Summer it seems predicting the market has practically become impossible to do - if that wasn’t the case before.
This week's focus, certainly within Money Marketing, has been over the issue of primary advice. Tom Baigrie, managing director of Lifesearch and also of London-based IFA Baigrie Davies, made one of the most telling contributions to the discussion. He argues that current RDR proposals over primary advice will "hasten the retreat of advisers from the mass market and its replacement by those who sell but do not advise".
Annual pension contributions could be £10bn lower in 2050 if the majority of employers level down their pension contributions when personal accounts are introduced compared to if there was no reform.
Miton Asset Management, which was formed from the merger of MitonOptimal and Iimia, is bringing out a multi-asset version of its global fund to be called Vega.
Money Portal is closing in on a deal to buy Burns-Anderson, Money Marketing understands.
Morgan StanleyAsia (Ex Japan) Protected Growth Plan
Old Mutual appointed Suresh Sadasivan about a year ago to run its Asian select fund. He has had considerable experience in the emerging market sectors with Old Mutual and has since improved the performance of the fund hugely relative to his peers.
National Ethical Investment Week will launch in May 2008, organised by the UK Social Investment Forum, a non-profit ethical investment membership body.
The ABI has released its new business figures today indicating that not all is doom and gloom in the life industry as new business has increased by 8 per cent.
Despite the economy slowing in the first quarter, the US markets still represent good value, especially as GDP is expected to remain stable in the second half of the year and into 2008. It is worth bearing in mind that the US may not be the fastest-growing economy but it is still the biggest and it benefits from the rapid growth seen internationally.
More than one in five Sesame advisers is working towards achieving chartered status.
So Pearl triumphs and takes over Resolution as its latest jewel.
Plum Software has announced that automatic investment updates from The Hartford are now available through Plum’s IFA and mortgage broker software suite.
I don’t know about you but I can be swayed into a decision to buy if I get money off for multiple purchases, club card points or free gifts. Don’t misunderstand me, the car I want to drive, the clothes I want to wear and the wine I want to drink will be bought, irrespective if there is a social offer.
Global equity markets shrugged off some poor corporate earnings' news and mixed economic data to post a positive performance in October, as risk aversion stemming from the recent credit crisis ebbed.
Commission reconciliation has historically been one of the most labour-intensive activities carried out by adviser firms. It is boring, tedious, time-consuming but sadly essential.
Helm Godfrey managing director Bruce Wilson believes advisers are constantly struggling to understand the risk posed by individual structured products.
Congratulations on your forthcoming marriage. It is important that couples who are about to marry are aware of the financial implications if they divorce as many people at this stage of their lives are so happy and in love that they cannot even think about separation. The divorce rate is the lowest it has been in England and Wales for 20 years but the number of second-time divorcees has doubled in the last 25 years. In 2006, second-time divorcees constituted one-fifth of all divorcees.
It is important to get your sums right. Whether you are The Personal Accounts Delivery Authority faces this challenge next year. It was established to design and implement the new personal accounts scheme and the forthcoming Pensions Bill will give it the powers to start taking decisions like hiring contractors and setting the level and shape of the personal accounts charging structure.
The FSA has always played hard ball and it can been excruciatingly frustrating for journalists trying to stand up a story.
As Scotland's secondbiggest investment company, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership has been one of the busier asset management firms in recent months.
Ted Scott is no newcomer to ethical investing. The manager of the F&C Stewardship income fund has been involved with F&C's Stewardship team since its inception in 1984 and was appointed manager of the income fund in 1998.
Franklin Templeton Investments has announced that the Templeton emerging markets smaller companies fund is now available to UK investors.
Rating agencies have come under intense attack over their failure to sound a warning before the US sub-prime mortgage crisis and last week the Treasury select committee grilled them over their role in the debacle.
The fund supermarket industry is on track to provide IFAs with a new fleet of tools and services to get clients to their destination as attention focuses on distribution, says Colin Tipping, client director of Barclays Global Investors iShares
Mortgage commentators are predicting 2008 to be a year of consolidation and it seems some players are already looking to offload certain parts of their business.
Conservative parliamentary candidate and IFA Deborah Dunleavy has slammed the Government over its handling of the Northern Rock crisis.
Early next year, the FSA will publish a discussion paper on the purpose and possible effects of greater transparency.
This is the fifth year in a row where equity markets have risen and the seventh year where Asian equity markets have outperformed. This might sound warning bells for some investors but we believe that every stockmarket cycle is different. It would take a brave investor to try to use the duration of market strength to try to time market peaks and we do not believe that the evidence justifies it.
Virgin is the frontrunner to takeover Northern Rock after the lender announced it was taking forward discussions on an accelerated basis with the consortium led by Virgin Group.
Eaglet Investment Trust plc founder and investment manager Peter Webb believes that it is imperative that shareholders resist the appointment of three Board members from requisitioning shareholders Knox D’Arcy, QVT and Laxey Partners.
It looks like the wait is finally over for Burns-Anderson as Money Portal is strongly tipped as being about to close a deal to buy the Bristol-based company.
Last week, I looked at how the proposed capital gains tax changes might influence the choice of an investment wrapper. At a superficial level, the proposed new flat rate of 18 per cent looks to be significantly more desirable than a 40 per cent income tax charge and even a 20 per cent income tax charge. I suspect it is this that has led to the conclusion reached by some of bonds being dead in the water.