8 December 2004
HSBC is revamping its asset management business, with plans to close poorly performing funds and expand better-performing investments.
Prestbury Financial is launching a whole-of-market IFA business in January, which aims to double its number of RIs from 200 within a year.
A senior financial adviser with a leading East Anglia firm has been jailed for six years for stealing 1.8m from clients over a 12-year period.
Bank of Ireland Mortgages' first start loan will be sold through sister company Bristol & West by the end of the first quarter of 2005.
The Government could provide a more buoyant annuity market through the launch of bonds linked to mortality indices, according to Bank of England governor Mervyn King.
Aifa has made the hugely controversial decision to select the architect of depolarisation as its new director general.
The ABI is failing to force private medical insurance providers to be transparent over cancer treatment, says charity CancerBacup.
Are mortgage intermediaries under-capitalised? The FSA is pondering this question and if it decides to take action, a rise in professional indemnity cover or changes in capital adequacy requirements could have a big impact on mortgage firms and networks.
Total permanent disability should be scrapped from critical-illness insurance policies as it is a flawed concept, says Lifesearch senior technical adviser Kevin Carr.
Cathedral Independent Financial Planning has joined with overseas property network Blue Horizons to offer advice on buying property abroad.
PruHealth's chief executive is determined to change the private medical insurance market with innovative products such as offering lower premiums for healthy lifestyles
The return of John Garfield and Charles Wishart to Charcol 30 years after they helped to set up the firm will bring back the passion that made the company renowned, says the new board.
Chelsea Building SocietyTwo Year Fixed Rate
Clerical Medical has been criticised for offering enhanced commission and allocation rates on its with-profits bond at a time when its bonus rates have been largely falling.
Recent estimates by the Building Societies' Association suggest that the cost of mortgage regulation for lenders may reach 500m. However, little work seems yet to have been done on the similar likely costs for those parts of the industry that will have to comply with Icob from January next year.
With just two weeks of being a consumer journalist under my belt, I realise there is life beyond regulation.
The Chancellor's pre-Budget report introduced measures to end abuse of tax relief for UK film production. The Treasury says the move, which takes immediate effect, is designed to ensure that the reliefs operate as intended.
Association of Mortgage Intermediaries director Chris Cummings has assured mortgage intermediaries that the AMI will keep its independence despite his appointment as deputy director general of Aifa.
It has been two years since the FSA doomed polarisation and now the industry finally knows just what what the future holds.
Independent advice is a product in itself that ought to be viewed as a stand-alone commodity. It is not a means to sell products to customers, it is advising them on everything that they need to organise their finances.
The term multi-tie has no real meaning in the current world of financial advice - it is like referring to a sixpence in a post-decimalisation world - so can we stop using the term as it certainly does not help consumers.
With-profits policyholders face a double tax whammy on their savings with Chancellor Gordon Brown planning changes to how life funds are taxed.
New products are coming that claim to beat deposit rates but they also have a high bafflement factor.
Fidelity is in talks with high-street banks about white-labelling funds as it looks to take advantage of depolarisation distribution opportunities.
The Financial Ombudsman Service is calling for the regulation of mortgage endowment claims management firms.
Friends Provident InternationalZenith
RU64 could be set to be scrapped, with the FSA to consult on its abolition in the New Year.
The FSA will review crosssubsidies of customers on mortgage provider books and look at shortening KFIs.
IFAs are concerned about being blocked out in the distribution chain but some fund firms are determined to keep independent advisers in the forefront of their business.
The CII has revealed its new exam structure which introduces a module on investment and risk.
Competition is definitely a good thing - and nowhere is this more true than when it comes to mortgages but herein lies the problem - HBOS. Don't get me wrong, this is not have-a-go-at-HBOS time.
Well-known IFA brands Advisory & Brokerage Services, Wentworth Rose, Aurora Financial Group, Momentum Financial Services and Elliott Bayley will disappear early next year.
The Personal Finance Society is planning to run specialist programmes for personal and corporate financial advisers.
Young people are leaving the industry, disillusioned by the constant barrage from the media and the FSA.
It is well known that a married couple can save up to 105,200 of inheritance tax by leaving assets to persons other than the surviving spouse on the first death and a typical IHT planning strategy for married couples is for each will to include a clause stating that an amount up to the nil rate band at the date of death will be left subject to a discretionary trust.
The is a dangerous degree of consensus among investment houses over expectations for 2005.
Close Finsbury has come up with an innovative new fund called the Multi Asset Portfolio.
We all have to be responsible for our actions in life. Well almost all, two related groups appear to have the ability to make irresponsible decisions without fear of being called to account. I refer, of course, to the FSA and the Financial Ombudsman Service.
This is the last article I shall write for Money Marketing before the Personal Finance Society comes into being on January 1. It is an interesting time of transition for both the LIA (32 years old) and Sofa (12 years old).
LiontrustLiontrust Distribution Fund
Manor ParkGuaranteed Global Growth - January 2005
Berry Birch & Noble Financial Planning is setting up a financial advisory service aimed at UK medical professionals.
The world's third-biggest manager of manager provider MLC has revealed a new pricing structure which is aimed to tap into a growing self-invested personal pension market.
Bestinvest has acquired pension specialist SMA Group in a move that almost doubles its staff.
Mortgage ExpressThree Year Discount Buy To Let
Mortgage ExpressThree Year Discount Buy-To-Let
The FSA will mystery-shop mortgage firms and lenders following regulation of the sector.
The Treasury has refused IFAs the right to appeal against Financial Ombudsman Service decisions but test cases may be allowed to go to court.
Neptune Investment Management has teamed up with private equity manager Calculus to offer the Neptune-Calculus income and growth venture capital trust.
Noble & Company UniVen VCT
North Atlantic ValueLeisure & Media VCT C Shares
A Professional Mortgage Packagers' Association board member has hit out at claims that depolarisation will mean the death of the packaging industry.
The Personal Finance Society is considering dropping the term fee-based advice, saying it is misleading.
The Personal Finance Society has signed an exclusive agreement to offer advice to members of the biggest pension scheme in the country.
Advisers have welcomed Chancellor Gordon Brown's U-turn to extend Isa allowances but say he should keep the allowance indefinitely.
With the benefit of hindsight, I guess most mortgage advisers wish they had taken a month's holiday starting on November 1. If they had, they might well have avoided the business issues caused by a number of lenders in dealing with key facts illustrations and adviser registrations, which together with the slowdown in housing transactions combined to make November the worst month on record for many small mortgage and insurance businesses.
IFAs are calling on fund companies to be clear about what risks managers are taking to achieve returns.
Sarasin Chiswell, formerly Sarasin Investment Management, has established a fund which provides indirect exposure to global property.
Aifa has picked the architect of depolarisation, FSA head of retail investment policy David Severn, as its new director general.
The Investment Management Association has called for an urgent summit meeting with the Treasury in a bid to save tax breaks for hundreds of funds.
Sarasin Chiswell, formerly Sarasin Investment Management, will include the property investment funds - the proposed UK version of real estate investment trusts - in its new multi-manager global property fund.
There are good reasons why online mortgage delivery has failed to take off in the UK.
West LBPerformance Seeker
As house prices have risen, there is evidence that inheritance tax will affect more people.
Woolwich Plan Managers has established the guaranteed 50:50 deposit account. This combines a five-year FTSE 100-linked guaranteed equity bond with a one-year fixed rate high interest account.
YFM Private Equity intends to raise up to 15m in C shares for its British smaller companies venture capital trust.
Zurich Financial Services' multi-tie distribution business launches next year and will be branded Openwork, with Scottish Equitable as sole pension provider.