Online - December 2009
2plan Wealth Management has completed a two-way disaster recovery trial in the event of losing its data.
The latest Swiss Re Insurance report reveals over 40 per cent of consumers believe they do not need life or income protection insurance.
Research by the Liberal Democrats reveals 48,000 people currently in care homes were forced to sell their homes to pay for long-term care this year.
City minister Lord Myners says 5,000 bankers will earn more than £1m this year.
NMG says the move towards higher professional standards gained momentum in 2009.
Scottish Widows says only 5 per cent of IFAs intend to offer restricted advice after 2012.
Justin Modray says the PBR could have been much harsher.
Dubai’s neighbour offers struggling state-owned holding company multi-billion lifeline.
Richard Blackshaw says the CII should not charge a fee for exam credits where qualifications are awarded by another body.
Dutch insurer pays back a third of its state aid.
New finance director and chief risk officer as provider admits need to improve return on capital.
Trade body calls for review of FSA authorisation processes after FSCS classifies Keydata in the intermediation category.
US insurer begins steps to sell off its international insurance arm.
Jefferies International says it has concerns over the outlook for the asset management firm.
Annuities likely to benefit as pre-Budget report debt figures push gilts into freefall.
A 58-year-old man is arrested in relation to fraud and money laundering offences.
Ashburton’s Asia Pacific equity fund rebrands as the Japan equity fund.
Provider channels pots of less than £30,000 to referral service offering panel of providers.
Aviva to add third Oeic structure to product range.
Aviva resumes trading on property fund after 13 months.
Rival says there are questions to answer regarding Standard’s personal pension shift.
AWD Chase de Vere appoints Stephen Kavanagh as chief executive officer.
Axa has enhanced its critical illness plan by reducing premiums and improving definitions.
The Bank of England says the crisis could have been avoided through lower bonuses.
The regulator says its focus will be on making sure banks’ pay codes are compliant.
BoE’s quarterly review says investor fears are forcing up gilt yields.
Barclays unveils new structured product.
Fund set for launch in first quarter of 2010.
The BBA has weighed into the spat between the French President and the UK Government.
Best Practice Chartered Financial Planners has selected Nucleus as its fourth platform provider.
Government support for the banking system has underpinned recovery.
First Action Finance’s Jonathan Cornell says the 50 per cent tax is bad news for property which normally gets a boost in bonus season.
Bravura Solutions has appointed Brian Mitchell as a non-executive director.
Research shows 71 per cent of Brits have household insurance, compared to just 15 per cent who have critical illness cover
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced a further £12bn of spending cuts today which included calls for regulators to be more transparent on pay.
The Prime Minister is expected to announce plans to cut public spending in advance of Wednesday’s pre-Budget report.
Bupa is enhancing its group income protection plan by introducing an early intervention service into its claims process.
Bupa paid 89 per cent of all critical illness claims during the first three quarters of this year.
In this extract from the Taxbriefs book Business of Advice, author David Shelton explains the need for clear pricing.
British Virgin Islands’ latest tax agreements bring total to 17.
The Conservative leader promises to introduce the legislation quickly if they win the next election.
Capita Financial Software has added a new business term protection and private medical insurance feature to its quote system.
Suspension of funds, which have fallen an estimated £140m in value since March, will not be lifted and distribution will take between three and five years.
The Chancellor will not water down the supertax on bonuses despite warnings of a City exodus.
Claims Warehouse failed to substantiate claims about the likelihood of writing off unenforceable debts.
Martin Werth asks whether or not today’s RDR paper will help close the £2.3tn protection gap.
CML director general says “treatment could harm the patient”.
Cofunds unveils 120 funds on guided architecture panel
Nottingham University Business School research shows consumers rate IFAs the “most fair” of the financial services professions.
The insurer has been ordered to pay out to individual who lost money before the revaluation.
Publication of the net asset value of underlying cru cells set for December.
Chancellor will admit debt interest will spiral over the next four years.
The UK Government has backed down over European proposals to dictate national bank bailouts.
The Chancellor may impose a tax of up to 50 per cent at next week’s PBR, according to reports.
Move follows French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s call for the victory of the European model of financial services.
The Chancellor’s planned windfall tax on bank bonus pools could be as high as 50 per cent.
The Chancellor Alistair Darling says he “will not be held to ransom” by banks who continue to pay high bonuses.
Chancellor also expected to push through plans for a one-off tax on bank bonus pools.
Chancellor is tipped to put back introduction of personal accounts by one year.
The Chancellor says bankers should demonstrate they “live on the same planet as the rest of us”.
The investment bank says it is unfair to treat UK bankers differently from overseas staff.
Alex King looks at how best to combine value and quality when it comes to critical illness cover.
The DWP says the risk-sharing method risked “unacceptable intergenerational unfairness”.
The European Central Bank is to begin withdrawing its support for the European’s financial sector.
Friends Provident wants the FSA to go further to remove discrepancies between occupational schemes and GPPs.
Enterprise Group has gone into administration but Enterprise Finance is still operating.
Skandia says economic consequences of Dubai appear “minor.”
The European Commission has approved the restructuring of RBS.
The third-party administrator says as much as £30bn of value has been wiped off UK mortgage books.
Former L&G national account director returns to the provider from Pru Protect.
F&C’s private equity fund of funds division acquires Icelandic bank Landsbanki’s private equity fund interests.
Father and son face 24 months and 12 months in jail respectively.
Finsbury Growth & Income Trust proposes a change in investment policy.
A survey by Lloyds reveals confidence levels in British businesses has reached its highest level since December 2007.
HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and Standard Chartered ratings unlikely to be directly impacted from Middle East exposures.
Ratings agency says rapid growth may lead to riskier lending in China.
John Campbell has been given a 12 month suspended sentence and 200 hours of community service for a fraud committed against the company.
The discount is given on all term assurance, critical illness and income protection cases online.
Financial Ombudsman Service rules against adviser who placed £100,000 investment for ‘low to medium’ risk client into CF Arch cru investment portfolio.
Six suspects arrested in international commercial loan fraud probe.
FPI announces appointment for Middle East region.
The FSA and the Office of Fair Trading are changing the way they collaborate on financial services issues.
The regulator brings in former Natwest regional managing director to advise on retail banking.
Yorkshire Building Society chief executive Iain Cornish takes over from Nick Prettejohn as Financial Services Practitioner Panel chairman.
The FSA has banned Nighat Mirza, a partner at a Manchester-based mortgage brokerage, for lacking competence and for failing to manage the firm’s affairs properly.
Banned Essex brothers hid fraud conviction from the FSA.
The FSA says broker Aaron Nickols failed to treat customers fairly and allowed staff to use high-pressure sales techniques.
Northern Ireland mortgage broker Noel Heaney is banned for “wide-ranging management and control problems”.
Murray will leave the regulator in December after four years as director of communications.
The FSA issued £34.8m worth of fines in 2009, with the average fine rising 97 per cent to £891,000, according to City law firm.
The regulator says banks, building societies, insurers and investment firms must carry out reverse stress testing.
FSA warns firms must take “great care” when marketing products designed to run down pension funds.
The FSA is expected to announce that it will take on the professionalism watchdog role.
The FSA clamps down on banks following amendments to the EU Capital Requirements Directive.
Kate Bartlett joins as director of operations on February 1.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has so far received 260 claims after declaring Hull Northern Credit Union Limited and Derby City Credit Union Limited in default.
FSCS to start paying out compensation claims against structured product providers NDFA, DRL and Arc Capital & Income.
Schroder UK equity fund manager quits firm after 11 years.
A man has been sentenced to two years in jail for attempting to set fire to Royal Bank of Scotland during the G20 protests.
Shares in UK fund manager Gartmore sink below IPO offer price of 220p set last week.
Assets raised include £153m worth of switches from Jupiter financial opportunities fund.
Stephen Message takes over on funds.
Gilliat unveils deposit based product.
GLG managers replace SG on GLG Asia Pacific fund.
US bank to offer shares vesting over a five-year period instead of bonuses.
Treasury paper says new regulator would be responsible for the oversight of investors’ money.
The Government is lobbying top international banks to put up billions of pounds for a state-backed fund for small businesses.
UK Taxpayer underwrites billions of foreign debts as RBS enters into the Asset Protection Scheme.
The expected seasonal decline is larger than normal.
Direct mailing calling for urgent reply was said to cause “undue distress” to homeowner.
The state-backed bank booked a 3,000-head event under the name “One Team”.
US manager invests at low point to make massive return.
Wealth manager Helvetia Wealth increases presence in UK with two acquisitions.
The Ombudsman can no longer take a more liberal approach on time limits than the courts.
Minerva Corporate Development Limited wound up after breaching the Financial Services and Markets Act.
Asset managers, stockbrokers and insurance companies escape Darling’s one-off 50 per cent tax on bank bonuses.
Nationwide says average November prices were 2.7% above 2008 figures.
Bank reveals fifth consecutive price rise in 2009, but says faltering economy will stall market next year.
The CML has released figures showing that house purchases reached their highest level since December 2007.
Govt minister hits out at first-time buyers who use parental assistance.
The bank says it will be focusing on its direct mortgage proposition in the future.
Citibank says without decisive Government, rating agencies will downgrade the UK.
CBK Colchester principal Peter Chadborn says insurers could cut corners when using straight through processing systems.
Tenon Financial Services has launched a discretionary wealth platform powered by SEI.
Chris Gilchrist explains why he believes national IFA firms will never work.
A poll of member firms shows belief the crisis has had a positive impact on IFA reputation.
Sham investment scheme used overseas IFAs, paid 4-6% commission, as “unwitting pawns” in the fraud.
Research shows 51 per cent of IFAs expect to do more business using risk profiling and asset allocation tools next year.
IFG Group to buy James Hay from Santander for £35m.
FT reports that IHT could be one of the tax rises announced in next week’s pre-Budget report.
Saunders says phasing timetable could add complexity.
CPI reaches 1.9% in November, closing in on the MPC’s 2% target.
Insight to close five equity oeics in February pending FSA approval.
New laws proposed by the Law Commission could see insurers pay out claims even if policyholders non-disclose on their application form.
The technology firm has appointed Sophie Hall as director of distribution and Mike Rawnsley as sales executive.
Government to pump 7.2 trillion yen into the Japanese economy in an attempt to get households and businesses spending.
Employee benefits firm JLT Group has acquired HACL, which has 2008 revenues of £40m and 440 employees.
John Charcol is late in filing its 2008 full year accounts to Companies House.
New fund set for launch in January 2010.
Jupiter’s Philip Gibbs says the economy is picking up and that valuations in financials are compelling
Bank of England figures leave economists in the dark over QE success.
FSCS warns of further levy as it estimates Keydata claims will cost the industry between £25m-50m.
L&G Unit Trust Managers announce sales appointment.
Stewart will take over from Sir Rob Margetts in March.
Legal and General is considering moving its corporate operations outside Europe to avoid Solvency II.
Brian Wood says the Government’s pre-Budget report is a “political fudge”.
LGIM hires new head of investment risk.
The news that another administrator has pulled out of the personal accounts bidding process is an “alarming development”.
Lighthouse Group directors David Hickey and Malcolm Streatfield increase their stakes in the firm.
Informed Choice chief executive Nick Bamford and L&G commercial director Danny Wynn discuss the impact of the RDR on your business.
Heavy supply coupled with market fears means gilt yields will increase going into 2010.
LSE acquires controlling stake in trading platform to increase its presence in Europe.
Macquarie has launched a portfolio tool on its wrap platform to help advisers understand data more easily.
Multi-asset multi-manager confident now funds have track record.
Martin Currie adds new hedged yen share class.
Socialite Lord Davenport, who hosted parties for the likes of Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, is one of those charged with involvement in the fraud.
Group to attract new talent and develop fund range after announcing plans to sell wealth management business.
Money Marketing’s pre-Budget panel offer their predictions for tomorrow’s PBR.
Moody’s sounds alarm ahead of PBR.
The ratings agency says there are risks of integrating the two building societies.
Former Merrill Lynch chief operating officer Gregory Fleming appointed president of Morgan Stanley Investment Management.
Morgan Stanley launches structured Oeic.
Analysts believe bank rate will stay at 0.5% for most of next year.
Mortgage Brain has bought The EdgeV2 software platform.
FSA says net lending rocketed over the third quarter of the year.
Employees at the network have been told today that the company is about to be placed into administration.
US economist and MPC member Adam Posen says regulatory controls on real estate booms could dampen future downturns.
The Bank of England is holding base rates at 0.5 per cent.
Members of the committee also voted unanimously in favour of continuing with £200bn of asset purchases under the quantitative easing programme.
Treasury select committee will question whether banks have become ‘too big to fail’ in 2010.
Ratings agency says will be UK one of many nations with AAA downgrade risk in 2010.
The building society is cutting rates by up to 0.29 per cent.
NDFA to recommence income payments within next few days.
Investment manager says Isa tax breaks aren’t helping enough people.
Figures from the British Bankers’ Association show lending held up last month.
Newton changes benchmark to show real returns as opposed to viewing a relative return against a customised benchmark.
Ron Sandler becomes chairman of new Northern Rock while Richard Pym chairs Northern Rock Asset Management.
Independent valuer says NR shareholders should not be entitled to compensation.
Northern Rock will complete the restructuring of the company by January 1 2010.
Users of the Novia platform can now access report generation software to illustrate and document pension transfers.
The tool compares portfolios held off the platform against those held on Novia.
FSA offers welcome news on work-based assessments and protection but new proposals on corporate pensions risk hitting savers and IFAs.
Three and five year guaranteed growth and guaranteed income withdrawn.
The OFT has decided not to pursue case against unfair bank charges, citing “low prospects of success”.
Further administrator pulls out of Pada race leaving just one.
Housing charities say lenders still not doing enough to avoid repossession.
The ABI initiative recorded the same transfer time for Omo cases in Q3 as in Q2.
The Government is looking at new ways to bolster the securitisation market, yesterday’s pre-Budget report reveals.
The ABI has criticised Chancellor Alistair Darling’s decision to increase national insurance contributions.
Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable says there should be a levy on bank profits.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders is disappointed with Chancellor Alistair Darling’s decision to end the stamp duty holiday.
Darling says inflation will reach 1% above target during next year.
Chancellor increases basis state pension despite deflation.
Chancellor introduces floor to prevent high earners getting around the new rules on tax relief.
Darling has imposed a 50 per cent tax on all banker bonuses over £25,000.
Chancellor Alistair Darling said the one-off levy Government will impose on bank bonuses will help the unemployed back to work.
Chancellor Alistair Darling has not extended the stamp duty holiday due to end on December 31.
Chancellor sticks to Budget plans for spending.
Chancellor admits previous forecast of 3.5% was wrong.
Treasury saves £2.4bn at the expense of savers.
Osborne says Chancellor announced wrong numbers in report.
Government and the Financial Services Authority will inject £20m in funding for the national roll-out of the Money Guidance scheme.
Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has hit out at the Labour party for failing to deliver three key tasks in its pre-Budget report today.
Chancellor revises forecasts of losses from bailing out banks.
Mortgage support scheme will be extended for six months.
Chancellor Alistair Darling has raised National insurance by 0.5 per cent.
Disregard is boosted from £6,000 to £10,000.
Buxton says downgrade of UK credit status is more likely as defecit reduction plans are extended.
Darling to set out tough new measures to clampdown on offshore tax avoidance and evasion.
Chancellor Alistair Darling has confirmed VAT will return to 17.5 per cent and there will be no increase in corporation tax for smaller firms in 2010.
Insurance group continues its capital restructure as it prepares to move onto the London Stock Exchange.
TPR warns it may use anti-avoidance powers on trustees.
Barnett Waddingham says that now there is only one contender for scheme administrator remaining, negotiations should be postponed until after the election.
IFA consolidator Perspective appoints eleventh firm.
Perspective makes its 12th IFA firm acquisition.
The Personal Finance Society makes Bluefin proposition director Jon Everill and HK Wealth Managers director Garry Hale PFS directors.
Both bodies are refusing to budge on the dates for their conference next year.
Pink Group and the Manchester Building Society are to offer a range of mainstream and buy-to-let products to ARs.
Cicero Consulting’s Iain Anderson speculates on what Wednesday’s PBR will have in store for the industry.
Phil Young discusses issues IFAs must consider when comparing platform price.
Property sector tops the IMA rankings for the first time in over two years.
Property lifts three places to finish as fourth highest selling sector last month.
Regular premium protection sales dipped £2m in Q3 this year, while single premium products dropped £193m.
Prudential Corporation Asia appoints Graham Mason as fund management chief executive.
Conservative peer Lord Forsyth of Drumlean is calling for a range of tax measures to tackle the UK’s budget deficit.
RBS has formally entered the Government’s asset protection scheme.
The FSA will publish the next RDR paper this week, covering protection, GPP, professionalism and governance.
Insurer says there is a “major risk” that take-up of group personal pensions will fall as a result of RDR changes.
Any firm that assists in the setting up or admin of a GPP must agree a charge with the employer.
The Chartered Insurance Institute says an independent professional standards board would be better placed to increase consumer trust than the FSA.
Advisers recommending protection policies are allowed to continue earning commission following the retail distribution review.
Regulator says there may be room for commission payments for basic advice to stakeholder members.
FSA outlines list of transitional qualifications for advisers.
The FSA is proposing this to boost consumer confidence in the industry.
FSA director of conduct policy Sheila Nicoll says struggling advisers will not get an extension on 2012 and the regulator is taking an “open-minded” view of alternative assessments.
The regulator says savvy consumers will complain more when they feel standards have been breached.
The regulator warns it may extend its regulatory scope if firms are using trust-based schemes to get around the RDR.
The FSA has admitted its previous proposals for oral assessments were too restrictive. More flexible alternatives to be offered on ongoing basis.
The FSA has confirmed it plans to scrap the independent proessional standards board.
New proposals to ban commission on GPPs will hit providers’ pockets.
IFAs say it “makes sense” and providers claim it was “definitely the right response”.
Firms will have to seek independent confirmation of advisers’ technical competence if they are not members of professional bodies.
Research by Bright Grey says Brits are grossly overestimating how long they could survive if they lost their income stream.
A CWC Research survey has revealed that over 50 per cent of advisers believe re-registration is an issue when moving client money.
Security on a par with Austria, Chile and Portugal.
Sally Laker says things can only get better for the mortgage market.
Lombard Odier fears a second round of sub-prime loan repos will lead to a second credit crunch.
Tullet Prebon says its decision to help staff move overseas was not politically motivated despite the fact that Tory MP Michael Fallon is a member of its board.
Sesame Bankhall Group executive chairman Ivan Martin is concerned about the “lack of detail” around alternative assessments.
Sesame Bankhall Group executive chairman Ivan Martin says the FSA could create an “advice crunch”.
SFO probes affairs of failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing following suspicions over criminal activity.
A total 280,000 policies worth around £5bn in funds under management have now been migrated onto the SIS platform.
Investec to manage £170m UK equity mandate.
Skandia Investment Group head of open-architecture has been made redundant.
Skandia UK’s chief operating officer John Tomlins, chief finance officer Simon Lloyd and platforms delivery director Tim Mann are being made redundant from the firm.
Yorkshire mutual to make £40m profit from sale of credit reference agency.
Smith & Williamson warns flat rate CGT may rise and salary sacrifice may come under scrutiny in next week’s pre-Budget report.
The parent company of equity release provider Home & Capital has appointed the ex-Merrill Lynch chairman Bob Wigley to its board.
Asset 1st focuses on offering specialist and valuation services to the UK property market.
The firm plans to fiercely complete with market leaders.
The first start-up bank in the UK for a century is waiting for approval from the FSA.
Dubai government denies Dubai World debt was ever backed by the state.
Stellar launches technology EIS fund.
50 per cent bonus tax unlikely to breach human rights, says report.
Swiss Re will provide the Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund with protection against longevity risk.
T. Bailey to change benchmark on its growth fund to help investors monitor performance.
Firm plans to become UK’s leading financial and business adviser.
Is Aviva’s decision to refer clients with small pots to rivals good news for customers?
Brazier to be co-head of UK equities at Threadneedle.
Three men were charged yesterday following arrests made in a swoop on 19 properties across the UK.
Tied and multi-tied advice arms of banks are expected to be hit by the bank payroll tax, introduced in this week’s pre-Budget report.
Fund manager set to take a career break.
Select X director Peter Maynard warns of an unhealthy collaboration in the protection industry.
The Conservatives criticise the Government after it was revealed some pensioners will not see their state pension rise.
Tory Michael MP Michael Fallon steps down as chair of Tullet Prebon’s remuneration committee.
Transact has now gone live with its qualifying savings plan following HM Revenue & Customs approval.
The Treasury says it is expecting banks to pay £1bn in bonus taxes.
Raft of proposals aimed at reducing legal issues after a bank collapse.
The pair will face sentencing in January at Woolwich Crown Court.
An MPC member warns the sector will have to become smaller after the credit crunch.
UK economy falls from 4th largest to 7th in five years.
US Fed chief Ben Bernanke hits out at decision to strip UK central bank’s regulatory powers.
John Chatfeild-Roberts on the current crisis, consequences and opportunities.
Roger Edwards asks: Are we locked in a downward price spiral without creating additional demand?
The Hartford’s exit and challenging market conditions saw third way sales plunge.
WAY Group IHT enquiries soar on back of market gains, property prices and City bonuses.
The Tom Baigrie inspired campaign has run out of steam, will anyone else pick up the reins?
The FSA publishes its latest RDR paper today which will look at any possible implications for the protection industry. We hear what the industry expects.
Axa’s Ian Thomas warns advisers to separate true wrap consultants from “salesmen in disguise”.
Mortgage technology firm becomes 84th associate member.
New entity to become the UK’s second largest building society.
Merged Yorkshire and Chelsea Building Society to boost lending, but no further mergers on the cards for now.