Online - December 2011
After its review of small pension pots, Age UK head of public policy Jane Vass says transfer rules for small pots needs addressing.
When I started PanaceaIFA some thought that we were a trade union for IFAs.
IMA chief executive Richard Saunders hits back at the Observer over claims of huge fund fees hitting the value of long term savings.
Jonathan Lipkin says fund managers are not short-termist.
The past 12 months in investment have been dominated by stockmarket uncertainty.
BDO financial services risk and regulatory practice director Alex Ellerton on the questions still to be answered on trail.
Mark Dampier says investors will face another difficult 12 months.
IFAs would be wise to make simplicity central to their new year’s resolutions, says Martin Bamford
Should we be demanding a Chinese wall type arrangement between deposit taking and financial product selling?
Children’s cover is an often overlooked but value element of CI cover says PruProtect’s Deepak Jobanputra
Money Marketing hits the streets to ask strikers why they walked out.
Lee Travis looks at a range issues advisers must consider when developing their business for a post-RDR world.
Employ the due diligence on your training supplier as your clients and the FSA can apply to you.
Ian Lowes raises concerns over the FSA’s proposed life settlements ban.
Lender targeting non-professional landlords.
Aberdeen Asset Management is proposing to merge three equity multi-manager funds into the Aberdeen Multi-Manager Equity Managed Portfolio.
The ABI is set to hold a number of face-to-face talks with bank chief executives over payouts in the new year.
ABI director of financial regulation and taxation will join the regulator next year to head up a newly created insurance department.
New draft proposals designed to encourage more shopping around at retirement for an annuity.
The ABI says policymakers should work with the industry to select the “most appropriate” ombudsman cases for publication.
Favourability towards gold and absolute return funds has decreased since the summer.
Aegon has appointed former Aviva director Philip Easter as non-executive chairman of the Aegon UK insurance companies board.
Age UK has pledged to return commissions it received from NHFA for recommendations to clients affected.
Ageas Protect to contact customers to tell them terms and conditions have improved.
The majority of unions representing public sector workers have agreed to consider new pension reform offers from the Government.
Trade body says review should establish whether EEA would have closed without FSA intervention in life settlement market.
FSCS is to send MF Global UK customers application forms for compensation.
Net asset value of CF Arch cru investment portfolio has fallen 20 per cent over six months, while CF Arch cru specialist portfolio has fallen 17 per cent.
Ashcourt Rowan Group has appointed a new chief financial officer and chief operating officer
App allows advisers to compare real-time rates for term assurance products.
Reports suggest the insurer is looking at a number of options to boost its capital reserves.
Ofcom says Aviva sponsorship of Downton Abbey strays into advertising.
Advisers allowed to provide information over phone for life cases to £3m and critical illness to £750k.
Swiss Life director Carsten Maschmeyer quits board and reduces equity holding to less than three per cent.
The Bank of England has held the base interest at its historic low of 0.5 per cent for the 33rd month running.
The Bank of England has appointed Andrew Gracie as director of its special resolution unit.
Ring-fence plans to be in place by 2015.
Claim has been filed in the High Court alleging that Barclays misused confidential information to pursue a takeover deal.
Agreement will see SEI provide administrative support to the private client wealth management firm.
BIS investigating alleged breaches in accountancy laws.
The UK’s banks should boost their capital to help them withstand the expected global economic downturn, the Bank of England claims.
Dale defends BoE’s monetary policy, saying vital in order to stave off recession.
Bank of England says wholesale funding costs will rise, leading to higher mortgage rates.
Money Marketing is running a free one-day investment seminar in February for investment advisers.
Schroders head of UK equities on expectations for UK and global growth continuing to recede.
Cable examining whether any action can be taken against former RBS directors.
Testing completed with transfer of BNY Mellon fund between Transact and Nucleus.
Joint committee recommends one independent complaints process for PRA and FCA.
The Prime Minister says he wants protections for key industries such as financial services.
Based on the most recent valuations investors who accept compensation package will get 66 per cent of value of funds at suspension.
A survey of the CBI’s members suggests just 1 per cent will cut back defined-contribution pensions as a result of automatic enrolment.
Record high overnight deposits reported by the ECB reflect the lack of confidence in the banking sector, says Cheviot Asset Management’s David Miller.
Slow running exam software led to exam cancellations for 96 advisers.
Public sector job losses will outstrip private sector growth.
Deputy prime minister has outlined plans to reform the tax system by targeting the wealthy.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has warned 2012 will pose “many great challenges” as the Coalition attempts to cut the UK’s budget deficit.
Resolution founder Clive Cowdery bought the shares yesterday at 252.91p each.
Trade body also downgrades 2011 gross lending estimate.
Deputy PM says he is “bitterly disappointed” by the veto.
Lloyds Banking Group is hoping to agree terms by Q1, 2012.
Platform consultant says corporate platforms should not use offering just as way of selling products.
Hargreaves Lansdown has dropped the Jupiter financial opportunities fund from its Wealth 150 buy-list.
Research of 500 IFAs from Defaqto suggests providers are failing to meet advisers’ expectations when servicing existing business.
Uncertainty caused by the Government’s reclassification of scheme pension as a defined-benefit.
Andrew Dilnot says trigger points should be found for people to be signposted to advice over long term care funding.
Christian Noyer, governor of the Banque de France, has called on rating agencies to downgrade the UK first ahead of France.
DWP urged not to give into inevitable pressure for small firms to be exempt from auto-enrolment
Ex-New Star boss responds to unfair dismissal claim brought to an employment tribunal by former fund manager Patrick Evershed.
Official Government figures show the number of working-age people saving into a private pension fell from 46 per cent in 2000 to 38 per cent last year.
Draghi said binding governments to strong rules on public finances was the important element to restoring confidence in markets.
Move follows FSA concerns over life settlements.
Research from consultant Mercer shows employers have held frozen DC contributions since 2009, while employees have reduced contributions in the last two years.
Letter to European Council calls for new common legal framework for financial regulation and the creation of a financial transaction tax.
Euro falls to lows as concerns grow on Italian debt.
UK refused to commit to contributing, saying it will “define its contribution” in early 2012.
Three men were involved in the scam which used false letters to convince a private bank to offer the loan.
Ratings agency says US rating is under threat if politicians do not tackle growing debt problem.
Barclays is the only UK bank of the six.
Matrix has attacked ratings agency Fitch after it placed three money market funds on review.
The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il means the relationship between North and South Korea will have to be “monitored closely”, Fitch Ratings says.
FSA says Sachin Karpe took part in alleged unauthorised trades.
The French economy grew by less than expected in the third quarter of the year, according to the latest statistics.
Friends Life has made its first hires for its recently-launched asset management business with the appointment of the former LV= fixed income team.
Friends Life has signed a joint agreement with the Ambank Group to manufacture and distribute Shariah compliant insurance products in Malaysia.
We look at who has been hit hardest after falling foul of the regulator’s rules.
FSA says it supervisory approach “provided insufficient challenges to RBS”.
John Spence has previously held roles with the British Bankers Association, HMRC, and Lloyds TSB.
Former UBS adviser has been sanctioned for failing to act with integrity and for not being fit and proper.
Regulator has secured a summary judgment in the High Court against Cityshore Commodities.
Regulator has written advisers who recommended Arch cru funds as it examines sales between 2006 and 2009.
FSA says new advances grew 19% between Q2 and Q3 to £44bn.
Fine is largest ever retail fine over inappropriate investment advice provided by one of HSBC’s subsidiaries.
Regulator has fined Combined Insurance Company of America over sales of accident and sickness policies.
Regulator has secured interim injunctions from the High Court against suspected unauthorised landbanking firms.
FCA will be able to publicise ongoing enforcement action without consulting firms involved under recommendations made to Government
Regulator has issued guidance highlighting non-executive director duties for treating customers fairly.
FSA-commissioned research shows tied and bank advisers behind IFAs in pursuit of RDR qualifications
FSA proposes to make banks and building societies to display details of FSCS scheme.
Regulator reiterates stance that it will be “extremely difficult” to recommend Difs and remain independent.
However, borrowers can reject advice after it has been given.
Regulator not forming prescriptive proposals for self-employed borrowers.
Intermediaries to have “general requirement” to check if borrowers fit lenders’ criteria.
FSA says focus on RDR and TCF meant prudential supervision sometimes “accorded low priority”.
Regulator estimates up to 8 per cent of households are subject to some form of mortgage forbearance.
FSCS chairman David Hall was awarded a CBE for services to the financial services industry in this year’s New Year Honours list.
Compensation scheme responds to Aifa’s demand for answers over the “perverse” way FSCS is pursuing Keydata distributors.
Scheme says interim levy may be needed for Keydata and Wills and Co compensation, and warns of further costs over Arch cru and MF Global.
Mortgage interest payments now consume 12.3% of income, the lowest level since January 2004.
FTSE 100 is up more than 1.5 per cent.
An “overwhelming” majority of fund mangers expect increased volatility to persist into 2012, according to research by the AIC.
Mortgage available up to 75% LTV at 3.85%.
Chancellor also announces Budget will be held on March 21.
Boerse Stuttgart says the tax would disadvantage Germany and wider Europe.
UK gilt funds dominated the top performance charts in 2011, according to figures from Morningstar.
RBS directors may face criminal charges over failing to adhere to the UK Companies Act.
Pensions minister Steve Webb has confirmed the Government will abolish short service refunds for defined-contribution pension schemes.
Chancellor George Osborne’s decision to link pension increases to CPI rather than RPI will be debated in Parliament after an e-petition criticising the change received over 100,000 signatures.
The Government is set to approve the Vickers’ report.
Government confirms lifting of the £1m limit that venture capital trusts can invest in a single company per year.
Plans to cut solar feed-in tariff payments are illegal the High Court has ruled, following a legal challenge.
HMRC will tighten the rules around Qrops after finding evidence the schemes are being used to circumvent UK tax rules.
Reports suggest NHS staff earning less than £26,500 will not face increased contributions in 2012.
Govt not demanding enough of developers in exchange for subsidies, says Institute for Public Policy Research.
Loophole allows people to avoid stamp duty by setting up offshore companies.
Joint committee recommends amending the Financial Conduct Authority’s strategic objective from confidence to fairness and transparency.
Several of Vanguard Asset Management’s tracker funds have been added to Hargreaves Lansdown’s Vantage platform.
Hargreaves Lansdown has removed three First State funds from its Wealth 150 list of favourite funds.
Henderson Global Investors says it will “vigorously defend” itself.
Henderson has disposed of the private equity fund of funds, which it acquired as part of the acquisition of Gartmore.
Justice for Financial Services is now planning an oral request at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The High Court has ruled that arrangements which allow people to access their pension fund before reaching age 55 through loans are illegal.
A committee on MPs has accused the HM Revenue & Customs of offering ‘cosy’ deals with big businesses to settle their tax bills.
Average house price now £161,731.
Job losses are due to regional restructure of commercial banking and the “challenging economic environment”.
HSBC is looking to compensate victims of NHFA misselling dating back to 1991.
Lord Hutton says recent downgrades to UK growth forecasts will hit sustainability of public schemes.
Regulator rules out using RDR labels to describe firms’ service.
The IMA has expressed some reservations over the Joint Committee on the Draft Financial Services Bill’s report.
Christine Lagarde has warned that no country is safe from the growing economic concerns.
Intelliflo announces four-year spending programme and enhances integration with Standard Life.
Firm launches new Luxembourg-domiciled fund for its contrarian team headed by Alastair Mundy.
A fall in short-term borrowing costs for Italy was offset by elevated long-term debt costs, which dipped slightly below the 7% mark.
Provider says closure is due to a lack of demand from IFAs.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index has closed for the year at its lowest level since 1982.
Firm moved onto “Plan B” after missing out to Virgin Money for Northern Rock.
Cornell to take up role as analyst in FSA’s retail intermediaries and mortgage sector team.
Ashcourt Rowan Group chief executive Jonathan Polin has purchased 200,000 shares in the business.
Steve Lowe says advisers will lose out if networks planning restricted advice services agree single-tie deals with providers.
Haggart will be responsible for all aspects of Just Retirement’s equity release business and will lead the firm’s entry into the long-term care market.
The equity release specialist is in talks with a number of private equity groups.
Million Plus managing director Mike Cleary is former TFM managing director.
Bank of England governor says European debt crisis is causing growing reliance on central banks after ECB provides £407bn in cheap loans to banks.
Litten joins in January.
Mortgage is fixed at 5.89% for two years.
Brandywine global opportunistic fixed income fund available to UK investors through its Dublin-domiciled fund range.
Royal London head of corporate affairs Gareth Evans says life assurance premium relief cut will hit elderly and poor.
Antonio Horta-Osorio is due to return to work on January 9 following a stress-related illness.
LBG to announce successful bidder of 632 branches for sale next week.
Leading fund managers Mike Riddell and Jim Rehlaender both point to opportunities in China.
Parliament’s biggest All-party group calls for compulsory education in primary and secondary schools.
Former chief executive of the Witan trust Robert Edwards Clarke has been appointed to a senior role at MAM Funds.
Management consultant made £524,000 profit on placing spread bets based on insider information.
Werth will step down from his role as managing director of Ageas Protect at the end of the year
Ed Miliband must not be seen as the defender of tax and spend to regain credibility.
MEP warns industry that in six months time there could be no Europe or euro.
MEPs have called for measures to reduce reliance on Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s - and to limit their impact on sovereign borrowing costs.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has accused the Coalition Government of offering only a “counsel of despair” in his New Year message.
FSA predicts MMR proposals could see lenders and borrowers prefer to go direct.
Total one-off cost of proposals £40m-£65m and £47m-£170m a year.
MAS chief executive Tony Hobman says vital work of service justifies salary £100,000 higher than PM.
MAS says information and guidance is not enough.
Ratings agency says that the UK is only partially cushioned from the crisis.
Moody’s says EU remains prone to further shocks.
Monetary Policy Committee unanimous holding base rate and QE levels.
Work and pension select committee member Brandon Lewis secures Westminster Hall debate on pension charges
Neptune Investment Managers has appointed George Boyd-Bowman as assistant manager.
Neptune is launching a best ideas China fund for Robin Geffen, Doug Turnbull and Adam Kelly.
Nest officials tell MPs restrictions placed on Nest will restrict access for target market.
New Model Business Academy has launched an assessment for half the price of the CII equivalent
Previously unavailable net asset values show investor losses before the fund range was suspended.
Agreement brings to an end the former fund manager’s claim for unfair dismissal.
The £747m sale of Northern Rock to Virgin Money is to be investigated by the National Audit Office.
Sally Stephens joins the platform from Skandia International.
Octopus Investments chief investment officer Lothar Mentel has been made redundant, alongside five other staff as part of a staff review.
Octopus Investments is looking to fill ten fund manager roles, including hiring in the multi-manager team
OFT “provisionally decides” to refer market to Competition Commission over concentration and cost transparency concerns
Nick Foster becomes head of central sales and development and Kevin Gravener interim compliance director.
Aegon-owned firm says cuts made as part of restructure to deliver RDR objectives.
Chancellor George Osborne says an EU-wide financial transaction tax may not raise any additional revenues for the UK Government,
James Tait was formerly head of pricing and reinsurance at Ageas Protect.
Financial Times claims JP Morgan report puts cost of Solvency II capital changes at £600bn
Relating to article published in December.
Sipp and SSAS banking firm is set to be acquired by three investors, including a local authority.
Focus is on scheme governance, accountability, scheme administration and communications with members.
Phoenix Group finance director Jonathan Yates is leaving the firm to join Guardian Financial Services as chief executive.
Proportion of FTBs buying without support from family falls from 63% to 36% in four years.
McGrath to retire next year when a successor has been found.
FSA appoints Paul Stockton as a non-executive director on the Financial Services Compensation Scheme board.
Chancellor says RBS’ future lies as a retail bank.
Buffeted by economic uncertainty, OBR projections cannot be relied upon, says Capital Economic MD.
Rowanmoor Pensions has been forced to link new SSAS scheme pensions to the limited price index, increasing costs by up to 60 per cent.
RSM Tenon has warned about its performance amid uncertain economic conditions.
Russell Investments has added to its OpenWorld range with the launch of a multi-asset fund.
Standard and Poor’s says the EU’s six AAA countries, including France and Germany, could see their ratings downgraded.
Sanlam Private Wealth pays undisclosed sum for LAM client bank with £44m assets.
Schroders’ economics team has slashed its forecast for global growth next year on anticipation of an “outright recession” in the eurozone.
Draft legislation will allow individuals aged 60 or over with small personal pension pots of £2,000 or less to commute a maximum of two such pots in their lifetime.
Standard Chartered predicts eurozone economy will shrink by 1.5 %.
Standard Life accused of using iPad2 offer to get customers to deal directly with the provider.
Standard Life has appointed Jason Tunbridge as its head of platform distribution.
Standard Life Investments chairman Colin Buchan is to step down from 2012 and will be replaced by non-executive director John Paynter.
Standard Life Investments has announced the launch of a global smaller companies fund to be managed by Harry Nimmo and Alan Rowsell.
The Treasury has announced that the statutory residence test will be put back 12 months.
Pensions minister plans to build a coalition of European countries to oppose plans to impose new funding requirements on DB pension schemes.
Pensions minister Steve Webb says every piece of pensions regulation will be scrapped unless he can justify its existence.
Succession Wealth Management will launch in Q1 2012.
Steve Logan and Lesley O’Neill will manage the 75-stock portfolio.
LTC specialist warns against “vilifying bonds” in the wake of HSBC fine.
The Pensions Regulator’s head of defined-contribution June Mulroy is leaving her post in January next year.
Threadneedle fund manager Nick Davis is taking over the firm’s European fund.
Jeremy Podger will replace Jorma Korhonen as the manager of £1.5bn fund.
M&G Investments has appointed James Tomlins as fund manager for its £77m European high yield bond fund.
Warren Page joins from Origen Financial Services.
Trade bodies praise more “balanced” rules.
FSA fines wrap platform £3.5m over failings in relation to protection of client money.
Transact head of marketing Malcolm Murray interviews firm’s founder Mike Howard, about the £3.5m FSA fine announced today.
Homer will replace Lesley Strathie who stepped down last month on health grounds from January 2012.
The Treasury is seeking views on the impact the ruling will have on consumers and the industry and how it will be drafted into UK law.
Investors who lose savings as a result of the collapse of a financial firm can reclaim lost allowance.
The Government will not go ahead with plans to abolish tax-relief for compensation payments related to pension misselling.
FSA chairman Turner defends Sants after senior MP criticises regulator over its RBS report.
The Office for National Statistics has revised the UK GDP figure upwards to 0.6 per cent in Q3
The UK will have to work increasingly hard next year to make sure it has its say on a number of incoming European financial regulations, the IMA says.
The UK consumer prices index has fallen to 4.8% in November.
All other member states are in negotiations or will consider signing a new mini-treaty while Britain alone refuses.
Moody’s says UK property sales will remain low next year.
UK unemployment rose by 128,000 between August and October to 2.64 million.
The US Bureau of Economic Analysis has yet again revised down US GDP growth for the third quarter of the year.
US shareholders in Lloyds are launching a lawsuit against the bank demanding compensation for its takeover over HBOS.
Fine relates to the misrepresentation of sub-prime securitisations.
The SEC has charged “long-time Bernie Madoff employee” Enrica Cotellessa-Pitz with falsifying books and records.
The US unemployment rate fell by 120,000 last month.
Former chief executive of Liontrust Nigel Legge’s new firm Vinculum has five equities funds registered.
Virgin Money is preparing to launch a raft of new savings accounts in January, the FT reports.
Phil Wagstaff has quit his role as SIG investment chief after only two weeks to join Henderson Global Investors.
BIS says quantitative easing will have a limited effect.
Pensions minister refuses to confirm details of new auto-enrolment staging dates.
Income guru’s stock favourite set for big hit on research and development.
Theo Zemek passes management of the £130m fund to Nick Hayes.