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&#39Fund websites are breaking ad rules&#39

Internet compliance product provider Ecompliance is calling on the FSA to clamp down on fund management websites after its research rev ealed some are flouting advertising regulations.

The research into the top 80 fund management websites claims to show that 6 per cent of firms break with rules on financial promotion by having no disclaimers or risk warnings on their sites.

It claims these sites run the risk of regulatory investigation and perhaps even closure by the FSA. The company says more guidance on internet compliance is needed from the regulator.

The research claims only 4 per cent of firms warn users when they were leaving an authorised site.

Over 22 per cent of sites did not issue a warning when providing a link to an external unauthorised site.

Ecompliance says the findings show the difficulties facing companies when applying regulatory guidelines in an internet environment.

This is the company&#39s second report into internet compliance in the fund management industry. It has found that sites are becoming increasingly complicated which can lead to confusion over what is a compliant website. The company aims to help firms realise the benefits of e-business thr-ough establishing a strong regulatory infrastructure.

Ecompliance director Ken Douglas says: “What is nee ded from the FSA is a set of clear, standardised guidelines for the internet to remove confusion over what constitutes a compliant website.”

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Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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