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Pensions governance committees ‘retirement homes’ for industry veterans

Consumer champions have branded the new Independent Governance Committees for contract-based schemes “retirement homes for financial services executives, actuaries and investment bankers”. But providers have hit back, claiming the committees provide greater consumer protection than trust-based schemes. The requirement for governance committees to be established for auto-enrolment schemes was introduced following the Office of Fair […]

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Nic Cicutti: Back to the Future policies are failing voters

Of all the sayings about the media’s need to remain neutral when delivering information to the public, one of the most over-used is that from former Guardian editor CP Scott back in the 1920s: “Comment is free but facts are sacred.” If so, then my column last week, in which I criticised the backward nature […]

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Sir Hector Sants to lead UK banking review

Former FSA boss Sir Hector Sants has been appointed to lead a review of bank competitiveness in the UK. Sants will head a team at global management consulting firm Oliver Wyman and release the first review in autumn, reports the FT. Among the topics the review will cover are banking regulation, the risks of a ‘Brexit’ for […]

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David Cameron appoints former adviser to Tony Blair as new pensions minister

Following a cabinet reshuffle in light of last week’s general election, David Cameron has announced that Ros Altmann will be replacing Steve Webb as pensions minister. As the industry works with one of the largest reforms to the sector in almost a century, the former adviser to Tony Blair has been tasked with ensuring that the pensions revolution does not stray off track.

Japan Economic Insight

James Dowey, Chief Economist, and Paul Caruana-Galizia, Economist

The conventional wisdom is that following a roughly 50 per cent rise in the stock market in 2013 in Yen terms, the Japan trade is over and done*. So the story goes, those big gains were due to a one-off boost from quantitative easing (QE) and a depreciation of the Yen — policies that one should think of as a palliative to Japan’s economic weakness, but not a cure. Rather the cure, and by implication the necessary condition for a longer-term investment case, is deep structural reforms — a painstaking re-weaving of Japan’s economic and social fabric, no less. The story continues: this is a much tougher test than launching a blast of QE, and one that prime minister Shinzo Abe, although well intentioned and well supported by the public thus far, is likely to fail. Stick a fork in Japan, it’s done…continue reading

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