View more on these topics

Analysts&#39 fears over Abbey as chief exec Harley leaves

Analysts are warning that the Abbey National group faces uncertainty until a new chief executive is found following the departure of Ian Harley last week.

Harley quit the troubled group, which includes Scottish Mutual and Scottish Provident, following a profit warning and loss of its AA rating in June.

Although the problems are mainly within Abbey&#39s wholesale banking and Treasury arms, one source says there is no logic in having two Scottish brands and a new chief executive will look at rationalisation.

Abbey says Harley stepped down after four years because of the bank&#39s disappointing performance. It says headhunters are urgently seeking a replacement.

Bear Stearns International analyst Mike Trippitt says: “A new chief executive will have the latitude to come in, throw away the strategy, accelerate the restructure of wholesale banking and cut dividends. But we have a long wait on our hands if the press statements are to be believed and the search has just started for a replacement.”

Another analyst says: “A lot will depend on who becomes the new chief exec. Until then, there will be a considerable amount of uncertainty surrounding the group. One option is to shut down the life business but this is unlikely as it is mega-efficient.”

Abbey spokesman Matt Young says: “The whole group has undergone a review and we have restructured the longterm savings division. We know where we are going and what we have to do.”


Friends purchase of R&SA investment arm cleared by DTI

The Department of Trade and Industry has cleared the takeover of Royal & Sun Alliance&#39s fund management arm by Friends Ivory & Sime.The referral was a routine matter and the decision by the DTI to clear the deal will come as no surprise.

Pearl in financial strength tables

Pearl is the “financially weakest” company, last week&#39s Money Marketing survey shows. In relation to the comments made about Pearl, the following matters not included in the article are important.Pearl Assurance met all statutory solvency require-ments at December 31, 2001 based on the regulatory returns submitted. Comments from KPMG in relation to the Money Marketing […]

Must try harder

At this time of year, many parents will be anxiously awaiting end-of-term reports for their offspring. Given the time and effort put into rearing the Sandler and Pickering reviews, I can only assume that the Government is similarly nervous.Master Pickering has proved to be a serious underachiever as his work to date has been both […]

Sandler misses the point on with-profits

Ron Sandler&#39s report is well intentioned, well structured and, in some quarters, well received. The intention, it seems, is for the lowest-income groups to drive a Mondeo like the middle-income group. Unfortunately, what will happen if his recommendations on the “simplicity front” are carried through is that everyone will end up driving a Trabant with […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm