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Banking sector chops branches

Over the last five years the banking sector has closed almost one in five of its branches according to a new study by the Building Societies Association.

&#39Banking Business: An Abstract of Banking Statistics 2001&#39 reveals converted institutions, building societies that are now banks, occupy three of the top four places for companies closing most branches.

Northern Rock halved its branch network to 76 from 156 since 1995 to top the list of closures. Second is the Halifax, third is NatWest and fourth is Abbey National.

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FSA publishes stakeholder persistency monitoring

The FSA this week publishes its consultation paper on how accurate information on persistency rates for stakeholder pensions will be monitored. The move follows the acceptance by the regulator that existing methods of collecting and analysing persistency are not always appropriate to stakeholder schemes which are explicitly designed for policyholders to take payment holidays.

Verity&#39s VIEW

Until last week, for all the brouhaha about Equitable Life, it was stillvery difficult to pin down exactly what its policyholders had lost. Equitable had stopped trading. So what? Existing policyholders could ifthey wanted still continue contributing to their plans. Equitable&#39sinvestments might grow more slowly because reserving rules required it tosell equities and buy gilts. […]

Big pension boost for Norwich Union

Norwich Union&#39s UK business leapt by 23 per cent in the first half of thisyear to £668m in equivalent premium income from £541m last year,boosted by a massive increase in pension sales. Individual pension sales were up by 77 per cent to £140.8m from£79.5m last year. Group pension business rose by 41 per cent to£176m […]

Cousins loses out as McFall leads Treasury committee

The prominent Treasury select committee has elected former NorthernIreland minister Labour MP John McFall as chairman. At a meeting last week, the 12-member all-party committee of backbench MPsdecided that McFall, whose appointment to the committee was announced lastweek, will be its leader for the next Parliament. The appointment ends speculation that Labour MP Jim Cousins […]

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Guide: Johnson Fleming produces auto-enrolment checklist

For a job as big as managing the auto-enrolment changes, it’s important to know what has been completed and what still lies in front of you to give you the reassurance that everything is in hand. Getting the planning and project management right at the outset can help you see the path ahead and ensure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities. To help with this, Johnson Fleming has produced a checklist outlining every step that needs to be taken when preparing for auto-enrolment.

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