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BSA predicts market will remain strong

Net lending by building societies rose to £569m last month from £448m in December 2001, says the Building Societies Association.

The BSA says this increase is a sign that last year&#39s strong growth in the housing market is set to continue after the Christmas break, despite gross advances falling slightly from £2.14bn to £2.11bn.

In the savings market, building societies had net outflows of £348m in January, which the BSA says is partly a result of people using their savings to pay off debt accumulated over Christmas.

It says the market for cash Isas is taking off, with net inflows doubling to £346m in January from £172m in December.

Director-general Adrian Coles says: “Net advances for January were up by more than a quarter on the previous month&#39s figures, reaching £569m and illustrating that, after the Christmas lull, the new year is seeing the continuation of last year&#39s strong housing market. As expected for the beginning of the year, societies saw the inflow of money into savings accounts turn into an outflow.”


Open market annuity option

Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society has redesigned its with-profits pension annuity to allow annuity transfers under the open market option.The Omo means annuitants can shop around for an annuity rather than staying with their existing pension provider. The previous version of Liverpool Victoria&#39s with-profits pension annuity was only able to accept transfers from personal pensions. Now […]

Progress sluggish for Euro single market

Rapid progress is needed if the European Union is to meet its objective of a single market for financial services in 2005, according to the “half-term” review of the EU financial services action plan last week.The plan was launched in 1999. President of the Euro-pean Commission Romano Prodi stressed the importance of achieving a single […]

Most homeowners have no CI cover

More than two thirds of homeowners have no critical illness cover to protect their mortgage, according to research from Mori on behalf Scottish Provident. Eight out of 10 have no disability cover and 77 per cent have no unemployment benefits. Around 63 per cent of mortgage-holders do have life cover, but ScotProv says the findings […]

Government defeated on annuity bill for second time

The Government has been defeated at the Committee Stage of Conservative MP David Curry&#39s private member annuity reform bill with the Labour chairman of the committee voting against the Government.The Pensions Annuity (Amendment) Bill calls for the annuity regime to be reformed, scrapping the obligation on the consumer to purchase an annuity with their entire […]

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Guide: how to… audit your auto-enrolment scheme compliance

As the Pensions Regulator starts to bare its teeth and the changes mentioned in the Budget and Queen’s Speech start to come into force, it is essential that you understand your scheme and the processes you need to undertake to ensure it remains compliant. Our second re-enrolment guide looks at how to audit the key areas of your auto-enrolment scheme.


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