MS – Analysis

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FCA: The challenge of serving vulnerable customers

Last week we published a paper on the treatment of vulnerable consumers. It is intended to contribute to a conversation that the industry, regulators and consumers need to have. One in eight people in the UK act as carers, the number of dementia patients is due to double over the next 40 years and someone […]


The beginning of the end for Scottish financial services?

The trouble with regulation, as many in the industry will attest, is often the unintended consequences. The same is true of referenda. Even if Scotland votes to reject independence, as in Canada where another referendum followed the first 15 years later, the consequences will likely have a long shadow for the financial services sector. Unlike […]


Lenders adapt valuation models as surveyor shortage bites

The impact of the continuing surveyor shortage was laid bare last week in research revealing up to four in every 10 sales fails to reach completion because of the delays buyers face in getting properties valued. The research, by property search agent The Buying Agents, shows as many as 40 per cent of property purchases […]


Alan Lakey: Rate increase bombshell is looming

As advisers we are often expected to be adviser, marriage guidance counsellor and priest. But perhaps the most fearsome aspect of our craft is the requirement to be clairvoyant. Clients somehow expect us to be able to predict the most appropriate asset class and, within that class, the most appropriate fund. While I strive to […]


European elections: What UK parties’ manifestos say about financial services

Last month, the EU finalised a raft of financial services regulation on what became known as super Tuesday. From Mifid II to an agreement on the eurozone’s banking union, Europe has changed the face of financial services. It will continue to do so. So where do the parties stand? Looking at their European election manifestos […]


The stamp duty reform that got away

Ahead of the Budget last week, the Financial Times reported George Osborne was considering a new stamp duty band of 2 per cent on homes worth between £250,000 and £300,000 due to concerns about the sharp jump from 1 per cent to 3 per cent at £250,000 leading to many homes being under-priced. Many in the […]


Can a local council take on estate agents?

Brokers have raised concerns about changes to the way estate agents will be regulated and questioned whether a local authority has the necessary clout to oversee the relationship between estate agents and in-house brokers. In a draft order published earlier this month, the Government said it had decided to transfer the regulation of estate agents […]


Forward guidance flops: The politics behind an early rate rise

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has refused to admit his forward guidance policy has failed. But it has. In the Bank’s quarterly inflation report, published yesterday, Carney dropped the 7 per cent unemployment level as a threshold for interest rate rises. Instead, interest rate rises will depend on a range of 18 factors including […]