UK

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FCA: Most firms satisfied with regulator’s performance

Most firms regulated by the FCA are satisfied with its performance and believe it is an efficient regulator, the watchdog has said. The survey conducted by the FCA and its Practitioner Panel – one of its advisory bodies – sought feedback on the regulator’s performance from the firms it oversees. The results showed that both satisfaction and […]

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Annuity rates plummet to lowest level since 2012

Standard annuity rates have fallen to their lowest levels since November 2012, with the pace of decline increasing since the turn of the year, according to data published by Moneyfacts. The rate payable for an average single-life standard annuity for a 65 year old with a £10,000 pot has fallen by 5.9 per cent in […]

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Advisers back Tories as election looms

A poll of more than 1,200 Money Marketing readers has found overwhelming support for the Conservaties, with distant rivals being Ukip. Some 52 per cent of those polled said they would vote Conservative, while 15.5 per cent pledged their backing to Nigel Farage’s party. The figures represent a marked contrast to national polls where the Conservatives […]

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Should savers be given free advice ‘voucher’ at retirement?

Ukip has been accused of “mollycoddling” retirees after proposing to offer a guarantee of free financial advice to protect savers following the introduction of pension freedoms. Nigel Farage’s party unveiled the plans last week as part of their manifesto launch. One idea being considered would see retirees given a “voucher” to spend on advice. The […]

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Ambitious landlords fuelling rise in remortgage business

Competitive rates and ambitious landlords are driving a growing focus on remortgaging among buy-to-let lenders, according to experts. Figures issued by broker Mortgages for Business show that 66 per cent of buy-to-let loans were for remortgages in the first quarter of 2015, up from 62 per cent at the end of 2014. Remortgages have now […]

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Major parties accused of using ‘made up’ tax avoidance figures

Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians are using “made up assumptions” of increased revenue generated by targeting tax evasion and avoidance, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Tackling tax evasion and avoidance has proved a huge part of this year’s election campaign since HSBC was found to be aiding clients of its Swiss private […]

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Octopus to offer VCTs through Transact

Octopus Investments is to allow investors to buy and hold shares in its Venture Capital Trusts through adviser-facing platform Transact for the first time.  The launch of the service follows a change announced in the Finance Bill 2014 which allows investors to buy VCTs directly via a platform. Previously, investors could only transfer their holding to […]

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Investment analysis: Are we seeing a strange new world for the bond market?

The combination of low inflation growth and excess liquidity following the ECB’s quantitative easing programme has distorted bond valuations, with some short-duration instruments now offering negative returns. At the beginning of March nearly $3.85trn (£2.56trn) or 17 per cent of developed market global government bonds traded at negative yields, according to Columbia Threadneedle Investments. In […]