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Comment of the week: The folly of FSA’s cost plans

This is utter folly and the irony seems lost on the regulator that this will lead to fewer advisers and fewer members of the public receiving good advice. This is not news to advisers.

As the main “villains of the piece” (by complaint numbers) is the bank adviser community, who now scarcely exist, what precisely is costing so much? Almost everything is online, sales, revenues, complaints and queries can presumably challenge data supplied in a methodical fashion? I am completely dumbfounded at the assumption that more is better. Focus is better. Effective and efficient is better.

Oh well, I have had my share of the £xm FSCS levy today… for under-estimating the actual cost and failing to spot firms malpracticing…

Dominc Thomas


Lisa Winnard Sesame Bankhall 2012

Lisa Winnard: Teaching finance in schools is essential

The Financial Adviser School recently teamed up with the University of Huddersfield to work with its business studies year two students and facilitate lectures on various aspects of personal financial planning. This partnership will give students a deeper insight into the importance and relevance of saving and investments in both business and personal life. We […]

All Cazenove fund managers to join Schroders

The full line-up of Cazenove Capital’s managers and their funds will move over to Schroders as part of the planned acquisition of the asset manager. This morning, the boards of the two companies announced that they have reached an agreement for Schroders to buy Cazenove for about £424m. The deal is subject to shareholder and […]


LEBC Group buys out Sesame stake and makes a profit

LEBC Group has bought out Sesame Bankhall’s 10 per cent stake in the business as it turned around losses to make a pre-tax profit of £523,734 for 2012. In its annual results, the firm showed a marked improvement on 2011 when it lost £577,271 whilst also reporting increases in its assets but a drop in […]

FSA agrees retail pool for FSCS claims

The FSA has decided to go ahead with proposals for providers to step in where advisers breach their annual Financial Services Compensation Scheme claims limit. The regulator first consulted on its FSCS funding model review in July, which proposed a retail pool for Financial Conduct Authority firms which would be triggered if one class breached […]

Apple: a stellar technology story

By Ali Unwin, head of technology sector research

Apple recently announced the highest-ever recorded quarterly net profit ($18bn), with the sale of 74.4 million iPhones helping the company deliver $74.6bn of revenue for the quarter ending December 2014. These sales were largely driven by strong demand for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Highlights included Chinese iPhone sales doubling year-on-year and unit growth of 44% in the US — supposedly a well-penetrated market. Apple ended the quarter with $178bn in cash on its balance sheet, having generated a staggering $30bn in free cash flow during the quarter.

At Neptune, we have been long-term believers in the Apple story, and continue to hold the stock in a number of our portfolios based on the company’s long-term growth prospects. This is predicated on our belief that Apple has proved thus far that it can — unusually for a consumer electronics company — maintain high margins for a sustained period of time, even as adoption of new technology slows down and competitors produce similar-specification products.


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