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Competitiveness could become FSA objective to deter gold-plating

The Conservatives are considering proposals to make competitiveness of financial services a statutory objective of the FSA to guard against the gold-plating of EU regulations and stick up for the industry’s interests internationally.

Speaking at a Reform and City of London fringe event on Monday, Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said he was in discussions with a number of groups about adding competitiveness to the four current statutory objectives of the regulator.

He was addressing concerns about the effects of EU regulations and potential gold-plating by the UK regulator and suggested the new policy would be effective in allaying these worries.

Osborne has been guarded about potential Conservative policy at the conference and this is one of the few proposals – along with slashing stamp duty on shares – he has publicly indicated that the party is considering.

Shadow Treasury Financial Secretary Mark Hoban said it was a proposal that the party was looking at seriously and research and analysis would be conducted to assess the effect of such a move on UK competitiveness and consumer protection.

Hoban said there were some types of gold-plating, for example, rules on shareholder approval, that benefited the industry and made the UK attractive to fund managers and the Tories will look closely at which regulatory changes will benefit the economy and which damage it.

Osborne says: “One of the things we are looking at is whether the FSA should consider competitiveness of financial services alongside consumer protection, which is, of course, important.”


Royal Liver’s guaranteed CI cover follows ABI guidelines

Royal Liver has released details of its guaranteed critical-illness insurance plan which will comply with new definitions to be introduced by the Association of British Insurers. It will be one of the first providers to introduce the ABI’s new definitions on critical-illness cover, which all providers have to implement by April 2007. The guaranteed critical-illness […]

Super-mutual has rivals in a sweat

The merger of Nationwide and Portman has left rivals sweating about their ability to compete with the super-mutual in terms of costs and consumer care, says MP Andy Love. Speaking at a Labour fringe event at the party conference last week, the MP for Edmonton says the merger will introduce a massive competitive edge into […]

Rising demand for flexible homeloans

Research conducted among 1,400 intermediaries has revealed increasing demand for mortgages with flexible features. The survey by specialist lender UCB Home Loans found that 69 per cent of advisers reported an increase in the number of applicants requesting flexible features on their tracker mortgages last year.

Correspondent’s Week

One of the supposed pleasures of being self-employed is that you can organise your own time, rather than stick to office hours. This week, I have plans to change my working week radically. I am going to start at 6.30am with the aim of clocking off at 2pm. This should allow me to power through my work first thing and log off after lunch when my brain slows like a computer with clogged-up memory.

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(Another) downhill stroll — retirement planning

A report published this morning by the CIPD (CIPD Employee Outlook March 2015) provides yet more interesting data to the changing landscape of retirement planning. It should be remembered that we are in a period of genuine flux here given that the default retirement age was scrapped three years ago, and new pension freedoms come online in April. Both of these alterations will have a huge impact on how employees plan for their retirement.


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