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Countrywide in trouble again as figures conflict

Countrywide is set to incur the renewed wrath of the PIA for failing to provide accurate pension review figures.

The 800-member network&#39s review figures submitted to the PIA and the Treasury for January do not match.

The error has come to light just a week after Countrywide was fined £250,000 for a catalogue of review failures.

The PIA says: "We will now have to consider how we can impress upon them the seriousness of providing accurate information."

The move is a further embarrassment for Countrywide chief executive Jim Gaskin, a former head of compliance at Fimbra. Gaskin refuses to comment on the error.

PIA head of press Sarah Modlock says: "We have given the firm the opportunity to provide accurate figures but we have been unable to get a satisfactory reaction."

Last week&#39s fine took into account the network&#39s public naming and shaming for missing its December 31 deadline for dealing with 90 per cent of priority review cases.

Four other networks were also named and shamed for missing the deadline.

Latest Treasury figures for number of cases completed by the end of January show that DBS is now the only firm to have resolved less than 25 per cent of its cases and is rooted to the bottom of the Treasury&#39s table with just 10 per cent.

Burns Anderson has completed 27 per cent, Financial Options 32 per cent and IFA Network 53 per cent.


NAPF highlights pension erosion

The National Association of Pension Funds has attacked the Government for “drilling holes” into the returns from occupational pension schemes. The attack comes as the NAPF published its annual survey of company pension schemes last week. The survey shows that the Pensions Act 1995 and the decision in the last Budget to axe tax credits […]

Radical rethink over NIC

Gordon Brown announced radical reform of National Insurance to encourage job creation and cut down on red tape. At the bottom end, the main change is the removal from April 6, 1998 of the 2 per cent entry fee payable once earnings reach £64. For employers, from April 6, 1999, no NIC will be due […]

Britannia to pay out £39m in loyalty bonuses

Britannia Building Society is sharing out £39m to over a million members as part of its loyalty bonus scheme. The payout is a £4m increase on last year&#39s first loyalty reward. It comes despite a 15 per cent drop in Britannia&#39s profits to £48.8m for the first six months of last year. Its full-year results […]

Liberty takes over the rest of Portfolio

Liberty International Holdings is buying the rest of the shares of Portfolio Fund Management and injecting £5m to expand the business. It is buying the remaining 30 per cent after taking a 70 per cent stake in January last year. Liberty says Portfolio&#39s funds under management have grown more than fourfold from £20m to £90m […]

Powerful estate planning tools ignored or forgotten by wealthy Brits

Canada Life IHT Survey 2016 Only a quarter of wealthy Brits have sought professional estate planning advice to ensure their families don’t pay more tax than required More than a quarter don’t even have a will and just one in five have gifted money Many say they do not need these tools but families would […]


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