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Flexi mortgages set to dominate in the near future

The year of the millennium was hardly a landmark for mortgages. After a flurry of product innovation in preceding years nothing really new appeared during 2000.

The flexible mortgage continued its march towards market dominance but Standard Life Bank did not repeat their major market success of 1999. It didn&#39t take the others very long to catch up!

Standard was responsible for the one gleam of light on the horizon, the advent of the 25-year capped rate mortgage. Why has it taken this long for a life company to catch on to using both sides of their balance sheet in harmony? Will we see the Pru dential catch up?

The big issue of the year was regulation. The Govern ment has missed a massive opportunity in its whole app roach to mortgage regulation, failing totally to protect the consumer.

That other great Govern ment initiative, the introduction of Cat standards, wins my turkey award for the millennium.

This year also saw the inexorable rise of internet mortgages. But let&#39s be clear here, online mortgages are going to take several years before they become accepted fully by the public.

Nevertheless, an encouraging start to this market, with the clear advantage lying with the bricks and clicks providers, Charcol-on-line, Netmortgage and Money supermarket.


Norwich Union International appoints training manager

Norwich Union International, CGNU&#39s international offshore investment operation, has appointed Paul Kennedy as UK international technical & training manager. An IFA for 18 years, Kennedy was on NU&#39s Long Term Savings Technical Training Scheme where he gave training to over 1,000 IFAs. NUI director of UK distribution Steve Johnson says: “With his extensive experience and […]

Skandia in call for changes to disclosure rules

Skandia is calling for changes to the disclosure regime to ensure consumers know they could be better off saving into commission-based pensions instead of paying for advice via fees. The life office says its latest calculations reveal the difference in pension funds generated by consumers paying fees or commission. One calculation was based on contributions […]

Futureproof management charges set

Clerical Medical has unveiled a standard 1 per cent annual management charge across its new Futureproof range of individual pension plans. From the new year, the range will offer a 1 per cent charge on pre-stakeholderstyle personal pensions, free-standing additional voluntary contributions and executive pension plans. The move responds to market forces bringing all pre-retirement […]

Peter Young is found unfit to face fraud trial

Former Morgan Grenfell fund manager Peter Young, accu sed of committing a £220m fraud in 1996, was found unfit to stand trial at a Southwark Crown Court hearing last week. The two-week hearing heard that Young, who now dresses as a woman and prefers to be called Beth, has attempted to castrate himself several times […]

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David Cameron appoints former adviser to Tony Blair as new pensions minister

Following a cabinet reshuffle in light of last week’s general election, David Cameron has announced that Ros Altmann will be replacing Steve Webb as pensions minister. As the industry works with one of the largest reforms to the sector in almost a century, the former adviser to Tony Blair has been tasked with ensuring that the pensions revolution does not stray off track.


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