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Flying flag for stakeholder

This will be a Budget containing bribes. The general election is round the corner and Labour will not be certain to be re-elected. Sorting out the hype from the true benefits will be a job for IFAs.

Prudent management will be the watchword with some give-aways at the edges.

There will be usual tax rises on fuel and tobacco, with encouragement for “green cars” and the environment. This will be good news for socially responsible investment funds and those insurance and investment companies that have promoted this type of investment.

Stakeholder must get a mention, even if only a flag waving. April is too near to resist the temptation of smug comment.

We might see annuity age relaxation, possibly with the quid pro quo of lifting the lower retirement age to 55 or – horrors – loss of higher-rate tax relief.

Well, on March 8, the Budget will be history, so any IFA would be wise not to lose sleep over too much speculation.


Wood quits Axa to be new man at Pru

Axa UK group chief executive Mark Wood is quitting to join rival the Prudential. Wood, who will become the Prudential&#39s chief executive of UK and European insurance businesses in June, has headed up Axa for four years. During his tenure he saw through the merger of Sun Life and Provincial Holdings and Axa Equity & […]

Chiefs cross swords in mortgage rate war

The mortgage rate war between two of the UK&#39s top lenders has heated up with Nationwide chief executive Brian Davis attacking his Halifax counterpart James Crosby for allegedly making misleading claims. In a letter sent by Davis to Halifax chief executive Crosby last Friday, Davis accuses Halifax of wrongly claiming its mortgages are cheaper than […]

Surrendering policies makes no sense, says Neville James

With-profit endowment policyholders surrendering their policy after five years or more are losing out by up to 30 per cent, according to figures from Neville James.This month Neville James paid £8,550 for a Clerical Medical policy with a surrender value of £6,245, a mark up of 37 per cent. It also paid £20,000 for a […]

Self-cert buy-to-let from UCB

UCB Home Loans has introduced a discounted rate buy-to-let mortgage for self-certification borrowers who are keen on property as an investment.The mortgage has a one per cent discount for the first three years, giving an interest rate of 6.74 per cent. It is available for loans up to 75 per cent of valuation up to […]

Simon Fletcher

Auto-enrolment: pay attention or pay the price

By Simon Fletcher

As a chief executive officer of a business in the financial services sector, I have been dealing with the introduction of auto-enrolment for our clients for some time, but I can also speak from an employer’s point of view, having to go through the process ourselves.


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