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FSA passes onus for trees on to providers

The FSA is being accused of reneging its responsibilities over stakeholder

decision trees by leaving pension companies to make the final decision.

Providers believe the regulator is preparing to pass the buck by leaving

life offices to address issues such as the minimum income guarantee and

contracting out of Serps.

FSA officials have privately voiced concerns over how decision trees would

work and who would take responsibility for the advice they provide. Pension

experts believe the move would absolve the FSA of blame from a misbuying

scandal, leaving providers to take the flak.

Scottish Equitable pensions development manager Steve Cameron says: “There

are some areas where an identifiable standard or regulator-endorsed

decision tree would be very helpful. Who in the private sector would feel

comfortable setting rules for means- tested benefits and contracting out

which are both open to Government intervention?”

Maddison Monetary Management managing director Mark Howard says: “You

would think that a Government body should be taking decisive action and


Comment, p25


Government to change annuity rules

The Financial Times reports that the Treasury is planning to raise the annuity age limit to 80 from the current 75.The decision follows extensive lobbying by trade groups and MPs who see the move as providing greater flexibility to pensioners looking to invest.As the law currently stands, individuals must either buy an annuity or take […]

Bank of Scotland set to launch new fund operation

Bank of Scotland is planning the launch of a new independent fundmanagement business but is staying tight-lipped on details.The business will serve the UK and European corporate mid-market and willalso manage the bank&#39s existing £550m portfolio of mezzanine loans andprivate equity investments.It will be managed by Colin Leslie, who is divisional chief executive ofthe bank&#39s […]

Thomson&#39s swallows up Redcliffe

National IFA Thomson&#39s Group has taken over IFA Redcliffe Associates in adeal which takes its number of registered individuals to 100 and gives itblanket UK coverage.The companies, which will operate under the Thomson&#39s name, will have 18offices nationwide and a turnover of £15m, £11m coming from Thomson&#39s.Thomson&#39s says the deal makes it one of the […]

Investment view

Never underestimate the importance of a single word. In this case, theword is “temporarily”. Last week, I made reference to the fact that thedownward spiral in technology shares had abated, perhaps temporarily. Theaddition of “briefly” would have made this statement accurate. Bargainhunters did step in to snap up what they perceived as promising companiesat rock-bottom […]

The Merchants Trust PLC – April 2017

Welcome to the latest update for The Merchants Trust PLC from the Trust’s portfolio manager, Simon Gergel. Portfolio Review The Merchants Trust reported results this month and the directors were pleased to announce a 35th consecutive year of dividend growth (subject to shareholder approval at the AGM). The Company is proud to be highlighted as […]


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