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Halifax says depolarisation should cover whole market

The need for clarity and an explanation of the impact of the FSA&#39s polarisation review on the mortgage industry are the key issues raised in Halifax&#39s response.

The bank says previous rounds of consultation tackled its main concern about intermediary advice not being regulated but now it believes the biggest question is whether the depolarised model will be applied to the mortgage sector.

Halifax says to avoid consumer confusion and deliver transparency, depolarisation should cover the whole market as it would avoid the problem of an adviser being multi-tied for life products and ind- ependent for mortgages.

Another point raised in its response is the need for packagers to be covered by regulation, where they are influencing the borrower&#39s choice of mortgage.

Halifax is also asking the Treasury to take a reasonable view on who must be an approved person as the amount of post-completion work on mortgages carried out by lenders would make it costly to regulate all sales-support staff.

Manager (mortgage regulation) Celia Rowland says: “We are asking for clarity from the Treasury on the impact of the FSA&#39s consultation on the polarised market. It must make sure the situation is clear for the customer.”

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Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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