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Hewitt cold on Abbey merger

Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt is expected this week to announce that Lloyds TSB is barred from buying Abbey National.

Hewitt is expected to block the deal, which would have created the UK&#39s largest bank, on advice from the Competition Commission.

National Australian Bank, which already owns Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, is believed to be interested in bidding for Abbey.


Mortgage medicine

Research by NOP for the ABI found that one person in five believe they canrely on the Government for financial support with their mortgage if theywere unable to work. What they did not realise was how long they would haveto wait. Whether buying a new home or remortgaging, borrowers whose loanscompleted on or after October […]

ARLA moves to raise standards

The Association of Residential Letting Agents is reforming its criteria for membership in a bid to improve the professional and ethical standards of landlords and tenants.ARLA is requiring increased financial controls over clients&#39 accounts, although the rule requiring two years experience of letting business before admission to ARLA has been abolished.ARLA chairman Frances Burkinshaw says: […]

Societies&#39 business levels best since 1996

Building societies&#39 business volumes rose at its fastest rate sinceDecember 1996, according to the quarterly financial services survey fromPricewaterhouseCoopers and the Confederation of British Industry. This wasin sharp contrast to banks, life offices and fund managers, which sawbusiness levels decline. The survey also reports that life offices&#39 overallprofitability declined in the face of the 1 […]

Skandia bonds with pension trustees

Elms simply says that the commission is fair and reasonable.On the subject of the product literature, Bumford says: “It provides a satisfactory explanation of the contract details, however, given that the major selling point is the extensive range of investment options, client literature detailing the available funds and, more importantly, the associated charges would be […]

Time for a new approach to asset allocation

Trevor Greetham, RLAM’s head of multi asset, introduces the recentlylaunched RL GMAPs. Asset allocation has become an increasingly difficult challenge for investors and advisers in the years since the financial crisis. Sometimes violent price swings in stock and commodity markets coupled with the collapse in the rate of interest on bonds have made it harder […]


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