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HSBC to close HFC Bank

HSBC has revealed that it will be shutting down its sub-prime high street lender, Beneficial Financial.

HSBC says HFC Bank will cease new lending and close 100 branches across the UK, making 450 people redundant. It will continue to operate cards for its major retail clients and will continue to serve its existing personal customers.

A spokesperson for HSBC says: “While 450 employees of HFC are at risk of being made redundant, all will have the ability to apply for jobs within HSBC and there are vacancies open at present. HFC currently employs more than 1,200 people.

“This action is not taken lightly but in response to an economic environment that has deteriorated severely in recent months. All affected employees will receive outplacement counselling and redundancy terms, if needed, significantly exceed the minimum legal requirements.” head of debt and loans Tim Moss says this move will just reduce options for those with debt problems and push them closer to loan sharks.

He says: “Anyone who falls into the sub-prime category and is looking to apply for credit should weigh up the options carefully, and look to curb their spending instead of going further into the red if at all possible.”


Weak point

I have only ever had one complaint and it was not upheld. I told him not to dump equities to buy bonds, he thought otherwise Bonds tanked and markets shot up. Oddly enough, he blamed me for his loss. With pension and endowment mis-selling, advisers have become a soft touch for a spot of compo.

Retail fund sales lowest in 10 years

Net retail fund sales in Britain fell by nearly 75% from 2006 to 2008, from a high of £15.3 billion in 2006 to £3.9 billion in 2008, according to sales from the Investment Management Association (IMA).

SGAM head of retail moves to GLG

Richard Phillips has confirmed he is moving to GLG Partners following its acquisition of Soci赩 G诩rale Asset Management (SGAM). The firm has also outlined the plans for its fund range.

A shore thing

Over the past few weeks, I have been looking at the impact of the proposed 2009 Budget changes to income tax – notably the introduction of a top rate of 50 per cent and the removal of higher- rate tax relief for pension contributions made by those with incomes of more than 150,000. I have also been reviewing the alternatives to pension investments, focusing on investments whose taxation treatment will be affected by the Budget.


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