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Toby Strauss, Scottish Widows

Scottish Widows appoints head of bulk annuities

Scottish Widows has appointed a managing director of bulk annuities and investment strategy as part of a management shake-up. In October Lloyds Banking Group announced Scottish Widows would enter the bulk annuity market. It has now appointed Jeff Sayers, previously insurance divisional risk officer at Lloyds, to lead the proposition. Sayers joined Lloyds in 2013 […]

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UK economy ‘to grow 2.8% in 2015’

The UK economy will take uncertainty created by the general election “in its stride” and grow 2.8 per cent this year, the EY ITEM Club says. The consultancy’s spring forecast, which uses HM Treasury’s economic modeling, predicts gross domestic product will hit 2.8 per cent this year and 3 per cent in 2016. This is […]

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Should savers be given free advice ‘voucher’ at retirement?

Ukip has been accused of “mollycoddling” retirees after proposing to offer a guarantee of free financial advice to protect savers following the introduction of pension freedoms. Nigel Farage’s party unveiled the plans last week as part of their manifesto launch. One idea being considered would see retirees given a “voucher” to spend on advice. The […]

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Lenders warned over TCF after FOS maximum mortgage age ruling

Mortgage lenders could fall foul of treating customers fairly rules if they apply generic lending criteria following a Financial Ombudsman Service ruling against HSBC, experts warn. The FOS has upheld a complaint against the bank for unfairly rejecting a mortgage application on the grounds of age in the first case of its kind. A couple in […]

Japan Economic Insight

James Dowey, Chief Economist, and Paul Caruana-Galizia, Economist

The conventional wisdom is that following a roughly 50 per cent rise in the stock market in 2013 in Yen terms, the Japan trade is over and done*. So the story goes, those big gains were due to a one-off boost from quantitative easing (QE) and a depreciation of the Yen — policies that one should think of as a palliative to Japan’s economic weakness, but not a cure. Rather the cure, and by implication the necessary condition for a longer-term investment case, is deep structural reforms — a painstaking re-weaving of Japan’s economic and social fabric, no less. The story continues: this is a much tougher test than launching a blast of QE, and one that prime minister Shinzo Abe, although well intentioned and well supported by the public thus far, is likely to fail. Stick a fork in Japan, it’s done…continue reading

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