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Robert Sinclair: Double trouble for the buy-to-let market

The Government has turned decisively against the private landlord in favour of the first-time buyer. While the various purchase assistance schemes that speckled the last government, culminating in two flavours of Help to Buy, provided welcome support to get people on the housing ladder, it has clearly not been enough. Indeed, it seems a long-term […]

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HMRC to rebate tax to thousands of contractors using offshore schemes

HMRC is set to repay tax to around 2,000 banking and IT contractors who used an offshore scheme because of a flawed process around issuing payment notices. The tax office issued so-called accelerated payment notices to individuals who used Isle of Man-based schemes to limit their income tax during the 2000s, the Financial Times reports. […]

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FCA admits it will consider return to commission

FCA acting chief executive Tracey McDermott has admitted the Financial Advice Market Review may reintroduce some form of commission but claims the regulator will not reverse the RDR. Money Marketing revealed last week that the FAMR panel was considering radical reforms in a bid to boost access to advice, including lower qualifications and a return […]

Lesley Titcombe

Sailors and pilots to be auto-enrolled following landmark ruling

Firms employing offshore workers will have to enroll them in workplace pensions following a landmark ruling. Fleet Maritime Services launched a judicial review challenging The Pensions Regulator’s approach to staff who work in different locations, including sailors and airline pilots. Fleet – which employs sailors on P&O Cruises and Cunard – argued many of its […]

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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