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Annuity sales outstrip drawdown for first quarter since freedoms launch

The last three months of 2015 saw providers sell more annuities than drawdown products for the first time since the pension freedoms were launched, according to the Association of British Insurers. ABI director general Huw Evans told Parliament’s Work and Pensions committee Q4 saw members of the trade body sell 21,000 annuities, compared to 19,500 […]

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PRA proposes minimum buy-to-let underwriting standards

The Prudential Regulation Authority wants to strengthen buy-to-let underwriting standards by insisting on a minimum level of stress testing to ensure loans remain affordable when rates rise. A consultation paper on the future of buy-to-let underwriting says the market is defined by short-term interest-only mortgages that leave consumers vulnerable to hikes in base rate. The […]

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Standard Life-owned 1825 buys Baigrie Davies

Standard Life owned advice business 1825 has completed a deal to acquire Baigrie Davies, establishing its first London office. Baigrie Davies managing director Ian Howe will continue to run the business and will be responsible for 1825’s London office. He will also join the 1825 executive committee. Founder Arthur Davies will also remain with the […]

Chancellor reforms stamp duty for commercial properties

The Government has reformed stamp duty for commercial properties by removing the ‘slab’ structure and replacing it with a system more akin to income tax. In the 2014 Autumn Statement the Chancellor did the same thing for residential properties. The change means that when a purchase passes a tax threshold, the higher rate applies to […]

Global Alpha

‘Low volatility’: low risk, low reward?

Robin Geffen, Fund Manager & CEO, Neptune ‘Low volatility’ products originated as tools for institutional investors who were contractually obliged to provide instant liquidity. Now they are sold to individual savers – the very people who need long-term options the most. Find out more here Important information Investment risks    Neptune funds may have a high […]

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