26 May 2016

Chris Davies: Breaking down the barriers to consumer engagement

We recently hosted our spring symposium focusing on the journey from the RDR to the Financial Advice Market Review and providing consumers with a voice via technology, product and service design. Our research found five key areas that act as barriers to consumer engagement but which should be viewed as opportunities by the financial services […]

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Tom Baigrie: The income protection turnaround has started

Great news. Income protection – the most important yet least sold personal lines insurance policy in our market – was bought by 10 per cent more consumers in 2015 than in the previous year. Never mind the embarrassing base level; the turnaround has started. This has happened because a few passionate experts decided to ignore […]

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John Redwood: How best to inflation-proof clients’ assets

The majority of investors just want to keep their money safe but doing so these days comes at a price. Putting money on deposit earns a tiny interest rate, while the rate on a government bond is still poor by historical standards. If you want to protect money against future inflation losses, you are faced […]

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Govt urged to avoid repeat of Sipp failures on master trusts

The Government is being urged to make good on its promise of “strict criteria” for master trusts, including protection for savers if providers fail. Following last month’s Queen’s Speech, the Government unveiled a Pensions Bill that will add new  restrictions to the schemes, which provide pensions for around four million people. The accompanying document reveals […]

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Delivering what the FCA expects on advice suitability

There has been a lot of talk in recent months about the much-maligned suitability report. As compliance with ever-increasing regulation has made its way up the risk agenda, these reports have trended towards tome-like publications authored as a defence mechanism from potential complaints, rather than designed to deliver effective communications with clients. If we consider suitability in […]

Andrew Tully: Avoiding secondary annuity regrets

In less than a year’s time, people will have the ability to trade in their annuity for a lump sum. However, there remains much uncertainty and, with no less than four consultations currently running, it is unlikely the final details will emerge before the autumn. This gives scant time to build the infrastructure and little […]

Tony Mudd: VCTs set to emerge from EIS shadows

There is an inherent danger in making predictions. If you are wrong, your professional credibility suffers. If you are right, well, no one likes a smart Alec. But what is life without risk? So here goes… Enterprise investment schemes and venture capital trusts are both ways in which investors can secure considerable tax breaks by […]

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Martin Tilley: Exploit salary sacrifice before Govt clampdown

Last year’s summer Budget raised a warning in respect of the use of salary sacrifice in exchange for additional pension provision. It stated: “Salary sacrifice arrangements can allow some employees and employers to reduce the income tax and National Insurance they pay on remuneration. They are becoming increasingly popular and the cost to the taxpayer […]

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Tony Wickenden: All change for chargeable event gains

In the March Budget, the Government announced its intention to change the tax rules for calculating chargeable event gains on part surrenders and part assignments for value under life assurance policies. The announcement of this consultation flew a little under the radar, even for financial planners, with all the excitement over the reduced capital gains […]

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Ian McKenna: A new benchmark for tech providers

New services to be added to Intelliflo’s Personal Finance Portal towards the end of June will make it easier for firms to deliver automated advice that complements their traditional model. The move will be beneficial not just for Intelliflo users but all advisers that want to use technology to expand client relationships. Indeed, it establishes […]

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Robert Reid: Waspi affair is waking people up to pensions

When Ros Altmann was looking into Government instead of looking out, as she is now as pensions minister, life must have been so much simpler. As advisers we are always being warned about conflicts of interest, yet politicians are seemingly exempt. Pension freedoms released money into the economy just as the access to Lifetime Isas […]