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Mortgage debt still rising too rapidly warns Cable

Commenting on the Building Societies Association figures showing lending up 70% in 2003 Liberal Democrat chief economics spokesman, Vince Cable says: “These figures show that housing credit is still growing at an extraordinarily rapid rate. Even the FSA is expressing alarm at the rising level of debt.”

He added: “It is alarming that nobody in the Government is taking action to address the inflated housing market. It is time for the Government to take action to protect ordinary homeowners against irresponsible lending.”

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NU aggregates £500,000 critical cover cap

Norwich Union is to extend its £500,000 cap on individual critical-illness cover to include other policies either with the company or with rivals. From August last year, a £500,000 cap was put on individual CI applications which will be imposed on an aggregate basis from March, meaning that other policies are to be counted into […]

Offshore life sales boost for ScotEq and Pru

The offshore life market looks to be picking up pace rapidly, with Scottish Equitable International and Prudential International seeing new business grow massively last year. ScotEq International recorded its most success-ful year, with sales into the UK market up by 83 per cent last year. Single-pre-mium investment sales reached £412m compared with £225m in 2002. […]

Bloomsbury puts planning online

Bloomsbury Financial Planning is offering investors an online financial planner on its website. The service allows clients to enter details and then provides a series of what-if scenarios based on calculations that Bloomsbury would use. The system includes asset allocation, stochastic forecasting and lifetime cashflow analysis. It can create budget, investment, retirement, protection and mortgage […]

L&G distribution trust gets AA rating

Legal & General&#39s new distribution trust has been awarded an AA fund management rating from Standard & Poor&#39s fund research. The trust is available to lump sum investors and regular savers with minimum investments of £500 lump sum or £25 a month and currently includes a special offer whereby IFA clients can have a 1 […]

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England vs Australia: pensions

Well, the cricket season is here, and England and Australia are stepping up to the wicket. Although we compete with each other in the sporting world, when it comes to pensions, Australia’s pension programme is held up as a model for our auto-enrolment initiative. Auto-enrolment was introduced because people weren’t saving enough into their pensions, and it is still early days but signs are positive. However, in Australia, saving into a pension is compulsory, and in fact employers are the ones who have to pay in. Employees in Australia can make additional contributions into their pensions, but they don’t have to. Should the onus be on the employer or employee to save? Well in the UK we think it’s both, but to get ‘adequate’ savings for retirement it’s the employee who has to pay more in.

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