Any innovation in the equity-release market is to be welcomed. Prudential’s Property Value Release product seems to have all the right features and the rate – at 6.45 per cent – is there or thereabouts. Portman charges 6.15 per cent while Mortgage Express charges 6.64 per cent. Northern Rock has a fixed rate of 5.99 per cent.The ability to draw down money gradually is welcome as you can access it when you need it rather than as a lump sum which has to be invested. Although Pru says this facility is unique, other providers offer it, including Northern Rock and MEX. Maybe Pru’s product is uniquely flexible compared with other providers but this is not clear. The initial amount you can withdraw – 15 per cent – is at the lower end of the scale compared with other lenders. The norm is 20 per cent, with MEX offering up to 25 per cent at age 60. If a client wants to take as much cash out of their estate as possible when they turn 60 for inheritance tax reasons, the Pru product might not be ideal as they are limited to 15 per cent. It is good that the pro- duct is portable so that you can take it with you to other properties. This is allowed on other equity-release products but it is not straightforward and only allowed in certain circumstances. I would want to see more detail on this. It is not a bad product but whether it is good enough to capture a big share of the market remains to be seen.
Birmingham Midshires is scrapping its high-street branches in a phased programme to be completed by next March. The company will close 48 of its 67 branches while the remaining 19 will become Halifax-branded. Customers will be given the option of banking at their nearest Halifax branch. Those still wanting branch access may use any of […]
We received numerous promotional packs from Keydata on its new secure income bond which at first glance looks extremely enticing. Income of 7.5 per cent a year with very low risk is quite a combination and with no link to any stockmarket either. I asked our network for their comments and part of their response […]
Britannic is launching a UK alpha boutique to be run by David Stevenson and Andrew Kelly of SVM.The boutique is to be run in Edinburgh in the same style as the firm’s London-based European boutique, under Barry Norris and Oliver Russ. It will launch a UK opportunities unit trust and a UK equity long short […]
As a DBS/Sesame member, I sold only a few NDF guaranteed income bonds in 2000/01. The products were on the DBS highly recommended panel. The risk rating of this product changed from cautious to highly risky and we as advisers are being sued for misselling. However, in a recent claim which went against me, Sesame […]
The Government is introducing legislation in the Pension Schemes Bill to protect people saving for retirement through master trusts. This follows industry concerns on the risks to members of a master trust failing. In this article, we consider the changes being introduced, why they are needed and their likely effect. What are the changes? The […]
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The work and pensions secretary Esther McVey has been urged to intervene to protect the pensions of over 200,000 current and former Barclays staff as the UK bank reorganises its pension scheme. Concerns have been growing from the bank’s members over the decision of Barclays to transfer responsibility for pensions to the international and investment banking arm […]
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme is predicting that life and pensions advice compensation payouts will fall over the next year. In its budget for 2018/19 released today, the FSCS notes that while the three-year average for compensation claims over life and pensions intermediation is £83.8m, a falling trend from a peak two years ago should […]
Will PI cover stand up to the DB transfer test?