Two IFA firms join forces
Hampshire IFA Danamere Financial Services has merged with IFA Alexander Price of Dorset to form a new firm trading under the name Alexander Price. The new venture will have 16 registered individuals.
Three companies will exist in the group, with Alexander Price conducting most of the IFA business and Danamere Trustees and Danamere Employee Benefits concentrating on offshore and employee benefits business respectively.
Saga sets up national IFA service
Saga, the travel and services group targeting the over-50s, is rolling out its new national IFA service, exclusively revealed two weeks ago by Money Marketing, next month. Saga Financial Planning aims to employ 10 sales managers and 80 advisers, all AFPC-qualified, within two to three years. Saga will target its six million customers with pension, investment, equity-release and long-term care advice. The IFA service is headed by Lynne Coleman, who was Norwich Union director of products, and head of compliance Derek Watley, who joins from the Medical Insurance Association.
Survey shows IFA loan opportunities
A survey by mortgage lender Sun Bank reveals that arranging loans for clients with specialist needs makes up a third of all mortgages handled by IFAs but only one in five cases in the market overall.
It says IFAs have a chance to differentiate themselves from high-street banks in this complex prime sector. Of the IFAs questioned, 96 per cent believe the sector, including clients with income issues, a failed credit score, an unusual property, with multiple properties or who are foreign nationals, will continue to grow.
Zifa sets up mortgage roadshows
Zifa mortgage network is running a series of free roadshows next month to help brokers and IFAs develop their businesses through sales and marketing techniques.
Each roadshow will feature interactive sessions with lenders from all areas of the mortgage market and an update from Mortgage Brain on the future of electronic trading. The roadshows start on Sept-ember 4 in London and end on September 28 in Reading.
1% payoff deal on Standard mortgage
Standard Life Bank is offering a mortgage which pays 1 per cent off the outstanding capital every two years for the life of the loan. Aimed at retaining existing borrowers, the mortgage has a variable rate of 6.45 per cent and is available as a repayment, interest-only or a combination of both. Borrowers are entitled to two payment holidays a year and there is no redemption penalty.
OFT chooses chief economist
The Office of Fair Trading has appointed Dr Amelia Fletcher as chief economist from October 1. She comes from consultancy Frontier Economics, where she has been a manager and previously worked at the now defunct consultancy London Economics, famous for its report to the FSA on polarisation last year.
At the OFT, she will be responsible for economic analysis of both competition and consumer protection cases as well as heading a branch in the new market and policy initiatives division. Fletcher will succeed Peter Bamford.