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NU admits strengthening Govt hand on price cap

Norwich Union has admitted it would not agree to a 1 per cent stakeholder cap if it had its time again and accepted its actions strengthened the Government&#39s hand.

Fielding questions from IFAs at Money Marketing Live last week, NU Life chief executive Gary Withers said criticism of the insurer&#39s handling of the price cap issue was fair but should be seen in the context of equity markets at the time.

Withers said strategic decisions on 1 per cent were made in 2000 at a time when nobody was expecting equity prices and savings levels to collapse.

He said the Government would not achieve its target of a reversal of the 60 per cent public, 40 per cent private retirement provision ration without serious dialogue with the private sector, which is currently non-existent.

Compulsion is one potential solution to the problem of low savings ratios but Withers maintained it would require cross-party support to avoid being portrayed as a tax. He called on the Government to increase incentives to save rather than take them away.

Withers said: “I accept we threw the Government a message that made it difficult to turn round and say that we can no longer do this. The observation is a fair one. But that strategy was put together in 2000 at a time when assumptions about equities and savings were quite different.”


Kenmir warns lack of capital poses big threat to IFA sector

The economic model of the IFA sector may not be viable, according to FSA managing director David Kenmir, who believes substantial reform is needed if IFAs are to continue to thrive. Kenmir claims most firms are substantially undercapitalised, with the main financial risks coming from their back-book of business rather than that currently being written. […]

Material benefits

The Material Girl&#39s latest world tour sold out almost as soon as the tickets hit the UK box offices. But lender Northern Rock and Clarion Events, the organiser of this year&#39s Mortgage Business Expo, have got their mitts on a pair of tickets for the Madonna Invention tour. They intend to auction the £150-a-head tickets, […]

&#39Changing family lives will increase demand for care&#39

Demand for long-term care will rocket by around 60 per cent by 2050, leading to a significantly bigger market for LTC insurance, a major research project has predicted. The research, conducted by the Cass Business School, in the City of London, and a Swedish economist has found that changes in demographics and the traditional family […]

Insurers&#39 duty is to protect clients, not themselves

Isn&#39t it ironic that in an industry which is as closely regulated as financial services, the concept of duty of care is so often blatantly lacking. As an IFA, I have almost now become used to seeing the business introducer and, more important, the client being left in the corner while the insurance company undertakes […]

Global energy: positioning for a recovery in the oil price Š

Richard Hulf explains how he and John Dodd have positioned the Artemis Global Energy Fund and where they are finding opportunities. Richard explains how he and John are changing the complexion of the fund to focus on the most efficient oil producers. As he tells journalist Alexis Xydias, in this environment of lower prices, he […]


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