Norwich Union has slashed annual bonus rates on its with-profits products by 25 per cent but remains upbeat on the outlook for the asset class.Bonus rates on its closed NULAP/CULAC funds, in which the majority of its three million policyholders are invested, were reduced from 4 per cent to 3 per cent, bringing them into line with rates on the £25bn CGNU fund, which is still open to new business. This equates to a payout of about £1bn to policyholders. NU has also reaffirmed its commitment to make up any shortfalls on mortgage end-owments and is backing this commitment with a £1bn reserve pot. UK life and pensions chief executive Gary Withers says that despite the fund delivering positive returns for the second year running, the growth is not sufficient to compensate for the three-year bear market. The fund delivered an 11.5 per cent return in 2004. The FTSE remains around one-third below its December 1999 peak. Withers says: “We have seen a decline in with-profits business but this is a second year of strong returns from our with-profits fund and it remains a core plank of our product strategy.” NU has an array of with-profits funds and bonus rates. Bonus rates on implicit char-ged life and investment policies taken out after October 1998 also fell from 2.5 per cent to 2 per cent. Policies taken out before this date retain a 2.5 per cent bonus. Regular bonus rates on NU’s Provident Mutual poli-cies are now all zero and conventional policies all have bonuses in the 0-1 per cent bracket. Hargreaves Lansdown head of pension research Tom McPhail says this reflects overpayment of bonuses during the heady 1990s.
The FSA has banned a senior partner from The Michael Harding Partnership from holding approved person status.
Ingenious Asset Management has established the Ingenious directional bond fund. This is a Dublin based Oeic that takes advantage of the greater flexibility in the use of derivatives in provided by the Ucits III legislation.
Bristol & West Mortgages
Self Cert Three Year Discount
UK bank staff have the weakest specialist product knowledge in Europe and are the least interested in information given by clients that could lead to a cross-sale, says a report from Booz Allen Hamilton.
Picking stocks with strong balance sheets has helped Mark Page find growth – and avoid carmakers – for the Artemis European Opportunities Fund.
News and expert analysis straight to your inboxSign up
Latest from Money Marketing
As someone training to be a cricket umpire, fair play matters to Fortitude Financial Planning director Chris Bowmer. Doing the right thing for clients is something he has adhered to from the start of his career, even in a 1980s sales environment with nothing to gain by delving beyond a client’s surface requirements. While he acknowledges […]
Fund managers who have helped pay compensation over the collapse of life settlement bond provider Keydata will receive a £12m refund, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme has announced. Keydata’s management has been embroiled in a multi-million-pound legal battle with the FCA since it collapsed in 2009. The total bill for compensation stands at more than […]
With no employer to fall back on, the self-employed are on their own when it comes to retirement saving. Irregular income patterns can make it harder to save regularly into a pension and commit to locking money away until age 55. Those who are building a business may see that as their biggest asset and […]