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Odd couple was a blunder

The New Labour administration’s first welfare ministerial team was a “dating agency from hell mistake”.

Tony Blair admits the pairing of Harriet Harman as Social Security Secretary and Frank Field as welfare minister was a “severe mismatch”.

He writes: ” Harriet was not really a policy wonk and this portfolio required a lot of wonkery.

“Frank was not really politically astute and it required a lot of political astuteness. Frank used to lock himself away in his office to ’think the unthinkable’ but the problem was not so much that his thoughts were unthinkable as unfathomable

“They would sit in the Cabinet Committee disagreeing with each other, which was more than mildly disconcerting. The upshot was that we tried to steer policy out of Number 10, but it was hard. And, of course the policy area itself was incredibly hard. The results were less than satisfactory.”



RDR is top of Hargreaves’ risk register

Hargreaves Lansdown co-founder Peter Hargreaves has labelled the RDR as the biggest risk facing retail investors. He says it is top of his firm’s risk register and warns that small investors may find it harder to get sound advice following the RDR. He says: “We think firms that depend on sales commission, which is 95 […]


Lloyds to be sued by own charity, say reports

The charitable arm of Lloyds Banking Group of Scotland has launched legal action against the bank in a bid to reclaim a sum of £3.5m that it says should have passed on to good causes. According to reports, Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland has served a summons to the bank, which was bailed-out by the […]


Don’t confuse Nest with auto-enrol

Ian McKenna has fundamentally misunderstood both the 2012 pension reforms and the ABI’s position on auto-enrolment. First, Nest and auto-enrolment are not the same – the radical reform for 2012 is auto-enrolment, of which Nest is a part. Ian appears to be rather confused by whether he means the industry cannot auto-enrol – of course […]

LV= looks to build protection arm as market consolidates

LV= is eyeing acquisition opportunities in the protection and retirement sectors and aims to take advantage of consolidation and market exits to become a significant protection player. Life managing director Richard Rowney says the firm is looking to take the opportunity presented by other providers leaving the protection market to create a market share equivalent […]

Brexit Commentary from Natixis Global Asset Management

By David F Lafferty, CFA, SVP – Chief Market Strategist Thursday’s historic Leave vote in the UK will have both immediate and long-term consequences for the global economy and financial markets. The initial flight-to-quality reaction across asset classes has been exacerbated by the market’s misplaced confidence in a Remain victory leading up to the vote. Stock markets […]


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