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Saving the planet from asteroids and tied agents

The Liberal Democrat Conference ended last week in Bournemouth with a rousing call to arms heading into next year&#39s expected general election.

The mainly blue-rinse pensioner delegates descended on the Southern seaside resort town by the coachload, determined to make their voices heard by the party that promises a new way of politics.

They were only outnumbered by the media who, desperate for something to write about after the long summer recess, showed up en masse to take advantage of the equally large amount of free alcohol.

What they found was a third party, inspired by the impressive Charles Kennedy. Based on the numerous well scripted speeches and debates held throughout the week, one could be forgiven for not realising the LibDems have about as much chance of forming the next Governmentas West Ham does of winning the Premiership this season.

There were meetings and motions about state pensions, the delivery of healthcare and, even more interestingly, about saving the planet from a future collision course with an asteroid.

In the brief window when MPs were not talking about the petrol crisis or the incompetence of the William Hague-led Conservatives, it was discovered that IFAs are well liked by the party hierarchy. Not one MP had anything but praise to heap on the importance of independent financial advice. Calls were made for the Government to relax the increasing burden of regulation on all small business, IFAs included.

Walking away from the conference one could be comforted by the fact that in the unlikely event of the LibDems being elected, IFAs would be well looked after.


The Bankhall of fame

Misys had better take a look over its shoulder as it is facing stiff competition from support services company Bankhall in the race to be the UK&#39s biggest IFA.Bankhall has passed the 4,000 mark for registered individuals, making it the second-biggest commercial grouping of IFAs in terms of numbers behind Misys IFA Services with 4,200 […]

Sun shines on flexi time

Sun Bank has hit the headlines by sending up a rallying cry to the Council of Mortgage Lenders asking it to take a look at so-called flexible mortgages.The mortgage lender may be relatively small but it is shouting louder than most when it comes to setting standards for products. It claims to be taking IFAs […]

Exchange upgrading as advisers fail to connect

The Exchange is piloting a permanent wireless internet connection after IFAs using the technology found they could not access its service.Anyone connecting to the internet through a permanent wireless connection, which uses digital technology rather than telephone lines, cannot currently access The Exch-ange&#39s IFA portal.The wireless connection is being provided by UK telecommunications company tele2. […]

Misselling warning if polarisation goes

Lord Hunt of Wirral has issued a stark warning that changes in polarisation could increase the risk of misselling.The Aifa chairman said there is growing investor understanding of the role of independent advice. Hunt says a multi-tied third pole would risk the stability of the marketplace.The FSA is to publish its recommendations within a month, […]

Tax-free gains? That can’t be right, can it?

When he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne made several changes to the way in which income is taxed. Personal allowances were increased significantly above the rate of inflation; a starting rate band was introduced for savings income and, with effect from 6 April 2015, this was assessed at 0 per cent. In addition, […]


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