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Scottish Widows unfurls flexible mortgage

Scottish Widows bank is launching a new flexible mortgage for people considering their repayment methods following the endowment review. Using the mortgage, clients will be able to make repayments to suit their individual circumstances. Repayment methods can be split between endowment and capital and interest to reduce their outstanding loan. It has a standard variable rate of 7.09 per cent. Widows believes making overpayments in the new account will reduce capital as well as saving on interest costs, which could be enough to wipe out a potential any shortfall.

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Julan Gibbs

Around 50 IFAs specialising in investment have taken advantage of a new system called Transact, which saves registered representatives around 30 per cent of their time in administration, reduces back-office work and pays a standard commission of 3.5 per cent plus 0.55 per cent trail on all investments in unit trusts, investment trusts and shares. […]

Dresdner creates niche

Crowe says: “The minimum investment is only £2,000. There are no additional charges over the underlying asset charges and it offers diversification by investing in a number of Dresdner’s collective investment schemes.” Elms cites the wide investment spread and the inclusion of offshore funds as useful features.Turning to the disadvantages of the product, Chitroda says: […]

Review reveals the direct route to misselling

The end is in sight for the darkest chapter in the history of UK&#39s financial services but the price tag has jumped from£11bn to £13.5bn. The increase for phase two pension review cases comes partly as a result of people living longer, changing stockmarket conditions and because more information is being unearthed. But the figures […]

FSA publishes consultation paper on future of credit union

The FSA has published a consultation paper into the future of the credit union movement in an attempt to improve consumer confidence. FSA chairman Sir Howard Davies says he wants to create a regulatory environment which will encourage credit unions to grow.

Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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