Safe Home Income Plans has hit back at Labour backbenchers’ claims of flawed equity-release advertising, saying increased competition this year will boost product innovation.But trouble could be brewing, with a Ship member survey predicting that equity-release products could be aimed at younger people this year. Labour MPs have accused Norwich Union and other equity-release providers of target their ads at an audience which is too young for the products, without properly highlighting the downsides of the product such as high minimum withdrawals and high repayment values. Ship claims that the equity-release sector is now more competitive, with interest rates either staying the same or decreasing. The 18 Ship members which took part in the survey say flexible drawdown facilities are highest on the list of attractions for equity-release customers. Low interest rates and good loan to value percentages are also highlighted. Members say this year will see greater flexibility in equity-release contracts. Set-up costs, fees and early repayment charges are also widely expec- ted to fall. The survey findings say that HSBC, Barclays, Nationwide, Lloyds TSB, RBS and Halifax will offer equity-release products but despite concerns over the pension savings gap, none of the members believe that the Government will offer its own equity-release product. The majority say a product that can meet long-term care needs is required although some are opposed to offer- ing long-term care products alongside equity release. Chairman Jon King says: “The Ship member survey shows that 2006 is likely to be even better for consumers, with greater flexibility, lower costs and continued product innovation. “Low interest rates, the gro- wing consumer demand and new providers entering the market will all help bring equ- ity release into the financial mainstream.”
Unions representing 1.5 million local council workers are to ballot for strike action over plans to raise their retirement age from 60 to 65. These workers were excluded from DTI Secretary Alan Johnson’s deal with other public sector workers.
RLAM has been selected by Skandia Investment Management to manage a segregated actively managed corporate bond portfolio of 145m.The RLAM mandate follows a tendering and selection process and forms part of Skandia IM’s multi-manager range. It will be managed by RLAM head of fixed interest Jonathan Platt.RLAM chief executive Andrew Carter says: “This indicates growing […]
The Government has published its Green Paper on incapacity reforms, with Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton telling the Commons that he aims to get one million claimants off benefit and back to work over 10 years.
Jupiter Unit Trust Managers has launched its redesigned website at www.jupiteronline.co.uk.The firm says the website provides a scaleable platform for the future and makes it easier to rapidly update content for business users. The site also offers increased accessibility for users with disabilities, and a literature binder tool, enabling users to select literature as they […]
Head of Sustainable Investing at Royal London Asset Management, Mike Fox, looks at the case for including artificial intelligence within a sustainable investment strategy. Read the article in full here The value of investments and the income from them is not guaranteed and may go down as well as up and investors may not get […]
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As the outlook for the UK’s economy remains uncertain, how can advisers prepare portfolios for any change in inflation? As higher inflation fails to appear on the horizon and wages grow faster than expected, fund managers are weighing up their portfolio moves for any potential changes in the economy. The UK consumer prices index rose […]
IFA directors Kevin and Cheryl Neal have been banned from being company directors by the Insolvency Service for six and four years, respectively. The married couple ran the now-defunct Hertfordshire-based Kevin Neal Associates Wealth Management. They were disqualified for taking assets from an insolvent company. The firm had been incorporated to take over the business interests […]
Hartley Pensions has bought the “untainted” assets of the Lifetime Sipp Company, which went into administration earlier this year. An update published today on the website of Lifetime’s administrators Kingston Smith & Partners says Hartley Pensions has also agreed to administer the tainted Sipps held by Lifetime Sipp. The administrator described tainted assets as those where […]