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Society widens online service

Principality Building Society is expanding its online advisory service to include pension and investment advice.

The service offers an online mortgage and insurance system but is aiming for its pension and investment sections to be operating by mid-August.

It enables consumers to talk to phone-based whole of market mortgage bro- kers while viewing the dec- ision process online.

A non-advised division is being developed and will be included in stage two of the project. managing director Neal Pritchard says: “The problem with many online systems is that they require downloading and consumers are wary of downloading software.

“We have developed a licence for the software that does not require downloading. It will lay bare the back-office systems that the adv- iser is using, which, in light both of treating customers fairly and building financial capability, is making great steps forward.”


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Japan Economic Insight

James Dowey, Chief Economist, and Paul Caruana-Galizia, Economist

The conventional wisdom is that following a roughly 50 per cent rise in the stock market in 2013 in Yen terms, the Japan trade is over and done*. So the story goes, those big gains were due to a one-off boost from quantitative easing (QE) and a depreciation of the Yen — policies that one should think of as a palliative to Japan’s economic weakness, but not a cure. Rather the cure, and by implication the necessary condition for a longer-term investment case, is deep structural reforms — a painstaking re-weaving of Japan’s economic and social fabric, no less. The story continues: this is a much tougher test than launching a blast of QE, and one that prime minister Shinzo Abe, although well intentioned and well supported by the public thus far, is likely to fail. Stick a fork in Japan, it’s done…continue reading


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