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Standard board failed pension test

Standard Life claims that its need to demutualise is the result of its management having responded too slowly to the demands of new solvency regulations.

That may be part of the reason but I do not believe it to be the most significant part.

The main reason is that it has tried and failed disastrously to market personal pensions with money-losing charging structures just to conform to the whims of a bunch of Government ministers with no understanding of commerce (like most of the Labour Party, it seems).

Even compulsion is unlikely to save the situation at this stage in the game. Compulsory stakeholder schemes? The very idea makes one shudder.

Had Standard Life’s management had any backbone, they would have stood fast and declared that they were having nothing to do with stakeholder.

What would the FSA have done – shut them down?I do not quite think so.

Any fool with half an ounce of commercial nous should have seen that stakeholder is a synonym for suicide.

What has happened is that by screwing its once supporting IFAs, Standard Life has screwed itself.

Ultimately, of course, its customers will get screwed as well. But none of this is anything to do with the FSA. Hey, they’re the good guys.

Julian StevensWDS, Bristol


The wrong place at the wrong time

What was supposed to be one of the highlights of the year ended with a lonely night in a West Country hotel for Cazenove’s Robin Minter-Kemp. Robin had arranged to meet other anglers for a dinner but,running late, rang to confirm the venue. “The Flyfisherman’s Club in Brook Street, near the American Embassy?” he asked. […]

L&G claims partial victory

Legal & General has claimed a partial victory from the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal as it ruled that there should be a reduction in the fine imposed on the company by the FSA for mis-selling to its customers.The tribunal found that there had not been widespread mis-selling, although Legal & General had committed rule […]

Show me the money – earnings are central to performance in Europe

Equity markets globally currently remain vulnerable to sharp shifts in sentiment caused by either unexpected or unwelcome outcomes in key upcoming political events (the US and German elections, Brexit and the Italian referendum). These top-down influences, combined with the current low global growth environment, will likely lead to broadly directionless markets, and prolong the current low beta return environment. We do, though, […]


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