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Standard Life announces extra £800m of with-profits bonuses

Standard Life has announced that an estimated £800m of bonuses will be added to its with-profits plans in 2008.

Its with-profits bonus declaration states that bonus growth rates for unitised with-profits bonds will increase from 2 to 2.5 per cent per annum and from 1.5 to 2.0 per cent for other life plans.

Standard Life says where the 3 per cent guarantee applies, unit prices will continue to grow at 3 per cent per annum.

Bonus growth rates for unitised with-profits pension plans will increase to 2.5 per cent per year, up from 2 per cent, except where a 4 per cent unit price growth guarantee applies.

Standard Life Assurance Limited actuarial director Jim Black says despite the volatility of 2007, payout values for all types of with-profits plans have increased over the last year.

He says: “This demonstrates the benefits of being invested in with-profits which, through the smoothing of investment returns, can help to shield customers from the worst impact of short-term market upheaval.

“With-profits customers are also benefiting from continued distributions from the Inherited Estate in the form of enhanced payouts for those plans which are eligible. Consequently, all types of with-profits plans have benefited from positive returns during 2007.”


Heads should roll at the FSA, says Vince Cable

Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cable says Alistair Darling should be firing FSA chairman Sir Callum McCarthy after the regulator’s “systematic failure” over Northern Rock rather than increasing his powers.He says: “After the Treasury Select Committee report concluded that the FSA was guilty of ‘systematic failure’ over Northern Rock, it is baffling that the Chancellor […]

Dog days for fund firms

Schroders tops the shame list in this year’s Bestinvest Spot the Dog research, with £1.173bn of assets in the doghouse.Scottish Widows comes second with £778m, followed by Fidelity and Invesco Perpetual with £733m and £726m respectively.The report shows that 70 out of 698 funds have qualified for the name and shame list by failing to […]

Judgement week

Now is perhaps not the best time for investment firms to judge the performance of fund managers given the recent market volatility.

PosSol Forum: New Mortgage Club launched

Positive Solutions is launching a new in-house mortgage advice and sales service intended to offer its advisers exclusive deals from mortgage providers. The Mortgage Club will allow its partners access improved fees and higher service standards from 25 different lenders, including Abbey for Intermediaries, RBS and Bristol & West.Positive Solutions mortgage manager Paul Rignall says […]


Neptune video: UK economy: a sustainable recovery?

After years of a slowly brewing economic recovery, the UK has seen a strong rise in growth in recent months. Mark Martin, manager of the Neptune UK Mid Cap Fund, discusses the strength of this recovery and whether it is sustainable.

In the video, Martin addresses the following:

• Structural features supporting the UK economy
• UK mid-caps and the potential for M&A activity
• Valuations and opportunities in house builders


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