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Taking Flight and fight on pensions

Pensions overshadowed the political landscape in 2005 although the year began with Tory calls to implement an up-front refundable fee on Financial Ombudsman Service complaints and a moratorium on new EU regulation.

Cuts in regulation were also a theme for the Government in response to the Hampton review, leading to the Better Regulation Action Plan proposing FSA efficiency savings.

In the run-up to the general election IFA champion and former Tory vice-chairman Howard Flight was sacked for his comments on potential tax cuts. Money Marketing readers came out in favour of the Tories by a big majority in our election poll, with the LibDems almost beating Labour to second place. The LibDems improved their financial services credentials, with MPs on the right of the party such as David Laws and Chris Huhne taking on finance roles, although modernisers lost important conference votes.

In the Government, financial services divisions were exposed, especially on pensions, with the means-testing- obsessed Chancellor clashing with most of the DWP and the Prime Minister.

The Turner report on pension reform lit the touchpaper for an argument that has occupied three different Work and Pensions Secretaries in the past year – Alan Johnson, David Blunkett and now Blair loyalist John Hutton – and that will continue to rage into next year.

The year ends with the LibDems claiming victory over Brown’s U-turn on property Sipps, the Government challenging the industry to come up with its own alternative to the National Pension Sav- ings Scheme and the Tories under new leader David Cameron promising to review its economic policies.


Sunny for shares

In my next two articles, I intend to look at the future prospects for equities. My aim is to arrive at a justifiable projection of likely medium and long-term rates of return.

Close merges Jersey and Cayman fund ranges

Close Investment Services has merged its Jersey-based foundation fund range with its Cayman-based global fund range, effective from this month.The combined fund range, to be called Close global funds ltd and domiciled out of Jersey, will available to investors from December 20. The marketing support, to be released to advisers in the next few weeks, […]

Stafford quits AMI for ABI policy role

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries policy officer Ben Stafford is leaving to join the Association of Brit- ish Insurers. Stafford, who has been at AMI for two years, will work as a policy adviser in regu- lation and distribution at the ABI. The AMI is recruiting a new associate director to support Chris Cummings who […]

The Investment Clock: Keep calm and Macron!

Trevor Greetham, Head of Multi Asset In a marked contrast to the surge in risk sentiment that followed President Trump’s election in November, markets greeted Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election with satisfaction and relief, rather than euphoria. After rallying strongly on opinion polls that accurately predicted the outcome, the euro held onto […]


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