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Thoresen leads basic advice taskforce

The Treasury is to launch a basic advice taskforce headed by Aegon chief executive Otto Thoresen aimed at providing free basic advice to all.
The nationwide scheme aims to be up and running within five years to coincide with the introduction of Personal Accounts.
The scheme will cost around £50m a year with the costs shared between industry and Government.
Economic secretary to the Treasury Ed Balls says: “Financial decisions are difficult. Financial products are complicated and there is too much jargon. This puts people off, or they can end up buying something that is not right for them.
Sometimes people just want to discuss their financial options and not buy anything.”


Vantage becomes biggest direct wrap

The Hargreaves Lansdown Vantage wrap account has reached 7.6bn of assets under management making it the UK’s biggest direct-to-consumer wrap account.

CML plans own probe of interest-only

The Council of Mortgage Lenders is likely to conduct its own investigations into the interest-only market as it claims to have learned little from the FSA’s recent probe.It plans to look closer at FSA consumer research published last month and conduct its own internal work before deciding whether to press ahead with a more formal […]

NPI under fire as signature dispute holds up divorcee’s pension transfer

NPI has been criticised for refusing to transfer pension assets to a divorcee without the signature of the former husband.In 2005, the client’s IFA, CBK, requested a pensionsharing order to transfer three of the ex-husband’s policies with NPI, Norwich Union and Clerical Medical.The client obtained a court consent order from Colchester County Court in March […]

Union to fight WH Smith over final-salary closure

WH Smith’s plans to close its final-salary pension scheme for future accrual have angered trade unions.Around 1,800 shop and office staff will be transferred into the money-purchase scheme along with 700 distribution workers at Smiths News, formerly part of WH Smith Group.The two firms have written to employees proposing the changes and pledged to honour […]

Greece: the sideshow continues

Artemis managers James Foster, Mark Page and Laurent Millet comment on the Greek deal, describing it as “just another fudge” getting in the way of bigger developments in China, the UK and the US. To read the full article click here.


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