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WP survey slams free-asset ratios

The UK&#39s top with-profits life offices are Britannic Assurance, Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society and Teachers, according to a new survey by Cazalet Financial Consulting.

All three life offices get 10 marks out of 10 in the survey which uses a new system designed by Cazalet.

Equitable Life was rated before it closed to new business in December and got two out of 10. Sun Alliance, now part of Royal & Sun Alliance, was given a score of three.

A detailed IFA handbook to with-profits analysis and investment markets, produced with Old Broad Street Research, accompanies the ratings.

Cazalet slams offices for their use of free-asset ratios, saying they are useless and misleading and give a false impression.

The ratings include inadmissible assets, tax reserves and reinsurance.

Cazalet Financial Consulting principal Ned Cazalet says: “We are determined to help IFAs gain a clearer understanding of with-profits and help them see through the spin and hype of the industry – weak insurers desperately manipulate their figures to lure in unsuspecting investors. The free-asset ratio method, which makes about as much sense as a doctor assessing a patient&#39s health by looking at the shine on his shoes, is now history.”


Survey sees Solas still in the dark

Nearly three-quarters of single, older women are unaware of the range of financial products available to them, according to research by RJ Temple. It found that 73 per cent of unmarried or widowed older women were in the dark or sceptical of products to boost their incomes, such as equity release. The IFA commissioned the […]

Blair and Hague clash over pensions

Prime Minister Tony Blair and Leader of the Opposition William Hague clashed before this week’s budget over Labour taxation of dividends in pension funds.In a stormy clash in the House of Commons during Prime Minister&#39s Question time before the Chancellor rose to give his speech, Hague attacked the Government for slashing the Advanced Corporation Tax […]

Chancellor backs IFA commission attack

The retail investment industry is now facing a Myners-style investigation, following attacks on IFA commission and with-profits policies in the Myners report.The Chancellor announced in this week’s budget that the Treasury has accepted the recommendations of the Myners report, and will carry out a separate independent review on personal investment products.The review is set to […]

Widows won&#39t weaken brand with other stakes

Pension firms will not sell rivals&#39 stakeholder plans because it would weaken their own brand, says Scottish Widows. The only providers which will take advantage of phase one of the relaxation of polarisation are smaller companies that do not have their own stakeholder product, said Widows pensions strategy manager Ian Naismith. Because of this limited […]


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