The Week in Numbers
12m – Number of actions taken by MAS users in 2014/15 – far higher than the organisation’s 4.5 million target
1% – cashback offer for first-time buyers launched by Halifax this week
8 – Number of advice firms issued with Section 166 reports (also known as a skilled persons report) by the FCA in relation to insistent transfers
£11bn – Outflows seen by Aberdeen Asset Management in the six months to the end of March
11% – fall in profits reported by Lloyds for the first quarter after it took a £660m hit following the sale of TSB
£4.1m – Price paid by advice consolidation firm AFH financial to acquire national firm Independent Financial Services (UK)
65% – Proportion of 55 to 64-year-olds who are not aware of changes to pension death tax rules, a survey commissioned by Old Mutual says
£1.4bn – Annual slump in retail fund sales in March, according to the IA
Originally published in Money Marketing magazine, 7th May 2015
Snap Shot News Headlines
“Advisers seek end to ‘galling’ FSCS levy hikes”
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has announced a shock increase to the levy required of Pensions Advisers. Originally expected to be £57m, it has now risen to £100m. The Life and Pensions advisers have attacked these increase charges amid concerns that firms could be forced out of business.
A further concern is that the increase hike designed to protect consumers if the firms were to fail, could mean an increased cost will be passed onto consumers in the future.
The FSCS cited complaints against the advisers over pension transfers as the main cause for the rise in the levy and it is charged for all firms with permissions to act as life and pensions intermediaries.
“Basi & Basi Financial Planning managing director Michale Basi adds: ‘There is something fundamentally wrong with the way the system works and it’s unreasonable to keep disrupting a market economy by introducing bills from a body that has little or no accountability”
“St James’s Place sales leap 13% on back of Pension Freedoms”
“Wealth management giant St James’s Place saw sales rocket 13% in the first three months of the year, from £205.4m to £232.2m as funds under management hit £55.8bn.
New Investment business surged from £132.7m to £140.8m during the period, while pension sales were up 26% from £72.2m to £90.0m.”
“IFS Slams Tory and Labour tax relief proposals”
This year, both Tory and Labour have pledged to limit pension contribution ceilings.
- plan to gradually decrease annual allowances for people earning more than £150,000
- Those earning £210,000, would have capped annual contributions at just £10,000
- Plans to restrict tax relief for top rate taxpayers down to the basic taxpayer rate
- The relief reducing from £150,000, tapering down to £180,000 where the relief would be 20%
“But the Institute for Fiscal Studies calls the plans ‘misguided’ offering Labour the most criticism: ‘If Labour’s reforms are implemented, then – like many reforms to pensions taxation by the fovernment and those proposed by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats – tney would add further undesirable complexity and be a missed opportunity to rationalise parts of the pensions tax system that are overly generous.’”
Original articles by Tom Selby and Mark Sands, originally published in Money Marketing Magazine 30th April 2015
“Just Retirement Offers Simplified Advice Service”
aiming to provide a service for individuals who need advice on their retirement planning but have smaller pension pots. They will provide a telephone based advisory service which will include offering clients personal recommendations such as whether to keep their funds invested, take a lump sum or generate an income. According to Just Retirement Director, Stephen Lowe, the service is aimed individuals with “straight forward needs” . Fees for the service have not yet been disclosed.
Original article by Sam Broadbeck
“Uk Dodges deflation… but only for now”
The Consumer Price Index stayed at 0% last month following the surprise drop from 0.3%. But concerns are arising from low clothing prices and weak food prices, dragging the core inflation level lower. It dropped to a nine-year low in the latest data from the ONS. This could mean that consumers see a clear improvement in their purchasing power of the next few months.
Original article by Laura Suter
“Private Equity Firms eye £100m 7IM”
The wealth manager and asset management firm founded in 2001 by Justin Urquhart Stewart and Tom Sheridan was reported to be looking into a potential sale in February. Originally it was valued between £50m and £60m but it could be valued significantly higher at £100m and above. The firm initially began with a handful of employees, has now grown to around 170 with £8bn of assets.
Original article by Tessa Norman
Articles originally published in MoneyMarketing magazine 16th April 2015