The Week in Numbers
225 – Number of Investment Advisers Santander expects to employ by the end of March
7% – Fall in China’s CSI 300 index on Monday, triggering newly-introduced “Circuit-Breakers” that halted trading for the day
21% – Rise in mortgage approvals year-on-year in November, according to Bank of England Figures
13k – Number of new affordable homes the Government plans to build this year through directly commissioning “small and up-and-coming” building companies
£50k – Amount raised by two landlords seeking to fight Government plans to raise taxes on buy-to-let investments
105,153 – Signatures backing a campaign to ease the transition for women affected by increases in the women’s state pension age (figure correct at time of original writing)
£615m – Amount by which Government has undershot its tax avoidance revenue raising target, according to the Office for Budge Responsibility.
£4m – MAS marketing budget for 2016/17
£30.1m – Budget for “money guidance” in 2016/17, down from £34.1m in 2015/16
“I would be worried if we went back to the bad old days” – Independent pensions expert Alan Higham on the prospect of a return of commission-like charging structures.
Originally published in Money Marketing Magazine 7th January 2016
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