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Structured Deposits

If your firm wants to continue to advise on, arrange and deal in structured deposits after MiFID II takes effect, this will mean a change to your firm’s scope of permission to include this investment type. Up until 2nd January 2018 there is a special process in place,...

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Student Loans

Student loans were introduced in 1998 at the same time as tuition fees were imposed for most of those in further education. The Student Loan Company (SLC) was set up to provide and administer loans, and currently employs nearly 2000 people. It was very badly run from...

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Consumer Debt

As night follows day, when interest rates eventually go up, there are going to be an awful lot of people defaulting on loans, be they credit card, mortgages or whatever. This, of course, despite constant and strident warnings that consumers should not over commit...

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Suitability Reports

The FCA has now provided feedback on its ‘assessing suitability‘ exercise. Their main concerns relate to ineffective disclosure. Can’t argue with that. Points to note are: Always use cash examples to illustrate percentage-based charges. When quoting hourly rates, give...

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Revolving Doors

Tracey McDermott, former Head of Enforcement at the FCA and wannabe CEO, is to join Standard Chartered as Head of Corporate, Public and Regulatory Affairs. She knows the bank quite well having, until very recently, been deeply involved in investigating them for...

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Care Crisis

The cost of Long Term Care has been in and out of the news for many years, but now it seems to be stuck firmly in the ‘in’ tray. Barely a day goes by without more tales of woe hitting the headlines. Elderly people are ending up in the back of ambulances because the...

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Defined Benefit Quandary

Bond prices are falling, which means that bond yields are rising, which means that defined benefit pension providers which need to buy a guaranteed income for their retirees, are getting more for their money. A case was quoted in the FT recently of a 40 year man who...

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Senior Managers Regime

The FCA Senior Managers Regime has now been functioning in respect of banks and insurers for six months. The regime will be extended to all regulated financial services firms, including advisers from 2018, but the regulator has not so far been clear as to how it will...

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Binary Trading

Trading in Binary Options is ‘the latest and fastest growing manifestation of investment fraud’, according to the City of London Police who say that £12 million has been reported lost by customers already this year. A Binary Option, also known as an ‘All or Nothing’...

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Death of Annuities?

Annuity rates, which are based on gilt yields, have long been in decline as low interest has chipped away at returns. Brexit delivered a further blow, to the extent that on 11th August, the 15 year gilt yield fell to an all time low of 0.9%. The great virtue of...

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What Golden Egg?

One third of homeowners currently over age 45 and with a mortgage are unlikely to pay it off before they are 65, which suggests that people are overestimating the capacity of equity in their homes to satisfy their financial aims in retirement. In the wake of long term...

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Malware

The term ‘Malware’ is short for ‘malicious software’ and is any software used to disrupt computers operations, gather sensitive information, gain access to private computer systems or display unwanted advertising. Previously such activities were referred to as...

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Pensions Down Under

For over 20 years, Australia has been the most popular destination for British retirees seeking sunshine in the twilight of their years. However, a recent change in Australian legislation means that there is a significant cut to the amount of pension money that they...

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Money Advice Service

Last month the government announced the closure of the MAS thus bringing an end to one of the more disgraceful and cack-handed episodes of government supposedly trying to help the public. The Treasury said ‘The name ‘Money Advice Service’ has always been misleading as...

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New Regulatory Regime for Failures in Banks

With effect from Monday 8th March a new regulatory regime came into force which holds top executives responsible for failures in banks. There is even a new criminal offence ‘of failure to prevent a bank collapse’. That said the scheme has been watered down since it...

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