Better-off could get lump sum in exchange for pension top-ups


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Better-off could get lump sum in exchange for pension top-ups

Better-off could get lump sum in exchange for pension top-ups
A senior actuary has said that hundreds of thousands of better-off pensioners could receive a lump sum of up to £62,000 from the Government in exchange for giving up part of their state pension. The Coalition is working on introducing a flat-rate state pension to replace the earnings-related one, whereby people receive a “top-up” weekly payment depending on how long they worked.
The Daily Telegraph, p. 13

US company avoids probe over workers’ UK pension rights
A US-based technology company accused in parliament of “effectively stealing” a substantial chunk of its former UK workers’ pensions has succeeded in its bid to prevent the pensions ombudsman from investigating a complaint about its retirement scheme. EMC employs more than 50,000 people worldwide, including more than 800 across Britain, and earlier this year signed a major IT deal with the government to supply a range of specialist “cloud” services across the UK public sector.
The Guardian, p. 29

House sales up as market improves
It has emerged that the housing market looks poised to pick up after proving surprisingly resilient over the year, according to lenders, as mortgage loans peaked in November. The market is on track to end 2012 with 930,000 home property transactions and net lending of £9bn, said the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), against 886,000 transactions last year. The industry body had braced itself for just 825,000 transactions and £8bn of net lending in 2012.
The Daily Telegraph Business, p. 3
Also appeared in : The Times, p.46

Ireland passes law offering relief on mortgages
The Irish Parliament has passed a sweeping law that could let thousands of borrowers reduce the amounts they owe on their mortgages.
International Herald Tribune, p. 19

Santander to sell off UK store cards
Yesterday Santander UK agreed to sell its portfolio of British retail store cards, including those issued by Topshop and Debenhams. The UK arm of Spain’s biggest bank said it had reached an “agreement in principle” to sell the business, which has about 7m customers, to SAV Credit. It is set to be a transformation deal for the specialist credit card lender, owned by US hedge fund Varde Partners.
The Daily Telegraph Business, p. 5
Also appeared in : The Times, p.49

‘Electrify ring fences’ to end bank gaming
An influential group of MPs and Lords recommends that banks should face the constant threat of being broken up if they present a risk to the financial system. Regulators should be given the “reserve power” to force the total separation of retail and investment banking businesses, the Commission on Banking Standards says, in what will be seen as a major challenge to the Government’s reform of the banking industry.
The Daily Telegraph Business, p. 1
Also appeared in : The Guardian, p.28, The Times, p.46, Financial Times, p.1, Financial Times, p.2, The Times, p.43, Independent i, p.4, The Daily Telegraph Business, p.5, The Independent, p.1, The Independent, p.4

UBS rate rigging probe shifts focus to Hong Kong
Yesterday the investigations into potential Libor rigging at UBS widened to Hong Kong after the Swiss bank admitted fraud, agreed to pay £940m in fines for manipulating the inter-bank rate and saw two of its traders charged with conspiracy. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the central bank, launched an inquiry into UBS after receiving information from overseas regulators about “possible misconduct” related to the local inter-bank rate, Hibor, and other Asian reference rates.
The Daily Telegraph Business, p. 5
Also appeared in : The Independent, p.53, Independent i, p.49

US banks face steep rise in bad loans cover
The US Financial Accounting Standards Board has unveiled tough new rules that will increase the amount of money banks have to set aside to cover soured loans and bonds.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times Companies and Markets, p. 15

Interdealer brokers face Libor scrutiny
According to experts, interdealer brokers, the financial institutions that act as go-betweens in transactions between major investment banks, could be the next companies to face regulatory scrutiny over Libor manipulation. An investigation by international regulators has already led to the arrest of two executives at broker RP Martin, while Tory donor Michael Spencer’s brokerage, ICAP, has been asked to provide information to investigators.
The Daily Telegraph Business, p. 5

Trader linked to brokers at four banks
Tom Hayes, the former trader who faces criminal charges in the UBS rate-fixing probe, has been linked to rates traders at Royal Bank of Scotland, JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times Companies and Markets, p. 18

Morgan Stanley points the way with Eris Exchange stake plan
Morgan Stanley will invest in a futures exchange, in a sign that big investment banks are preparing for a shift away from traditional over-the-counter derivatives.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times Companies and Markets, p. 29

Anger as green bank lends coal plant £100m for biomass change
Environmentalists have described as “astonishing” the decision by the taxpayer-funded Green Investment Bank to loan £100 million to the Drax coal plant to convert to biomass.
The Times, p. 53

London’s Liffe the ‘jewel’ in ICE’s £5bn exchange deal
Yesterday London’s status as a world financial capital received a major boost after a US exchange paid billions of dollars to help secure control of Liffe, the City’s largest derivatives market. However, Liffe, an exchange through which investors can make bets on the future level of interest rates, is estimated to generate about 40pc of profits at NYSE.
The Daily Telegraph Business, p. 1

Boom-time for car monitoring as women seek low premiums
From today, a European Union ruling means that it is illegal for insurance companies to price their policies on the basis of gender, despite the fact that women have fewer accidents. Its thousands of young female drivers could therefore turn to “Big Brother” technology to stop their premiums from soaring as insurers are banned from offering them cheaper policies than men.
The Times, p. 14

Money, work and sex at the festive tab
A new study reports that one in ten Britons plans to ask for financial help over Christmas lunch this year. The study, by Barclays bank, found other topics to be raised include addressing a family issue and new relationships.
The Daily Telegraph, p. 4

Spain’s I.P.O. push cited in Bankia’s fall
Rodrigo Rato, a former top banking official in Spain and former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, on Thursday became the most prominent banker to appear in a Spanish court since the start of the country’s financial crisis.
International Herald Tribune, p. 17

Danske head says sorry for bank’s role in crisis
Danske Bank’s chief executive, Eivind Kolding, has become one of the first leaders of a financial institution to issue a general apology for the lender’s behaviour leading up to the financial crisis.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times Companies and Markets, p. 16

The above articles appeared on 21/12/12 reproduced with the kind permission of Kantar Media UK. All rights reserved.

Charterbridge Private Financial Planning, Independent Financial Advice, Thornbury, Bristol.