Weekend round up

Charterbridge

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Weekend round up

 

New charges could wipe out the value of your Child Trust Fund
It emerged this week that thousands of children with Child Trust Fund share accounts run by investment giant F&C could soon see the
value of government contributions to their plans wiped out altogether following the introduction of a £30 annual fee.
The Guardian Money, p. 5
Also appeared in : The Times, p.70, The Daily Telegraph Your Money, p.1

ARE YOUR ISA SAVINGS A LIVING DEAD END?
Since they were launched 14 years ago, individual savings accounts have been opened by an estimated 24 million people in the UK,
according to the Office for National Statistics.
The Independent, p. 54-55

Pick one of three tax–free accounts to get a real return
Figures published this week showed that just three savings accounts now pay a real return on your money, once tax and inflation
have been taken into account.
The Daily Telegraph Your Money, p. 7

Compensation clarity for Sipp investors
It has been confirmed that savers holding substantial funds in self-invested personal pension accounts will be protected if their
provider becomes insolvent.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times Money, p. 5

Crackdown on ‘liberation’ firms
HM Revenue & Customs and the Pensions Regulator have raised concerns over the growing trend of “pension liberation” where
retirement savings are accessed before the age of 55.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times Money, p. 2

Buy-to-let loans at four-year high
Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that the number of buy-to-let mortgages reached its highest level in four years
in 2012.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times Money, p. 2

First-time buyers just beat off landlords to top lending figures
The number of first-time buyers entering the housing market reached 216,000 in 2012, the highest in five years, according to
figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
The Guardian Money, p. 6
Also appeared in : The Daily Telegraph Your Money, p.14

Care-home fees cap ‘covers only third of costs’
Repossessions last year dropped to the lowest level since 2007, but there are worrying signs that more households are falling
seriously behind with their mortgage repayments, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said.
The Times, p. 74

Niesr proposes mortgage bonds
Economists at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research believe the mortgage market should be redesigned as the
current model is unworkable.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times Money, p. 5

Lenders wary of non-standard builds
Major high street banks tightening their criteria on to whom they lend has made properties that do not tick all the “standard
boxes” harder to sell.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times Money, p. 4

Renters pay £120 more a month than homebuyers
Falling house prices and rising rents have made buying a three-bedroom house £120 a month cheaper than renting a similar property.
The Daily Telegraph, p. 37

Don’t be seduced by attractive headline rates
Competition has returned to the mortgage market and rates are dropping, but borrowers should do their homework before jumping in,
experts warn. Some deals come with very high fees and difficult–to–please lenders.
The Daily Telegraph Your Money, p. 2-3

Every taxpayer could be given £400 worth of RBS shares
The Government is considering giving away hundreds of pounds in shares in RBS to every taxpayer in Britain before the next
election, reports claimed last night. Under one proposal being considered by George Osborne, every taxpayer could be given £300 or
£400 worth of shares in the bank.
The Daily Telegraph, p. 18
Also appeared in : Independent i, p.4, The Independent, p.11, The Independent, p.1, The Times, p.55

New blow to Co-op deal for Lloyds empire
James Mack, the Co-operative Bank’s finance chief has quit unexpectedly, raising fresh questions over the mutual’s ambitious plan
to buy a retail banking empire being carved out of Lloyds Banking Group.
The Times, p. 58
Also appeared in : The Daily Telegraph, p.40

Banks face threat of portable accounts
Banks could be forced to give their customers fully portable accounts – at great expense to the sector – Sajid Javid, the Treasury
economic secretary has warned.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times, p. 4

Santander probe
A “mystery shopping” exercise by the Financial Services Authority has uncovered failings in the investment advice given by six
banks and building societies.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times Money, p. 2

Yorkshire Bank may face claim
Investors who have lost millions of pounds in an unregulated property scheme are seeking redress from Yorkshire Bank for failing to
protect their deposits.
The Daily Telegraph Your Money, p. 6

Warm glow at Barclays now needs delivery
Sarah Gordon comments on how Barclays must be cleaned up after the bank’s involvement in a range of unwholesome activities, from
mis-selling payment protection insurance to manipulating Libor interest rates.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times, p. 14

LCH net prof it ‘tripled’ in 2012
LCH. Clearnet almost tripled its net profit in 2012 after the transatlantic clearing house being bid for by the London Stock
Exchange experienced what it called “a transformational year”.
This abstract from the Financial Times was produced by Kantar Media
Financial Times, p. 17

Commerzbank chief forgoes bonus
Martin Blessing, chief executive of Commerzbank, has waived his right to a bonus, saying €6m (£5.2m) profit at Germany’s
second-largest lender was unsatisfactory and did not justify him taking the payment.
The Daily Telegraph, p. 39
Also appeared in : International Herald Tribune, p.12, The Times, p.58

Banking & finance
Insurers paid out more than £1 billion to flooded-out householders last year, making it the most expensive year for claims in five
years.
The Times, p. 54

Finance/Exchange makes cut-price start in Moscow
Russian president Vladimir Putin’s ambitions to create a major financial centre in his country suffered a blow today when the
flotation of the Moscow Exchange were priced at 55 roubles, the bottom of the suggested range (55-63.)
The Independent, p. 49

Nest eggs fall as double dip hits home
Figures from ING show that, despite recovering savings levels in the first half of 2012, British savings habits tailed off in the
autumn and winter of last year.
The Sunday Telegraph Money and Jobs, p. 5

‘£100,000’ blow for flat-rate pensions
A new pensions gap will leave employees in private industry up to £100,000 worse off in retirement compared with contemporaries
working for the state, according to research, commissioned by the Sunday Telegraph from leading actuarial firm Hymans Robertson.
The Sunday Telegraph Money and Jobs, p. 2
Also appeared in : The Sunday Times Money, p.7

Retirement reforms hit women worst
The government has a moral duty to rethink proposals that will see 100,000 women in their 60s receive a smaller state pension than
men the same age, argues Ros Altmann, the over-50s campaigner.
The Sunday Times Money, p. 7

Buy-to-let loans surge as investors turn to property
Almost 1.5m investors hold buy-to-let mortgages, industry figures have shown, underlining how demand for property investment has
surged. Buy-to-let lending accounted for 11.5pc of total gross mortgage lending in 2012, up from 9.8pc the year before, according
to data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). As a total, £16.4bn was lent, up 19pc on 2011.
The Sunday Telegraph Money and Jobs, p. 2
Also appeared in : The Sunday Times Money, p.2

Repossessions on the wane
The number of home repossessions has dropped to its lowest level since 2007, with 33,900 homes seized in 2012, according to the
Council of Mortgage Lenders.
The Sunday Times Money, p. 2

The interest-only time bomb that must be defused £
Urgent action is needed if you are one of the 60,000 mortgage holders who have no means of paying off the capital, says Julian
Knight.
The Independent on Sunday, p. 98-99

Fix a route through the mortgage maze
Anna Mikhailova looks at how record low rates are tempting homeowners to lock in for up to a decade. Skipton building society
imposes an 8% penalty if its 10-year fix is repaid in the first two years – £16,000 on a £200,000 mortgage.
The Sunday Times Money, p. 8

It’s no mystery that banks get it so wrong on advice
Santander is bracing itself for another large fine from the Financial Services Authority after a devastating mystery shopping
exercise into financial advice on the high street. The undercover survey, conducted by the research firm GfK from March to
September last year, involved 231 visits to banks and mutuals. Staff were told the “customers” had less than £150,000 to invest and
had personal loans or credit card debt of less than £15,000.
The Sunday Times Money, p. 8

Lloyds: no bonus until shares fly
Antonio Horta-Osorio, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, could have his bonuses held back until the taxpayer’s stake in the
bank is back in the black. Although the board is said to be keen to reward the 49-year-old Portuguese for turning round Lloyds,
they are desperate to avoid a new pay row. Horta-Osorio is expected to be told he can cash in his bonuses only once the share price
is consistently above 74p – the average price paid by the government in its 2008 bailout of the bank.
The Sunday Times Business, p. 3

Barclays rises on a puff of hot air
Iain Dey looks at the business strategy of new Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins, noting the plan was only marginally
different from a strategy overhaul presented two years earlier by his now-reviled predecessor Bob Diamond. The numbers were
similar. The only thing that had changed was the tone.
The Sunday Times Business, p. 10
Also appeared in : The Observer, p.53, The Observer, p.49

Investors hit by mis-selling crisis
More than 800,000 people may be due compensation from their bank for being mis-sold investments, based on an investigation by the
Financial Services Authority.
The Sunday Times Money, p. 1

Treasury crackdown on swaps
Thousands of businesses mis-sold interest-rate hedging products by their bank should have their payments suspended, according to
Greg Clark, Financial Secretary to the Treasury
The Sunday Telegraph Business, p. 1-2

Cable demands rethink on flagship loan scheme
The Business Secretary has called for the Bank of England to conduct a review of its flagship £80bn lending scheme over fears that
it is failing to improve the flow of funding to credit-starved small companies. Vince Cable called for “more open-minded thinking”
at the central bank and for urgent discussions over how the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) can be changed.
The Sunday Telegraph Business, p. 1

Ex-traders launch bank for farmers
Focus on Agribank, an institution to lend to Britain’s cash-starved farmers. The bank has been set up in Malta and is lending into
the UK through the European Union’s passport system. The savings bonds are not covered by any depositor guarantee scheme, but as a
result, will pay interest rates about 10% higher than the rest of the market.
The Sunday Times Business, p. 3

Europe’s tax tangle
Business comment on how the financial transactions tax that 11 members of the European Union plan to impose is a real risk to
economic growth.
The Sunday Times Business, p. 4

Banks are blacklisted by ethical investors
Co-operative Asset Management, one of the largest ethical funds, dumped shares in Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland following
their involvement in the Libor fixing scandal.
The Sunday Times Money, p. 6

The above articles appeared on 16/02/13 & 17/02/13 reproduced with the kind permission of Kantar Media UK. All rights reserved.

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