Counting on your clients »
Client referrals are like gold dust - provided, that is, you've
got the right sort of clients. Karl Hartey suggests how your
business can grow from within. We all like client referrals -
a fine way to secure new business. But they don't happen
without a bit of effort on your part. Here are a few pointers
as to how you can make your existing client base work on your
New life for death-in-service »
The changes associated with pension simplification will impact
on the way benefits are paid on the death of a scheme member.
Neil Copeland explains. From 6 April 2006 scheme trustees,
administrators and members must be aware that the level and type of
benefits which will be permitted to be paid on the death of a
member in an occupational pension scheme will change
Marketing gets on board at last »
Do marketeers get a fair crack of the corporate whip?
Christine Cryne reports. For more years than many of us care
to remember, marketeers have been claiming that their craft should
be on the boardroom agenda. Well, if it wasn't before, it
surely is now with the introduction of the new International
Financial Reporting Standards and the FSA's Treating Customers
FSA: sub-prime is a 'sub-standard' »
The regulator says parts of the sub-prime lending market are
missing compliance targets. Following its review of comliance
by small mortgage brokers in the sub-prime market, the FSA believes
there are too many cases where firms are unable to show they are
following the required procedure relating to suitability when
advising on these contracts...
Longer life »
Research from the Continuous Mortality Investigation suggests a
male aged 65 now will live until age 86 years and seven months.
Employer contributions »
HMRC says that it "will be publishing guidance for inspectors in
advance of 6 April 2006 which will say that inspectors who want to
query the allowability of an employer deduction should first seek
guidance from Audit & Pension Scheme Services (APSS)". It does
not say what the APSS guidance will be. HMRC has confirmed that an
employer contribution made within an accounting period ending after
5 April 2006 will be subject to the new allowability rules, even if
the payment is made before A-day. This means companies with
year-ends of 31 December have under three months of the old
allowability regime left. Note, however, that contrary to some
reports, the annual allowance only applies from A-day.
Enhanced protection and life cover »
Any post-A-day contributions made in respect of an individual to
a money purchase arrangement (other than a "cash balance"
arrangement) will invalidate enhanced protection. HMRC say this
restriction includes any life cover contributions, whether funded
within the arrangement or by means of a policy with an insurance
company. However, if the scheme uses any pre-A-day funds to provide
or increase life cover within an existing arrangement, enhanced
protection will remain.
Hansard goes »
The Hansard procedure for dealing with tax fraud is no more. The
new HMRC process, set out in a revised code of practice 9 (COP 9)
explicitly removes the threat of prosecution unless "materially
false" information is provided. Thus someone who becomes subject to
COP 9 can refuse to co-operate with HMRC, safe in the knowledge
that if they say nothing, they will not be prosecuted.
PPI the end of the line? »
Payment protection insurance is under fire from all
quarters. Kevin Pratt sees proponents of independent advice
join in the fray to salvage a worthwhile product. According
to consumer champion Citizens Advice, payment protection insurance
is failing many of those who need it most. CA says it adds to
debts rather than protecting borrowers against hard times and is
little more than a way of generating revenue for insurers and
CII details new exams structure »
The Chartered Insurance Institute is introducing a new framework
for financial planning examinations. Bob Bullivant explains
the impact of the changes. In my July article in 'Financial
Solutions' I outlined the apporach that the CII is taking in
relation to the new suite of financial planning examinations, with
effect from this autumn onwards...
Employers and the new simplified pension regime »
Pension simplification must have beaten even depolarisation for
column inches in the last six months, but in most cases the
articles have been dominated by figures and run-downs of what will
happen and when. Robert Reid offers a more discursive
analysis the biggest change to affect the market for years.
The aim of this article is to give context to some of the more
important issues surrounding simplification...
Get to grips with the Handbook »
John Ellis examines the proposed changes to the FSA Handbook and
suggests how these will impact on the working lives of the
financial advice community. CP05/10, which appeared from the
FSA in July, reviews the Handbook provisions on money laundering,
approved persons, training and competence and conduct of
business. The approach to the Handbook now increasingly
emphasises high level principles...
Financial sanctions: legal update »
The Bank of England reminds Society members of details of
compliance requirements regarding financial sanctions-related
legislation in the UK. The Financial Sanctions Unit of the
Bank of England sent the following letter to the Personal Finance
Society, and to other organisations such as the ABI, Investment
Managers Association and AIFA. It is important all members
read and digest its contents...
Any cure for 'black hole' blues? »
David Davison explains the 'moral hazard' provisions of the
Pensions Act. How often we hear of corporate takeovers danger
of collapse because of concerns over the "black hole" in the
pension fund. Clearly, fears over pension scheme liabilities
are curbing M&A activity. Last year saw the collapse of
deals involving WH Smith and Marks & Spencer...
Break the code and you are on the way to TCF compliance »
We at the Personal Finance Society have a solution for TCF
(treating customers fairly). It's simple, it's not expensive
and it has been tried and tested world-wide. For anyone not
yet up to speed on TCF, this is an initiative from FSA to make
firms treat their customers fairly. Please refer to the FSA
website (www.fsa.gov.uk) for