Equitable Life looks set to win the overwhelming backing of policyholders for its controversial comp...
Equitable Life looks set to win the overwhelming backing of policyholders for its controversial compromise plan, as the deadline passes tonight for the receipt of postal votes, says this morning's Financial Times.
Pension schemes and individuals are expected to endorse the scheme, which Equitable says is essential for its financial stability.
The National Association of Pension Funds said it was not aware that any of the 6,000 group pension schemes with Equitable would oppose the compromise.
Policyholders and pension fund trustees can still vote in person at meetings on Friday at the Wembley conference centre, and the final result should be known by the end of the month.
The battle of the banks intensified on Tuesday when Abbey National announced it would spend £25m a year improving its current account offering.
Abbey, the sixth-largest bank, says it is in the process of creating 500 new jobs as part of its attack on the current account market, continues the FT.
The bank hopes to attract thousands of current account customers from HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland, the "big four" banks that dominate the sector.
Andrew Pople, retail managing director, says the bank was expecting the number of people switching current account to double this year to almost 1m as price competition overcomes customer apathy.
The Bank of England looks set to reject renewed industry pleas for lower borrowing costs this week after a 15 per cent year-on-year leap in house prices reignited fears of an unsustainable property market boom, says the Times.
City analysts believe that the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee, meeting today and tomorrow, is all but certain to keep base rates on hold, and could even raise borrowing costs in coming months to curb surging consumer demand.
Figures from Halifax, the country's biggest mortgage lender, showing a return to double-digit house price inflation in 2001 extinguished any remaining hopes that the MPC would sanction another cut in borrowing costs.
National Australia Bank (NAB) yesterday lost its UK chief executive in a move that analysts believe could derail its UK expansion plans, adds the Times.
Stuart Grimshaw has been poached by Commonwealth Bank, NAB's Australian rival, to become group general manager (financial and risk management) and a member of the bank's executive committee.
Grimshaw was seen as the man to drive forward NAB's UK expansion plans, heading up the group which contains Yorkshire Bank, Clydesdale Bankand Challenger International, the investment group which entered the UK market only last year.
Analysts said Grimshaw's decision to quit could presage a sale of the group's UK operations.
And South African President Thabo Mbeki yesterday launched a commission of inquiry into allegations that South African financial institutions and businessmen engineered last month's sudden collapse in the rand for their own profit, says the Times.
The commission will be led by John Myburgh, who formerly presided over the Labour Appeals Court. He will begin his investigation into allegations of insider trading against the rand "as a matter of the utmost urgency", Bheki Khumalo, Mr Mbeki's spokesman, said.
The move follows claims by Kevin Wakeford, the chief executive of the South African Chamber of Business, that "skulduggery and dubious financial methods" lay behind the currency's loss of nearly 40 per cent of its value in 2001, most of which took place in December.
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