LIVERPOOL VICTORIA is likely to have angered financial advisers with its with-profits bonus announce...
LIVERPOOL VICTORIA is likely to have angered financial advisers with its with-profits bonus announcement yesterday, as payouts are now being cut by 18% on some of the industry's most popular bonds, says the Times.
The UK's largest friendly society has halved the annual bonus to just 2.25%, to compensate for the huge 25% losses on the FTSE All-Share index over the last 12 months.
However, IFAs are unlikely to be happy about the decision, as Liverpool Victoria's bonds have been some of the biggest sellers this year, given the bonus cuts happening elsewhere.
ABBEY National has also had to plough more cash into one of its life insurance divisions yesterday to prevent solvency levels from dropping under the regulatory minimum, says the Scotsman.
This time it was Scottish Provident which needed from Abbey after Scottish Mutual received two cash injections worth £575m last year.
Shareholders might have to bear the brunt of the move later in the year as dividends are expected to be cut by 50%.
STAFF at Scottish Equitable, the life insurer famous for its pensions knowledge, are the latest victims of the growing pensions crisis as its final salary scheme is being closed to new members in April.
Aegon yesterday told its 4,500 staff that those who do not pay anything into the scheme at present must make payments of 1.25% from 2004, rising to 5% by 2007 or switch to a "less attractive scheme".
Those who go for the alternative option will have to take a non-contributory money purchase plan if they don't sign up now or accept 1/80th for every year of service. Current payout for employees is 1/60th for every year of service.
CREDIT CARD companies could be required to carry out further credit checks on customers before they increase credit limits, under new proposals from the DTI to improve the credit system, adds the Times.
Called Tackling loans sharks -- and more!, the DTI consultation paper offers plans to introduce tougher vetting procedures on the credit agents themselves to cut the number of rogue companies and sharks and take licenses away if necessary.
One of the proposals is staff will have to be trained to deal with consumers "sympathetically" when they have arrears.
STATISTICS to be published today suggest the average graduate will start their first job on an average salary of £20,000, backing up the government's attempts to charge top-ups fees and increase student debt.
Data released by the Association of Graduate Recruiters - and published in the FT - say the number of graduate vacancies will rise by 8%, but the climbing starting salary suggests graduates will be able to afford to pay for their education once they finish.
Accountants are still trying to prevent independent regulators of their industry from securing proper funding, continues the FT.
Accusations from Lord Borrie, who will soon have to step down as today's accountancy regulator, have been directed at the professional bodies because he still believes there is a conflict of interest in the work accountants do.
Borrie argues in the FT that new restrictions need to be placed on accounting firms to prevent companies doing non-audit work for audit clients.
The continuing fall of the FTSE 100 has now sparked fears the solvency crisis for insurance companies is intensifying as credit rating agencies are now threatening to reduce R&SA's bonds to junk status, says the Times.
Royal & SunAlliance will see its position deteriorate further if the FTSE falls below 3,400 points, according to information from CSFB, because worries about its financial status will intensify.
Two global vehicles
'Further plug advice gap'
Must appoint separate CEOs and boards
Advisers do come out well
Will report to Mark Till