MORE than two-thirds of consumers who buy financial products are unaware that compensation is availa...
MORE than two-thirds of consumers who buy financial products are unaware that compensation is available to them in the event of a financial product provider going bust, says a MORI/Financial Services Compensation Scheme poll reported in this morning's Scotsman newspaper.
The study comes as the FSCS takes over from 1 December when N2 begins as the new all-in-one agency for compensation, replacing and standardising existing schemes which had differing rules.
The FSCS, which reports to the Financial Services Authority and the Treasury, commissioned the MORI research to discover attitudes to financial products, financial advice and awareness of the existence of compensation. It showed that consumers expect protection and compensation when financial providers go out of business. However, there is little awareness of where to get independent advice, and who would compensate them if things went wrong.
The Bank of England yesterday delivered a bullish assessment of UK prospects, insisting the country remained on track to avoid recession despite the first increase in headline unemployment for a year, says the Times.
Mervyn King, Deputy Governor, said the probability of recession was "very small" even though a rise in two key measures of unemployment fuelled fears that Britain faces a prolonged period of rising joblessness.
Alistair Lennard, the "wild card" fund manager accused of costing Unilever's pension fund potential gains of £110 million in 1997 and 1998, told the High Court yesterday that the branded food giant had considered relaxing risk controls in 1996., the Daily Telegraph reports.
He interpreted the terms of a draft agreement, which proposed "relaxing restriction on stock concentration", as endorsement of his approach.
Mr Lennard, then a star fund manager at Mercury Asset Management, was "widely known" for running a "concentrated" portfolio - meaning he invested heavily in a small number of stocks.
A key plank of the £130 million claim against Mercury is that Mr Lennard, who managed £600 million of the Unilever Superannuation Fund, took excessive risks by reducing the number of stocks in his portfolio from over 60 to under 40 in the four years from his appointment in 1993.
However, he told the court in his second day of cross-examination that he "never came anywhere near the levels of concentration which were allowed under the agreement".
Henry Blodget, the fair-haired stock analyst who became a symbol of the Internet mania that enriched some investors but ultimately cost many others dearly, is one of the first to go in the Merrill Lynch redundancies and giving up the business of publicly rating stocks., according to a New York Times story carried in the FT.
Late Wednesday, he confirmed that he had accepted a buyout offer that his firm, Merrill Lynch extended to about 50,000 employees this month.
Mr. Blodget, 35, gained fame among American investors after correctly predicting in 1998 that the share price of Amazon.com would soar to $400. But that fame turned to infamy as Amazon and many others among the Internet stocks he recommended plunged. Several companies that Mr. Blodget praised in published reports and television interviews, including Pets.com, a unit of IPET Holdings and eToys, failed before ever turning a profit.
One of Scotland's leading private equity investors has accused Scottish academics of stifling commercial opportunities by keeping venture capitalists and entre- preneurs at bay, says Business AM, the Scottish newspaper.
Jonny Maxwell, the chief executive of private equity at Standard Life Investments (SLI), said that many scientists who lead spinouts do not know when to let go and hand over the projects to experienced business people.
He said: "You often find that the scientist regards the project as his baby and when it grows, he does not want to pass it on.
"Academics have to be clear in their own minds when to let go. They should be partnering in the private sector early on in the process."
Maxwell was speaking at a debate on venture capitalism at Scottish Enterprise Glasgow, organised by the London Business School to launch a UK alumni network.
And Lord Burns is replacing Lord Tugendhat as chairman of Abbey National, the UK bank, as the latter quits to join Lehman Brothers, the US investment bank whose clients include Abbey, says the FT.
Lord Burns, 57, is a non-executive director of Pearson, owner of the Financial Times, and was Permanent Secretary to the Treasury from 1991 to 1998.
This period of work with the then Conservative UK government saw Lord Burns through what is known as 'Black Wednesday', the day the pound collapsed and Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman, now Lord Lamont increased interest rates in a futile effort to defend the UK currency.
Cautious, Balanced & Dynamic Growth
Cowardly, boring or sensible
Latest news and analysis
‘Most significant’ upgrade since launch
Changes happening over coming months