RUTH KELLY MP and Lord Penrose, author of that all-important report into the near-collapse of Equitable Life, are up in front of the Treasury Select Committee this morning, says the Times, so policyholders will be watching closely to see whether their legal case for compensation is valid.
Kelly has ruled out government reimbursement for policyholders despite Lord Penrose's finding of regulatory failings when he published his report last Monday, as she argues compensation would only be paid if Equitable became insolvent.
VICTIMS of the split capital investment trust scandal may find compensation payments are delayed even further, suggests the Times, as fund managers are seeking more time to consider the redress scheme.
The problem, it seems, is legal advice given to fund managers suggests firms which get involved in the split caps compensation payout may unwittingly present an admission of guilt and may not be able to pull out of the process at a later date.
The deadline for replying to the FSA’s position on split caps is up today, so the industry could yet face a compensation bill of up to £1bn for 50,000 investors.
A STUDY is being conducted by the University of Strathclyde to examine how GPs, lawyers and financial advisers have been affected by the rise of the "internet-informed" consumer, says this morning’s Scotsman newspaper.
Web users who regularly seek advice on health, legal or financial issues are being invited to take part in the study to find how the internet influences the attitudes and questions of the public.
Professor Gillian Hogg and researchers of the marketing department want to know how people search for information on line, to what extent they trust this information and their experiences of presenting it to experts, to try and improve the relationship between consumers and professional advisers, and ensure support or recommendations fit the knowledge of the client.
LESS TAX, simpler tax and no new tax are the three things people would most likely to see in relation to tomorrow’s Budget by chancellor Gordon Brown, continues the Scotsman.
National Insurance, research and development credits, capital investment allowances and landfill charges are among the various taxes which business leaders are most concerned about.
Confederation of British Industry director Iain McMillan wants the Budget to look at seven different areas of tax, but is more concerned with the Climate Change levy discount and the National Insurance being applied to owner-manager dividends – a move which is most likely to hit small businesses.
A NEW INVESTMENT “idea” has surfaced which encourages individuals to buy a hotel room and let it out to guests, says the Guardian.
The Timeshare and buy-to-let investment proposed by GuestInvest is apparently designed to return up to 7% annually, but investors can stay in the room for up to 52 nights a year too.
The first such hotel - Guesthouse West - opens its doors to investors today in London's Notting Hill but each room costs a cool £235,000 apiece.
AND THE GOVERNMENT is under fire elsewhere, says the Daily Telegraph, as it has been revealed budget and staffing levels managed by government quangos such as the Financial Services Authority are “out of control”.
The FSA is said to have twice as many staff as the Treasury, a problem which afflicts Postcomm and Energywatch too, says the European Policy Forum, as some of the statutory bodies set up for consumers now employ more staff than the sectors' regulators themselves.
The FSA headcount has now “ballooned” to 2,200 people, says the report, while the FSA budget has grown by 32% over the last four years to a projected £240m – and even though the FSA budget had been originally intended to be reduced after its initial implementation.IFAonline
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