PAUL SMEE'S performance in front of the Treasury Select Committee yesterday is being scrutinised in the national press this morning, with the Scotsman suggesting he was "hauled over the coals" by MPs yesterday for failing to do enough to stop structured products from being mis-sold.
The Treasury select committee argued 250,000 people, mostly aged over 60, had lost around £2bn in high-risk precipice bonds - the majority of which were sold by IFAs.
When challenged to explain why the Association of IFAs had failed to intervene, Smee told MPs most were sold in 1999/2000 when the association was then being set up.MPs also questioned whether consumers really know how much commission they pay over the life of the product.
THEDAILY TELEGRAPH accused Smee of "leaving the customer swinging in the air" when Smee failed to condemn the actions of firms which sold risky precipice bonds to elderly customers.
Committee member Angela Eagle was one of those MPs who really hauled Smee over coals and asked: "Why should people have to go through compensation schemes? Will this encourage people to invest? The answer is no. Why don't you take some responsibility by taking a view on this?"
SCOTLAND is currently the least popular area of the UK for buy-to-let investors, according to the latest research published in this morning’s Scotsman.
Mortgage Express, the specialist lending arm of the Bradford & Bingley Group, said that only 4% of buy-to-let investors were considering buying additional properties for their portfolios in Scotland.
This is compared with 28% of people looking to buy in the north-west of England, 19% in the south-east of England and the 17% in the north-east.
Potential investors were also more than three times as likely to buy in Wales than in Scotland, says the report.
AND CHANCELLOR Gordon Brown will soon be forced to cut public spending or raise taxes, says the Telegraph, based on comments laid out by the OECD.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said the UK's gross domestic product will grow by 3.1% this year, before returning to a trend growth rate of 2.7% next year.
It backs comments from the International Monetary Fund, suggesting growth will be around 3%, however, the OECD also warned the pound's strength, which yesterday dropped two cents against the dollar to $1.7559, could affect exports.IFAonline
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