AROUND 80% of general insurance brokers have failed to apply for direct authorisation by the Financial Services Authority and could face a 100% increase in application fees as a result of their late entry, according to this morning's Daily Telegraph.
General insurance brokers must apply for authorisation by May 31 to qualify for lower fees and by July 13 at the latest or any unregistered brokers still trading will be prosecuted.
However, many vets and dentists are unaware that they qualify as "brokers" under the new FSA when they recommend insurance to clients, adds the Telegraph.
LEGAL & GENERAL is still in a strong financial position and holds more than 4.7 times the minimum capital required by the Financial Services Authority to cover its liabilities, according to this morning’s Scotsman newspaper.
Under the new realistic reporting requirements, L&G is still "very strong" according to the Scotsman, contradicting earlier suggestions from L&G indicating the company might have overburdened itself in relation to the with-profits fund.
According to the group, its with-profits fund has liabilities of £960m if the market were to instantly fall by 18% and other investments dropped. That said, it has a high minimum capital requirement of £4.5bn, so at 4.7 times the firm appears to have plenty of funds to cover its positions.
SWISS RE IS said to be in talks to buy the UK's Life Assurance Holding Corporation, adds the Telegraph.
LAHC, which is thought to be worth around £150m, has been for sale for a number of years but its shareholders have so far been unable to find a buyer willing to meet their terms and talks with Swiss Re's are thought to be at an advanced stage.
A number of life insurance firms, which could include Britannic Group and Old Mutual, are thought to have considered buying LAHC in recent months but decided not to pursue a deal.
SCOTLAND's funds under management rose by a sluggish 9.1% in 2003 which suggests fund managers underperformed slightly compared with the world equity and bond markets, adds the Scotsman.
Funds under management grew to £327bn last year, however the Scottish Financial Enterprise has revealed while the FTSE All-Share climbed 20.8% last year and the FTSE 100 gained more than 13%, the equity portion of Scotland’s combined investment portfolio rallied just 8.7% against an improvement of 10.7% on bond gilts when the bond markets rose by more than 40% last year.
ABBEY’S board of directors is under attack from the NAPF for the huge proposed bonuses being paid to chief executive Luqman Arnold and finance director Stephen Hester, says the Times.
The bank’s annual meeting is not until next Thursday, however, the NAPF has already shown its hand within a circular to members which questions whether the bonuses should have been paid ahead of concrete evidence of the success of turnaround plans, when the bank has recently been making a loss.
Under the bonus scheme, Arnold received a cash bonus of £608,000, nearly 100% of his £675,000 salary, along with an additional £405,000 in shares while Hester received a £455,000 cash bonus and £221,000 in shares in addition to his £520,000 basic salary, according to the Times.
CITIGROUP’s chairman, Sandy Weill, is also under fire from one of its powerful public pension fund clients – Calper – to resign after a vote of no confidence, says the Times.
Having last year successfully forced the resignation of Dick Grasso and his huge pay deal at the New York Stock Exchange last year, Calpers has a reputation for getting what it wants, so refusing to vote for the re-election of Charles Prince as chief executive of Citigroup - along with six other board members – suggests a battle is looming.
Calpers controls around $166m of government and public service worker pension funds in California but has refused to back the board because of a Wall Street scandal.IFAonline
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