ROYAL BANK of Scotland has decided to withdraw from the stakeholder pensions market after experiencing a "limited demand" for the products, reports the Scotsman.
RBS' move will withdraw its range of stakeholder products sold through its Royal Scottish Assurance and NatWest Life subsidiaries. Customers holding a stakeholder policy with the group will be transferred to Norwich Union - which already acts as fund manager for the two RBS life assurance operations.
A spokesman for RBS told the Scotsman: "We have seen limited demand for the product since its launch in 2001 and as a result have concluded that the needs of our existing stakeholder pension customers can be best served by closing the existing scheme and recommending our life & pensions partner Norwich Union."
While the decision comes as a further blow to the government’s flagship savings scheme, it has also raised speculation RBS will close Royal Scottish Assurance and NatWest Life following "depolarisation" in the savings industry.
MEANWHILE, EUROTUNNEL yesterday called for the complete restructuring of the cross-Channel rail industry as it crashed £1.33bn into the red at the full-year.
The Daily Telegraph says the tunnel operator has proposed to “significantly reduce” some of its charges in return for the industry’s assistance in refinancing its business ahead of its repayment plan which starts in two-years time.
Eurotunnel is currently in crisis talks with the UK and French governments, triggered by its requirement in 2006 to begin making capital repayments on its £6.4bn debt. At the moment, the company is in no position to do so, after yesterday revealing its £315m of cash flow was not even enough to cover a £318m interest bill.
ANOTHER COMPANY dealt a hefty blow yesterday was the mobile computing group Psion, which nearly lost a third of its market value after it announced that Nokia would buy its entire stake in Symbian, a company that makes software for mobile handsets, writes the Times.
The company, which was once listed in the FTSE 100, plans to sell its 31.1% stake in Symbian for £135.7m – currently its single biggest asset.
The deal has raised concerns among investors for the long-term future of Psion as its main business will be Psion Teklogix, an only marginally profitable company.
Psion shares dropped by 30¾p to 65p.IFAonline
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