In the final part of IFAonline's review of the year, the Pre-Budget Report and Retail Distribution Review cause a stir in financial services as Barack Obama wins the US Presidential election.
Barclays, HBOS, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Abbey, Nationwide Building Society, RBS and Standard Chartered immediately signed up to about £25bn worth of the package but, just a week later, Darling announced an additional £37bn cash injection for ailing giants RBS, HBOS and Lloyds TSB. Apparently, even Botswana had safer banks than the UK.
Elsewhere, Bank of England governor Mervyn King admitted for the first time the UK could enter a recession.
A huge month for the UK economy and the financial services industry as the Pre-Budget Report (PBR) and the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) are published.
In the RDR, the FSA did not quite go so far as to split 'sales' and 'advice' entirely, as many had wanted, but instead proposed a 'sales advice' category for tied and multi-tied practices. In addition, the RDR unveiled a 2012 deadline, ruled out the re-introduction of the 15-year long-stop rule and proposed QCA Level 4 as the temporary minimum qualification for advisers. AIFA was critical.
Elsewhere, election fever in the US failed to trigger world markets as Barack Obama was unveiled as the new President. However, a $700bn bail-out of the nation's banking system was tipped to do just that.
Interest rates were slashed to 3% following an emergency 0.5% cut and a further 1.5% drop, while job losses across the globe continued to hit the headlines.
Plans to by two Scottish bankers to prevent the merger of HBOS and Lloyds TSB were stopped firmly in their tracks.
Thousands of job cuts across HSBC, Credit Suisse, Santander and F&C, among others, cap a miserable year for the financial sector, although the Bank of England continued in its attempts to revive the UK economy by slashing interest rates to an historic low of 2%.
In a bid to clear more than £230m gross debt, asset management giant New Star's was de-listed from the stock market and taken over by its banking syndicate.
Elsewhere, the 'superbank' that would be formed by the merger of HBOS and Lloyds TSB was given final approval after the majority of HBOS shareholders backed the move. Lloyds investors had already given it the thumbs up.
Later in the month, former Nasdaq head Bernard Madoff was investigated for his alleged part in what was being called the biggest financial fraud in history. Banking giants HSBC, RBS and Santander, among others, revealed they had lost millions in the scam.
And that, as they say, was that. Here's to a jollier 2009:
A man went to his bank manager and said: 'I'd like to start a small business. How do I go about it?'
'Simple,' said the bank manager. 'Buy a big one and wait.'
Happy New YearIFAonline
Three years at Wells Fargo
Effective from 9 December 2019
One firm with permission suspensions left
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