Chris Daykin, the government actuary, has severely criticised the FSA's approach to regulation saying it "does not always lead to an improvement in general welfare".
He says fines imposed for endowments mis-selling have been wron, but also criticised the previous Conservative government over its handling of pensions mis-selling.
Daykin also reserves comment for consumers, noting that "the imposition of fines and compensation payments simply imposes costs on other policyholders and undermines acceptance of personal responsibility for investment choices."
Allowing consumers to build up dangerous levels of personal debt is another problem government should be criticised for, he adds.
The Daily Telegraph notes Daykin’s department was criticised in the Penrose report for its part in the Equitable Life scandal.
PENSIONS ISSUES are also reported in The Times, which notes the NAPF has written a letter to Malcolm Wicks, pensions minister, warning of huge additional costs to pension schemes of new EU law.
The law means a tighter funding regime, which will force companies to put millions more into their schemes. The warning comes after the sale of WH Smith to private equity firm Permira collapsed because of fears over a deficit in the newsagent’s pension fund.
While the Pensions Bill notes schemes will have to hold “sufficient and appropriate assets”, the government has so far not defined “sufficient” or “appropriate” for the industry, the NAPF says.
ADDS to the pensions debate with a warning from Lawrence Churchill, chairman elect of the Pension Protection Fund that firms should not try to cheat the system by putting off insolvency until the fund is in place next year.
Churchill admits he has heard some employers are putting off insolvency until then in order they do not have to cover the cost of ensuring employees’ retirement benefits.
"There are measures in the Bill which allow us to set aside the liabilities of companies who are deliberately trying to put their problems on to the PPF.”
ONE IN THE EYE for Goldman Sachs is the unusual theme following a bitter letter sent to the investment banking giant by Stuart Rose, chief executive of Marks & Spencers, who is trying to see off a hostile £8bn bid for the ubiquitous chain.
Rose says GS has “promoted untruths” and “damaged” his reputation through its actions on behalf of Philip Green, the retailer looking to add M&S to his BHS chain, the FT says.
The trouble has flared after suggestions Rose had repeatedly been invited to chair the bidding vehicle set up by Green for the takeover, the paper adds.
Meanwhile, the FSA has got involved and is set to question Rose over allegations of insider dealing, relating to the purchase of M&S shares just after one particular meeting with Green, but before Green officially announced his intentions towards M&S.
RESTRUCTURING OPERATIONS of Credit Suisse is not going to lead to a quick sale of its insurance business Winterthur anytime soon, says the FT.
Some speculation has appeared because of changes announced last week, including the pushing-out of co-chief executive John Mack, but analysts do not believe there is enough interest in the market for a sale to proceed.
The paper quotes a Commerzbank analyst stating: “Getting into Switzerland - which does not give you access to the EU - isn't on most people's list of strategic imperatives."
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