ABOUT 40,000 investors who lost hundreds of millions of pounds in split-capital investment trusts face further delays before they receive compensation payments, according to the Daily Telegraph .
"This is like a kick in the teeth for Christmas," said one victim, Clive Scott-Hopkins. Shareholders in more than 20 splits which collapsed between 2000 and 2002 had been told they might be paid this month, says the paper.
However, Funds Distribution Limited (FDL), the organisation set up to administer the £144m compensation fund, said yesterday payment details will now not be announced before the end of January at the earliest.
Investors who struggled through 45 pages of paperwork to meet July's deadline were told to expect offers this autumn, but have yet to receive a penny.
PENSIONS COMMISSION chairman Lord Turner yesterday suggested public sector workers may have to retire later because of longer life expectancy - just like their private sector counterparts, says the Guardian.
He also threw a potential lifeline to small businesses upset about his proposals for what are in effect compulsory employer contributions into a new pension savings scheme, by proposing a government subsidy or rebate to ease the burden.
Turner was giving evidence to MPs on the work and pensions select committee following last month's publication of his report on tackling the pensions crisis.
Turner was asked yesterday whether the controversial deal struck in October to allow existing public sector workers to retire at 60, with new recruits retiring at 65, was a help or a hindrance.
He replied this was not an issue within his remit, but if final salary public sector schemes were going to survive in the long term, "one has to have a formula which deals with not just the cost today but is continually adjusting to life expectancy in the future".
INVESTORS COULD be encouraged to put money into the new real estate investment trusts through savings products such as individual savings accounts and child trust funds, the government revealed yesterday, says the Financial Times.
In last week’s pre-Budget report, Gordon Brown finally gave the go-ahead for Reits – tax-efficient vehicles for property investment – after years of wrangling and thwarted expectations.
Legislation detailing how Reits would operate was put before parliament on Wednesday afternoon. The new legislation will be included in next summer’s finance bill and the new tax treatment will apply from January 1 2007.
The property industry and the savings industry both welcomed the government’s plans.
Reits will give retail investors more access to property without the risks of direct ownership. They will remove the discrepancy whereby property companies pay corporation tax on their activities, but direct holders of property do not.
THE RETAIL stockbroking arm of HSBC could have inadvertently helped insider dealers for 2 and a half years because a blunder in its systems threw official investigators off the scent, according to the Times.
HSBC, one of the biggest private-client brokers in Britain with two million customers, was yesterday fined £100,000 by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
From December 2002 until August this year, HSBC inadvertently described to the FSA every client share purchase as a sale and every share sale as a purchase.
The mistake came to light only when FSA investigators examining the dealings of a suspected insider dealer were puzzled to find the suspect apparently selling ahead of a positive announcement and buying afterwards, instead of the other way around.
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