ROYAL LONDON, THE UK's largest mutual life insurer, is in talks about a takeover of Royal Liver, its smaller rival, reports The Times.
Royal London is understood to have approached Royal Liver, Britain’s second largest friendly society, in the last few weeks.
Though the talks are at a relatively early stage, Royal Liver is believed to have sent letters over the weekend outlining the discussions to more than 200 delegates who represent its 1.7 million members.
The two sides are expected to brief staff about the talks this morning.
THE BANK OF England's embarrassingly public failure to keep inflation at 3 per cent or lower can be traced back to its own decision to cut interest rates two and a half years ago, a leading economics think tank claims today, reports The Indepedent.
The widely respected National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) says the Bank's decision to cut interest rates in August 2005 was a costly mistake that inevitably led to it missing its inflation targets.
An NIESR study concludes that inflation would be a 10th of a percentage point lower now - 3 rather than 3.1 per cent - if the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had raised borrowing costs to 5 per cent rather than cutting them to 4.5 per cent that August.
While such an effect would have been small, it would have been enough to avoid the embarrassing requirement on the Bank's Governor, Mervyn King, this month to write an open letter to the Chancellor, Gordon Brown. Mr King was forced to explain why - for the first time since being given independence 20 years ago - the Bank had failed to keep inflation within a percentage point of its 2 per cent target.
MILLIONS OF MIDDLE-AGED workers with final salary pension benefits will have higher incomes in retirement than they received in their working life, according to a report yesterday, reports The Guardian.
Far from suffering a pensions crisis, the over-45s in blue chip firms and the public sector will be financially better off in retirement once they combine state pension benefits with guaranteed pensions worth two-thirds of their final salary.
The good news for this "golden generation" of workers in gold-plated final salary schemes is tempered by figures showing that workers in cheaper, stock market-related schemes favoured by most employers will retire on less than half their salary, even including state benefit income.
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