Friends Provident has beaten City expectations with a 40% surge in third-quarter life and pensions sales and a UK market share of 6.9% in the second quarter, says the Guardian .
Boosted by the overhaul of the pension market, total UK new business was up by 34% to £3bn in the first nine months of the year, while international operations saw new business soar by 51% to £1.6bn.
The paper reports chief executive Ben Gunn as saying: "We have sustained our impressive growth rates from the first half of the year. These results clearly demonstrate our ability to drive growth in both the UK and international businesses."
SOME OF Europe's biggest banks have been drawn into an investigation over whether the market for US Treasuries has been manipulated, says the Daily Telegraph.
UBS confirmed it was co-operating with a probe by the US Securities and Exchange Commission into fluctuations in bond prices this year and Credit Suisse is also understood to be under scrutiny from regulators.
There were reports yesterday a trader at Credit Suisse had left the bank in the face of regulatory scrutiny into bond trading.
BRITAIN’S MONEY supply is growing at its fastest rate for 16 years, the Bank of England revealed, as mortgage approvals return to boom levels and consumers start to borrow more on credit cards again, reports the Times.
Annual growth in M4, the broad money measure which includes bank lending, reached 14.5% in September, up from 13.7% three months earlier.
The surge comes only a week before the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meets to consider a new Inflation Report and decide whether to raise interest rates for the first time since August.
The MPC ignored money supply for the first eight years of its existence, but in recent months some members seem to have become anxious the relationship between money growth and inflation will reassert itself.
Money growth in September seems to have been driven by the housing market – loans were approved for £30.3bn of mortgages for 295,000 people, the highest since the housing boom 30 months ago.
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Reporting to Steve Hill
Appointed on 19 September