SCOTTISH NATIONAL Party MP Alex Salmond told the House of Commons yesterday the Financial Services Authority's new solvency regime may act as a "poison pill" for mutually-owned assurers such as Standard Life, says the Scotsman .
One of his key worries seems to be whether more jobs will go in Edinburgh if the life insurer has to demutualise.
However, Salmond – joined by Vincent Cable MP – suggested to Ruth Kelly MP it may be anti-competitive.
He was scathing of proposed solvency changes as tough new accounting rules could unwittingly "militate against major companies staying in mutual ownership".
"If you ask a company to fully reserve for its mutual benefits, then you are taking away its competitive advantage. If the company was effectively to be chased into conversion from mutuality by certain aspects of financial regulation, I am sure that is not an outcome that would be wished or wanted by the government or even the financial regulator," the Scotsman quotes Salmond as saying.
AT THE SAME TIME, a record number of Scots may now be so seriously in debt they will never be able to pay back what they owe, continues the Scotsman.
A report published yesterday by the Citizens Advice Scotland said Scots’ debt has jumped 64% in the last two years and the average CAS client debt amounts to £13,380.
CAS figures suggest it is low-earners in particular who have the biggest problems, as those with monthly incomes of just £800 have run up debts in excess of £20,000 and one in five of those owed more than £20,000.
AND ABN AMRO, the Dutch bank, is changing its shareholder voting rules which could open the way for a potential takeover bid, says the Times.
Abn Amro is planning to scrap the voting rights attached to its preference shares - in line with a new corporate governance code which has been introduced in the Netherlands.
However, this could make Abn a takeover or merger target as Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds and Barclays have already been suggested as possible partners.IFAonline
Annuity market worth £4bn in 2017
For ‘distress’ caused
Oversees £30bn of advised and D2C assets
Less than a third of top paid employees are women
£1bn business since inception