Nine out of 10 defined benefit pension schemes are now closed to new entrants as employers continue to move away from the high-cost schemes, a report says.
A total of 18% of the schemes, which include final salary pensions, are closed to future accruals from members, said the Association of Consulting Actuaries.
The ACA, which quizzed 309 firms, said the situation was "deteriorating", with 91% of such schemes now in deficit reported the BBC. See story...
Virgin Money and National Australia Bank have emerged as the front runners to acquire the prime assets of Northern Rock according to The Daily Mail.
Sir Richard Branson's financial wing is understood to be days away from buying a small UK bank, which it will use as a springboard for a second tilt at the nationalised mortgage giant.
Meanwhile, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank owner NAB is said to be close to hiring City advisers as a prelude to launching its own bid for the Rock's healthy side. See story...
Confidence is rising among the chief finance officers of Britain's leading companies according to Deloitte, which is predicting a new wave of fund raisings in bond and equity markets this year says The Times.
Finance chiefs are more confident and less worried about liquidity and the banking system, Deloitte says in its quarterly CFO survey. However, nagging doubts remain among them that Britain could face a "double dip" recession. See story...
The Bank of England will this week start to examine whether to extend its cash creation programme and when to begin the 'cold turkey' treatment to wean the economy off massive injections of this new money, reports The Daily Mail.
With a General Election looming, the Monetary Policy Committee in its first meeting of the new decade will want to avoid any hint of political bias.
While an extension of the £200bn quantitative easing programme may be welcome to the Treasury because it creates artificial demand for Government debt, early moves to unwind the scheme by selling the Bank's existing stockpile of State IOUs could destabilise the market at a time when the Government itself wants to sell another £200bn of fresh bonds to finance its debt. See story...
The last decade has led to a polarisation of rich and poor, as well as a dramatic shift in house building from detached houses to flats, research by Savills for The Daily Telegraph shows.
These factors risk being exacerbated by a "relative sobriety" in mortgage lending as banks recover from the financial crisis and the mortgage market faces stricter regulation, such as the abolition of self-certified mortgages.
According to the upmarket estate agent, while inflation-adjusted house prices grew 68% in the Noughties, prices will grow just 40% in the next decade. This compares with -14% in the 1990s, 43% in the 1980s and 49% in the 1970s. See story...
The Government is struggling to raise £1bn from banks to finance its much-delayed National Investment Corporation (NIC), a fund to help small businesses, and may have to contribute a large amount of taxpayers' money to hit its target reports The Times.
Officials are preparing for a final round of arm-twisting with banks in an attempt to reach an agreement on the scheme by the end of the month.
Senior financiers have been called to a meeting with officials from Lord Mandelson's Business department next week in the hope that a plan can be thrashed out. See story...
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