Reduced investor costs, trouble at NS&I and investing in ‘staycations’ – here’s our weekly heads-up on the financial stories that may have caught your clients’ attention over the weekend ...
FCA crackdown on fund managers saves investors £30m
Fund managers have had to switch more than 320,000 customers to cheaper versions of their products after failing to justify their fees, analysis by The Times has found.
Value assessment reports, which the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) this year forced the industry to publish, found that the industry was making excessive profits — nearing 40% compared with about 4% for energy firms — and said that the charges were not always clear to customers.
"As a result of the reports, the fees on dozens of funds were reduced, and others were shut down because of poor performance. Half the fund groups that have published have admitted how many customers they have transferred to lower-cost versions of their funds — a total of 321,000 since January," the article continues.
The Investment Association tells the paper: "It is for managers to determine whether moving investors to another share class is appropriate as in some cases a move could disadvantage investors depending on their arrangements."
NS&I failures deny savers chance to aid country's coronavirus fight
The government asked NS&I to try and raise £35bn in a bid to help the country's finances, writes The Telegraph, but the newspaper reports that savers have found it hard to get past issues with their accounts and customers services.
The state-owned savings company tells the newspaper it has been working with reduced staff due to the pandemic and has experienced a higher demand than is typical. "We are sorry that some customers are experiencing difficulties," a spokesperson adds.
NS&I says people should try to use their website to manage their accounts if possible, while the company is adding more office space to allow employees to return to work and socially distance.
Should UK investors buy into staycations?
Last year £49bn was spent abroad by UK tourists, but much of that is now going to stay at home, writes Merryn Somerset Webb in the Financial Times this weekend, additionally we have both more money in our pockets than usual - most studies show a rise in savings during lockdown and Bank of England data backs this up - and more holiday entitlement left.
Webb argues that the staycation many Brits have been forced to take part in is "fabulous" for the UK. For investors, she says, the obvious answer is to buy a holiday let. Demand is high, stamp duty has been cut on purchases and unlike residential buy-to-lets, holiday lets still come with very attractive tax advantages.
Aviva study shows
'My name didn't match my face': JPMAM's Lambert on being colour brave, unmasking microaggressions and talking about black
'I learned there was a cruel lack of representation in the industry at a senior level'
Boring Money research
Call for evidence will highlight problems
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