Profits slip for Friends Provident
Life assurance firm Friends Provident has announced a three per cent drop in pre-tax profits which could impact upon its 2008 target.The firm saw profits slump from £524 million in 2005 to last year's £509 million, despite new business profit growth in the UK reaching close to 70 per cent.However due to the "challenging protection market" the London-based insurer operates in, the firm warned that it may struggle to meet the targets it set in October last year.Six months ago, the company announced a "demanding" 2008 target of £180-£200 million in new business profits, a goal it may not meet."Although we remain committed to achieving this target, the product mix and, in particular, the level of protection sales, which has been subdued in recent months, will be critical," said Philip Moore, the group chief executive."It is early days, and we are making progress towards our goal, but the prospects for a more challenging protection market, and the impact on our 2008 target, will not be fully understood until later in 2007."The announcement of last year's profit slide caused the firm's shares to dip by seven per cent on Tuesday morning.
Savings accounts underused by UK public
A report today by HSBC confirmed that 30% of adults in the UK have savings of less than £249 and indeed 19% have no savings whatsoever. While in some ways this is not necessarily a major surprise, bearing in mind the economic backdrop, the fact is that around 15 million people in the UK would struggle to get through the weekend if they lost their job tomorrow! HSBC believes that the UK populat...Read More
Lib Dems announce 4p tax cut plans
The Liberal Democrats have said that they would slash the basic rate of income tax by four pence if they were elected to form a government.Unveiling the proposals the party stressed that the tax cut aimed at low and middle income earners would be paid for by fiscally targeting the rich and those with "environmentally damaging lifestyles".Plans to cut income tax from 20p to 16p will take the basic...Read More
Conman jailed for £8 million bank scam
Conman Frageand Naseem was yesterday jailed for nine years after being found guilty of a simple but very effective scam which netted him £8 million although had him on the verge of a potential £100 million return. It appears that armed with just a mobile phone and a library card for ID, Frageand Naseem was able to obtain, by persuasion, an array of personal and very confidential details about la...Read More
Finally the government admit recession is likely
While the Bank of England had already softened the ground with suggestions that the UK is heading for a recession it was finally time for Gordon Brown to wake up and smell the coffee today as he agreed that a recession was a distinct possibility. However, he has admitted this at a time when the Tory Party is under severe pressure with regards to a suggestion that they attempted to arrange a party...Read More
Is British Airways being targeted by the shorters?
It has become apparent that over the last few days the number of short positions in British Airways has increased with the number of shares "on loan" rising from 22.47% to 29.54%. This is effectively investors selling British Airways shares (which they do not own) in the hope that the share price will fall, they will be able to buy back the shares, close their positions and create a profit. It...Read More