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.
'Delay' on PPI recommended
Consumers should not be sold payment protection insurance (PPI) within 14 days of buying a loan, the Competition Commission (CC) has announced.PPI is designed to allow people to still repay loans even if they suffer a loss in income or health.However, the CC said that the "vast majority" of the 13 million PPI policies in the UK are sold to customers at the same time as they take out their loan.Thi...Read More
PruHealth criticised following 'change in terms'
The "free gym" health insurance offer from PruHealth is to change its terms and conditions, the Guardian reports.Previously, the cover allowed policyholders to build their "Vitality status" through repeated gym visits, which led to discounted and eventually free memberships.However, the firm is now changing to an entirely points-based system, through which customers can only build their vitality t...Read More
Bank company announced by government
A newly set-up company will look after the government's shareholdings in major banks, the Treasury has announced.The "arm's-length" company, named UK Financial Investments Limited (UKFI), will be wholly owned by the government."Its overarching objectives will be to protect and create value for the taxpayer as shareholder, with due regard to financial stability and acting in a way that promotes com...Read More
Investors looking towards gas market
With the short to medium term direction of the worldwide economy unclear to say the least, more and more investors are now looking towards the gas market which has seen prices soar by 65% over the last month. Today's announcement by Ofgem has also placed more focus upon the UK gas market with a suggestion that £200 billion will need to be raised from the energy market in order that the UK is able...Read More
Car insurance is cheaper online!
Hands up how many of us have never changed our car insurance company for years, or never even reviewed the potential premiums charged by other insurance companies.
If you're one of a growing band of people in the UK who are more than happy to stay with their current car insurance company without checking the competition then you could literally be losing out on hundreds of pounds of...