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.
Talk is cheap as G20 discuss yet another meeting later in the year
Gordon Brown appears to be one of the main backers of Australia's bid to have a second special G20 summit later in the year to be held in Asia. This will be on top of the forthcoming G20 meeting in London and there are serious concerns that despite numerous meetings and numerous promises the G20 will yet again fail to deliver on the grand scale that the headlines often promise.
Mervyn King attacks UK government and £1 trillion support for banking sector
In a move which will not be appreciated by the UK government, Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, last night went on the attack and issued a stinging criticism of the UK government bailout of the banking sector. He described the £1 trillion government supports as "breathtaking" going on to suggest that the UK taxpayer will be in debt for a generation because of the bank bailout.
Should the state look after us in later life?
There has been much mention of the UK pensions industry over the last few weeks, in both the public and private sectors, with many changes forecast in the future. However, it is becoming more and more apparent that many people in the UK are unwilling or unable to put aside savings for their retirement and will become more dependent upon the state to fund their later life. But should the state look...Read More
Alastair Darling defends his national insurance increase
Chancellor of the Exchequer Alastair Darling has today again defended his move to increase national insurance in 2011. This comes after the Conservative party announced a partial U-turn on the proposed increase by the Labour Party with those earning less than £45,400 a year to be protected from an increase in national insurance tax. The Labour Party has hit back with suggestions that the Conserva...Read More
Bid to make Scottish bank notes legally binding in England
It has been something of a bugbear for many Scottish business people over the years, the fact that many English shops and businesses do not accept Scottish currency. There is no legal reason why any particular establishment in England should refuse to accept Scottish notes but this has been going on for many years. There was initially a suggestion that the notes were easier to forge and therefore...Read More