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.
Who will pay the price for the UK recession?
As we start to move towards the business end of bringing the UK economy out of recession there are fears that UK consumers and UK taxpayers will ultimately pay the price. The UK government has already threatened to return VAT to the former level of 17.5% and end the 15% reduced rate we have enjoyed for some months. We've also seen the government threatened to both reduce public spending, although...Read More
Has the Greek rescue package hit the buffers?
Speculators in the currency markets have targeted the euro amid concerns that the expected rescue package for the Greek economy may well have hit trouble. Despite growing concerns expressed by Europe's larger banks it seems as though the European Union is unable to reveal details of any package at this moment in time. Should we be concerned or should we await further details? While rumour and c...Read More
House of Commons authorities call in police
It has been revealed that the House of Commons authorities have called in the Metropolitan police to investigate the leaking of expense claims by Cabinet ministers today. The claims were revealed by the Telegraph newspaper with suggestions with political circles that there is a political bias. However, even the Telegraph newspaper, traditionally a Conservative supporter, has revealed that more exp...Read More
Co-op fails Bank of England “Stress Test”
16/12/2014 The Co-op bank has failed a stress test conducted by the Bank of England (BoE). HSBC, Barclays, Santander, Standard Chartered and Nationwide all passed and Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland were found to be at risk in the event of a "severe economic downturn". The test was given by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), which is part of the BoE. It was designed t...Read More
Are foreign mortgage lenders entering the UK market?
While mortgage lending in the UK is down by 26% year-on-year and there has been a marked reduction in the number of mortgage lenders operating in the country, it would appear that foreign mortgage lenders are making a play for the UK market while it is at its weakest for some time. So what is going on?
Official figures show that while mortgage lending is down sharply in the UK on a...