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.
100 per cent mortgages solution for first-time buyers
New buyers taking out mortgages have increasingly chosen to secure loans on the full value of their home in order to get onto the property ladder, new research has shown.Studies by the Mortgage Advice Bureau revealed that almost one in ten mortgagers now opt to borrow the entire value of their property or more.The number of first-time investors selecting a 100 per cent mortgage rose by 21 per cent...Read More
Debts plunging Brits into depression
Debt worries are plunging millions of Britons further into depression, a new study has suggested. Mental health charity Mind polled over 1,800 people, of whom 924 said they had debt worries and problems with their mental health. Of these, over 90 per cent said that their money worries had a negative effect on their state of mind. The study also found that 63 per cent of this group did not inform t...Read More
How many UK mortgages are at risk?
There is no doubt that the UK property market has not performed as well as many had hoped and expected during the first half of 2010, with a number of analysts also expecting weakness in the market in the latter part of 2010. So how many UK mortgages could be at risk in the short to medium term? A recent survey of the UK mortgage market indicates that 46% of UK mortgage holders are concerned ab...Read More
UK exchange offices stop selling â‚¬500 banknotes
In a move which may well be a sign of the future it has been revealed that UK currency exchanges have stopped selling â‚¬500 banknotes because of their connection with organised crime. The Serious Organised Crime Agency believes that 90% of such notes in the UK are now in the hands of organised criminals who are using them to hide profits and move funds easily around Europe. The note, which...Read More
NAPF calls on government to guarantee pension protection fund
The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has today released a statement urging the UK government to guarantee the pension protection fund. This is the industry financed arrangement with funds used to compensate those who may have lost money in a failed pension fund or pension arrangement. The NAPF has also suggested the government needs to be more flexible regarding rules for pension schem...Read More