It is always a little difficult for the trade websites to follow up on merger stories broken by the national papers, but this story certainly has many advisers talking as it is suggested that Standard Life is eyeing a potential merger with Scottish Widows.
Money Marketing also reports that an anonymous analyst (odd that) has questioned whether another deal makes sense given that the firm is currently absorbing Aberdeen Asset Management.
Big news for Italy’s banks as Reuters reports - Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca are to be liquidated with good assets passed to Milan-based Intesa SanPaolo. The Italian government is putting up Euro 17bn to facilitate the process. Some commentators would rather they have been left to go bust. Not sure that would help Italy but it means more tricky times politically.
Consultancy Mercer calculates the £50bn could have been transferred from defined benefit pension schemes in the last two years.
Just 41% of buy-to-let investors have a positive outlook on their portfolios, a survey for Kent Reliance finds which is hardly surprising.
Fund managers are lobbying furiously over the expected FCA intervention into fund management business models says the FT.
Prudential’s retirement account faces service problems with income withdrawals. The firm is now reviewing 17,000 accounts. It is offering compensation to those who have been hit financially, partly due to being liable for unplanned for tax.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan are now warning that markets are due to fall after years of Central Bank support.
The FCA has finally issued its pension transfer advice paper as Citywire reports. It also reports that the regulator is worried about the current box-ticking approach to TVAS though it also drops the assumption that transfers are generally unsuitable, which sounds like a liberalisation of the regulations.
But the firms involved in outsourced transfers must consider where the money ends up as part of the process. That sounds like a tigthening of the rules. Nothing in the report on contingent charging although some advisers have concerns about a potential bias towards the decision to transfer.