Category Archives: Checking & Savings

Checking & Savings

Experian Reveals Mortgage Fraud Set To Surge In 2013

Experian predicts there will be a dramatic increase in attempted mortgage fraud in the UK next year, bringing the number of people fraudulently trying to obtain home loans to the highest level since records began in 2009.

A total of 43 out of every 10,000 mortgage applications are expected to be identified as fraudulent in 2013 – marking a rise of 13 per cent on 2012 figures and 26 per cent on 2011. The majority of attacks are likely to continue to come from first party fraudsters – essentially individuals misrepresenting their own financial circumstances and employment statuses or attempting to hide adverse credit histories.

Meanwhile, Experian’s latest Fraud Index*, which highlights the evolving nature of the fraud threat facing the UK’s financial services sector, also revealed that attempted mortgage fraud in the third quarter of this year was up six per cent on the same period in 2011, with 38 in every 10,000 applications deemed fraudulent – compared to 36 in every 10,000 12 months ago. It is also the first time within the past year that mortgage fraud has overtaken current account fraud as the area targeted most frequently by fraudsters.

Overall, 17 in every 10,000 applications received by financial institutions in Q3 of this year were detected to be fraudulent – seven per cent more than the same time last year, with savings accounts seeing a rise of 58 per cent. However, attempted fraud in the automotive finance sector fell for the sixth consecutive quarter, with 15 in every 10,000 fraudulent applications discovered between July and September 2012 – down 29 per cent when compared with 2011.

Nick Mothershaw, Director of Identity & Fraud Services at Experian in the UK and Ireland, said: “Almost 90 per cent of mortgage fraud tends to originate from genuine individuals misrepresenting their financial situations attempting to buy property that would ordinarily be out of reach. With tougher rules on UK mortgage lending set to come into force in 2014, where lenders will have to put a borrower’s ability to repay under greater scrutiny, it important that they have the correct tools in place to do this, especially as attempted fraud in this industry is set to increase significantly over the next 12 months.

“Increased fraud levels in specific industries mean that it has never been more important to ensure that applications for new credit facilities are analysed for signs of fraudulent activity. Simple steps organisations can take to mitigate risk include robust checking of new applications for credit using tools that reveal first party fraud and organised fraud rings, continually reassessing fraud risk across existing accounts and introducing true identity authentication using facts only a genuine applicant will know on all products, not just the higher risk ones.”

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Prudential reveals more than 2 million couples have never discussed finances together

Prudential reports that many British couples are burying their hands in the sand over their financial situations. One in seven* (14 per cent) couples over the age of 40 – or around 4.2** million people – admit they have never discussed their finances.

Fears about having awkward conversations drives this behaviour, with 15 per cent of those surveyed admitting they feel uncomfortable talking to their partners about financial planning.

A concern that these conversations will boil over into arguments is another reason that couples avoid talking about their finances – money is the third most likely subject to cause arguments among couples, with nearly one in four (23 per cent) claiming that they fight over finances, ahead of work (10 per cent), and politics and religion (5 per cent). Only household chores (27 per cent) and disputes about family (30 per cent) are more likely to cause disagreements.

Even for the majority of couples who do discuss their retirement plans, long-term issues are likely to be side-lined, as short-term everyday expenses take priority. Daily living costs and household bills are regularly discussed by the majority of couples (60 per cent and 52 per cent respectively), and one in three couples (34 per cent) speak about the costs of home improvements, large purchases and luxuries.

However, discussions about long-term planning are far less prevalent, with only 16 per cent of couples claiming to regularly talk about retirement income and pension planning. Only 3 per cent of couples claim they have had conversations about inheritance planning and tax.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential said: “Money can be a tough topic to discuss at the best of times. Many couples prefer to steer clear of conversations about finances, and especially discussions about longer-term issues like retirement which might feel light-years away. Yet it really pays to be honest about your financial situation. Being open about discussing long-term financial planning as early as possible will help couples to ensure they can enjoy a comfortable retirement together.”

Only 13 per cent of respondents said they had seen a financial adviser with their partners in the past five years. A further 13 per cent say they or their partner has seen an adviser separately within this timeframe and 8 per cent have seen an adviser but not within the past five years. The vast majority (66 per cent) have never seen a financial adviser to discuss retirement or pension planning.

Vince Smith-Hughes continued: “Websites like www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk andwww.moneyadviceservice.org.uk can help with some in-depth information about retirement options. A joint conversation with a financial adviser should help couples to make the right pension savings decisions during their working lives, so that they’ll have the right income to support their lifestyles in retirement.”

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Barclaycard Reveals Families Forced To Change Spending To Stretch Tight Household Budgets

A new study* commissioned by Barclaycard has revealed the role of the domestic goddess is changing, making way for a new breed of domestic economists, as households are forced to take more control of their finances and stretch tight budgets further.

The research, commissioned by Barclaycard with Mumsnet members, highlights that, despite the economy showing signs of growth, families are being forced to get savvier with their spending as more than half (52%) have changed the way they spend to maximise what they earn through rewards. Similarly, two thirds (65%) admit to keeping a regular check on reward and loyalty points, demonstrating that it is becoming essential for boosting their family’s finances.

Interestingly, it seems there has been a shift in roles in the household. Whilst most families continue to follow the tradition of having one main income earner, the financial responsibility of the supporting partner is becoming more important as a result of the recession. Although they don’t bring a wage into the household, almost one in five see their role as managing the household finances and making budgets work harder.

Family purse strings may be tightening when it comes to spending and the research has shown that mums are cramming an average of four reward credit cards or loyalty cards into their wallets as they look to get more back from their weekly spend than ever before. When it comes to indulging in rewards, having time together as a family is a priority with the most popular choices being to treat the family to a day (75%) or meal out (67%).

Kirsty Gallacher, TV presenter and busy mum, commented: “Reward cards are a great way to get savvier with your spending, as they enable you to get more from the purchases you make. Barclaycard’s new Freedom Rewards credit card means that you don’t need to fill your purse with lots of different cards – you have one card that you can use everywhere.

“Having two young boys, I know just how important it is to spend quality time together as a family, so it’s no surprise that people prioritise treating loved ones when redeeming rewards.”

Nick Clements, Managing Director at Barclaycard UK said: “Despite the economy growing over recent months, families are still feeling the pinch and are always looking for ways to earn more from their everyday spending. Our customers want the flexibility to look for the best value without being tied to shopping at just one brand.

“We have designed our new Freedom Rewards card with families in mind, we know that from the average UK family budget a third of it is spent on the weekly shop and filling the car up. As a result, the Freedom Rewards card offers double points on any UK supermarket or petrol spend.

“Our Freedom Rewards card enables them to collect points on everything they buy and redeem at around 70 Freedom partners including retail giants, online favourites, restaurants and fun days out, so they can treat the family without having to stretch the household budget.”

For more information on Barclaycard Freedom Rewards card, visit:http://www.barclaycard.co.uk/freedomrewards

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Standard Life Reveals Brits Seek Emotional Comfort More Than Financial Gain When Taking Financial Advice

Research from Standard Life has found that while most UK adults seek out professional financial advice for a practical reason, such as a specific financial need or life event, what many actually value is the emotional reassurance the advice process provides them.

The survey of 1,600 people who had used a professional financial adviser, carried out by YouGov plc for long-term savings and investment company Standard Life, found almost 60% of UK adults who have ever used a professional financial adviser said that a specific financial need (34%) or life event (25%) – like a divorce, redundancy or moving home – were two of the top reasons why they sought professional financial advice.

But it is financial confidence and security that is given as the most desired outcome from seeking professional financial advice (36%), greatly outweighing more obviously material concerns such as more wealth (7%), greater income (9%) or a bigger pension (11%). Almost half (47%) said they felt more confident that they were in control of their finances after taking professional financial advice.

Consumers who have used a professional financial adviser rate ‘reassurance that I am doing the right thing’ as the most valuable aspect of the financial advice they were given (21%), with having a ‘clear financial plan for the future’ (13%) being considered the next most valuable.

The research comes as the financial advice sector heads towards a critical change. The implementation of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) at the start of 2013 will enhance the way many advisers do business.

Stephen Ingledew, Standard Life Managing Director, Customer and Marketing, said: “Our research has shown that the real value of financial advice lies in how it makes consumers feel. It’s clear for many people that reassurance and confidence are more important than more material considerations such as being demonstrably better off. In other words ‘peace of mind’ can be priceless.”

Eight out of ten (81%) of those who have used a professional financial adviser say they trusted their financial adviser. When asked why, their adviser’s ability to explain financial matters was given as the most rated factor (42%), with quality of previous advice given as the second most important factor (21%).

Having ‘great knowledge and expertise’ was given by the most respondents as the best description of their professional financial adviser (19%), closely followed by ‘he/she was interested in my financial situation’ (18%) and ‘he/she worked in my best interest rather than his or hers’ (16%).

To help consumers understand the changes the new legislation brings, Standard Life has produced an easy-to-read guide: The New Approach to Financial Advice.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Barclaycard research reveals just how much the British are embracing the trend of self-gifting

New research* has revealed the British public are taking it upon themselves to get the things they really want by self-gifting.

Research commissioned by Barclaycard shows that over half of us (58%) believe it’s the thought that counts when receiving a gift but one in six (16%) would rather have chosen the gift themselves. Almost half of Brits (43%) have indulged in self-gifting around Christmas or birthdays at one time or another while one in ten (10%) say they always do.

The most popular reason for the new trend is simply people wanting to ‘treat themselves’ (44%) as it seems family and friends aren’t as good at present buying as many would like with almost a quarter (23%) admitting they indulge in self-gifting because ‘it’s the most sensible way to get what they want’. Even more surprising is that this rise in self-gifting comes at a time when almost a quarter of families (23%) are planning to reduce the amount they spend on gifts this year due to tighter economic conditions.

The top 5 most popular self-gifted gifts in order are: clothing and footwear; TVs and music equipment (including iPods, iPads, laptops); alcohol and tobacco; recreation and culture, and restaurants and hotels

When asked how they are able to afford their treats a large proportion said they are embracing cashback, points and mileage schemes (36%). Women are much more likely to use loyalty programmes to treat themselves (30%) compared to men (17%), which makes sense since the research showed that almost a quarter of women see indulging in self-gifting as a guilty pleasure, compared to just 13% of men.

Nick Clements, Managing Director at Barclaycard UK explained: “We took time to speak to our customers to understand how they want to be rewarded when they spend. Choice and value came out as the key to meet people’s needs.

“We know that purse strings are being tightened and we also know that people like to treat themselves and their families. The new Barclaycard Cashback card helps you do just that. The only thing we can’t help out with is what your loved ones want to receive this festive season.

“Our Cashback card is built on choice and simplicity, giving customers 2% on their five biggest monthly purchases and 0.5% on everything else. Our Cashback card puts you in control of what you get the 2% boost on each month; unlike other cards that only give you a bonus for certain types of spend. All customers need to do is make fifteen purchases a month, of any amount to qualify for the 2% cashback rate.”

For more information on the Cashback card; visit: www.barclaycard.co.uk/cashback

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Prudential Reveals Almost Half Of UK Business Owners Have No Pension Savings

Almost half (46 per cent) of UK business owners* – or 1.3 million** people – have no private pension savings to support them in retirement, according to new independent research from Prudential***.

Of those who have failed to make any private pension provision, more than half (54 per cent) said this was because they simply could not afford to set money aside. Nearly one in five (18 per cent) say they don’t have a pension because they will never retire, and 9 per cent claim they have sufficient funds in a company pension from previous employment.

Nearly one third (29 per cent) of business owners, or 792,000 people, say they will be entirely reliant on the State Pension when they come to retire, compared with just 16 per cent of people across all employment types retiring this year in the UK****.

Other self-employed workers will supplement their retirement incomes with money from a mix of alternative sources: 48 per cent will draw on other savings and investments, 25 per cent will use equity from their properties, 25 per cent plan to use their partners’ pensions, and 19 per cent
plan to use funds from the eventual sale of their businesses.

Prudential asked those business owners who don’t have a personal pension whether they plan to start one in the future and the majority of respondents (63 per cent) said no. Only 13 per cent said they were planning to start a pension and just under a quarter (24 per cent) were undecided.

Stan Russell, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “It’s sometimes hard for self-employed workers to distinguish between their business and personal finances. Often, investing in the business takes priority over saving for retirement – an issue that is particularly prevalent now, given the tough economic conditions facing UK businesses.

“Unfortunately, the long-term implications of not saving for retirement are that many retirees will have a real income shock and reduced living standards when they finally retire. And while a number of business owners say they don’t need a pension because they’ll never stop working, this optimistic approach won’t always be realistic – for example because of health issues later in life.

“Although some business owners plan to supplement their retirement incomes with alternative sources of finances, a large proportion will be entirely reliant upon the State Pension – which should actually be a safety net, not a default source of income.”

Saving into a pension has become a lower priority for those business owners who do have some dedicated retirement savings. The survey found that more than a quarter (27 per cent) of entrepreneurs with pension savings had put their personal contributions on hold since the start of the economic downturn.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Barclaycard Makes Everyday Spending More Rewarding With Two New Reward Cards

Barclaycard has announced the launch of its Barclaycard Cashback and Barclaycard Freedom Rewards cards, both designed to make it easier for customers to get value and rewards on their everyday spend, without changing the way they shop.

The Cashback card is built on simplicity, giving customers four times more cashback on their five biggest monthly purchases, with no tiers or thresholds. Customers earn 2% on their five biggest monthly purchases and 0.5% on everything else. All customers need to do is make fifteen purchases a month, of any amount to qualify for the 2% cashback rate.

When customers take the card out they receive a welcome bonus, giving them the opportunity to earn 6% cashback on their five biggest purchases each month for the first three months. Every year, in the month after the anniversary of taking out the card, customers also get an enhanced 4% rate on their top five spend , irrespective of how much they’ve spent on the card the year before.

If the average family puts all their spend on the Cashback card; in the first three months alone, they could earn a maximum of £120 cashback, easily covering the annual card fee of £24.

Launching at the same time is the Barclaycard Freedom Rewards card. It lets customers collect points on everything they buy on the card. They can redeem points at around 70 reward partners including retail giants, online favourites, restaurants and fun family days out.

The Freedom Rewards card has a broader range of high street reward partners than any other reward card in the market. Partners include Marks and Spencer, Topshop, Currys PC World, iTunes, Amazon, Starbucks, Strada and Leisure Voucher partners Legoland to LA Fitness.

The Freedom Rewards card gives double points on spend at any UK supermarket and petrol station and triple points at selected Freedom partners.

Nick Clements, Managing Director for UK Consumer Cards, Barclaycard, said: “We took time to speak to our customers to understand how they want to be rewarded when they spend. Choice and value came out as the key to meet people’s needs.

“For the average UK family budget, one in three pounds is spent on the weekly shop and filling the car up. As a result, the Freedom Rewards card offers double points on any supermarket or petrol spend. Our customers want the flexibility to look for the best value without being tied to shopping at just one brand, and the Freedom Rewards card offers that flexibility.

“On our Cashback card, we designed it to boost the earning rate of cashback on the top five monthly purchases, because our customers’ top five purchases accounted for around 50% of their overall monthly spend. We want to give customers the flexibility to be rewarded at the higher rate, regardless of what they’d bought.”

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Prudential Reveals Fears Over New Generation Of Lost Pensions

One in six (16 per cent) workers have lost track of their pension funds after changing jobs, according to research from Prudential, raising new fears over a generation of lost pensions.

To compound matters, the survey of employees found that three in four (76 per cent) people have no idea of the value of the company pension pots they have built up over their careers. Just 24 per cent are confident that they know the value of their combined pension funds.

More than four in five (81 per cent) workers failed to actively transfer their previous company pension funds across to their new employers, while another 15 per cent relied on their new employers to make the switch.

Keeping track of pension funds is a significant risk for younger workers, in particular, as they change jobs more frequently than older employees. According to Prudential’s survey, workers aged between 18 and 34 have had, on average, three full-time jobs, compared with those aged 55 and over who have had just five jobs in their careers.

Stan Russell, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “Saving into a pension today is an important step in the right direction for workers, to help ensure a comfortable retirement.

“It is essential for people to understand what type and level of savings they have built up in the past. They must make sure that their previous employers have their most up-to-date personal details and are sending them annual pension statements, so they can keep themselves properly informed.

“Keeping track of pension savings at every age is important but it is even more crucial for younger workers, who are likely to switch jobs more often, to actively manage this process. It’s also important to consider the benefits of transferring previous pension savings into a new employer’s scheme, although seeking advice before making such a big decision is a must. For those who have lost track of their previous company pension pots, the Pensions Tracing Service should be able to help.”

Prudential’s research also found that workers who do know the value of their combined pension pots say they have built up an overall fund worth £110,207, on average, over their working lives. However, there is a significant gender gap here as men believe they have built up pension savings totalling £154,094, whereas women estimate they have saved only £50,512.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Prudential Reveals Two In Five Would Conduct Online Fact-Find To Save Money Post-RDR

Prudential research shows that one in four (25 per cent) people would be interested in an online or telephone financial advice service if it reduced costs.

The research also shows that one in five are more willing to pay for financial advice now than they were before the global financial crisis.

Two out of five (39 per cent) people would be willing to complete online fact-finds before meeting with an adviser if that would reduce the cost of advice, according to independent research from Prudential.*

The nationwide research was conducted to gauge people’s attitudes to potential new business models for financial advice, ahead of the introduction of the Financial Services Authority’s Retail Distribution Review (RDR) from 1 January 2013.

The research shows growing support for alternatives to traditional face-to-face meetings, with 25 per cent saying they would be willing to receive advice online or over the phone if that meant lower charges. Around 11 per cent would be interested in receiving advice either on the phone or online, while 10 per cent would want an online-only service and 4 per cent phone-only.

Support for remote meetings with an adviser is stronger among the younger generation, with 39 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds saying they would be happy to receive financial advice on the phone or online or through a combination of phone and online, compared to 23 per cent of 35 to 54-year-olds. The support reduces to just 15 per cent among those aged 55 plus.

Russell Warwick, Prudential’s distribution change director, said: “Giving advice over the phone or online is a logical progression for advisers, and reflects the need to meet changing customer demand. We don’t believe that an ‘all or nothing’ approach is set to emerge but we do expect firms to start integrating non face-to-face aspects of client servicing into their models over time, as clients become more comfortable about receiving advice remotely.

“Providing these services can be run in a way that is cheaper than the face-to-face approach, it should free up advisers’ time, making their businesses more efficient and enabling them to focus on securing new clients. Conducting annual reviews by phone, for example, would cut travel time which, when added up for all clients, could amount to hundreds of hours over the course of a year.”

The Prudential research shows that 47 per cent of people would expect the costs for an online or phone advice service to be at least half as much as a traditional face-to-face service.

The research also shows that nearly one-fifth (18 per cent) of people are more willing to pay for financial advice now than they were before the global financial crisis. This is a result of people being more concerned about their future finances and how current market volatility will impact their investments and financial future, as well as trusting their own judgement less when making financial decisions.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Standard Life Adds Eight Vanguard Funds To Its International Bond

Dublin-based Standard Life International has added eight Vanguard funds to its International Bond.

Standard Life is looking to meet the growing demands from advisers for a passive investment option by introducing the Vanguard funds to its International Bond.

Ian Searle, business development manager at Standard Life International, said: “These funds, which include both bond and equity funds, represents our passive investment option on our offshore bond and further strengthens the investment range for our customers to choose from to help them achieve their investment goals.

“We have seen many examples where advisers adopt a core approach to portfolio construction, with the core made of passive management so the introduction of the range of Vanguard funds supports advisers in that approach.

“We have established a strong working partnership with Vanguard over the last year. And we look forward to working with them to help advisers and their customers with their investment requirements.”

Simon Vanstone, Head of Institutional, Europe at Vanguard, said: “As demand for index tracking funds at low cost continues to grow in the UK, we are delighted that Vanguard has been selected by Standard Life International to provide the Index Tracking solutions within their International Bond.”

This announcement follows the addition of Vanguard’s pension funds to Standard Life’s platforms in December 2011 and the appointment of Vanguard in April 2012 to manage Standard Life’s tracker funds.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Standard Life readies Retail International Bond for RDR

Standard Life today announces changes to its Retail International Bond in the run up to RDR implementation.

Standard Life will facilitate a comprehensive range of adviser charging options on the Retail International Bond from inside or outside the product, so advisers can select the charging method that best fits with their clients’ circumstances and their chosen business model.

Ian Searle, Standard Life International Business Development Manager, said: “The type, timing and source of funding adviser charges all have a potential impact on tax efficiencyand investment performance. Minimising the impact of adviser charges on a client’s portfolio will, therefore, be a key part of the advice process. We’ve developed a flexible range of adviser charging options, including the ability to take an initial charge from outside the Retail International Bond. If a client decides to pay for advice from within the bond, they should remember that these charges will count towards their 5% annual tax deferred allowance.”

From 10 December 2012 Standard Life will start facilitating adviser charging on Retail International Bond without an adviser having to provide additional signatures from existing clients.

The company has also added new functionality to Adviserzone to make it quick and easy to manage adviser charging online on all of Standard Life’s post-RDR products.

At the same time, Standard Life is introducing an explicit, simple stepped product charge on Retail International Bond for all non-insured fund assets – from 0.2% to 0.7%, depending on the size of investment. This stepped charge rewards clients with larger investments.

Standard Life will pass the full value of any mutual fund manager rebates directly to customers, and pass on any enhanced rebates it has been able to negotiate using it’s buying power. Quotations will clearly show the fund’s AMC, the amount of any fund manager rebate, stepped product charge and adviser charge.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Prudential Reports Higher Rate Taxpayers Reject £438 Million In Tax Relief

One in four higher rate taxpayers do not contribute to pension schemes despite the attraction of tax relief to help boost their retirement savings, according to independent research from Prudential*. Nationally, this equates to around 216,000 employees missing out on up to £438 million a year in pension tax relief.

The nationwide study of those earning between £42,275 and £149,999 found 21 per cent claiming they cannot afford to contribute to a pension scheme. One in eight (13 per cent) say they do not see the point of saving for retirement, despite the tax benefits ofpensions, while 17 per cent don’t know why they fail to save into a pension scheme.

An average higher rate taxpayer contributing £425 a month into a pension fund receives basic rate tax relief of £85 a month or £1,020 a year, directly into their pension fund. Up to an additional £1,020 a year in higher rate tax relief can be claimed, which could also be used for pension saving.

Figures from HMRC show that around 58 per cent of the estimated 900,000 higher rate taxpayers in the UK contribute to defined contribution pension schemes, while another 15 per cent are members of either non-contributory or defined benefit schemes.

But despite earning average salaries of £58,541, the rest do not save into pension schemes at all. Around 43 per cent of those who don’t save into a pension scheme claim to have made alternative retirement arrangements, 4 per cent have existing Self-InvestedPersonal Pension schemes and another 2 per cent claim they will not retire.

Matthew Stephens, Prudential’s tax expert, said: “Pension saving offers valuable tax reliefs to all workers and particularly to higher rate taxpayers. Basic rate 20 per cent tax relief is available at source plus up to an extra 20 per cent from HMRC for higher rate taxpayers. Turning down what is effectively free money simply does not make sense.

“It is worrying that so many higher rate taxpayers say they cannot afford to save into a pension despite earning healthy salaries. The good news is that it is never too late to take action on saving for retirement and we urge all workers to seek advice on long-termretirement planning.”

The Prudential research shows that recent changes limiting annual tax-free pension contributions to £50,000 a year have not significantly dented pension saving among higher earners. Just 8 per cent said the change had put them off pension saving while 25 per cent were unaware of the change.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Bank Cainvest Approved for Listing on Cayman Islands Stock Exchange, Symbol CIB

Cainvest International Bank Ltd.(“Cainvest”) is pleased to announce that the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange has approved Bank Cainvest for listing on the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange(“CSX”) under the symbol “CIB”.

“Following the extensive marketing initiative of the Ministry of Finance in Brazil we are pleased to welcome Cainvest International Bank Ltd. to the Cayman Islands and to the CSX family of listed companies. We are keen now to encourage the listing of growth companies and we wish Cainvest every future success.” said Mr. Anthony Travers, Chaiman of the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange.

“Listing on the CSX is an important milestone in Bank Cainvest’s growth strategy” said Charles Aboulafia, Chief Financial Officer at Bank Cainvest. “Bank Cainvest will adhere to stringent corporate governance procedures, and thereby ensure transparency for shareholders, customers and counterparties. Furthermore, being a listed company increases public awareness in the Company and its products and enhances the status of the Bank.”

Walkers acted as Cayman Islands legal counsel to Bank Cainvest. “We are delighted to have been able to assist Cainvest on this admission to the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange. This represents an exciting opportunity for Cainvest, and we are happy we were able to help.” Ramesh Maharaj, a Partner in the Corporate and Finance group of Walkers, Cayman Islands.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Prudential Reports Average Brit To Make A Million By The Age Of 56

New research* from Prudential has revealed that the average UK worker will have earned £1 million by the time they are 56 years, nine months and three weeks old.

However, despite these cumulative earnings, fewer than two in five (37 per cent) of those expecting to retire this year have saved enough to secure a comfortable retirement.

Prudential’s analysis of average incomes shows that becoming a millionaire before tax is well within most men’s grasp, as long as they start work at 18 and then earn the average income for their age bracket through to age 65.

A man on an average income can expect to be an income millionaire when he is 50 years, six months and two weeks old. However, women will find it harder than men to make the magic million, reaching the milestone at 72 years, four months and three weeks – 22 years after their male counterparts.

Of course, this £1 million will be earned before tax which means that the average worker will have also paid £137,101 in income tax and £84,129 in national insurance.

The good news is that if someone contributes to a personal pension throughout their working life, they can benefit from significant tax relief. An individual who pays £100 per month personally into a pension over a 40 year working lifetime could receive additional tax relief of at least £12,000.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “We might think that making a million is a pipedream, but it will become a reality for those who earn an average salary throughout their working lives, especially if they are men.

“Looking at cumulative earnings in this light helps us to understand how much we could potentially save for our retirement. Of course, ongoing financial pressures and priorities means that it is not always that easy, but it remains the case that the earlier you save and the more you save, the better retirement income you will have.

“Pensions remain highly efficient tax saving vehicles which can help savers to claw-back some of the tax that they have paid over the years.”

The analysis shows that if the average person works until the age of 65, their career earnings before tax will be £1,217,604. If they keep going to 70, then earnings will hit £1,322,009.

Prudential’s figures show that average earnings for UK workers peak at £31,328, in their forties. Average earnings for men hit a high of £40,652, while for women the peak is £21,758.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Standard Life Launches Auto-Enrolment Toolkit

Standard Life has launched a toolkit aimed at helping employers and advisers plan for the introduction of auto-enrolment and identify the potential cost impact.

Ann Flynn, Head of Corporate Marketing, Standard Life said: “From our research and discussions with employers it is clear that many are scratching their heads as to how to tackle the implementation of auto-enrolment. They’re not entirely sure of the steps they need to take to meet their responsibilities, how much work is involved and importantly, how it will impact their bottom line.

“We have therefore developed a dedicated corporate benefits website which hosts a range of tools, news and videos to support employers and advisers through auto-enrolment and beyond.”

The toolkit includes; Pension Reform Pathfinder tool: An in depth planning tool which will help employers and advisers build up a personalised plan of duties and help establish a scheme to fit their requirements, and comply with auto-enrolment regulation.

Pension Reform Cost calculator: The pension reform cost calculator will help employers and advisers understand the potential cost of auto-enrolment by:
– Checking if a current scheme meets the requirements to satisfy the legislation
– Identifying the estimated ongoing costs of meeting legislation requirements
– Showing how the costs can be implemented gradually over time
– Demonstrating how costs could be reduced by providing the option for employees to pay through salary exchange.

Employer checklist: Gives employers an overview of the key tasks they must carry out in order to fulfil their new duties.

Data exchange guides: The guides will help employers navigate their way through their new duties and understand the impact on their current processes and systems.

Member communications timeline: The timeline gives a clear view of the mandatory member communications that pension reform legislation requires. It shows:
– The timeline – what communications need to be issued and when
– The regulations – which communications are mandatory and which are ‘recommended’
– The ownership – which communications must be sent by the employer
– The member categories – what type of information needs to be communicated to each category of employees.

Pension Reform information for employees: A dedicated pension reform website page, aimed at educating employees, has also been created on www.standardlife.co.uk to inform employees about the changes. The site covers everything they need to know, from why pension reform is happening to what to do if they don’t want to join their company pension scheme. There is also a short video which summarises pension reform and auto-enrolment.

Flynn added: “The cost and infrastructure impact will be a major concern for most businesses so these tools will help form the basis of discussions between advisers, HR teams and Finance Directors.

“With so many employers’ staging dates falling in 2013 and 2014, it is crucial that providers support employers and their advisers to help make the transition as painless as possible. Our message to all employers is the sooner you start your planning the better.”

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Prudential Reveals Women Set To Retire On £5750 Less Than Men

New research from Prudential has revealed that women retiring in 2012 expect their annual retirement income to be a third lower than that of their male counterparts, adding up to a gender gap of £5,750.

Prudential’s Class of 2012 study into the finances and expectations of those planning to retire this year finds that the average woman expects an annual income of £12,250 from their retirement pension, compared with an average expected income of £18,000 for men.

The study shows that the gender gap has fallen from last year’s £6,500, and has narrowed steadily since Prudential first measured a gap of £6,642 in 2009. The fall this year can be mainly attributed to a reduction in men’s expected incomes. However, the gap remains significant.

Prudential’s study found that the average amount that men and women expect to retire on in 2012 fell to a five-year low of £15,500 including private, company and State pension, compared with £16,600 in 2011.

Stan Russell, Prudential’s retirement income expert, said: “The Pension Gender Gap appears to be narrowing, but there is still a long way to go. Not only does the gap remain stubbornly wide, but anticipated retirement incomes have this year hit a five year low for both men and women.

“The practical steps that women can take to improve their retirement income prospects include maintaining pension contributions during career breaks and, if possible, making voluntary National Insurance contributions after returning to work.

“It is imperative for anyone looking to secure a sufficient income when they retire to begin saving as much as they can, as early as they can, and to do so regularly through life. For those who are still working, it has never been a more important time to save into a pension.”

The Prudential study also found that nearly half (49 per cent) of women believe they will not have enough income for a comfortable retirement, compared with 40 per cent of men.

The retirement gender gap is widest in the South East, where women retiring this year expect to have £7,878 less income a year on average than men – £12,259 compared with £20,137.

The gender gap is narrowest in the North West, with women in the region retiring on an average of £13,087 a year, compared with £15,632 for men – a difference of £2,545.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Standard Life Reveals Most Parents Feel Financially Supporting Their Grown Up Children Is ‘Their Duty’

According to Standard Life research, over half of parents feel it is “their duty as a parent” to financially support their grown up children.

A third of parents worry that without financial help their children would suffer and not achieve their full potential. 37% of parents recognise the impact that the current economy is having on their children’s financial status while a third of parents expect to have to financially support not just their children but also any grandchildren.

Parents are expected to help pay for a variety of amenities; 38% expect to help foot the wedding bill, the most significant cost, with university fees second. More than one in three parents pay university fees or expect to do so, whilst a third of parents are paying towards university accommodation. 34% pay towards their child’s car or expect to do so and a quarter will be likely to pay towards a deposit for a first home. Even a quarter are expected to help with mortgage and credit card debts.

Julie Russell, Head of Customer Relationships at Standard Life, commented: “The economic downturn and price increases have left many parents expecting to have to financially support their children into adulthood. The only way to achieve this is through careful financial planning, so that the financial sacrifices parents make for their grown up children are not to the significant detriment of their own long term plans. Parents need to make sure their money works as hard for them as they are working for their children. That means being efficient with their savings and making the most of tax breaks offered by products like ISAs and pensions.”

Pensions are a tax efficient way for parents to save, with every £4 a person contributes, the government effectively contributes £1 as it rebates the income tax on contributions*. For those who are in a workplace scheme, their employer is likely to be topping up the contributions too.

ISAs help to build up a tax free cash lump sum which can be used to pay for a child’s wedding or to fund university fees. Parents can invest up to half of the annual ISA allowance and earmark that to help themselves and their children with more immediate costs. They can also consider investing the remainder of their allowance in a stocks and shares ISA which has the potential of greater tax efficient growth over the longer term to help with larger future costs.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Virgin Money Launches New Fixed Rate ISAs And Fixed Rate Bonds

Virgin Money has launched new issues of its popular fixed rate bond and fixed rate cash ISA range. The accounts offer customers a competitive rate, combined with certainty of returns for either one or three years. Accounts are available through Northern Rock branches, online, by post and over the telephone, and interest rates are the same through all distribution channels. ISA customers receive the same rates as those with a non-ISA account.

The Virgin fixed rate ISA offers customers a rate of 3.30% for one year (issues 9 &13) and 3.60% for three years (issues 10 & 14) respectively. This matches the rate available for a non-ISA savings account and savers also benefit from the tax-efficiency of the ISA wrapper. These accounts allow transfers in from existing ISAs. Customers can withdraw subject to a charge equivalent to 60 and 120 days’ loss of interest respectively.

The one year Virgin fixed rate bonds offer customers a fixed rate of 3.30%, while the three year Bond pays 3.60% per annum. Accounts can be opened with a minimum deposit of just £1, and additional deposits can be made into the bonds during the offer period, up to a maximum of £2 million per customer. Interest can be paid annually, or for those who prefer a monthly option, on the last day of the month (available first business day of the following month). Customers choosing to receive their interest monthly receive the same AER as those receiving annual interest.

The Bonds are non-redeemable and do not allow any withdrawals or closure during their respective fixed rate periods. They are strictly limited issues and may be withdrawn without notice once fully subscribed. Once withdrawn, no further deposits can be made into existing accounts. Upon maturity the account will become a no notice matured bond account and investors will be notified in writing upon maturity of the interest rate payable.

More information on Northern Rock’s savings range is available at www.northernrock.co.uk/savings

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases

Prudential Reveals Pensioners Fail To Count The Cost Of Ill-Health In Retirement

Prudential has revealed new research which shows that despite the ongoing debate about the need to fund long-term care for the elderly, only one in five people planning to retire this year have made financial provision for ill-health in retirement.

Prudential’s ‘Class of 2012’ study into the finances and expectations of those planning to retire this year shows that just 20 per cent have set money aside for any care needs. This drops to 16 per cent among those aged 65 plus.

Prudential’s research also found that less than half (45 per cent) of this year’s retirees have planned for the fact that they may need more income in retirement as they get older.

However, funding long-term care has never been more important. Although average life expectancy for men over the age of 65 is 17.6 years, and 20.2 years for women, healthy life expectancy is just 9.9 years for men and 11.5 years for women.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “People retiring this year realise that living longer may mean they will need a higher income as they get older, but few of them have made the connection between the risk of ill-health, and needing money to pay for healthcare.

“Although life expectancy is increasing, healthy life expectancy is flat-lining. With the average person now working until they are aged 63.4, people are enjoying fewer healthy years in retirement.

“Spending the first few years of retirement trekking in the Andes and running around after grandchildren may be a reality for some, but it is important not to forget that health will worsen as pensioners get older.

“Making financial provision for the possibility of ill-health in retirement should be an integral part of the retirement planning process.”

Across the country, those planning to retire this year in Wales are the most likely to have prepared for the risk of ill-health in retirement (32 per cent), while those in the East of England (7 per cent) are the least prepared.

The Government is currently considering recommendations from the Dilnot Commission on the Funding of Care and Support which, in July 2011, proposed that an individual’s contribution to social care should be capped at £35,000, with any additional costs funded by the State.

Via EPR Network
More Financial press releases