14:48 17/04/2014 NEW ARTICLE: Prestbury Investments to float as REIT
"Two well-known business personalities Nick Leslau and Sir Tom Hunter are planning to float a £1.5 billion property portfolio, including Warwick Castle, Alton Towers and London's Madame Tussauds, as a real estate investment trust on the ..."

http://www.iii.co.uk/node/161020 By II Editor
7:48 31/03/2014 Call for head of FCA
Big insurance companies want Martin Wheatley, Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, to resign after the watchdog sent their shares into freefall by making a misleading announcement about an industry probe, the Sunday Times said. The Association of British Insurers is expected to write to Chancellor George Osborne to complain about the FCA. Senior sources at four of Britain’s biggest insurers told the paper Wheatley’s position was untenable.

Andrew Tyrie, Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, has accused the Financial Conduct Authority of an “extraordinary blunder” in announcing market sensitive information about the insurance sector, the Sunday Telegraph reported. Insurer shares fell heavily on Friday after FCA Director of Supervision Clive Adamson told the Telegraph the watchdog planned an inquiry into pensions dating back to the 1970s. Tyrie said the FCA’s pledge to bring in an external law firm to investigate the affair was not enough and that his committee would probably vet the inquiry head. By Spain Fund
18:02 29/03/2014 Impact of announcements on Business
The insurance industry have had a triple whammy regarding annuities, the 0.75% amc cap on auto - enrolment and the prospect of clients being able to unlock expensive legacy business from the past. The first of these will have quite an impact on the new business annuity department, which is substantial. However, L&G have written bulk annuity business much of it with gilt yields depressed by 0.5% base rates. Going forwards this business will be very profitable as rates rise. The department uses very sophisticated mortality profiling techniques and have taken care to select exactly what portion of the market they have taken. If annuity new business falls by 75%, as forecast, this will not impact the profitability of the existing book which IMHO is not fully priced in to the SP. Similarly the bulk buyout market for final salary schemes (which L&G are key players in) currently does not look likely to be impacted. Turning to the 0.75% cap I think that L&G will be less exposed than many others. They have been writing pensions with less than 1% amc since the turn of the century. They will have cases affected from the 80's and 90's but nowhere near as many as some other providers. My overall take is that the impact on L&G's long term profitability will not be as much as is feared. If further negative sector sentiment drives the SP lower in coming weeks it will create a buying opportunity but short term I would not be in a hurry to buy. All IMHO DYOR GLA By Sageman
5:26 29/03/2014 Annuity and Miselling
The irony of the recent changes by Osbourne and enquiry by FCA has not been lost on me. It has wiped in less than seven days about 10k off my pension pot. Now which body and to whom do I blame this mismanagement and misrepresentation of my savings.

CL By Chicken Lips
12:16 28/03/2014 Re: SP fall ............
"As LGEN is just about the biggest institutional investor...."

But this is why all these quangos home in on these profit making guys.

"Who can we fine this year to keep our coffers full enough to pay our enormous salaries and expenses?"

They've just about bled the banks dry, the power companies are following close behind so it's on to pastures new. The insurance industry

You'll note that these are fines rather than redress to a customer.

Can we actually invest in this industry? It's growing, fast. Profitable. Forward looking

I've searched for LQNGO in the records but can't seem to find it By coldingham
11:09 28/03/2014 FCA Enquiry into Insurers Announced
Looks like we could see a banks style enquiry - Guardian


In a month where the budget has already turned the tables on insurance companies, Friday brought even more good news for consumers: an investigation into rip-offs on pensions, life insurance and endowment policies sold before the turn of the century. These amount to 30m policies, some of which have been forgotten about by their owners and lie neglected by the companies that hold them, including "zombie funds" – businesses closed to new customers. The instant hit to the insurers' share prices underlines that this is a big deal, but until the scope of the inquiry is known it is impossible to say how much it will cost them.

The culture of wooing new customers while you ignore those who have been loyal is rife in financial services, and perhaps nowhere more so than in long-term investments like pensions and life insurance where consumers tend not to actively watching their returns. Older policies often have higher charges than new ones, and may not still be suitable for the people who bought them - but when holders try to escape they are whacked with huge fees. An unengaged customer is much easier to rip-off than one who is in the process of taking advice and shopping around.

At last the Financial Conduct Authority is putting the treatment of long-term policyholders under the spotlight. But despite what the share prices of the insurers show today, its action may not mean a stampede for the exit. The penalties for those who want to cash in their policies early are set to form part of its review, but the regulator says it is more intent on making sure longstanding customers are treated fairly and in the same way as new customers. A wholesale scrapping of exit fees seems unlikely. Instead the regulator may say policyholders should be moved to a better deal when an older charging structure is pensioned off, or allowed access to better-performing funds. That recommendation would, of course, cost the insurers money and put an end to a culture of using longstanding customers to subsidise newer ones.

We won't know the scope of the inquiry until the summer, but the focus is on making sure people who get to the end of their policy, due to retirement or otherwise, do not suddenly find their returns gobbled up by charges. And now that those consumers will be able to do what they want with the money when they reach pension age, all in all it's been a very good month for them. Less so for the insurers.

CL By Chicken Lips
10:56 28/03/2014 Re: SP fall ............
I think this fall in SP is way over done. The Budget changes to DC pensions regarding annuities is an enormous problem for those companies dealing exclusively in annuities but I am not that concerned about its consequences for L@G. The personal annuity side of L&G is a pretty low margin business and to me the silver lining is that they will be able to channel much of these funds into higher margin savings products. In addition it will provide an impetus for them to construct some interesting new products.Strangely I wouldn't be surprised if this change wasn't earnings enhancing after some time. By asianfriend
10:26 28/03/2014 Re: SP fall ............

"u dont get shocks like this with IUKD..."

'Tain't that much of a shock, m8, as I've only got 2% of my shrunken wad in this puppy, but it is nonetheless disappointing.

As LGEN is just about the biggest institutional investor in Blighty, with 5% stakes in most of the big bonobos on the Stock Market, I sincerely hope that Gidiot does not find himself confronted by the law of unintended consequences, with LGEN finding itself forced to sell assets (as a result of the decine in its own share price) and thereby inflicting further damage on a stock market that one would hope would provide dotards with decent returns on that bit of their pension fund that they choose not to buy a Lambo Gallardo with.

LKH on the flybridge LOL through gritted teeth I hope you know what you're doing, George By LK Hyman
9:24 28/03/2014 Re: SP fall ............
trust u listened to free advice,,,''All these insurers will TANK after dead cat bounce''...could see up to 30% OFF SALE..LKH..u dont get shocks like this with IUKD... By lambrini girl
8:57 28/03/2014 Re: NEW ARTICLE: Is Legal & General Grou...

All insurance big cos are down today so clearly this investigation isn't helping.

I lightened up recently at 216p (missing 240p peak). I am considering a further reduction in holding with a view to selling the lot. I can't see the SP going much above 210p in the next few months so I can look back and enjoy the ride since March 2009. All good things sometimes come to an end.

Cheers, RAC By RAConnell
8:46 28/03/2014 Re: NEW ARTICLE: Is Legal & General Grou...

"This and recent budget change in annuities won't support SP."

Ain't life grand?

I'd be surprised and disappointed if LGEN were caught by this 30 million policies malarky .... it sounds just like yet another attempt by politicians to buy votes in next year's election.

I'm also not in the least bit bothered about the annuity thingy, being as 60% or whatever it is of LGEN's annuity biz is buying out DB schemes, which aren't affected by Gidiot's attempt to buy dotards' votes. Whatever oldsters don't use on buying Lambos they'll prob'ly hand over to the likes of LGEN to invest for 'em.

Have you sold up?

LKH on the flybridge unfazed and holding By LK Hyman
8:38 28/03/2014 Re: NEW ARTICLE: Is Legal & General Group Pl...

This and recent budget change in annuities won't support SP.

The dividend is OK but I don't see much chance for any worthwhile capital appreciation. Maybe Motley Fool should reconsider their outlook?

Cheers, RAC By RAConnell
13:01 27/03/2014 NEW ARTICLE: Is Legal & General Group Plc A Super Growth Stock?
"Investors in Legal & General (LSE:LGEN) (NASDAQOTH: LGGNY.US) have enjoyed a great year, with shares in the financial services company posting gains of 24%. This looks even more impressive when compared to the FTSE 100, which is currently up just ..."

http://www.iii.co.uk/node/156756 By II Editor
20:12 26/03/2014 Today's Guardian-Nigel Wilson on annuity changes
The Guardian, Wednesday 26 March 2014 16.35 GMT

Legal & General forecasts the UK market for individual annuities will shrink by some 75% after measures freeing retirees from having to buy them. Photograph: Alamy
The UK market for individual annuities will shrink by some 75% after government measures freeing retirees from having to buy them come into effect next year, one of the biggest annuity providers forecast on Wednesday.

Nigel Wilson, chief executive of life insurance and pensions provider Legal & General Group Plc, said he expected the amount of money going into individual annuities to shrink to around £2.8bn a year from nearly £12bn, though he did not give forecasts for the group's own future business mix.

Wilson's comments at an investor conference in London follow a shake-up of the pensions system announced by Chancellor George Osborne in his budget last week.

The reforms, due to be implemented in April next year, effectively scrap a system forcing most retirees to swap their pension savings for an annuity that pays out an income for life, giving them instead a choice in how they invest.

Faced with warnings that savers might blow their cash on luxury items such as Lamborghini sports cars, pensions minister Steve Webb said after the budget it should be savers' own choice about how to spend their money.

For annuity providers such as L&G, the move threatens a key business line and shares in L&G – as well as others such as Aviva Plc, Standard Life Plc and Prudential Plc – fell after the reforms were announced.

Wilson said L&G's business mix would change following the reforms, with more emphasis on its fund management and pension savings businesses. "He also said L&G's "bulk" annuity business, aimed at company pensions rather than individuals and which is unaffected by the reforms, would continue to grow, offsetting falling sales of the products to individuals. Earlier on Wednesday, L&G said it had won a £3bn bulk annuity contract with the pension fund of chemicals maker ICI (now part of Dutch group Akzo Nobel NV), adding to its £34.4bn stock of annuity assets.

L&G predicts that much of the money that individual savers would have automatically put into annuities under the old system will now be invested in alternative products, with some £5bn a year taken in cash.

By Chicken Lips