Financial News & Views

National Insurance Contributions

Dec 07, 2016

If you are concerned that you may not have sufficient NI contributions to receive the full stste pension you can check this out by going online to-: gov.uk/check-national-insurance-record you need to get registered on the Government Gateway to access this.

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Autumn Statement 2016

Nov 24, 2016

Income tax The personal allowance will increase to £11,500 from 6 April 2017 and the point at which the higher rate of income tax will apply will increase to £45,000 from 6 April 2017. By the end of this parliament the government will meet its commitment to increase the personal allowance to £12,500 and the point at which the higher rate of income tax will apply will rise to £50,000. However this may not be passed on to Scottish Taxpayers. Pensions Money purchase annual allowance The money purchase annual allowance will be reduced from £10,000 ...

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Pension Fraud (Be Aware)

Oct 25, 2016

The amount of pension fraud since the freedoms were introduced could be 25 per cent higher than first thought, analysis of City of London Police statistics suggests. City of London Police put the scale of pension fraud losses at £10.6m in the six months since the pension freedoms were introduced in April 2015. AJ Bell has obtained updated statistics which show the figure has been revised up to £13.3m, another £2.7m on top of the initial estimate. Based on the new data, the investment platform puts the year-on-year spike in fraud reports was at 146 per ...

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Ethical Investment Association

Oct 05, 2016

Duncan Philp is now only one of five firms advising and offering Ethical Investment choices in Scotland. You can check this out by visiting-: http://ethicalinvestment.org.uk/financial-adviser/scotland/    

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Old Mutual Financial Strength 23-08-2016

Aug 23, 2016

Confirmation for our many clients invested with Old Mutual. The platform is going from strength to strength and cements our confidence in the Platform.  With the referendum result still sinking in for many investors, markets continue to show the volatility we could have all predicted. With that in mind it feels like an opportune moment to remind you why Old Mutual Wealth continues to be a strong and stable environment for your clients’ investments. Financially strong The financial strength of Old Mutual Wealth is considerable, ensuring the long term sustainability of the ...

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Bank Switch Scams

Apr 22, 2016

More than 5,000 people were conned into sending planned payments to fraudsters' bank accounts last year. Victims were fooled by emails asking them to divert payments into criminals' accounts, leaving the genuine recipient unpaid. The number of cases of the scam - also known as "mandate" or "invoice" fraud - is up 71% on the previous year. Losses in the UK totalled £126m, according to police figures compiled for Radio 4 Police said people need to be suspicious of any persistent emails that suggest a change of bank account details Georgia ...

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New State Pension

Apr 06, 2016

The new state pension will come into effect today 6th April 2016. There a three ways of getting your forecast. 1- On-line, just google state pension forecast and it will take you to the page. You will require to set up a gateway account ( have your mobile phone with you as you will receive an access code by text during the set up) unless you already have one in place if you complete self assessment. Once all this is set up you can then complete the forecast. You will require your NI number and your passport number or your P60 to hand. the process is fairly simple and easy to follow. 2- ...

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Happy Christmas - Friday 5th February 2016

Feb 01, 2016

No, your eyes are not deceiving you! Due to the unfortunate closure of the Forth Road Bridge in December, the Macbeth Currie Staff Christmas Party was sadly cancelled! We have re-arranged this for 5th February and, as a result our offices will be closed on Friday afternoon (assuming Storm Henry has blown himself out and the Bridge is open!) Our Dunfermline and Kinross Property Shops will be open as usual from 09.30 until 12.30 on Saturday morning with Edinburgh and Bonnyrigg open at 9 am on Monday. Happy Christmas!

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The current Market Volatility january 2016

Jan 20, 2016

The current volatility in global markets has precisely the same cause as had the major bout of volatility in August 2015. The Chinese RMB is pegged to the US dollar and US monetary policy gets exported to China. This means that a strong US economy and a weak Chinese economy give rise to a tug of war at the centre of the global financial system. However, we believe the market’s doom and gloom is over the top. This is because the policy solutions are simple, feasible and being executed by the US and Chinese authorities. They are threefold and work best in ...

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Pension Scams 2016

Jan 13, 2016

PENSION SCAMS The threat posed by pension scammers has grown exponentially since government reforms became effective last April. Here are three words your clients should watch out for when being approached about their pension The government's pension freedom reforms gave defined contribution pot holders over the age of 55 unfettered access to the full suite of retirement income products. Savers who would have typically bought an annuity in retirement are now able to withdraw their cash and invest it in a variety of complex products, leaving them vulnerable to scammers wanting to ...

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Festive hours

Dec 21, 2015

Macbeth Currie festive hours: Both our Bonnyrigg and Edinburgh Offices will be closed from 5 pm on 23rd December until 9 am on 5th January. If you would like to view Edinburgh and the Lothains properties over the festive period please contact ESPC on 0131 624 8000 and they will be able to help. Our Dunfermline and Kinross Offices will also be closed over the same period however, our East Port Branch will be open from 10 am until 2 pm on 29th and 30th December. You can contact the office on 01383 738838 on both days. If you have a specific question for Kinross then please email ...

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IHT Reform for Property

Nov 20, 2015

The reform of inheritance tax (IHT) will allow homes of up to £1 million to be passed on tax free but only if you follow these rules. The summer Budget brought good news for those whose wealth is tied up in their family home as chancellor George Osborne announced the introduction of an additional nil rate band for a person’s main residence. The existing nil rate band of £325,000 per person or £650,000 per couple, on which 40% IHT is not paid, will remain the same. From 2017/19 an additional main residence band of £100,000 per person will be ...

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Talk Talk Scams

Nov 04, 2015

As you may be aware Talk Talk has compromised their clients details with a computer Hacker. Now criminal gangs are calling up customers to inform them they need to change their computer settings. They will call you with your details including account number and ask you to go to a website www,support.me. Do not fall to this scam and remember they are very professional in what they do.  Never give any details of yourself to a stranger on the phone tell them to send you a letter (which will never arrive) and hang up.

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Royal London Profit Share

Oct 07, 2015

Royal London are a mutual, and owned by their customers. And they now believe all customers should share in their success. So from 1 January 2016, Royal London aim to boost their clients retirement savings by adding a share of their profits to their pension plan each year. They have called this ProfitShare - and it's available exclusively from Royal London. A mutual benefit The with profits customers already benefit from ProfitShare. Now they are extending it to: All new unit-linked pension ...

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Pension Scams in the New World

Jun 16, 2015

Clients should look out for the following scam indicators • Unsolicited approaches by phone or text message, or even door-to-door; • Sales advisers advocating 'early pension release', 'pension unlocking' , 'pension loans' or 'cashback' on a pension, to enable access to pension funds before age 55; • References to legal or tax loopholes, overseas investments or creative investment techniques with promises of extra tax savings or high returns; • Pressure to make a decision and to act quickly, even to the extent of having ...

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Investment Scams

Apr 29, 2015

Earlier this morning 29/04/2015, a nationwide fraud operation with 120 police officers across the UK arrested the men on suspicion of defraud and money laundering. The gang behind the alleged fraud is believed to have run four boiler rooms, cold-calling people to sell them investments in gold leasing and airtime minutes in mobile phone operators through fraudulent companies called Demmore Ltd, Simply Airtime, S+E Future and Vodacell. Following information from BBC Radio 4 programme ‘You and Yours’ detectives traced the suspects arrested today through bank ...

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Pensions Freedom

Mar 23, 2015

With only a few weeks to go before the new pension freedoms allow people to access their pension funds as and when they like, there are concerns that the consequences of making (or not making) the right decision could put pension savings at risk. Yes, this revolution is exciting; yes, it will generate more interest in pensions than has ever been achieved over the last three decades put together. But the political imperative to get the changes in before the May election could have serious implications for individuals and the need for advice has never been greater. In some cases, ...

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End of Year Tax Tips 2014-15 Courier February 2015

Jan 27, 2015

Tax Efficient Planning for Tax Year 2014-15 The new tax year has now begun and it would be wise to look at you own financial situation to ensure you are making use of all the tax allowances available to you,  This is just scratching the surface as we do not have enough room to include all tax saving tips. Q - Do I have to pay tax on interest earned in the bank. A – Yes, you will pay tax on all interest earned except for a non taxpayer. Q - Is there Anything I can do about my mortgage. A - Check out your mortgage rate with an Independant Mortgage Broker, are ...

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The new Scottish Property Rates

Jan 22, 2015

Yesterday (21st January 2015) saw an announcement by Deputy First Minister John Swinney who made changes to his original Land and Buildings Transaction Tax plans announced last October. From 1st April the new rules will be as follows: Property purchases up to £145,000 will pay no LBTT. £145,000 - £250,000 will pay 2% £250,000.01 - £325,000 will pay 5% £325,000.01 - £750,000 will pay 10% Properties over £750,000 will attract an LBTT rate of 12% While this is great news for buyers up to £145,000 any buyer ...

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Selling your home before LBTT on 1st April 2015

Jan 16, 2015

Are you looking to buy a new home valued over £325,000?  If yes, now is the time to make your move! From 1st April 2015, Stamp Duty will be replaced by LBTT (Land and Buildings Transaction Tax).  This will benefit buyers of lower priced properties, but will cost buyers of higher priced homes thousands of pounds more. For example; If you buy a property at £250,000 you will pay Stamp Duty of £2,500, however, for transactions from 1st April, this amount will reduce to £2,300. If you buy a property at £375,000 your liability to Stamp ...

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Stamp Duty - changes from 1st April 2015

Oct 13, 2014

From 1st April 2015, property sales in Scotland will be liable to a newly announced Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT).  The new rules confirm that transactions below £135,000 will not incur any LBTT whereas currently only transactions under £125,000 are free from Stamp Duty. On property purchases between £135,000 and £250,000 a rate of 2% will apply HOWEVER, only on the amount between £135,000 and £250,000. Between £250,000 and £1m is where the biggest changes will arise.  You will pay 2% on the amount between ...

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Pension Transfer Scams Update

Sep 25, 2014

Are you considering transferring money from your pension fund into a new scheme? Is the new scheme a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) or a small self-administered scheme (SSAS)? Will your pension pot be investing in unusual investments such as overseas property, forestry, storage units, care homes, biofuels or other businesses you don’t know much about? Were you motivated by a call, online advert or text out of the blue to discuss your pension or offered a ‘free pension review’? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, read on to find out how ...

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Evening and weekend pre-sale valuations in Kinross and Dunfermline

Aug 25, 2014

Our Kinross and Dunfermline Offices offer evening valuations on a Thursday and also Saturday morning appointments so if you would like a free pre-sale valuation on your property please get in touch on either 01383 738838 or 01577 863424.

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FREE INITIAL MORTGAGE ADVICE

Aug 21, 2014

As part of our service we also offer free initial mortgage advice.  As you are no doubt aware the mortgage maze can be a difficult one to navigate and seeking unbiased mortgage advice is often the easiest way to understand the options available.   Our mortgage adviser, Jim Lawson can provide advice on all types of mortgages, including those noted below. On making his recommendation he will apply to the lender on your behalf, intermediate and monitor the progress until such time as the mortgage is offered.   Please note that we have access to the whole of the ...

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