Financial News & Views


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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Pension Scams

Aug 01, 2014

Liberation vs freedom Please heed this warning, there are unscrupulous people out the who are trying to get your pension pot.  In the Budget, Chancellor George Osborne announced a pensions revolution, allowing people to take their entire pension pot as cash when they reach age 55. Savers will also be offered free guidance at retirement. James says this could be abused by those looking to scam savers. He says: “Pension liberators will play on the message you can access your pensions after 55, but use it to mislead people into thinking they can access it before ...

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Yorkshire Building Society

Jun 16, 2014

Credit Suisse International and Yorkshire Building Society sent out misleading product promotions that emphasised potential returns they knew were almost impossible to achieve, an FCA investigation has found. The FCA has today fined Credit Suisse and Yorkshire Building Society a total of £3.8m for failing to ensure promotions for Credit Suisse’s Cliquet structured product were clear, fair and not misleading. The product offered a guaranteed minimum return with the apparent potential for significantly more if the FTSE 100 performed consistently well. Potential ...

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May 12, 2014

We are in the process of installing a state of the art telephone system into all of our offices.  There should be no issue in getting through to your required branch however, if you do encounter any problems please contact the following numbers: For Edinburgh (0131 226 5066) please contact Bonnyrigg (0131 654 9995) and vice versa. For Dunfermline High Street (01383 731011) please contact East Port (01383 738838) and For Kinross (01577 863424) please contact either of our Dunfermline Branches. You can also call 07747 690305. Thank you.

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Budget March 2014 Pension Changes

Mar 27, 2014

From 27 March 2014, some of the current rules on how individuals can access their pension benefits will be significantly altered: • The minimum income requirement for flexible drawdown will be reduced from £20,000 to £12,000 per annum. • The capped drawdown limit will be raised significantly from 120% to 150% of an equivalent annuity. However, an individual whose current drawdown pension year commenced on, for example, 1 March 2014 (the beginning of his new three year review period), would not be able to take advantage of this higher maximum income until 1 ...

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Market Update

Feb 19, 2014

  Weekly Market Update for 17 February 2014   Index Over the period 2014 (YTD)   Index 07-Feb-14 14-Feb-14 FTSE 100 index 1.40% -1.27%   Gold $ 1257.65 1302.70 FTSE 100 ...

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Boiler Room Financial Scams Scams

Jan 13, 2014

There are individuals who are posing as Independent Financial Advisers contacting clients of firms to propose investments in shares. These individuals are also sending out e-mails with financial proposals supposedly from your adviser If anyone is contacted in this way please ensure that you contact your normal adviser within the firm to check if they have contacted you.

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Retirement Annuities Courier January 2014

Jan 13, 2014

Annuities -: Why the Open Market Option is Important You have worked all your life and are now coming to retirement age. Do you think, what happens now? What do I do with my retirement fund? What does all the paperwork mean that I have received from my pension company? What is a 5 year, 10 year Guarantee? Do I need my money in arrears of advance? Can I get tax free cash? What is a joint life annuity and what does this mean to me. What is the Open Market Option What is a temporary Annuity   An annuity helps you to ...

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Financial Reviews The Courier 10 September 2013

Sep 11, 2013

Lack of Independence Advice for On-Going Reviews. The change from Commission to Fees in the Financial Services Sector is now being noticed by many clients. We have had clients of Banks and Building Societies coming to us after receiving a letter that even although they have an investment with a particular firm or institution they will no longer be given any advice in the future as they can no longer offer this type of  service to clients. All advisers must have attained a certain level of qualification to continue giving Independent Financial Advice and for this reason these ...

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High Rate Tax Payers and Child Benefit

Aug 26, 2013

Higher earners receiving Child Benefit must register for self assessment by 5th October The high income Child Benefit tax charge came into force on 7 January 2013. Broadly, a taxpayer may be liable to this new tax charge if they, or their spouse, civil partner or partner (who is not married but who is living with them), have an individual income of £50,000 or more and one of them receives Child Benefit. If both have an income of £50,000 or more, the charge will apply solely to the partner with the highest income. HMRC say that a large number of families are affected ...

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Market Update July 2013

Jul 23, 2013

Macbeth Currie Market Update for July 2013   Index Over the period 2013   Index 12-Jul-13 19-Jul-13 FTSE 100 Index 1.31% 12.43%   Gold $ 1,285.30 1,285.10 FTSE 100 ...

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Courier Tax Article for 2013-14

Jul 10, 2013

Tax Efficient Planning for Tax Year 2013-14 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,  there are a number of ways to try and mitigate the tax situation you find yourself in. 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. Many individuals have large sums of money in ...

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Importance of Financial Reviews by D PHILP for The Courier 14 May 2013

May 23, 2013

Financial Reviews - Why Bother One of the most common scenarios I come across when I see new clients is the lack of any previous financial reviews whether it be in the case of pensions, investments, bank accounts or mortgages. Bank & Building Societies-You might think that bank accounts do not require reviewing but this is exactly what banks and building societies rely on and there is a great deal of money in accounts which pay very low interest.. This is especially important with ISA funds as headline rates may not be what they seem and when you come to the end of a fixed rate ...

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Property Lettings

Feb 27, 2013

The Mortgage Works, Nationwide’s buy-to-let lending subsidiary, has stopped new lending to landlords who have tenants receiving housing benefits, a move experts warn could leave many people struggling to find a place to live. TMW, which has a BTL market share of around 20 per cent, previously lent on a case-by-case basis to landlords with tenants receiving housing benefits. It was the biggest lender offering such mortgages.   A TMW spokeswoman says: “Previously, lending to landlords with ...

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Retail Distribution Review

Feb 20, 2013

The FSA Retail Distribution Review (RDR) came into effect on 31 December 2011and we are happy to report that Macbeth Currie Financial services will remain INDEPENDANT for the benefit of all our clients. We have fully embraced the  new regime and the financial model we had prior to RDR will carry us forward into the new world of Financial Advice.

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Investment Risk in Volatile Times (Written for and Published by the Courier on 06/11/2012)

Nov 15, 2012

What is risk?   The main aspect of risk can be explained in three ways:-   Risk Required – the risk associated with the return required to achieve an end result.   Risk Capacity – the guidelines laid down by the F.S.A. is a clients capacity for loss over a given period.  Eg.  A balanced investor should be prepared to accept returns within the range of an 8.54% loss to a 19% gain. Clients need to understand there is never no risk within an investment but risk can be managed.   Risk Tolerance – ...

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Buyer Beware (Investments that are too good to be true)

Nov 15, 2012

Steve Adams, an Essex-based IFA , grew suspicious when his client, a 35-year-old multi-millionaire, told him he had received an offer for a one-year corporate bond paying 8.1 per cent a year, from people purporting to represent Investec Asset Management. Mr Adams said the bond looked “too good to be true”, despite the legitimate-looking paperwork, seen by Financial Adviser, bearing Investec’s logo and an FSA registration number. He said: “The document outlined no risks associated with the product, so alarm bells began ringing. The email address was slightly ...

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FSA Retail Distribution Review

Oct 31, 2012

RETAIL DISTRIBUTION REVIEW (RDR) RDR is a major reform of regulation in the Financial Services Sector.  Basically, it will remove commission payments and improve the way you receive advice on investment products such as pensions and investments. Where advisers were often paid by commission it was widely felt that in some cases this resulted in some advisers not recommending the best product but recommending the product which paid the most commission, RDR will effectively stop this practice.   RDR will take effect from 1st January 2013. In respect of Financial ...

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Retail Distribution Review (What does this mean for Investors)

Sep 28, 2012

What will your adviser be doing after 31 December 2012 in respect of continuing advice. Macbeth Currie Financial Services will remain independent and continue to offer advice and support to all existing and new clients after 31 December 2012. Here is some information on what other establishments will be doing. Santander will offer face-to-face investment advice post RDR to customers with existing savings and investments of at least £25,000.The investment advice service will be restricted to products from Santander Asset Money Marketing revealed yesterday that Lloyds ...

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Have you made a WILL

Sep 19, 2012

By making a Will you can decide what happens to your property and possessions after your death. Although you do not have to make one by law, it is the best way to make sure your estate is passed on to family and friends exactly as you wish. If you die without a Will, your assets may be distributed according to law rather than your wishes. Can you afford not to make a Will? Put your mind at ease over any concerns you may have and speak to Macbeth Currie today.

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Busy period for our Kinross Property Shop

Sep 04, 2012

The school holiday period is generally a quiet time for our property department however this year we have remained busy with several properties selling within days of coming to the market.  We have also seen an increase in the number of first time buyers viewing property.  This is very encouraging news for the local area and we hope to see it continue into the autumn months. We no longer believe there is a "good time" to sell your property so if you would like a free, no obligation valuation of your home please telephone 01577 863424 to arrange an ...

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Open Market options for pensions

Aug 28, 2012

Which? has criticised Saga for sending out a “confusing” message by having a single-tied annuity relationship whilst campaigning for prospective retirees to use the open-market option. The consumer body says Saga’s tied offering with Legal & General “sits uneasily” with its calls for consumers to shop around for the best deal. Last year, concerns were raised in Money Marketing that Saga was sticking with its single-tied offering despite campaigning for greater OMO take-up. Which? says Saga’s L&G offering means someone with a medical ...

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Jun 07, 2012

As retirement approaches, many face the nightmare task of tracking down small-sized funds — a job the Pensions Advisory Service, a Government-sponsored advice body for those about to retire, warns can be ‘painfully slow’. Many savers won’t remember they even started paying into the fund or put the money aside. Others will be convinced it’s gone forever as companies change, close or simply get swallowed up by rivals. Then there’s the difficulty of claiming or transferring the money. High charges can be imposed, whether funds are moved or left alone — a major disincentive to ...

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Property missives concluded in 2.5 hours by Edinburgh Office

Apr 24, 2012

A property at Wardie Dell, Edinburgh hit the market on 16th April and an offer was received on 23rd April for the full price and missives were concluded for the sale within two and a half hours.

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