Capital Eyes on the Market – Thursday 31st January 2013

We take a look at some of the recent activity and events taking place in the UK and globally. For a more in-depth insight into how things may impact on your own financial planning priorities, please do get in touch. Enjoy a financial conversation as part of your regular financial planning review at SewellBrydenGunn.

Interest Rate Swaps sold by banks to businesses before the prevailing rates dropped – ordinary small or medium sized businesses – have caused some businesses major financial problems because of the interest rate payments that have kicked in now that prevailing interest rates have dropped such that questions are now being asked of the Financial Services Authority about whether businesses should receive some redress over the way these loan related instruments were sold, it is reported ……

Blackberry relaunches brandname as.. er.. Blackberry – Research In Motion, the company behind the Blackberry phones and messaging service, has finally decided to name itself after its product – a welcome move, it is reported……

Germany unemployment falls as confidence returns to the region……

Despite a contraction in Spanish economic growth and a fall in Italian business confidence, the euro has continued to rise, hitting a 14 month high against the dollar……

Financial Services Authority’s (FSA)successor the Financial Conduct and Markets Authority (FCMA) is set to investigate the UK Annuities market – the market is large but is characterised by little competitive activity as consumers approaching retirement fail to give much attention to shopping around for the best deal for their maturing pension funds and very often short change themselves on their retirement income as a result. This combined with unusually low rates driven by depressed interest rates and gilt yields – which have a major effect on annuity rates – the pension income deals for retiring consumers who want certainty over future pension income payments are very often less than attractive. Of course if they get advice from an Independent Financial Adviser and Chartered Financial Planner such as SewellBrydenGunn then they get a proper comprehensive review of their circumstances and the best rates available to them – this can make a big difference to the pension income they achieve. It clearly makes sense to get advice. Together with more scrutiny from the FSA/FCMA it is hoped that a better more “value for money” annuity marketplace will emerge, providing an overall better set of options for the retiring consumer……

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