Personal PensionMay 10 2013

Morning papers: Arrests made in pension unlocking crackdown

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Police have made their first arrests in a multi-agency operation to shut down firms which trick savers into believing they can unlock their pension early, reports the Daily Telegraph.

City of London Police said it had dismantled a suspected organised crime gang believed to be cold-calling and text messaging pension holders across the UK with fraudulent offers “that could destroy their retirement plans”.

David Cameron admits coalition is confused on advice to banks

David Cameron was forced to admit that the Government was issuing contradictory orders to the banking sector even as he pledged to end the remorseless “bashing” of the City, reports The Times.

The Prime Minister told an investment conference in London that he wanted Britain to play to its strengths by defending its banking sector, amid fears over tougher Brussels regulations including a cap on bonuses and a mooted tax on financial transactions.

100 of UK’s richest people concealing billions in offshore tax havens

More than 100 of Britain’s richest people have been caught hiding billions of pounds in secretive offshore havens, sparking an unprecedented global tax evasion investigation, reports the Guardian.

George Osborne, the chancellor, warned the alleged tax evaders, and a further 200 accountants and advisers accused of helping them cheat the taxman: “The message is simple: if you evade tax, we’re coming after you.”

Hester vows to oversee RBS sell-off

The chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland has given his clearest signal yet that he is determined to lead the reprivatisation of the majority state-owned lender and see through RBS’s transformation from “bust bank to normal bank to really good bank”, reports the Financial Times.

Stephen Hester who has led RBS through four years of restructuring – often buffeted by political criticism of the group’s lending, investment banking business and his own pay – said he did not regard his job as “time limited by me”.

Co-op Bank could need taxpayer support, says Moody’s

The Co-op could require taxpayer support for its banking arm after the business had its credit rating downgraded by Moody’s, which warned the mutual faced losses that it might not be able to afford, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The ratings agency warned that Co-op Bank might need “external support” as a result of new writedowns on bad debts linked to commercial real estate and belated costs linked to its acquisition of the Britannia Building Society in 2009.

Annan calls for end to ‘unconscionable’ exploitation of Africa’s resources

Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general, is urging David Cameron to use Britain’s chairmanship of the G8 to end some of the “unconscionable” practices of companies exploiting Africa’s vast reserves of natural resources, reports the Guardian.