Autumn Statement and awards galore: week in news

Autumn Statement and awards galore: week in news

So here it is, Philip Hammond’s first and last Autumn Statement. It is time for the week in news.

But the week hasn’t just been about the chancellor’s latest pronouncements, it has also featured news from the industry’s trade bodies and our lovely neighbourhood regulators. But first:

1) All the leaves are brown, and the accounts are red

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On Wednesday (23 November) Mr Hammond told the House of Commons that the vote to leave the European Union would mean £122bn extra borrowing and less growth.

But he also announced plans to scale back salary sacrifice, ban pension cold-calling (big up to Darren Cook who launched the petition on this) and spend billions on housing.

He also announced the death of the Autumn Statement itself.

Sure, the people who actually have to manage the constant change in Britain’s tax and pensions regime will probably not mourn the demise of the Autumn Statement, but what about everyone who has to speculate endlessly about HM Treasury’s plans?

Don’t panic too much: the speculation has already started about future changes in tax relief. Phew…

2) Drinks are on Apfa

The Association of Professional Financial Advisers held its annual shindig in London this week, but not before some actual work.

During Apfa’s financial professionals forum, advisers were warned against “fanciful notions” that there would be major regulation changes as a result of Brexit.

Meanwhile the Financial Conduct Authority said it would be consulting on its review into the Financial Services Compensation Scheme before Christmas.

In the evening the trade body’s chairman Lord Deben said regulatory costs would need to be reduced – and innovation encouraged – to ensure the financial services industry reaches the masses.

3) Keith Richards plays Wembley

Meanwhile the Personal Financial Society took its symposium and awards dinner to Wembley.

Unlike England’s recent performance against Spain, the PFS didn’t leave its supporters feeling like they had wasted their time and money by suddenly switching off.

At the symposium PFS chairman Keith Richards launched a number of new initiatives, including a project with the FCA to root out scammers and an agreement to help ex-servicemen and women get pro-bono advice.

Did anything else significant happen? Well, FTAdviser and Financial Adviser won trade publication of the year and our reporter came away with a football signed by Peter Shilton.

4) The winner takes it all

Speaking of awards, the Financial Adviser Service Awards were held on Thursday (24 November) and, if we may say so ourselves, were a storming success.

Many trophies were handed out and Royal London was named Company of the Year and MetLife won the Outstanding Achievement award at the 26th edition of the awards.

5) FCA hopes to turn phoenix dreams to ash

The Financial Conduct Authority has revealed it is investigating the phenomenon of ‘phoenixing’, where the members of failed advice firms return to the financial advice market under new names.