The UK is now preparing for another three weeks of lockdown as the coronavirus daily death toll remains in the high hundreds and the government continues to come under fire for a lack of equipment for health service workers.
As the economic impact of the lockdown persists, there have been calls to scrap the triple lock so pensioners share the cost of the pandemic while questions have been raised over the government’s support for the smallest businesses. It’s time for the week in news.
1 Scrap the triple lock
A think tank this week called for the pensions triple lock — which protects state pension uprating — to be scrapped so all generations pay their fair share towards the cost of the coronavirus crisis.
The Social Market Foundation urged the government to replace the triple lock with something more affordable, arguing the significant economic cost should be shared fairly between older and younger generations.
It suggested replacing the triple lock, which is the highest of earnings growth, price inflation or 2.5 per cent a year, with a double lock of just inflation and earnings could be more appropriate.
2 Platform prizes
Advisers crowned Parmenion the top platform for Q1, 2020, ranking it the top performing platform in terms of support, proposition and overarching factors such as value for money.
The Lang Cat’s first quarterly platform ratings showed Praemium came a close second — mainly for support and overarching features — while Novia ranked third overall and second for its proposition.
Transact and True Potential completed the top five platforms overall.
3 Pay the piper
Advice firm Romilly Associates was ordered by the ombudsman to pay compensation after it neglected to give its client all the relevant information when purchasing an annuity.
The unsuitable advice, which resulted in the clients’ beneficiary losing out on more than £24,000, centred around the adviser not informing the client about a ten-year guaranteed annuity and instead opting for a five-year guarantee.
An ombudsman adjudicator decided that without knowing the actual amount of income for the ten-year guarantee option the client was unable to make a fully informed decision and ordered Romilly to pay £250 for upset and put the beneficiary in the position she would be in if the unsuitable advice had not been given.
4 Resilient consolidator
New-entrant advice consolidator Independent Wealth Planners told FTAdviser it was eyeing a pipeline of 20 deals despite the pandemic, with ambitions to manage £5bn of assets by the end of 2020.
IWP had already secured more than £2bn of client assets in Q1 of this year with the acquisition of seven advice firms.
David Inglesfield, chief executive, said: “We are very much pushing ahead [with acquisitions], we had a good catch up with our investors recently and they were extremely supportive and we are getting a lot of interest, so we are as busy as ever to be honest.”
5 Jail for Greig
Alistair Greig, who owned and ran Midas Financial Solutions in Scotland, was sentenced to 14 years in jail after he was found guilty of a £13m investment fraud this week.