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Our Weekly Newsletter

Our Weekly Newsletter

Across Instinctif Partners’ Financial Services team, we are always keeping an eye on the key developments taking place across the sector to evaluate their impact on the many businesses we work with. Here we share our picks of the week’s most interesting news, and our expert views.

Increase pension contributions now to achieve comfortable retirement

Young workers are being urged to increase pensions contributions to offset lower investment returns. A new report by LCP suggests the historic low interest rate environment, compounded by the near extinction of defined benefit pension schemes, is likely to leave a large proportion of young people with insufficient resources to fund longer retirements. Although pension participation has increased since the introduction of auto-enrolment, returns on assets invested in defined contribution schemes have declined over the last decade, indicating younger workers will have to top up their minimum contributions to afford a comfortable retirement. (From The Times, 9 May 2021)

ETFs outmatch index-linked mutual funds for first time

Capital invested in passive funds reached $15tn last year, with the proportion of funds under management in exchange-traded funds higher than index-tracking mutual funds for the time. Rising ETF popularity has likely been partly driven by the greater flexibility and control they offer investors. ETFs have greater liquidity as they are traded throughout the day on exchanges, whereas mutual funds are bought and sold based on their closing price. (From FT, 10 May 2021)

“Fear of missing out” fuels record house prices in April

Average house prices have climbed by £20,000 in the last year according to Halifax, as the buying frenzy prompted by the Stamp Duty holiday continues. Prices are up 8.2% in the last 12 months, the highest annual growth rate for five years, with buyer “fear of missing out” ahead of house prices spiralling driving the surge. The average price of a UK home has hit a record high of £258,204. (From BBC, 10 May 2021)

Major UK employers join socially focused Purposeful Company scheme

The bosses of 14 big organisations, including Capita, Unilever and PricewaterhouseCoopers, have signed up to the Purposeful Company scheme, pledging to put the wellbeing of staff, local communities and society higher on the boardroom agenda after concluding it will enhance the long-term profitability of their businesses. The Purposeful Company is a not-for-profit organisation, whose businesses employ two million people and manage £1tn of investment assets. The organisation’s aim is to highlight the importance of businesses having a purpose beyond profit. (From The Guardian, 10 May 2021)

City lobby reduces FSCS levy

The amount of money banks and other financial institutions will have to pay into a new insurance pot to protect customers and ensure compensation has been significantly reduced following lobbying on the high levels. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme reduced the total levy by £206m from its January forecast. While the scheme ensures customers can get back up to £85,000 should their bank, building society or other investment fail, this does not apply to all investments. (From City AM, 13 May 2021)

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