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.
UK wealth gap widens in pandemic as richest get £50,000 windfall
A new report from the Resolution Foundation has found that Britain’s wealth gap has increased during the pandemic as the richest 10% gained £50,000 on average, dwarfing any increases for the poorest third of the population. The report cited the lack of spending opportunities and rising house prices as key drivers behind this growth in wealth during successive lockdowns.
(From The Guardian, 12th July 2021)
Lifetime Isa withdrawal charges triple during lockdown
An FOI request from Quilter found that lifetime Isa early withdrawal charges have more than tripled in a year to reach £33m. Rachael Griffin, financial planning expert at Quilter, has commented how many people have had to raid their savings to cope with the financial strain brought on by the pandemic. It is noted that the withdrawal penalty is in place to disincentivise people from using the product for anything other than purchasing a first home or for retirement.
(From FT Adviser, 12th July 2021)
House sales collapse as Sunak reins in stamp duty cut
There have been reports that house sales have fallen by more than half this month alone after the stamp duty holiday begins to be tapered down. This comes after prices previously surged to new highs as people sought to move to more spacious homes while making use of the stamp duty holiday. Knight Frank reports that demand has remained strong as some people look to utilise their lockdown savings to move to a home more suited to their new working patterns.
(From the Telegraph, 12th July 2021)
Lloyds Banking Group cops £90m fine for misleading insurance letters
The Financial Conduct Authority has hit Lloyd’s Banking Group’s insurance arm with one of the largest fines ever handed down to a retail bank. The charge relates to renewal letters the bank sent to home insurance customers in which they claimed quotes were being offered at a ‘competitive price’, an assertion the regulator said was unsubstantiated and risked ‘serious consumer harm’. “Firms must ensure their communications with customers are clear, fair and not misleading,” said Mark Steward of the FCA.
(From BBC, 9th July 2021)
No complaints about Pensions Ombudsman investigated in past decade
Concerns have arisen over the scrutiny faced by the Pensions Ombudsman after it was found that no complaints made about the body have been accepted for investigation or upheld in the past decade. This is despite The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) receiving 226 complaints during that timeframe. This came to light after a former Aviva employee submitted a Freedom of Information Act request.
(From Money Marketing, 12th July 2021)