View more on these topics

In brief Policyholders punish board

Over 40% of Standard Life policyholiders last week voted against the remuneration packages proposed for its directors after the company told them that demutualising was in the best interests of the company and its members.

During the Standard Life annual general meeting last Tuesday policyholders expressed anger and lack of confidence in the directors with 89,091 members (43%) voting against approving their proposed remuneration package.

With the value of the company falling from around £15bn in 2000 to £4bn this year, members at the meeting said the directors should give up their bonuses. Policyholders have seen their savings payouts fall by 40% over the past three years.

The backlash could also have been born of disapproval over proposals to demutualise. Speaking at the meeting, chief executive Sandy Crombie, who took home more than £1m in pay last year, said the board believes demutualising would be in the best interests of the company and its members.

He told the meeting: “Demutualising will maximise the value of the company, reduce risk, crystalise value for participating members and allow access to further sources of external capital.”

The proposal for demutualisation will be put to policyholders at the company&#39s AGM in 2006.

But Kevin Morgan, managing director of EZI UK, says the vote against directors&#39 remunerations could mean that members will be more inclined to vote for demutualisation. He says: “If members are not happy and have no confidence in the board, it could indicate they will be more inclined to vote in favour of demutualisation when they will be rewarded with more money.”


UK singles feel they are financially penalised

Over a third of singletons believe they&#39re penalised financially, research from cahoot has revealed. Monthly outgoings for a single person can be as high as those for a couple who have the advantage of sharing household bills. A single person only benefits from slightly lower food bills and a 25% discount on Council Tax. Singletons […]

Good outlook whatever the economic climate

Caroline Havers, partner, client Relations, Salans solicitors Will the popularity of remortgaging continue if market conditions change? I think so, whether the economic climate remains stable or worsens. If the climate remains benign, with interest rates and unemployment rates low, consumers will want to continue accessing the £2 trillion worth of equity that exists within […]

Mortgage Trust appointed to L&G mortgage club panel

Mortgage Trust has been appointed to the Legal & General mortgage club panel. The partnership is marked by the launch of a buy-to-let rate, exclusive to Legal & General mortgage club members of 5.39% fixed until June 30 2007. The rental income is calculated on the fixed rate. Mortgage Trust offers up to 85% LTV […]

Credit card debt hits record high, Datamonitor report reveals

Credit card debt has hit a record high, a report from Datamonitor reveals. The report shows that average credit card balances outstanding per adult in the UK rose by 59%, from £719 in 1999 to £1,140 in 2003. Datamonitor argues that any sudden increases in the base rate of interest will put pressure on mortgage […]

Life cover for life

When someone mentions whole of life plans, most people will think of a niche product that serves as an inheritance tax planning tool for high-net-worth clients. And it’s really not surprising they’ve been pigeonholed in that waybecause before the arrival of RDR in 2013, that’s more or less exactly what they were. For advisers thinking […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up