View more on these topics

Santander front-runner for Abbey as HBOS pulls out…

HBOS last week dropped its plans to make an offer for its biggest rival, Abbey, leaving the way clear for Spanish bank Banco Santander Central Hispano.

HBOS&#39 statement, issued to the stock exchange last Wednesday, says: “Notwithstanding the very substantial opportunity to create synergies, and a strong competition case with which to engage the regulators, HBOS has decided not to proceed with an offer for Abbey.

“HBOS believes the shareholder value inherent in its existing prospects is superior to that likely to be achieved through this combination.”

The announcement also seems to secure the future of Birmingham Midshires following City speculation that to mount a successful bid for Abbey, HBOS would have to dispose of its specialist subsidiary.

Also last week BSCH issued the detailed documents on its bid to Abbey shareholders who will meet to vote on the deal on October 14.

The Spanish bank launched a charm offensive targeting IFAs and brokers by sending letters to around 80,000 advisers in a bid to calm concerns that a takeover would mean a focus on branches rather than brokers.

There were rumours that BSCH was looking to increase the number of mortgages sold through branches to 50% at the expense of intermediaries but the bank instead pledged to increase the number of home loans sold through intermediaries if it bought Abbey.

In the letter, Juan Rodríguez Inciarte, executive vice-president of Banco Santander, describes the strong presence Abbey already has in the UK. He cites an independent survey showing that 26% of intermediaries believe that Abbey has the strongest presence in the mortgage market.

He says: “These figures underline how important you will be to our future success as well as the importance of an independent Abbey to the competitiveness of the UK mortgage and other financial services markets.”

He adds: “Our aim is to drive business in all our channels, maximising business through Abbey&#39s existing brand in the intermediary market and increasing branch-based volumes.”


CETA launches general insurance compliance package

The package, called &#39I Comply&#39, gives brokers access to CETA&#39s software, product range and service support in an integrated, fully complaint package. &#39I Comply&#39 is free of charge &#45 all brokers need do is register with CETA. There are no membership fees or ongoing charges for using CETA&#39s services. CETA director Adrian Waters says: &#34I […]

Lifelink Services receives full FSA authorisation

Director Steve Field says: “Everyone at Lifelink is delighted that we have received our part IV permission. Special thanks go to the compliance team and everyone else in the business who has worked so hard to achieve this major step forward.” Lifelink Services is the network arm of the Lifelink Group which also includes mortgage […]

Churchill subscribes to Moneyfacts datascreen comparisons

The Moneyfacts datascreen system is designed for those requiring accurate, comprehensive investment, life and pension competitor information and for those wanting to model and develop existing product ranges. It is the industry standard research tool, used by most banks, building societies, credit card and mortgage providers. Francesco Falcone of Churchill Loans says: “A key benefit […]

Mortgage 2000 announces final phase of roll out for Encore

In light of forthcoming regulation, Encore – which already features full MTE integration – has undertaken a three-phase roll out programme to ensure it will be fully compliant under the regulatory regime come October 31. Encore has already made available an &#39Initial Disclosure Documents Wizard&#39 within Encore, rather than terms of business, which is mandatory under […]


Neptune video: Abenomics: the impetus for Japan’s fast-track recovery?

The remarkable performance of the TOPIX over the past year has caused many sceptical equity investors to look again at the Japanese market. These returns have come despite very significant problems facing the Japanese economy. Chris Taylor, manager of the Neptune Japan Opportunities Fund, discusses these problems and whether Abenomics will be able to overcome them, enabling the market to continue to rise.

In the video, Taylor addresses the following:

• The size and speed of Japan’s unprecedented monetary policy
• Abenomics and the implications should it fail
• Corporate Japan and beneficiaries of government policy


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up