View more on these topics

Surprise – The end of an era, the beginning of another

I was lucky enough to indulge in a brief sojourn on Friday, not only to recharge my batteries after the mayhem of last week, but to attend the surprise wedding of Cobalt Managing Partner Julian Ingall to the lovely Julia.

What started out as Julia’s 40th Birthday celebrations took a delightful twist when we found ourselves in a Registry Office in Lewes, so many congratulations from all of us to you both and well done.

Speaking of surprises, our dear chancellor Alistair Darling has just stood up and “pledged to take action to address the weaknesses in the financial system”. Welcome to the credit crunch Darling, where have you been?

It is interesting to see Labour making a slight comeback charge this week in the polls, and while the Party conference will probably not be the main launch-pad of any fight-back, the long awaited and much rumoured Cabinet re-shuffle that should follow may just be it. Ed Balls could well be the new chancellor.

Meanwhile the HBOS/Lloyds TSB merger rumbles on with news in the Sunday Herald that, and I quote, “An elite group of Scottish banking “elders” is being mustered to make an audacious £6bn bid to save the Bank of Scotland”.

Now that would be a interesting development so we shall be keeping an eye on that one.

And finally the news that Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have made successful applications to change their status as Investment Banks and start accepting deposits from investors may seem like a slight technical change, but actually represents the real end of an era.

The traditional investment bank is, it seems, no more and we will remember them with a degree of wistful melancholy. On this subject the last words today go to Robert Peston, business editor for the BBC, who has been absolutely everywhere at the moment.

“Now that the US taxpayer is in a formal sense underwriting Goldman and Morgan Stanley,” he says. “Their days of buckling the swash on the worldwide high seas of finance are over, possibly for good.”

We shall see – last words to me then – well it is my blog.


Equity release thriving in crunch

The housing market is slowing, new mortgage volumes are falling – it’s a story we are familiar with, but the equity release market is thriving. Safe Home Income Plan’s Q2 figures, which came out this week, demonstrate how equity release is resisting the credit crunch with a 14% increase in business – an encouraging scenario considering the current economic climate.

GEMHL reassures brokers

GE Money Home Lending has confirmed it is here to stay and has no intentions of exiting the specialist mortgage market, after dramatically increasing its rates yesterday.

Prestbury finalises deal with PTFS

Prestbury Financial has today signed the deal that will see the transfer of all of its appointed representatives to rival network Personal Touch Financial Services.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up