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Portal revamp will aid brokers

Conveyancing Alliance has revamped its online portal to help brokers source solicitors.

Brokers can now choose from one of the 12 legal firms available on its national panel. There is also a new fixed common pricing structure to ensure clients know how much they are paying for their conveyancing.

Brokers can select their own referral fee on a case-by-case basis, which can be anything up to £400. The system can produce personal-ised quotes in less than a minute.

Harpal Singh, managing director of Conveyancing Alliance, says: “The changes will benefit brokers in terms of the potential to gain higher income, the opportunity to save time instructing solicitors and the chance to track cases in real-time.”

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Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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