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A&L announces voluntary redundancies

Alliance & Leicester is making between 200 and 300 voluntary redundancies as a result of a slowdown in the housing market.

Raj Uppal, director of mortgage sales and operations at A&L, said the bank is expecting fewer new mortgages than in recent years.

He added: “We are offering a limited scheme to people who work in some areas of our mortgage division and to some other back office areas of the bank.

“Staff at our Belfast operation who service our broker mortgage market will not be eligible to apply.”

The lender insists this will not compromise its service and that it continues to be committed to efficient intermediary service.

The announcement followed speculation that Lloyd’s TSB could be set to launch a takeover bid for A&L. Sir Victor Blank, chairman of Lloyds, says the firm continues to cast around for opportunistic buys as a result of its focus on concerted independent growth this year.


Movers and Shakers

A successor to Hutchinson yet to be announcedAmong those who were moved last month and have yet to start shaking things up again are Alison Hutchinson who has stepped down as chief executive of Kensington Group after four years at the helm, and Peter Richardson, erstwhile chief executive of Derbyshire Building Society, who announced his […]

Buy-to-let – just let it be

Sally Laker, managing director of Mortgage Intelligence, is puzzled by the results of a recent Moore Blatch survey which appear to reveal that the majority of lenders would like to see the buy-to-let market regulated

Hurrah for legal judgement against FOS

Sense prevails, but how long will it last and how widespread will the ramifications be? I refer to the little reported but sagacious decision of a County Court judge in Trowbridge who ruled against the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Japan Economic Insight

James Dowey, Chief Economist, and Paul Caruana-Galizia, Economist

The conventional wisdom is that following a roughly 50 per cent rise in the stock market in 2013 in Yen terms, the Japan trade is over and done*. So the story goes, those big gains were due to a one-off boost from quantitative easing (QE) and a depreciation of the Yen — policies that one should think of as a palliative to Japan’s economic weakness, but not a cure. Rather the cure, and by implication the necessary condition for a longer-term investment case, is deep structural reforms — a painstaking re-weaving of Japan’s economic and social fabric, no less. The story continues: this is a much tougher test than launching a blast of QE, and one that prime minister Shinzo Abe, although well intentioned and well supported by the public thus far, is likely to fail. Stick a fork in Japan, it’s done…continue reading


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