Latest Press Releases and Comments
Here we cover all the very latest news. If you have a specific enquiry or something you’d like to find out about, please get in touch. Contact Martin Shaw at AFM via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0788 754 7195.
13 December 2011
Association of Financial Mutuals welcomes a number of new members
We are pleased to announce that CUNA Mutual and the Veterinary Defence Society have become Full Members of AFM.
In addition, we are pleased to be joined by new Associate members: Frontier Investment Management, J.P. Morgan, Littlejohn LLP and Norton Rose.
This brings total membership of AFM to 56 full members and 32 Associate members.
05 November 2011
Comment on Government and FSA responses to the Treasury Select Committee’s report on the RDR
Commenting on the Government and FSA responses to the Treasury Select Committee’s report on the RDR, Martin Shaw, Chief Executive of the Association of Financial Mutuals, stated:
“It's good to see that the Government has acknowledged the confusion over how much VAT will be payable as a result of the RDR’s implementation; we hope to see further clarification on this soon and we welcome HMRC’s intention to meet with the industry.
“Considering the overarching objective of the RDR is to increase both the quality of advice delivered and the transparency around paying for it, it is crucial for the industry to understand what the regulator envisages a 'low cost simplified advice' regime will look like for consumers and that they consult properly with the industry in order to achieve the best possible outcome for consumers.
“It is right that the Government has not agreed to the twelve month delay the TSC report recommended. At a time of regulatory change, the industry needs as much certainty as possible and preparations for the RDR’s implementation are well underway. The FSA needs to move ahead quickly now to ensure the regulation is in good shape upon implementation.”
09 September 2011
Mutual helps reunite family fortunes on prime time TV
Missing Millions: ITV1: 8pm, Tuesday 13 September
Engage Mutual has been working with a team of TV researchers and genealogists to track down recipients of unclaimed funds it holds on behalf of customers or their beneficiaries.
Some of its heart warming stories, featuring unexpected windfalls, will be aired on ITV1’s prime time 8pm slot, with the first of four episodes starting next Tuesday (13 September).
Engage Mutual has been running its initiative to track and trace the owners of unclaimed funds for nearly two years and has so far reunited more than £1.5m.
Steve Barry, director of operations at the mutual, commented:
“Working with a TV production company, alongside our existing track and trace programme, proved to be a great opportunity to solve some of the particularly challenging cases relating to the unclaimed funds we hold.”
The problem of unclaimed money is widespread, with an estimated £15bn-£20bn lying in UK financial institutions.
“Tracing the owners of unclaimed funds is invariably a time consuming and often complicated process, and clearly, it would be preferable that money stays permanently connected to its rightful owners.”
The mutual is introducing an awareness initiative and checklist to help customers avoid losing touch with their financial affairs.
Quite simple oversights, such as forgetting to update a change of address, can result in sums of money that were intended for a particular purpose, lying forgotten, or unknown, and consequently unclaimed.
Visit http://www.engagemutual.com/about-us/why-we-are-different/reuniting-customers-with-unclaimed-funds/for details.
12 October 2011
Rating agency downgrade
The decision by Moody's to downgrade the credit rating of a number of banks and building societies wasinevitable whenthe Government made it clear earlier this year that deposit-takers should not be seen simply as 'too big to fail'. So this movereflects a catching up by the agency rather than a change in the creditworthiness of the institutions. That said, it was not too long ago that Dexia from Belgium passed its stress testing with flying colours, yetit is now in the process of seeking a further bail-out.
"Investors should not be worried- and as long as they avoid holding more than £85,000 in any bank or building society, their deposits are safe."
17 August 2011
Educating to save as well as saving to educate
Urgent and significant attention needs to be given to those saving for further education according to Martin Shaw, Chief Executive of the Association of Financial Mutuals:
“With the introduction of new tuition fees it has never been more important for parents to start planning towards meeting the cost of education. However, what children need today, just as much as saving to educate, is educating to save. This point is made more prescient with the recent research from the Personal Finance Education Group showing that over half of all teenagers are in debt by the age of 17.
“Additional student loans will only exacerbate this issue unless there is a plan in place from an early age especially as students starting University in 2012 could leave with debts as high as £50,000*. For example, if the parents of a student starting university this year had put aside £50 a month from birth, they would have accumulated over £20,000 in savings. Most importantly, they would have helped to demonstrate the value of financial planning and responsibility.
“There are many options open to parents looking to save a regular sum for the long term. Many friendly societies offer Tax Exempt Savings Plans, and from November this year it will be possible to open a Junior ISA to help fund a child’s education.”