22 Dec 2022

Home News

Congratulations are in order for a member of our administration team, Debbie Notman, as she has now passed the second exam required to achieve the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) Level 3 Certificate in Financial Services.

Well Done Debbie

22 Dec 2022

Beating the scammers

There are some staggering and very sad statistics when looking at how many people have been targeted by fraudsters and how many lives have been affected by large financial losses when transferring their pension.

22 Dec 2022

Ombudsman provides councils with guidance on residential care fees and ‘deprivation of assets’

When people go into a care home a financial assessment is carried out to see if they should fund the care fees themselves or if the local authority will be responsible for these.

When, carrying out this assessment the financial assessor will look to see if any assets have been given away with the deliberate intention that this deprives the owner of enough capital so they can no longer pay their own care fees.

If this happens, the value of the gift/s is not discounted when carrying out the financial assessment, so it doesn’t work as a way to avoid paying for care.

01 Jun 2022

The Investing ‘Green’ Road-map

The UK government would like us to be a leader in sustainable investing.

To start us on this journey, it has created a road map with the following objectives:

  • Climate change mitigation
  • Climate change adaption
  • Sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources
  • Transition to a circular economy
  • Pollution prevention and control
  • Protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems

15 Mar 2022

Do you have any Trusts? Is it time to register them?

It is now a requirement that all express trusts (meaning any trust which is written down), unless exempt, have to be registered with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) before September 2022 to make sure you and the trust comply with anti-money laundering regulations.

26 Nov 2021

Grangewood - Standing Up for our clients

When we see providers not treating our clients fairly we always step in. In a recent case, our clients were not given the service they should have from a major services provider. We made a complaint, which has been upheld, and the provider has now given our client compensation - Our client is pleased and said "has Christmas come early?"

We always have, and always will look out for our clients best interests.

26 Nov 2021

Tik Tok bans Financial Promotions

There have been increasing concerns that the younger generation are taking on too much investment risk when they can least afford to do so or being led into scams. This is often led by social media harping on about those good old ‘get rich quick schemes’.

12 Oct 2021

Doing good with your money in your corporate pension

One of the worlds biggest challenges (if not the biggest) is tackling climate change.

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change, with the goal to limit temperature increases to no more than 2% compared to pre-industrial figures. And to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Currently, Corporate Pension schemes are some of the biggest asset holders in the UK, at the end of 2019, this was estimated as £2.2 trillion, and many of the investments bought by these schemes release carbon.

31 Aug 2021

Concerns that young investors are taking on too much risk

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has raised serious concerns that younger investors are taking on much more investment risk than they understand,

Fuelled by social media, YouTube, and investment apps, younger investors have said they feel very confident in their investment decisions, and yet the sources of information they are relying on are not necessarily accurate.

27 Aug 2021

£830 Million in tax relief wasted

When a higher or additional rate taxpayer makes personal contributions to a pension, they are entitled to 40% or 45% tax relief, but as only 20% is given automatically when the pension contribution is made in a tax relief at source pension, the excess must be claimed.

According to research a staggering sum of £830 million has not been claimed by individuals entitled to tax relief on their personal pension contributions, and instead this money stayed within the treasury’s coffers.

04 Aug 2021

The UK's first Government Green Bond to be issued

Rishi Sunak announced that in 2021 the UK Government will be issuing a ‘Green Bond’.

Government bonds are a means for the Government to raise cash, they pay you back the money you have invested in the bond plus interest after a fixed period of time.

27 Jul 2021

Dormant Assets Scheme Extended

The Dormant Assets Scheme aims to reunite people with their financial assets, but where that is not possible, the money held in these dormant bank and building society accounts can be redistributed to benefit communities across the UK.

14 Apr 2021

Divorced Retired Women May Be Losing £££'S

If a woman is aged over 60, and reached state pension age before April 6, 2016, on divorce she would have been entitled to use her ex-husband’s National Insurance history when evaluating her state pension benefits. But some women are losing valuable state pension that they are not even aware of.

24 Mar 2021

Continuing Healthcare Review

Continuing Healthcare refers to the element of care that is funded if NHS care is needed.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) aim to improve the system and have recently identified various failings which are putting anxiety and financial strain on individuals unnecessarily.

08 Feb 2021

Stamp Duty Savings

In September 2020, Rightmove estimated that there was a 40% increase in house sales versus the same time the year before.

These statistics are not too surprising. Despite the ability to view homes being restricted on occasion by lockdowns, and when allowed being subject to the social distancing rules and the now familiar masks and hand sanitations, the temporary relief on stamp duty has stimulated the market.

22 Dec 2020

The rise of the ‘Semi-supercentenarian’

We are all aware that with the improvements in public health, lifestyle, and medical advances that more and more people are living longer.

In the last decade the number of male semi-supercentenarians, being people aged 105 and over has more than doubled, whilst female semi-supercentenarians have increased by half.

10 Dec 2020

Lifetime ISA Penalty ‘temporarily’ lifted

Whenever you invest you always have in mind why you are investing and what you wish that money to deliver to you.

For people saving for their first home, using a Lifetime ISA can reap huge rewards, as it is a Cash or Investment ISA that benefits from the Government topping up the amount saved by a further 20%.

24 Nov 2020

Scams still on the rise

The Financial Conduct Authority continues its campaign to highlight the risks of scammers to the UK’s population. It seems that many victims of this crime have had their life savings taken away from them after the scammer has spent considerable time developing a relationship with them and building trust so when they finally mention a pension transfer, they haven’t been suspicious.

17 Nov 2020

Could Pensioners receive an historic income increase?

The Triple-Lock Guarantee currently promises that basic state pension payments will increase each year at the higher of inflation, wages or 2.5%.

With inflation as measured by CPI being just 0.6% in the second quarter of 2020 and forecast as being up to 2% by the final quarter of 2021, it would be likely that the 2.5% minimum would apply…if it hadn’t been for the bashing the current economy is experiencing.

06 Aug 2020

‘Blue Light’ Inheritance Tax exemption

Parliament has recognised the gallantry of Soldiers since Napoleonic times and provided exemption from Inheritance Tax firstly for soldiers killed in the line of duty, but this has since been extended to cover all armed forces as well as for deaths resulting from health issues that were caused by the service they made to their country rather than actual ‘death in service’.

02 Jun 2020

Beware the pitfalls of the Bank of Mum and Dad

According to Legal and General the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ lent their children £6 billion in the UK last year.

For any of you that either have made, or have considered making gifts to your family, you will be aware how important it is to document these gifts as records would be called upon in the event of your death, however, it is also really important to document any loans.

05 May 2020

Fiscal stimulus as never seen before

The coronavirus crisis has transformed the fiscal landscape in the UK. Britain was on course for a budget deficit of £55 billion in the next tax year, but now borrowing could be as much as £200 billion as the government pledges to support our work force.

26 Mar 2020

Our Service to You during the Covid-19 lockdown

As you all know we have been advised to stay at home and do our best to keep everyone safe.

We wish to provide the best service we can to our clients during these times, and I would like you to know how we have planned to continue working on your behalf, adapted, to the current situation.

04 Feb 2020

Probate fee hike finally scrapped

In 2017 we first heard that the £215 flat probate fee for all estates over £5,000 was to be dramatically increased.

Initially this was going to be as high as £20,000 for estates worth over £2 million, a 9,200 percent increase. The proposed fees were then lowered, with tiered fees of between £250 and £5,000 depending upon the estates value.

24 Jan 2020

Workplace Pensions Shortfall

Its been calculated by Aegon that if a 22 year old has the prescribed personal and employer contributions paid in to their workplace pension scheme from now until retirement, they will have £106,500 less in their pension pots than they need to live as they are accustomed to.

16 Aug 2019

TV Turmoil

It has been confirmed that TV licences for over 75’s will no longer be universally free from May 31st 2020. In order to still qualify for a free licence an individual needs to be claiming Pension Credit.

25 Jul 2019

The Inflation Basket

Inflation: the annual rise in the cost of goods and services, is measured by various indices and the goods and services in those indices change each year - so what's 'In' and what's 'Out' this year

24 May 2019

One-third of over-75s have been targeted by scammers

Research by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found that a third of people aged 75 or over believe they have been targeted by a fraudulent investment scam in the last three years.

This is saddening to hear. It seems most frequent scams are involving unauthorised firms promoting investments in shares, bonds, forex and cryptocurrencies. Please remember that we are here for our clients, to pass any investment ideas by, and to provide you with a second opinion.

01 May 2019

Spring time investment lessons

As we see the tulips blooming, I am reminded of ‘tulip mania’. I’m sure you are all familiar with the story of how the prices of highly fashionable tulip bulbs reached extraordinarily high prices and then dramatically collapsed in 1637, ruining many an investor

28 Mar 2019

Investment Matters - A tribute to Allan Harragan

I’m going to ask you to forgive my self-indulgence with this

quarters Investment Matters, and make this issue a tribute to Allan.

Now, there are some clients who never worked with Allan, but I hope that

there may be some insights and lessons that will still be of benefit to

you too.

15 Nov 2018

Is “LISA” about to “pass away”?

There has been recent talk about the success and future of the lifetime ISA (LISA). Comment has included former Minister for Pensions Ros Altmann saying that the LISA was a “fudge that was dreamed up in the last 10 days of the pension tax consultation” and that “it is very dangerous for pensions“.