Latest financial services news, mortgage news, investments news, insurance news and more from Personal Touch Financial Services.

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Personal Touch News

Thank you for your vote!

The Mortgage Introducer Awards are considered to be the best of British and the jewel in the crown of the UK mortgage industry.  This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase and celebrate our partnership and to receive industry-wide recognition for your hard work and focus on quality.

A big thank you to all our members who vote for us!

Source: Personal Touch Update

Webinar: new PRA buy to let portfolio regulations by Santander

You are invited to Santander’s webinar on the 30 November at 11:00
Find out more about the new PRA buy-to-let portfolio regulations and Santander’s requirements for portfolio landlords.
Email to book your place.


Source: Personal Touch Update

Finance News

First UK interest rate rise in 10 years

For the first time in more than 10 years the Bank of England has raised interest rates.
The official bank rate has been lifted from 0.25% to 0.5%, the first increase since July 2007.

The move reverses the cut in August of last year – made in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union.

Almost four million households face higher mortgage interest payments after the rise, but it should give savers a modest lift in their returns.

As well as many of the country’s 45 million savers, anyone considering buying an annuity for their pension will also see better deals.
The main losers will be households with a variable rate mortgage.

Read the full BBC article here

Source: BBC Finance News 2nd November 2017

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First UK interest rate rise in 10 years


Wealth News

Steve Webb: Bizarre pension tax rules are costing freedoms savers

We were privileged to have Steve Webb from Royal London present at the Wealth Conference a couple of weeks ago. He shared many thoughts and ideas with us including his views regarding Pension Freedoms.
The following article endorses his comments to us about the tax treatment that people are suffering in respect of pension plan lump sum withdrawals.

The tax treatment of lump-sum withdrawals means thousands are paying too much
Pension freedoms have been hugely popular. While few have blown their life savings on the mythical Italian sports car, many have enjoyed the ability to choose how much of their pension they want to spend now, how much to use to reduce debts or go on investing with, and how much to turn into a regular income.

But there is one aspect of the freedom and choice regime that still leaves a sour taste in the mouth: the tax treatment of lump-sum withdrawals.

Not unreasonably, income drawn from a defined contribution pension (in excess of any tax-free lump sum) is added to taxable income for the year in question. Large lump-sum withdrawals can therefore result in individuals moving into higher tax brackets, which provides an incentive to spread withdrawals over multiple tax years.

But those making even relatively small withdrawals can find themselves with surprisingly large tax bills they then have to claim back in whole or in part from HM Revenue & Customs.

This is because of the bizarre way in which HMRC has chosen to administer the taxation of such withdrawals. Under normal circumstances, pay-as-you-earn income tax works on a cumulative basis. This means people paying the right amount of tax each month, so that they have paid the right amount by the end of the year.

However, pension lump sums over £10,000 are taxed on a non-cumulative or “Month 1” basis.
What this means is that, if the pension provider has no tax code to use (which most will not have), the saver is taxed as if they were going to make the same lump sum withdrawal every month.

Not surprisingly, this can mean that one month’s worth of an annual tax-free allowance of £11,500 is quickly exhausted and far more tax is deducted than is necessary.
Valuable research from AJ Bell has found that, while large numbers of people are making lump sum withdrawals from their pensions, only relatively small numbers are going through the painful process of claiming back the overpaid tax.

As a result, thousands of people are almost certainly paying too much tax. This is a significant problem if they want to use the lump sum for a particular purpose but find the after-tax figure they receive is much less than they expected.
“Relatively small numbers are going through the painful process of claiming back the overpaid tax.”

A simpler solution

So what should be done? The obvious answer is for HMRC to stop using the Month 1 approach and instead simply deduct basic rate tax (at 20 per cent) from all taxable lump-sum pension withdrawals.
Most pensioners pay tax at the basic rate in retirement, so deducting 20 per cent should be roughly the right answer for most modest withdrawals. These people would no longer need to be over-taxed and then have to make a reclaim from HMRC, which would be simpler and easier for all concerned.

For those making larger withdrawals or those who would in any case be higher rate taxpayers, additional tax will still be due. But higher rate taxpayers generally fill in an annual tax return and they could declare their pension withdrawal through that. This would allow the extra tax due to be calculated and collected. For non taxpayers, it is true a 20 per cent withdrawal would still represent too much tax but there would be much less overpaid tax than under the current rules. They could still be actively encouraged to claim back any excess in the usual way.

The current tax treatment of lump- sum withdrawals from pensions is indefensible. Relying on individuals to understand the subtleties of cumulative and non-cumulative taxation, and then to claim back overpaid tax is a nonsense.
HMRC should be aiming – by default – to take roughly the right amount of tax from most people from the start, and then have a simple system to adjust the figure for those on the highest or lowest incomes. Now that pension freedoms have been up and running for two years, it is time this injustice was addressed.

Steve Webb is director of policy at Royal London

By Steve Webb 3rd May 2017 12:05 pm

General Insurance News 

Become GI Elite – a webinar by Mark Hutchings

October and November are the busiest months for transactions, so we’re making it our mission to provide you with all the support, expertise, best practices and sales tools – such as our brilliant Defaqto Compare Tool – to help you deliver outstanding service for your clients whilst building a valuable income trail for yourself.

I’m delighted to share with you my webinar on how to become GI Elite. You can watch this by following this link. It’s about 20 minutes in length and I hope you’ll find it really useful and informative.

For any questions please get in touch with Mark Hutchings, Head of Sales and Distribution at Unisure.


Email: Telephone: 0344 844 3844

Protection News 

Giving your clients more

Designed to bring our propositions to life in a relatable way, the below Spencer stories highlight three of our value added benefits, and how they could help support your clients during a difficult time.

Robert Langley
Understand how our partnership with Best Doctors could offer an invaluable second medical opinion

Felicity James
Find out how our claims support fund can provide financial support when it’s needed the most

Minal spencer
Learn how Winton’s Wish provide emotional support for your client’s loved ones should the worst happen

If you have any questions at all, just give AIG a call on 0345 600 6829.

Protection that adapts your clients


As your clients go through life their needs change. But one thing that stays the same is the desire to protect themselves and the people and things that are important to them.

We’ve updated our Menu Plan to give you even more flexibility – so your clients’ cover can adapt with them.

You can easily tailor their plan by combining a range of covers with just one application, one plan charge and one direct debit.

To find out more about our flexible Menu Plan visit Royal London website.

Royal London

Source: Royal London Newsletter 31st October 2017


Explore Kings Court Trust a little more

We’d like to give you the opportunity to learn more about Kings Court Trust and how they can help your business develop mutually beneficial partnerships.

There are still places available for the Kings Court Trust webinars.

These are designed to broaden your understanding of their service and how your clients can benefit.

Click the date below to register:

• Tuesday 07 November at 16:00
• Friday 10 November at 10:30

Benefits to you

Working with Kings Court Trust offers a number of unique benefits to you and your business.

You can:
• Retain control of the assets under your management.
• Play an integral role in the redistribution of your clients’ wealth.
• Position yourself as having a relationship with an estate administration specialist.
• Gain referrals from your professional network of solicitors, accountants and will writers.
• And, of course, offer ‘at need’ advice to the beneficiaries, who can become your next generation of clients.


Benefits to your clients

This latest addition will:
• Enhance the services available to your clients.
• Add more value to the customer journey.
• Offer another way to support your clients when they need it most.
• Continue a holistic approach to advice, through key life events.

Kings court trust Personal Touch

Source: Personal Touch Newsletter 27th October 2017


And Finally… 

Current account switching – your questions answered

It’s easier than ever before, only takes seven days and we’re not doing it anymore. Obviously, we’re talking about current account switching.

Click here to read the full article

Source: The Money Advice Service 27th October 2017

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Current account switching – your questions answered