EU-Repair and Prepare

WEEKLY COMMENT 29-09-2016

By Barry Edwards

EU-Repair and Prepare

With all the discussion about the EU and Brexit, it is nice to see a document that is suggesting positive solutions to move forward and improve on the reforms that have been made during the crisis to create a lasting and better future for the EU. Whatever anyone says about Brexit, the UK will be dependent on the economic success of the EU for business growth, security and climate improvement. The UK is deeply interconnected with Europe whether or not it is a member of the EU and it will always be necessary to maintain a very close relationship both diplomatically and economically. read more

Swiss Immigration

WEEKLY COMMENT 22-09-2016

By Barry Edwards

Swiss Immigration

 

On the 9th of February 2014, the Swiss government held a referendum on mass immigration into the country which was supported by 50.33% of those who actually voted; the turnout was 56.57% of the electorate. Currently, the EU and Switzerland have around 100 bilateral agreements covering a wide range of activities but they do not allow passporting of financial services. However, the banks have subsidiary companies in London which does allow them access to the rest of the EU. read more

Brexit Negotiations

WEEKLY COMMENT 15-09-2016

By Barry Edwards

Brexit Negotiations

Now some time has passed since the ‘Brexit’ decision, we can reflect on the reality of the implications of the negotiations to be conducted and the UK economy. Although we are still members of the EU, the UK is regarded as an estranged associate by all 27 countries and we are not invited to attend important meetings that will affect us directly until we leave the union. The surprise result shocked the whole world and the real consequences are yet to be analysed and the negotiations to actually implement the decision are untested and potentially precarious. read more

Reflections on the Economy

WEEKLY COMMENT 8-09-2016

By Barry Edwards

Reflections on the Economy

Looking back to the financial crisis in 2008, many people expected the world economy to recover within a few years and return to a more normal pattern experienced in the period before the crash. As we know that certainly did not happen and the future of the economies in most countries is still very uncertain. Nobody predicted that we would experience continuous low interest rates and negative rates was something only the Swiss practised to prevent vast sums of cash being invested in the Swiss Franc. read more

Equity Release

WEEKLY COMMENT 1-09-2016

By Barry Edwards

Equity Release

To many the mere mention of equity release evokes bitter memories of the home income plans that got a bad name in the 1980s. Back then many were convinced to take out these uncapped plans, only to see interest rates rise, house prices fall and their homes repossessed as a consequence which sometimes created claims on the beneficiaries of the estate if death occurred during the process.

However, the industry has come a long way since those dark days. The most important change was the introduction of the no negative equity pledge which was introduced to ensure that any debt could not outstrip the value of the property. The range of products available has become more flexible allowing more and more people who are arriving in retirement, less endowed with assets, to utilise the equity in their homes as part of their pension planning. read more