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Pension scam 'red flags' high in October

Pensions transfer data showed a high proportion of ‘red flags’ in October with over 60% of transfers showing signs of possible scams.

Data from consultancy XPS showed that the Coronavirus pandemic seems to be causing an increase in the proportion of red flags being identified at the point of pension transfer.

According to the data, 38% of transfers showed signs of possible scams at the start of the first lockdown in April.

October data from XPS Pension Group’s Transfer Watch also saw transfer values moving marginally over the month and activity increasing slightly.

Average transfer values in October were £257,000 in comparison to £256,000 in September. This compared to £246,000 in January.

The Transfer Activity Index increased from 0.52% in September to 0.62% in October. This compared to 1.03% in January.

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XPS Pension Group’s Transfer Watch monitors how market developments have affected transfer values for a typical pension

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COVID put electronic trading to the test. It’s never buckled, Goldman Sachs says

Elizabeth Martin is betting on engineers to automate trading but not necessarily to make things faster.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s global co-head of futures and equities electronic trading says that the ‘Flash Boys’ era of the past decade has ceded some ground to customizing trading for clients.

“I’ve never in my career bet against innovation or smart people being able to make things faster,” she says. “There will be some amount of improvement in speed and latency but in terms of the differentiated drivers of what a broad base of clients need in order to deliver execution for them, it’s less important, because most of the big scale providers offer those services.”

Martin, a 20-year Goldman veteran, relocated to London three years ago and oversees the Wall Street bank’s electronic stock trading business. Martin spoke with Bloomberg about the pandemic, the future of finance and zipping around the city in … Read the rest

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Why You Should Consider Starting A Freighting Business During The COVID-19 Pandemic

While the world changed almost overnight due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the more frightening aspect is the uncertainty that accompanied it. Nobody knows how much longer we’re going to have to endure our current situation and even when there are reports of a vaccine being developed, there is no way to determine yet when the pandemic will end.

One of the smartest things to do during the pandemic is to secure a reliable means of income, and one of the best businesses you can start is a freighting business.

A Recovering Economy Needs a Stable Supply Chain.

As businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic, the demand for supplies is only going to increase. A functional supply chain is not something that can be established immediately. It takes time for supplies to reach their destination and the sudden stoppage of operations will cause a shortage of supplies in … Read the rest

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Local MP backs planners’ FSCS levy fight

Sheffield-based Financial Planners Belmayne have enlisted their local MP to help them fight rising FSCS levy costs which have seen the firm hit with £2,000 bill increase.

Belmayne says it is taking its campaign for fairer industry regulation to Westminster with the help of local MP Lee Rowley.

Mr Rowley, who worked previously in financial services, is to write to industry regulators and the National Audit Office expressing concern about the actions of the FCA and raise the issue with the Treasury Select Committee, Belmayne said.

The firm, a member of LinkedIn lobbying group Financial Planners United, is urging an urgent review of the FSCS funding model.

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The company says on top of a unexpected FSCS levy bill this year of £2,000 it has also been hit with a 300% increase in the cost of professional indemnity insurance and a 76% increase in FSCS and FCA charges in

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Hawaiian paradise controlled by billionaire Larry Ellison is hit hard by COVID

Larry Ellison controls just about every part of Lanai, a Hawaiian island that for months was shielded from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic.

As Covid-19 swept across the U.S. mainland in the spring and summer, Lanai didn’t have a single case. Its 3,000 residents avoided mass layoffs while tourism plunged, protected by the billionaire who owns 98% of the island.

Now, the gorgeous paradise, about 2,500 miles southwest of Los Angeles, is confronting a tough reality.

Ellison’s two Four Seasons resorts, which employ nearly a quarter of the island’s residents, laid off or furloughed almost all workers in August. Some employees returned last month for a reopening to tourists — which was then followed by a wave of virus infections. More than 100 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the last two weeks of October. Four have been helicoptered off because Lanai’s lone hospital isn’t equipped with a critical care unit.

“They’re … Read the rest

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Your Employees Kept You Going This Year. Thanksgiving 2020 Is The Perfect Time To Step Up Your Gratitude Game.

by Deb Boelkes, author of “Heartfelt Leadership: How to Capture the Top Spot and Keep on Soaring

Thanksgiving might look a little different for your employees this year. They may not be doing much traveling due to COVID-19, and their family gatherings are likely to be small, quiet affairs. But leaders can make Turkey Day special by giving workers the heartfelt “thank-you” they deserve and need right now.

For the better part of 2020, employees have kept businesses going strong. They’ve worked long hours, coped with the stressors of the pandemic, and done what’s necessary to function in unprecedented chaos. Not only is the Thanksgiving holiday a much-deserved break, it’s also the perfect time to honor their hard work with messages and gestures of thanks and appreciation.

Saying thank you isn’t just a nice thing to do during the holidays. It’s smart business year-round. It positively impacts everything … Read the rest

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Editor’s Column: The £1bn business lesson

In 1981 two bored but ambitious accountants started a British investment business from a spare room. Today they are billionaires.

If we were living in America someone would probably have made a Hollywood movie about their humble accountancy roots to fabulous riches story; but sadly we’re not.

Today the founders of Hargreaves Lansdown both live relatively quietly in a very unassuming British sort of way, trying not to make the headlines too much. Stephen Lansdown lives quietly in Guernsey and his business partner, the rather more outspoken Peter Hargreaves, in his comfortable home looking after his garden and business interests.

They have been in the news this week after Stephen Lansdown cashed in just over a £100m of his remaining stake in the business to fund refurbishment of his hotel in Guernsey and pay for some development work on a sports stadium he owns in Bristol, the home of Hargreaves

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Stimulus update: McConnell and Schumer discuss averting a shutdown and economic aid

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Staff for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy met on Thursday to discuss more COVID-19 relief and a spending bill to avert a federal government shutdown. The measures were discussed separately, a senior Democratic aide tells Fortune.

The most pressing matter is the government spending bill—something that is needed by December 11 in order to avert a federal government shutdown. But Capitol Hill is also under increased pressure to pass more stimulus, especially as COVID-19 cases soar and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits expire at the end of the year.

“There’s been a little bit of a breakthrough in that McConnell’s folks are finally sitting down and talking to us,” Schumer told reporters on ThursdayRead the rest

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How To Be Your Own Boss: 5 Truths About Setting Up A Business During A Pandemic

by Samuel Worsley and Nathan Moore, co-founders of Live Tech Games

The pandemic and lockdown this year have had a visual effect on the business world globally. Many people found themselves with time on their hands, starting to think about that business idea they’ve always harboured. The figures speak for themselves: in the UK a staggering 273 tech startups were filed in September alone and there has been a 181% month on month rise of startups – the highest number since 2011!

Being an entrepreneur has a glamorous appeal to it: one that we gravitate towards, founding our own business Live Tech Games. Everything you achieve directly affects the success of your company; you’re not just a small cog in a big machine; you have an impact. It also has its drawbacks, with challenges arising when you least expect them to, and even the state of the world affecting how … Read the rest

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FCA to raise fees for new firms

The Financial Conduct Authority is set to increase fees paid by new businesses seeking authorisation, according to its latest consultation paper.

In a paper published this morning, the FCA said that increasing the fees would act as a barrier to market entry and would help “redress the balance of cost recovery” away from existing fee-payers.

If its proposals had been implemented in 2019, the regulator said it would have seen funds from applications increase from £6.2m to £12.8m, a rise of 103%.

In 2019 application fees covered 33% of the cost of authorisations at the regulator, under the new system this would have been 67%.

However, the proposals to increase applications fees would still not recover the full cost of processing applications. Under the proposed system, the consultation paper said 20% of the cost would be passed to existing fee-payers via periodic fees.

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Application fees for new firms

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