The Morning Briefing: Hartley woes and protection promotion – Money Marketing

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Good morning and welcome to your Morning Briefing for Thursday 24 November 2022. To get this in your inbox every morning click here.
Hartley woes
Members of pension schemes administered by Hartley Pensions have been warned there is an “imminent risk” that the value of their pensions will be reduced.
In a letter to members, seen by Money Marketing, Hartley director Michael Flanagan told members that the funds within their pension schemes will be used to fund administration and liquidation costs.
Read the full story
Protection promotion
Why is there so little promotion of protection insurance? I don’t mean the PR, advertising and social media campaigns we put together to tell advisers about our latest product enhancements. Whether that’s adding a few new critical illnesses to an already long list or amalgamating some of the conditions into a more consolidated list or tweaking the added value services.
I mean promotion to the public. The end customer. The people who will ultimately receive help from the pay out of a life assurance or critical illness policy, hopefully, many years in the future.
Read the full story
Quote Of The Day
I’m not the Grinch. I’m a trade union official and I’m determined to get a deal.
– says Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT Union, ahead of Christmas train strikes
Stat Attack
Research by MoneyFacts found…
Average five-year mortgage rates hit 5.95% on Tuesday
This is down from a high of 6.51% on 20 October
The rates on two-year mortgages, which are more common, have also been falling gradually, from 6.65% on 20 October to 6.14%.
Despite the fall, rates are still high compared with this time last year, when they were closer to 2.5%.
At least 100,000 people per month are coming to the end of their current mortgage deal and face steep rises in monthly repayments.
Source: Moneyfacts

Other news
National brokerage Just Mortgages has warned there is a risk of a shortfall in protection cover for borrowers.
The firm said that it is encouraging all brokers to be proactive in contacting existing clients to ensure that their protection needs are being met.
Typically mortgage and protection brokers will advise clients on life insurance, critical illness cover, income protection, accident, sickness and unemployment cover and buildings and contents insurance and, over the past year, each of these categories has taken on increased significance.
Since Covid homeowners have been impacted by rising interest rates and a cost-of-living crisis made up of increasing fuel and food costs. This has been exacerbated by a changing labour market and the threat of redundancies as firms come to terms with a split in the workforce of those office based and those working from home.       
Just Mortgages believes that all of this brings massive uncertainly and risk to household budgets and future planning and now is the time for brokers to ensure clients are aware of their protection options. 
Just Mortgages national operations director John Phillips said: “Brokers have a tremendous opportunity to add value to their clients in terms of protecting the financial security of families and the time to do this is right now. Brokers need to have a plan in place to proactively approach borrowers and check protection cover and identify gaps by investing in outreach programmes via social media and local marketing. 
“Many borrowers are unaware of the range of protection products that would be suitable for them, and brokers can help them decide which types of cover would suit their needs and circumstances, ensuring that these fit within household budgets. 
“Brokers should also grasp this opportunity to boost their earning potential as mortgage transaction levels drop and completions are taking longer and longer. Protection is all too often the poor cousin to mortgage advice, but it is increasingly significant, and the provision of protection needs to be built into all client relationships.”
From Elsewhere
Binance’s Zhao flags possible $1 billion for distressed assets (Bloomberg)
UK business and unions demand scrapping of planned bonfire of EU rules (Financial Times)
Annual UK energy bills would have hit £4,279 without emergency support, Ofgem says (The Guardian)
Did You See?
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has insisted he is committed to bringing taxes down in the longer term.
In his Autumn Statement last week (17 November), Hunt announced a freeze on income tax thresholds until tax year 2027/28.
He also reduced the threshold for top rate of income tax (45%) £150,000 to £125,140.
He said it “simply was not possible to raise £25bn by only taxing the wealthiest”.
During a Treasury Select Committee hearing today (23 November), Hunt told MPs he did not feel that, in a context of raising taxes by £25bn, people would welcome long-term promises to reduce taxes.
But, in the longer term, his plan is for taxes to come down. He said this includes business taxes.
Full article here.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is looking for panel members to join its new innovation advisory group. In July 2022, the innovation department announced it was setting up a new advisory group to deepen innovation’s engagement with the industry and inform the FCA’s forward-looking work programme. The role of the innovation advisory group is to: share […]
 Embark platform suffers exodus of senior staff Lloyds Banking Group completed its acquisition of adviser platform Embark in February and since then a number of senior staff have left. Our top story concerned the latest managers to leave the business. That includes chief commercial officer Toby Larkman, senior programme manager Angus Gunn, and marketing […]
Brits will be worse off on average by £342 per month this winter as the cost of food and energy rise exponentially in the worst living crisis for decades, says LifeSearch. Its latest update on the UK’s Health, Wealth and Happiness Index report published yesterday (16 November) paints a gloomy picture for thousands of households. […]
Energy prices have shot up eightfold off the back of Russia’s war in Ukraine, chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said. In his Autumn Statement today (17 November), he said a third of the world’s economy is expected to be in recession imminently. Rising global energy prices have led to a deterioration in the UK’s terms of […]
Following the surprise return of a majority Conservative government, George Osborne announced that he will deliver a second budget statement on 8 July this year.
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