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What are your expectations of financial service providers? Take my own recent experience in trying to get a transfer of 400 euros from London to Dublin. On telephoning my bank to find out what steps I should take I was told it was a simple procedure I could even do online if I preferred. I did. And yes it was simple.
Regulatory change continues to blast its way through the financial services sector. But does the price of safety now mean we have zero tolerance when it comes to mistakes by banks, insurance companies and investment providers?
Mazars’ Tim Davies says more work needs to be done on understanding the difference between evasion and avoidance following Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement that he is “shocked” to learn that some of the UK’s wealthiest are paying on average just 10% income tax.
A round up of relevant news affecting the business sector, including a statement from Mazars' Tim Davies on the difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance, objections to gift aid and CITR capping and the EU's launch of its "We Mean Business" campaign.
As a major provider of insurance and savings products to consumers, the UK insurance industry manages vast amounts of money on our behalf. It’s a role that also means it's a key shareholder in companies that drive growth in our economy. In our exclusive interview with ABI chief Otto Thoresen, he explains how this tough balancing act needs to be managed, along with his views on the growing importance of boardroom effectiveness and how consumer trust can be restored to the insurance market.
Otto Thoresen, Director General of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), has his work cut out coping with global challenges and balancing shareholder power with corporate performance. He briefs Hannah Beecham on facing the future.
Coping with the twin peaks of regulatory and economic challenges ahead is forcing banks to take a long hard look at their model. Given the magnitude of these tasks, Jonathan McMahon, a Partner in Banking at Mazars flags up the key consequences of measures being introduced and highlights how decisions made now will impact the shape of banking in the future.
For the past few years, policymakers have grappled with how to make banks safer. As a result, banks are having to change how they operate. But have the consequences of change been fully factored in?
Proposals that change Indian tax law retrospectively to allow tax to be charged on cross-border acquisitions involving local assets follow hot on the heels of Vodafone winning a five-year battle with the Indian tax authorities. The case related to its 2007 acquisition of Hutchison Whampoa’s local business, in which the tax at stake was a staggering $2.2 billion. If retrospective legislation is introduced, it will effectively reverse the Indian Supreme Court’s decision in the Vodafone case.
India’s threat to introduce retrospective changes to tax law may have consequences for global companies with interests in the region, but the likelihood of it happening in the UK is not so far-fetched, says Rosemary Blundell, National Tax Director at Mazars.
By its very nature, a Budget tends to create winners and losers and so far the newspaper headlines have focused on the “granny tax”, the “pasty tax” and funding tax cuts for the rich. But, as with every Budget, it’s only when you dig a little deeper that the true impact of the Chancellor’s measures for each individual comes to light.
While the jury is still out on what effect the 2012 Budget will have on the UK economy, opportunities at an individual level have been created, providing a one-year window for financial planning.
Widely seen as a-once-in-a generation change, at the heart of the retail distribution review (RDR) lies clarity and transparency for consumers. Hannah Beecham talks to John Husselbee, CEO of North Investment Partners about the potential squeeze on pricing and how performance at any cost is no longer acceptable. He explains how the fund management industry is playing its part in helping advisers deliver a better model for managing expectations.
The retail distribution review (RDR) will fundamentally change the relationship between clients, financial advisers and providers. John Husselbee, CEO of North Investment Partners, explains how the fund management sector is playing its part.
As tough market conditions force companies to search for innovative and fresh ways of attracting consumer attention, experiential marketing techniques are becoming increasingly popular. Why? Because it’s a way to attract consumer attention through deep brand engagement, which can establish a brand loyalty that can last for years to come.
For any marketing message to succeed it must indelibly stamp itself on the minds of consumers. We look at the thinking behind how creating the right emotional response can help build brand loyalty.
We all recall that a certain Gordon Brown said he had got rid of boom and bust, but in fact all we have got rid of is Mr Brown. We had ten years of fat, although it may not have always felt like it, and now therefore we are three years into the decade of lean. However, this is not an excuse for despondency, but rather a reason to identify where and when the recovery occurs, explains Justin Urquhart Stewart of Seven Investment Management.
The global economic recovery may still be fragile, but it’s not all doom and gloom. Justin Urquhart Stewart of Seven Investment Management highlights four key areas that give hope to investors.
The financial crisis brought an end to almost a decade of strong economic growth and exposed a number of vulnerabilities in the banking sector. Basel III is intended by its drafters to help prevent such a crisis from happening again. But unintended consequences may see strategic decisions being made that are less aligned with safe banking practices, in an attempt to meet the short-term interests of shareholders.
Years of light regulation, shortcomings in governance and aggressive risk-taking have exposed vulnerabilities in the banking sector. Will Basel III help prevent a future financial crisis or simply change the risk pattern?
The satisfaction that derives from filling a demanding role with the most capable and dynamic recruit is as sweet as it can be profitable. So why has the government thrown a spanner in the recruitment works of corporate Britain, by tightening up immigration rules in such a way that they threaten the country’s global position as a jurisdiction the rest of the world can “do business with?”
Rules for migrant workers have been tightened up yet again in the UK. This time, companies may find the changes which took effect in April have placed a costly spanner in the works.
The recent financial crisis highlighted the need for more effective tools and information to enable the orderly resolution of financial institutions without needing to resort to taxpayer support. Recovery and resolution plans (RRPs) have been put forward by international regulatory bodies and governments as part of wider reforms to make the financial system safer. Large financial institutions are obliged to have drawn up an RRP by June 2012. RRPs will soon be a requirement for a wider range of financial institutions in the UK, including all deposit takers. This quick webinar guide runs through the key points that an RRP should contain.
As the June deadline for implementation of recovery and resolution plans (RRPs) drafted up by the EU looms, Linda Eketoft, Senior Manager, Banking at Mazars gives some quick and easy guidance.
As an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism, mediation is increasingly becoming the accepted alternative to litigation. In Hong Kong it’s a route that offers greater flexibility in terms of settlement, is often seen as more practical and saves time and money. The voluntary process introduces an impartial party to assist in reaching a settlement acceptable to all.
Setting the standard as international peacekeeper in mediation, Hong Kong can offer international businesses a neutral haven in which to settle commercial disputes, explains Annie Chan, Partner in Forensic and Investigation Services at Mazars.
Henry Ford famously said that if he had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. In other words it is down to the vision and innovation of those in the industry that we now enjoy the convenience of cars. Similarly, the charity sector is facing its own Henry Ford moment as a review of the Charities Act 2006 examines how to modernise the sector in line with economic and social changes so it remains fit for purpose.
A call for more diversity on trustee boards and a growing interest in social investment are some of the issues facing the charity sector. Can a review of the Charities Act 2006 rise to the challenge?
Remember the days when directors, managers and staff embarked on team building exercises? No one was spared. The meek, the mild and the starkly terrified were forced to abseil down vertiginous climbing walls or emerge bruised and battered from paint-balling games. It’s little wonder such events are dreaded by many. So are new style corporate social responsibility (CSR) days taking over where team-building terror left off?
Combining community action with a team-building exercise is one way for companies to engage in social responsibility and improve working relations. We find why our paint-balling days may be numbered.
When asked in which sector they would most want to make a difference as an entrepreneur, 36% of respondents to the Your Big Year survey said they wanted to make their mark in the NGO and charity sectors. Despite 44% of respondents opting to make a difference in the finance sector, the survey results show signs of a move away from the more traditional industries entrepreneurs often align themselves with.
A growing number of budding entrepreneurs around the world are casting an eye toward the charitable and NGO sector according to a survey conducted by Mazars and Your Big Year.
A list of the forthcoming Mazars seminars taking place over May and June across the UK. Including the hidden pensions bombshells you can't afford to miss, tips on doing business overseas and board effectiveness for financial directors.
Find out all you need to know on Mazars’ upcoming events and seminars including why you should attend and how to register for a place.
Insight Out is designed to deliver insightful reports on accountancy issues that cover all elements of business that may be relevant to our clients in companies large or small. It will work alongside the Business Club, launching later this year, where members will gain access to more detailed reports, seminars and events.
Insight Out is a digital magazine published by Mazars LLP ten times a year to keep you up to speed with the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing business today.