Latest financial articles


October 16, 2017

Hosking to head up Quantuma’s growth in London


Category: Financial News
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Quantuma, the corporate recovery and business advisory firm, has announced that partner Andrew Hosking has been appointed Head of London office.

The announcement comes as Quantuma prepares to move later this year to larger offices in London capable of supporting the firm’s continuing growth.

Andrew Hosking led the administration of Europe’s largest legal sector insolvency earlier this year – King & Wood Mallesons (KWM).

He said: “The further development and growth of our London office is a key part of our future growth which underpins the firm’s success.

“London will drive our increasing caseload. It is also the hub for larger, complex cases, typically those with an international dimension.”

Founded in January 2013, Quantuma has grown rapidly from one Southampton office, to eight including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Marlow, Watford, Brighton and Bristol.

The London office opened Fitzroy Square in April 2014 and moved to Vernon House, 23 Sicilian Avenue in December 2015, but the firm has already outgrown the available space there.

Managing partner Carl Jackson said: “London is a pivotal location for us, and Andrew is the man to lead our growth there.

“He is well known in the City following his appointment on KWM, and he will be able to call on not only the expertise of those already in the London office, but also our specialists in corporate finance, risk management, forensic and other advisory services as we announce them.”

Ends (232 words)

For further information, please contact:

Marie Wadeson, Head of Marketing,
Quantuma LLP, Vernon House, 23 Sicilian Avenue, London, WC1A 2QS
Tel: 07464 545678

www.quantuma.com

or Andy Skinner, Managing Director, ASAP PR – 07990 978257

Notes to Editors
Quantuma LLP is a leading corporate restructuring, insolvency and business advisory firm delivering partner-led solutions to businesses and individuals facing financial distress with offices in London, Southampton, Marlow, Watford, Brighton, Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester.



October 10, 2017

Mark Lucas joins Quantuma to launch new corporate finance service


Category: Financial News
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Corporate recovery specialists and business advisers Quantuma are to launch a new service with the arrival of partner Mark Lucas.
He will be based in Quantuma’s Southampton office but will have a national remit to grow the new corporate finance offering.
Quantuma managing partner Carl Jackson said: “This is the latest stage in the implementation of our business plan to grow not only our national network but also our service lines.
“Mark acts for a wide range of clients across many sectors, enabling them to create, build, grow and ultimately realise their investment and hard work in the most tax-efficient manner.
“He is a welcome addition to our team and we believe his arrival and the launch of our corporate finance offering is an exciting step forward for Quantuma.”
He joins from Moore Stephens, where he was a partner, and has extensive experience advising clients in the Thames Valley and south of England.
Mark Lucas said: “I have been impressed by the spectacular growth of Quantuma in the past four and a half years.
“This is a firm that has a clear vision for its future and I am very pleased to be joining Quantuma to launch what is a new service line for their clients and contacts.”
He will not only be working with Quantuma’s growing client base to offer his extensive corporate finance experience, but also with corporates across the firm’s national network.
He said: “Quantuma has been largely known for its work in company restructuring and insolvency, but the vision is to create a full service advisory offering.
“We will now be able to offer strategic consultancy and corporate finance services to the entrepreneurial market.
“We think there is a gap in the middle market between the major accountancy firms, who are based on an audit and compliance offering, and firms that are essentially corporate finance boutiques.”
Significant deals that have benefited from Mark Lucas’ guidance include the £23 million management buyout (MBO) of BOFA International which was supported by LDC.
BOFA International, based in Poole, is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of fume extraction systems.
He also advised on the MBO and sales of International Logistics Group, Grace Personnel Ltd, and Classic Bag Company.
He added: “We will be bringing our skills and experience to bear on behalf of Quantuma’s corporate client base and helping to support the firm’s continuing growth across the UK.”

Quantuma has continued its growth in 2017, and has grown its six office network across the south of England in London, Southampton, Marlow, Watford, Brighton and Bristol to eight with new openings in Manchester, serving the north west, and Birmingham, serving the Midlands.
The arrival in the Spring of Mike Wright saw forensic accounting and fraud investigations added to the firm’s service lines.
Growth in 2017 has already resulted in the Bristol and Southampton offices relocating to larger premises.
Quantuma recorded 21% growth in the financial year to 31 March 2017 and now employs over 100 staff.
Ends (496 words)
For further information, please contact:
Andy Skinner, Managing Director, ASAP PR – 07990 978257
or
Marie Wadeson, Head of Marketing,
Quantuma LLP, Vernon House, 23 Sicilian Avenue, London, WC1A 2QS
Tel: 07464 545678
www.quantuma.com
Notes to Editors
Quantuma LLP is a leading restructuring and insolvency practice delivering partner-led solutions to businesses and individuals facing financial distress with offices in London, Southampton, Marlow, Watford, Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester.


Mark Lucas joins Quantuma to launch new corporate finance service


Category: Financial News
Click for larger image
Corporate recovery specialists and business advisers Quantuma are to launch a new service with the arrival of partner Mark Lucas.
He will be based in Quantuma’s Southampton office but will have a national remit to grow the new corporate finance offering.
Quantuma managing partner Carl Jackson said: “This is the latest stage in the implementation of our business plan to grow not only our national network but also our service lines.
“Mark acts for a wide range of clients across many sectors, enabling them to create, build, grow and ultimately realise their investment and hard work in the most tax-efficient manner.
“He is a welcome addition to our team and we believe his arrival and the launch of our corporate finance offering is an exciting step forward for Quantuma.”
He joins from Moore Stephens, where he was a partner, and has extensive experience advising clients in the Thames Valley and south of England.
Mark Lucas said: “I have been impressed by the spectacular growth of Quantuma in the past four and a half years.
“This is a firm that has a clear vision for its future and I am very pleased to be joining Quantuma to launch what is a new service line for their clients and contacts.”
He will not only be working with Quantuma’s growing client base to offer his extensive corporate finance experience, but also with corporates across the firm’s national network.
He said: “Quantuma has been largely known for its work in company restructuring and insolvency, but the vision is to create a full service advisory offering.
“We will now be able to offer strategic consultancy and corporate finance services to the entrepreneurial market.
“We think there is a gap in the middle market between the major accountancy firms, who are based on an audit and compliance offering, and firms that are essentially corporate finance boutiques.”
Significant deals that have benefited from Mark Lucas’ guidance include the £23 million management buyout (MBO) of BOFA International which was supported by LDC.
BOFA International, based in Poole, is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of fume extraction systems.
He also advised on the MBO and sales of International Logistics Group, Grace Personnel Ltd, and Classic Bag Company.
He added: “We will be bringing our skills and experience to bear on behalf of Quantuma’s corporate client base and helping to support the firm’s continuing growth across the UK.”

Quantuma has continued its growth in 2017, and has grown its six office network across the south of England in London, Southampton, Marlow, Watford, Brighton and Bristol to eight with new openings in Manchester, serving the north west, and Birmingham, serving the Midlands.
The arrival in the Spring of Mike Wright saw forensic accounting and fraud investigations added to the firm’s service lines.
Growth in 2017 has already resulted in the Bristol and Southampton offices relocating to larger premises.
Quantuma recorded 21% growth in the financial year to 31 March 2017 and now employs over 100 staff.
Ends (496 words)
For further information, please contact:
Andy Skinner, Managing Director, ASAP PR – 07990 978257
or
Marie Wadeson, Head of Marketing,
Quantuma LLP, Vernon House, 23 Sicilian Avenue, London, WC1A 2QS
Tel: 07464 545678
www.quantuma.com
Notes to Editors
Quantuma LLP is a leading restructuring and insolvency practice delivering partner-led solutions to businesses and individuals facing financial distress with offices in London, Southampton, Marlow, Watford, Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester.



July 28, 2017

Rise of personal contract plans is driving dangerous levels of consumer debt – Quantuma


Category: Financial News
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The rise of “personal contract plans” as a way of acquiring expensive cars could be driving the risk of another credit crunch, according to corporate recovery and business advisory firm Quantuma.

Graham Randall, a partner in the firm’s Bristol office, said that total car loans had more than doubled between 2012 and 2016 – from £28 billion to £58 billion.

The Bank of England has already expressed concern about the rapidly increasing exposure of UK banks to motor finance loans.

Graham Randall said: “The number of new and expensive looking cars on the road seems to be increasing but how can most people afford such luxuries?”

The answer, he explained, lay in the rise of the personal contract plan (PCP) which requires no deposit and has much lower monthly payments than traditional higher purchase arrangements.

PCPs are for a fixed term and at the end of the term, the driver either makes a large “balloon” payment or returns the car.

The dealer either gets all the cash and interest generated by the loan or, in the case of someone who can't afford the balloon payment, the dealer can sell the car again.

Mr Randall said: “The Bank of England recently estimated major UK banks’ total exposures to UK car finance to be around £20 billion.

“The rapid acceleration of car loan growth has triggered alarm amongst regulators and the sharp increase in UK household borrowing to buy new cars is fuelling concerns of an economic crash if interest rates and unemployment rise.

“To put these numbers into perspective, the recent Italian bank bailout cost £15 billion,” he pointed out.

Historically, car finance was a matter of a driver paying a deposit followed by monthly payments, with interest, until the loan was repaid. In 2008, a majority of car loans from dealers in the UK were financed this way.

Today, however, the vast majority of dealer loans are in the form of PCPs, the fastest growing part of consumer credit.

The value of the car at the end of the term will depend on how well the driver treated it, or on how the second-hand car market is performing.

In a downturn, drivers who fall on hard times can simply return the car and walk away from the rest of the loan.

Mr Randall said: “Some lenders make loans assuming the resale value of the car will rise against their initial estimates but if dealers are stuck trying to sell a car in a recession, when prices are likely to be plummeting it will leave dealerships and the lenders funding them dangerously exposed.

“While we don’t want to see action taken that will jeopardise the current success of the UK automotive industry, we need to ensure we don’t see car sales going through a boom and bust cycle.

“This helps no one – least of all the manufacturers, and the scale of the current exposure to PCPs is raising questions about whether bank lending in this area is sustainable.

“The Government may need to consider a minimum deposit, perhaps a fixed percentage of the on-the-road price of a car, in order to avoid the kind of banking crisis that could have a knock-on effect throughout the economy.

“And with enough uncertainty already around over our economic future post-Brexit, the last thing we need is more bad news on the economy,” he said.

Ends (559 words)

For further information, please contact:
Marie Wadeson, Head of Marketing,
Quantuma LLP, Vernon House, 23 Sicilian Avenue, London, WC1A 2QS
Tel: 07464 545678
Or
Andy Skinner, Managing Director, ASAP PR – 07990 978257
www.quantuma.com
@Quantuma1
Notes to Editors
Quantuma LLP is a leading corporate recovery and business advisory practice delivering partner-led solutions to businesses and individuals facing financial distress with offices in London, Southampton, Marlow, Watford, Brighton, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham.



July 24, 2017

Ignoring cybercrime could lead to crippling fines, Quantuma warns


Category: Financial News
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Huge fines could cripple SMEs who ignore the threat of cybercrime, according to corporate recovery and business advisory firm Quantuma.
The warning comes after a government regulator showed its teeth by fining a company £60,000 after it suffered a cyber attack.
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) took the action after investigating Berkshire-based Boomerang Video Ltd and finding it failed to take basic steps to stop its website being attacked.
Carl Jackson, managing partner at Quantuma, said: “Regulators are cracking down on SMEs who don’t have proper cybercrime defences, and this can result in a double-whammy financial hit.
“Not only do companies face all the operational disruption and costs that website attacks cause, but they then will face stiff penalties for not having proper procedures in place to deal with the problem in the first place.
“In some cases, the total costs to the business caused by the initial attacks and then huge fines could even mean they end up being pushed into insolvency.”
The situation is set to become more serious from May 2018 when the new General Data Protection Legislation (GDPR) comes into force, laying down minimum standards for companies’ anti-cybercrime systems and procedures.
Mr Jackson added: “From next year, fines against firms who ignore cybercrime could be a lot higher and will probably hit businesses who are already under financial pressure – as that’s one of the reasons why they won’t have invested in defences.”
Quantuma is highlighting the importance of the Cyber Essentials scheme developed by government and industry which clearly explains the basic controls businesses should have as part of what’s known as “10 Steps to Cyber Security”.
The scheme also offers an Assurance Framework which enables companies to demonstrate to customers, investors, insurers and others that they have taken essential precautions.
Mike Wright, partner at Quantuma, said: “Taking the necessary steps to defend against cybercrime needn’t be disproportionality expensive for companies if they follow the guidance in the Cyber Essentials scheme.
“You wouldn’t leave your house or office without locking the front door, or leave the cash register open and unattended.
“The same now applies to online files and personal data. Cyber security is as important as general business or personal security.
“Regardless of your size, if you are a business that handles personal information then data protection laws apply to you, and you must carefully put your defences into place.”
Quantuma is one of the UK’s fastest growing corporate recovery and business advisory firms, with offices in London, Southampton, Marlow, Watford, Brighton, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham.
Ends (421 words)
For further information, please contact:
Marie Wadeson, Head of Marketing,
Quantuma LLP, Vernon House, 23 Sicilian Avenue, London, WC1A 2QS
Tel: 07464 545678
Or
Andy Skinner, Managing Director, ASAP PR – 07990 978257
www.quantuma.com
@Quantuma1
Notes to Editors
Quantuma LLP is a leading restructuring and insolvency practice delivering partner-led solutions to businesses and individuals facing financial distress with offices in London, Southampton, Marlow, Watford, Brighton, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham.



July 11, 2017

Quantuma appointed as Store Twenty One enters compulsory liquidation


Category: Financial News
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Beleaguered fashion chain Store Twenty One has finally collapsed into compulsory liquidation.
Simon Bonney, Carl Jackson and Paul Zalkin, partners at corporate recovery and business advisory firm Quantuma, have been appointed to handle the liquidation.
The retail firm had been battling for survival after failing to secure investment following a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in July 2016 which saw the closure of around 200 shops.
The latest decision means the closure of Store Twenty One’s remaining 122 stores and the loss of 900 jobs, prior to Quantuma’s appointment.
The beginning of the end was signalled in April this year when the company’s management filed a notice to appoint administrators after Store Twenty One was served with a winding-up notice by HM Revenue & Customs for breaching the terms of the CVA.
This administration application was withdrawn but then a second application was made in June and again withdrawn prior to the court finally issuing an order to wind the company up.
Quantuma partner Simon Bonney said: “It is very sad that matters have got to the stage where all the stores were closed by management on Friday following a prolonged period of uncertainty leading up to the liquidation.
“We are now in the process of conducting an orderly wind down and we would welcome contact from any interested parties who may wish to purchase assets of the company.”
Store Twenty One’s turnover in recent years had declined from £95 million to £57 million with sustained losses over the past few years.
Following the winding up order, the case was passed to the Official Receiver’s office and a Secretary of State appointment of Quantuma as liquidators quickly followed.
Simon Bonney said: “The traditional retail sector continues to face significant challenges, not least with the changes in business rates. The company was founded in 1932 and unfortunately it is another example of the difficulties arising in the current economy.”

Ends (317 words)

For more information, contact:

Marie Wadeson, Head of Marketing,
Quantuma LLP, Vernon House, 23 Sicilian Avenue, London, WC1A 2QS
Tel: 07464 545678

Or

Andy Skinner, Managing Director, ASAP PR – 07990 978257

www.quantuma.com
@Quantuma1

Notes to Editors
Quantuma LLP is a leading restructuring and insolvency practice delivering partner-led solutions to businesses and individuals facing financial distress with offices in London, Southampton, Marlow, Watford, Brighton, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham.



April 11, 2017

Quantuma recovery plan rescues Hertfordshire engineering firm


Category: Financial News
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An eight-month rescue plan devised and implemented by corporate recovery specialists Quantuma for a Hertfordshire engineering firm has paid off.
In August last year Quantuma partners Simon Bonney and Andrew Hosking were appointed joint administrators of PaveTesting Ltd, based at Unit 2, Iceni Court, Letchworth Garden City.
The company designs and manufactures pavement testing equipment, supplying government agencies, major civil engineering contractors and airport operators worldwide.
Custom-built to order, its machines are heavily involved in maintaining road and runway surfaces.
Simon Bonney said the business hit problems in 2016 following “challenging conditions in the marketplace”.
“We set out to try and save the business as a going concern – it makes high quality products and is a world leader in its field,” he said.
In August last year, the company was severely distressed with no cash to meet the next wage bill, and the board set about working with Quantuma to establish the viability of the business.
To provide short term protection, PaveTesting was placed into administration with Simon Bonney and Andrew Hosking as administrators.
Quantuma negotiated funding to meet the ongoing business costs, while discussions took place with the board of directors and shareholders to enable a rescue plan to be delivered.
Simon Bonney said: “As a result, the company recently exited the administration process via a Company Voluntary arrangement under which the majority of creditors have already been paid in full.
“It is a real pleasure to be able to design and implement a rescue plan.
“While it would have been easier simply to allow the business to fail, we were willing to fund ongoing costs which has produced the best possible outcome for all stakeholders and saved a genuine UK engineering and manufacturing business.”
The news will also be welcomed by the company’s supply chain locally as machines are assembled from parts made within 25 miles of the factory.

Ends (310 words)

For further information, please contact:
Andy Skinner, Managing Director, ASAP PR – 07990 978257
or
Marie Wadeson, Head of Marketing,
Quantuma LLP, Vernon House, 23 Sicilian Avenue, London, WC1A 2QS
Tel: 07464 545678

www.quantuma.com

Notes to Editors
Quantuma LLP is a leading restructuring and insolvency practice delivering partner-led solutions to businesses and individuals facing financial distress with offices in London, Southampton, Marlow, Watford, Brighton, Bristol and Manchester.



March 15, 2017

Days are numbered for ‘sexy tax planning’ firms


Category: Financial News
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The accountancy profession could see a whole tier of firms collapsing or merging themselves out of existence as the full implications of the penalties for the promotion of tax avoidance schemes hit home.

That’s the message from business restricting and insolvency specialists Quantuma.

Brian Burke, a director at Quantuma, who has tracked government policy on tax avoidance as it has evolved, said legislation to be introduced has a very broad scope in allowing advisers, accountants and lawyers to be targeted.

“While some experts have suggested that new measures to tackle tax avoidance will have a limited or negligible impact, we are of the view that the recent changes have taken huge strides towards eradicating tax avoidance,” he said.

“New measures extend and reinforce those that have gone before them. They need to be considered as part of a suite of tools that are now available to HMRC rather than individually and in isolation.”

The areas of strengthened rules in the Budget on disclosure of promoted tax avoidance schemes, a requirement to those offshore to correct previous non-compliance and a new penalty for promoters and facilitators that fail in the Courts are not designed to generate anywhere near the sums of the Accelerated Payment Notices enacted in the Finance Bill 2014 or indeed the loan charge provisions of the proposed Finance Bill 2017 that will then be applied in April 2019.

He said: “Those were designed for the heavy lifting. The new measures, including penalties for professionals and advisers, are part of the finer touches.

“Each has its place, and with every measure one less corner is left in the shade and for those who fall foul they will find they have considerable implications.”

The tough financial penalties for professionals who assist a taxpayer or business to use a tax avoidance arrangement that is then defeated by HMRC was flagged in last year’s Autumn statement.

It is expected to raise £115 million over the next five years - not a huge sum in itself.

But, as Brian Burke points out: “How many professionals will be left that are willing to recommend tax avoidance? This was once a considerable industry in its own right.

“Advisers, accountants and lawyers will now work toward the aims of the Government and HMRC and actively prevent tax avoidance.”

For those professionals who have, or continue to, enable they will now be faced with fines of up to 100% of the tax their client avoided.

The government has said it expects these penalties, which comes into force in July, to raise at least £10 million in the coming tax year, rising to £50 million in 2018-19.
That’s over half of the £115 million expected to be raised by April 2019.

Brian Burke added: “While it is clear there are practices and advisers to whom this legislation would have been applicable that are no longer operating, there are others still actively working with their clients.

“For those that are continuing to enable and support, there is a very broad scope that allows lawyers, accountants and advisers to be targeted.

“Those who have a legacy of having engaged, where a scheme is yet to be defeated and clients have not yet sought settlement, may be caught if and when HMRC defeat the schemes.

“In both instances, they will soon be facing a very real threat with considerable financial consequences,” he warned.

Ends (562 words)

For further information, please contact:

Andy Skinner, Managing Director, ASAP PR – 07990 978257
or
Marie Wadeson, Head of Marketing,
Quantuma LLP, Vernon House, 23 Sicilian Avenue, London, WC1A 2QS
Tel: 07464 545678

www.quantuma.com

Notes to Editors

Quantuma LLP is a leading restructuring and insolvency practice delivering partner-led solutions to businesses and individuals facing financial distress with offices in London, Southampton, Marlow, Watford, Brighton and Bristol.



April 11, 2016

Dividend changes demand a top-to-toe review of your finances


Category: Financial News
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The Government’s dividend changes open up a Pandora’s Box for business owners.

That is the message from John Male, managing director of EFG Independent Financial Advisers, with offices in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and London.

In effect it means a complete review of finances is the wisest option, he noted.

From April 6, the ten per cent dividend tax credit is being scrapped and replaced by a new dividend allowance of £5,000.

This means the first £5,000 of any dividends will be tax-free for all investors, except trustees, with any amount over this being charged at 7.5 per cent for basic rate taxpayers, 32.5 per cent for higher rate taxpayers; and 38.1 per cent for additional rate taxpayers.

It is a mixed bag of consequences.

In the case of dividends below £5,000 it means no change in tax for those on the basic rate, while higher rate and additional rate taxpayers stand to gain as they will pay £1,250 and £1,530 less tax respectively. Trustees of discretionary trusts will be worse off. For dividends above £5,000, basic rate taxpayers are worse off from £5,001, higher rate taxpayers are worse off from £21,667, and additional rate taxpayers are worse off from £25,250.

Mr Male said: “For business owners it means possibly boosting dividend payments this tax year or bringing forward any dividend that may otherwise be paid after April 6. They should ensure shares go into the right hands – paying them to a spouse or civil partner will mean they can use their dividend allowance too.

“It would be a good idea to make a pension contribution to extend basic rate tax band. And then we come to the crunch question – is it still worth paying yourself in dividends? It probably still is but there isn’t much in it any more.”

He went on: “For clients investing in funds that are taxed as dividends there is a whole host of further considerations – get your adviser to take you through them.

“But, for example, there are opportunities to spread portfolios between married couples and civil partners to maximise dividend allowances, CGT exemptions, personal allowances, and basic rate tax bands, shelter investments in an ISA, SIPP or alternatives, and explore the use of onshore investment bonds, particularly for trusts.

“I know this all sounds a bit like painting the house – as soon as you get one room done it shows up all the issues with the rest, but it really does mark a propitious moment to spring clean those finances.”

Ends (415 words)

For further information, please contact:

John Male, Managing Director,

EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited, 33 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, B3 3JN.

0121 200 2255

www.efg-ifa.com

EFG Independent Financial Advisers offers a variety of solutions encompassing personal, family and business aspects, whether for wealth protection, family assets, wealth development, wealth preservation or retirement planning. The firm has six advisers in Wolverhampton, four in Birmingham and three in London, all of the highest calibre and free to act in their clients’ best interests.

EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 01789 490786, mobile 07990 978257.



March 3, 2016

Tot up your tax allowances before April 5 or lose them forever


Category: Financial News
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Taxpayers have just weeks to make sure they claim all the allowances and reliefs they are due.

EFG Independent Financial Advisers warns they could miss out if they do not meet the April 5 tax year deadline.

Jacqui Searle, senior tax manager at EFG-IFA, which has offices in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and London, said: “There are many allowances and reliefs which reduce tax bills that are linked to the tax year end – if not addressed, the tax saving for the year will be lost.

“It is an opportunity for cost saving and significant sums can be involved. Make the most of your entitlement.”

Examples include contributions to individual savings accounts of £15,240 which can then grow tax free.

Everyone under age 75 can contribute to a registered pension scheme, regardless of earnings, up to £2,880 per tax year and qualify for tax relief. The Government then adds tax relief so the pension pot receives £3,600 in total.

Higher earners should consider making use of any unused allowance before it is lost, especially where their potential for contributions in future is being curtailed.

Ms Searle pointed out that an individual can realise chargeable gains of up to £11,100 in 2015/16 without triggering a Capital Gains Tax liability.

Similarly, gifts of up to £3,000 in a tax year will be exempt from Inheritance Tax.

“This exemption can be carried forward for one year so if no gifts were made in 2014/15, then £6,000 of gifts can be made in 2015/16. The 2015/16 exemption will be used first.

“There are other reliefs for gifts which may also be relevant so the £3,000 exemption may still be available.

“Additionally, if you have a gap in your national insurance record which will affect your entitlement to the state pension, you can usually make up the shortfall for the current tax year and the previous six tax years.”

She stressed “If you think you may have overpaid tax for any earlier years then a claim for repayment of tax for 2011/12 must be made by April 5, 2016, or the opportunity will be lost.”

Ends (347 words)

For further information, please contact:

Jacqui Searle, Senior Tax Manager
EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited, 33 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, B3 3JN.

0121 200 2255

www.efg-ifa.com

EFG Independent Financial Advisers offers a variety of solutions encompassing personal, family and business aspects, whether for wealth protection, family assets, wealth development, wealth preservation or retirement planning. The firm has six advisers in Wolverhampton, four in Birmingham and two in London, all of the highest calibre and free to act in their clients’ best interests.
EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 01789 490786, mobile 07990 978257.



February 16, 2016

Pensioners need an overspending early warning alert


Category: Financial News
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An early warning system is needed so the elderly can be alerted to the danger of overspending their pension pots.



That is the call from John Male, managing director of EFG Independent Financial Advisers, with offices in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and London.



He was backing a report from the London-based Social Market Foundation which has analysed potential outcomes from last year’s wide-ranging pension reforms.



Mr Male said: “The new flexibility means the onus is very much on pensioners to act responsibly.



“Early fears centred around some blowing all their money on fast cars and foreign holidays. But the greater danger is indulging in too high a lifestyle and then running out of cash in their late 70s. This is what has to be guarded against and some will need the authorities to step in and attempt to save them from their own inadequacies.”



The SMF report looked at similar systems operating in Australia and the United States to try and predict what might happen in the UK.



It found that very few people buy an annuity and those who draw down their pots consume their pensions at varying rates.



On average, Australians preserve their pension wealth by consuming only a small percentage each year, ensuring some is left for later in retirement, although at the cost of having relatively low incomes. But a minority consume their pension pots very quickly, with an estimated 25 per cent of individuals exhausting these by the age of 70 and 40 per cent by 75.



Evidence from the US also suggested that drawdown retirees empty their pension pots relatively fast.



As a consequence the Foundation identified three typical outcomes – the Cautious Australian whereby retirees eat into their pension wealth by less than one per cent a year, ensuring there is money left for later life, a Quick-spending Australian path in which retirees exhaust their pension pots entirely by 75, and a Typical American with retirees spending eight per cent of their initial pension pot each year.



The report noted: “UK retirees are at risk of pension pot exhaustion too. Copying the Typical American path or the path of the Quick-spending Australian would lead on average to pot exhaustion by retirement year 17 and year 10 respectively. This is far in advance of the average number of years that retirees can expect to live after retirement – 22 for men and 26 for women. In contrast, buying an annuity or following the Cautious Australian path ensures that the pension is not exhausted.”



As a result it argues the need for a two stream early warning system.



It urges the Government to monitor closely what retirees do with their pension savings and identify risks both to groups of individuals and to the state. “It would allow government to alter policy to reflect consumer behaviour and also to target support at specific at-risk groups.”



But it also recommends Personal Pension Alerts in order “to assess the risks to which retirees may be exposed at an individual level and so enable policymakers to intervene promptly where appropriate”.



It adds: “Potential interventions could include targeted support and advice for those with low financial capability, a mid-retirement financial health check to encourage older people to reconsider their financial position for their later years, and initiatives to make retirees think twice before they take big one-off decisions such as withdrawing all their pension savings.”



Mr Male said: “This is a sensible and well-argued approach which has much to commend it.



“Undoubtedly there will be pensioners who get into difficulties and the Government needs to address this or risk benefit costs rising.”



Ends (598 words)



For further information, please contact:



John Male, Managing Director,

EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited, 33 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, B3 3JN.

0121 200 2255



www.efg-ifa.com



EFG Independent Financial Advisers offers a variety of solutions encompassing personal, family and business aspects, whether for wealth protection, family assets, wealth development, wealth preservation or retirement planning. The firm has six advisers in Wolverhampton, four in Birmingham and two in London, all of the highest calibre and free to act in their clients’ best interests.

EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 01789 490786, mobile 07990 978257.



December 10, 2015

Shock warning for UK expats over Spanish asset disclosure rules


Category: Financial News
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A leading financial adviser to UK expats in Spain has warned that they could face massive penalties for failing to disclose overseas assets on time.
According to El Economista, an unnamed Spanish taxpayer has been ordered to pay 442,000 euros in interest, fines and other costs. The case was the first time the maximum penalty of 150 per cent had been levied.
The authoritative Spanish economic website said this included a fine of 253,950 euros for failing to declare his assets on time, 169,300 euros to regularise his undeclared assets and 16,060 euros in interest.
Angela South, managing director of Magna Wealth Management Ltd which trades in the EU as Expat Pensions, said the decision had come as a “shock if not a surprise”.
“The rules came into effect on January 1, 2013, and mean that frrom March 31, 2013, expats who are tax-resident in Spain must report any overseas assets they hold worth more than 50,000 euros,” she said.
Assets over 50,000 euros will be taxed at 52 per cent, but if tax-resident expats fail to report these assets by March 31 each year, then they face a potential fine of 150 per cent of the 52 per cent they could have paid.
Since the introduction of the foreign assets declaration scheme, known in Spain as Modelo 720, the Spanish ministry of finance has reported that more than 126.3 billion euros in assets has been declared, mostly located in Switzerland and Luxembourg.
Mrs South said: “This may not be the end of the story as the taxpayer has appealed to the European Court of Justice over what is regarded as an ‘excessive’ penalty.”
The European Commission is understood to have already written to the Spanish government, questioning the policy, as it may contravene European law.
But Mrs South said the decision itself should not come as too much of a surprise.
“It can be seen as a shock if not a surprise, owing to the size of the fine, but taxpayers were warned about the new disclosure regime.
“Very few of our clients are tax-resident in Spain as we mainly deal with UK expats who have elected to live in Spain but may not pay their tax there.
“However, if you are not sure of your status, you should urgently seek professional advice from a tax specialist with knowledge of the Spanish system.
“The factors to be taken into account when considering whether someone is resident in Spain include spending more than 183 days in Spain in a calendar year, Spain must be the centre of their economic activity, and whether their spouse and dependent children live there – which is a factor regardless of how many days the individual spends in Spain.
“Clearly this is not a straightforward situation for some expats who are still working, or in some way economically active, and are paying tax in Spain,” she said.
Spanish taxpayers with offshore accounts and overseas assets over 50,000 euros will have to supply the name and address of the bank or other financial institution where they hold accounts, dates of opening, closing or changing those accounts, their account balances on December 31 each year, and the average account balance in all relevant accounts in the final quarter of each year.
Angela South visits clients and holds regular surgeries in areas such as the Costa Calida and Costa Blanca from Mojacar up the coastline to Moraira and visits areas such as Gibraltar, the Costa del Luz, Costa del Sol, Costa Brava, and other areas of mainland Spain and the Balearics by appointment.
Mrs South said: “By the very nature of the work we do, we work closely with other professionals with specialist expertise in all areas of Spanish finances and tax, so we are in a position to help expats structure their finances, savings and investments regardless of the jurisdiction they come under.”
For further information on your financial options if considering retiring or moving to Spain, email angela@expatpensions.info or call 0044 1789 490363.
Ends (666 words)
For further information, please contact:
Angela South, Managing Director,
Magna Wealth Management Ltd, 2 Croft Court, Croft Lane,
Temple Grafton, Warwickshire
01789 490363
Magna Wealth Management Limited trading as Expat Pensions is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FCA number 600163. Registered in England and Wales. Registered Office Suite 2, Croft Court, Croft Lane, Temple Grafton, Warks. B49 6PW. Registered number 07136102
Magna Wealth Management Limited trading as Expat Pensions has the necessary passports to provide cross border advice within countries of the European Economic Area
Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR, 01789 490786, mobile 07990 987257.



September 15, 2015

Mums face lower pensions in retirement unless they plan ahead


Category: Financial News
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Stay at home mums face drastically reduced retirement pensions.
But financial arrangements in old age are further blighted by under-estimating their likely life span and an overly-cautious approach to investments.
That is the warning from John Male, managing director of EFG Independent Financial Advisers, which has offices in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and London.
According to a recent report by LV, women who have occupational or private pensions reach retirement with pots worth on average £107,000. This is almost half that of men who, on average, retire with a fund worth £201,000.
And research by financial services group Sanlam found that women often underestimate their life expectancy. On average, women believe they will live to between 82 and 85 years-old when in reality it could be between 86 and 89. Not only do women have to make their money last longer, but they have a smaller pension pot to work with, and this is exacerbated by their cautious attitude to financial management.
Sanlam found that most (49 per cent) would invest their savings in a cash ISA – with zero risk, an approach that is unlikely to produce healthy investment returns. Instead they should be considering stocks & shares ISAs or buy-to-let property.
Mr Male said: “Women are losing out in part down to the system – the current gap is largely due to the fact many more women stayed at home to raise children without returning to work 30 or 40 years ago. This means that as they reach retirement age now, they have less put away.
“But they also tend to be more risk averse than men which is an issue – you need a decent return from your savings to help ensure you don't run out of money during retirement.
“They should seek financial advice – it is possible to get more beneficial terms than a Cash ISA will provide without putting their savings on the line.”

Ends (314 words)

For further information, please contact:

John Male, Managing Director,
EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited, 33 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, B3 3JN.
0121 200 2255

www.efg-ifa.com

EFG Independent Financial Advisers offers a variety of solutions encompassing personal, family and business aspects, whether for wealth protection, family assets, wealth development, wealth preservation or retirement planning. The firm has six advisers in Wolverhampton, four in Birmingham and two in London, all of the highest calibre and free to act in their clients’ best interests.
EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.



June 9, 2015

Cash protection up to £1 million is welcomed


Category: Financial News
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EFG Independent Financial Advisers have welcomed a move by the Bank of England to protect people with temporarily large amounts of cash as a result of house sales, inheritances and pensions flexibility.
Until now, the BoE’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme has only protected account holders’ first £85,000.
But the limit is being extended to cover those who have up to £1 million in their account for up to a maximum of six months with new rules due to come into force in July 2015.
John Male, managing director of EFG Independent Financial Advisers, which has offices in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and London, said: “This is a sensible change which will bolster confidence.
“The public well remembers the events at the start of the 2008 Great Recession and global financial crisis, and still worries whether their money could one day be in jeopardy again.
“The danger has been that some revert to the equivalent of hiding cash under their mattress. With so many scams on the go that makes them very vulnerable.
“This decision of the Bank will give people piece of mind and time to consider how best they should invest and protect large sums, and this is where we can help them with the sort of independent advice they need.”
The Bank’s decision will benefit hundreds of thousands, say consumer groups.
It will help a wide cross section of citizens including those who have just sold a house, newlyweds, divorcees, people who have received an inheritance, redundancy, insurance or compensation payouts … even lottery winners.
The change has been introduced by the Bank's Prudential Regulation Authority.
However, anyone claiming compensation under the new rules will have to prove to the FSCS that they had the money in their bank account temporarily.
The scheme was launched in December 2001 and has since paid out £26 billion to 4.5 million people. Its biggest intervention came after the credit crunch led to the collapse of an Icelandic bank with customers in the UK. Some 250,000 UK customers were paid a total of £4.5 billion.
Some pundits want to see the BoE go further – for example, coverage of income drawdown products to be extended in order to keep up with the new pension reforms.
Mr Male said: “That would be a good idea given the number of people who look ready to withdraw large sums.
“Scammers seem to be lining up to relieve the less wary of their assets. I urge people to be very careful in terms of what they do with their money. Many are in effect amateurs when it comes to investing yet will be dealing with perhaps the biggest cash sum they ever see in their lifetimes.
“It is vital they seek help from a reputable adviser.”

Ends (457 words)

For further information, please contact:

John Male, Managing Director,
EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited, 33 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, B3 3JN.
0121 200 2255

www.efg-ifa.com

EFG Independent Financial Advisers offers a variety of solutions encompassing personal, family and business aspects, whether for wealth protection, family assets, wealth development, wealth preservation or retirement planning. The firm has six advisers in Wolverhampton, four in Birmingham and two in London, all of the highest calibre and free to act in their clients’ best interests.
EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 01789 490786, mobile 07990 978257.



May 12, 2015

Expats with QROPS need advice from a specialist in both UK and offshore markets


Category: Financial News
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Expats who moved their private pensions into QROPS have been advised not to panic following a delay by HMRC in allowing the same pension freedoms enjoyed by UK residents since April 6 this year.

QROPS stands for Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes and many expats chose to take move their pension funds into QROPS following their creation in 2006 for the advantages they provided for some who are living and working abroad

The confusion and concern has arisen since HMRC published its rules for pension freedoms – which did not come out until March 13 – but did not remove the requirement for 70 per cent of a QROPS to be used to fund a person’s retirement.

In the UK, individuals can now take all or part of their private pension – subject to paying tax at source – as they wish.

Angela South, managing director of Magna Wealth Management Ltd which trades as Expat Pensions in the EU, said HMRC had announced that the 70 per cent rule would remain “temporarily” after April 6, but had given no indication on how long this might be.

“However, if you made the decision to move your private pension funds into a QROPS for all the right reasons at some point in the past nine years, those reasons still hold good.

“Whatever your plans for your QROPS fund, you still need to bear in mind two factors – you need to plan your finances in retirement and it is crucial you understand the tax implications of how much you take and, just as importantly, when,” she pointed out.

HMRC backtracked on an earlier commitment to allow QROPS the same pension freedoms being introduced in the UK on April 6.

HMRC stated: “This is so that, in the light of subsequent events, the legislation to replace the 70 per cent rule can be targeted more precisely to ensure that the principles behind allowing transfer to be made free of UK tax can operate as Parliament intended.”

Ms South said: “We don’t know what HMRC means by ‘temporary’ but there is no reason in the short term to take any drastic decisions or listen to anyone offering a ‘magic’ solution – ie another transfer back to the UK, probably involving further charges to your fund.

“It is absolutely vital that those who are concerned should take professional advice from a UK regulated adviser who understands both markets as there is no one solution for all cases.

“Expat Pensions can advise those living in Spain from both an offshore and a UK perspective and is authorised to advise in the EU on the same basis as it does in the UK.

“An initial discussion is entirely free of charge and can help to allay your fears or provide you with the options to consider.”

For more information, or to contact Expat Pensions, see www.expatpensions.info

Ends (473 words)

For further information, please contact:

Angela South, Managing Director,
Magna Wealth Management Ltd (trading as Expat Pensions), 2 Croft Court, Croft Lane,
Temple Grafton, Warwickshire, United Kingdom, B49 6PW

01789 490363

Magna Wealth Management Limited trading as Expat Pensions is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FCA number 600163.
Registered in England and Wales. Registered Office Suite 2, Croft Court, Croft Lane, Temple Grafton, Warks. B49 6PW. Registered number 07136102. Magna Wealth Management Limited trading as Expat Pensions has the necessary passports to provide cross border advice within countries of the European Economic Area.



March 2, 2015

Professional advice to be even more important in pensions’ ‘Brave New World’


Category: Financial News
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Many women will be winners from the Government’s pensions shake-up, according to John Male, managing director of EFG Independent Financial Advisers in Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
But there remain plenty of tank traps in the wider reforms ready to catch out the unwary, he warns.
“Indeed, far from making pensions a kind of DIY dream, I believe it is more important than ever that people take advice from the professionals.”
Mr Male highlighted one of the upsides of changes coming in next April as being the opportunity for some women to boost their payout by up to tens of thousands of pounds over a lifetime by combining Budget reforms with existing rules which reward savers who delay taking their State pension.
Men can take advantage of it too, but perhaps the greatest beneficiaries will be those women with small workplace pension pots who are due to hit State pension age before April 2016.
A higher retirement age – currently 62 for women – means they will have to work for longer, put back their pension entitlement, and see them missing out on a new, potentially higher, flat-rate State pension of £155 which is still a year and a half away.
However, anyone who postpones receiving their State pension receives a generous 10.4 per cent increase to its value for every year they do so.
Mr Male said: “So the secret is going to be postponing on the State pension while, now that annuities are optional, using new, flexible rules to draw small sums from the work/private pension free of penalty.
“By gradually running down their private pension savings to live on in the meantime, millions of savers will be able to defer and then claim a much higher state pension.
“It will be a boost for those who tend to be disadvantaged on pensions because overall women are both paid less than men and are likely to have taken career breaks to bring up the children.”
Mr Male though stressed the need for both women and men to check out their tax position before deciding their best approach to pension liberalisation.
He said: “Soon, there won't be a limit on how much anyone can take as a lump sum. Yet the usual tax rules apply and some unsure of what they are doing could find themselves in the higher rate tax bracket.
“The golden rule is to keep tax efficient savings, tax efficient. Taking a cash lump sum from a pension pot may sound tempting, but if it isn't really needed, it is best to leave it alone. Pension pots grow in a very tax advantaged way. But as soon as the money is taken out it is a different story.”
Mr Male said many people under-estimated how long retirement might last, given increased life expectancy. And many were not good at managing their money.
“They should beware the old adage – it is not what is coming in that matters so much as what is going out. You need to manage your profit and loss account just as any business executive would, and that’s where we can help.”

Ends (512 words)

For further information, please contact:

John Male, Managing Director,
EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited, 33 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, B3 3JN.

0121 200 2255

www.efg-ifa.com

EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.



December 17, 2014

Midlands SMEs finally getting to grips with auto-enrolment


Category: Financial News
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Press Release from EFG Independent Financial Advisers

Small and medium sized enterprises in the Midlands are showing encouraging signs of embracing government auto enrolment pension reforms.
And the attitude has been hailed as “enlightened” by John Male, managing director of Birmingham-based EFG Independent Financial Advisers.
SMEs across the country now have to contribute to their workers' pensions, with the vast majority set to pay the minimum.
But a recent survey from Now: Pensions found that some 16 per cent of such businesses in the Midlands were considering upping this over time against eight per cent in the South and just five per cent in the North.
Keeping business costs low is one reason cited by those only interested in meeting the statutory basic.
Mr Male said: “We all know that the vast majority of people are not saving enough for their retirement. That is why it is so vital that these reforms take root and blossom.
“Birmingham and the wider Midlands have always been known for concentrations of SMEs. This region is on the front line if this initiative is to succeed. Individuals can opt out of auto-enrolment – it is hoped they won’t because it is very much in their interest to participate.
“Employers and employees really need to get on board with these changes. The fact that more Midlands employers than elsewhere in England are considering doing more than the minimum is significant. Good employers who go the extra mile are valued by workers. And surveys show that you get higher productivity from a contented workforce.”
Companies with between 62 and 89 employees must now contribute one per cent of salary to their workers' pensions. Employees have to do the same unless they decline to participate.
And, while one per cent may seem small beer to some, over time it could add up to an extra £51,338 in pension savings for a worker on the average UK salary of £27,000.
Mr Male said: “Incentives are important in business.
“Employers should take advice on how best to take forward their pension packages in the interest of both the company and the employee.
"If employers contribute even a small amount more than they are obliged to do, this can make a big difference to employees' final pension pots. Obviously this is an extra cost but sometimes you speculate to accumulate. If it can be associated with productivity rises then it is a win-win all round.”
Sadly a bleaker picture emerges when it comes to the self-employed and pensions.
A report by the Pensions Policy Institute pin-pointed take-up of private pension saving by self-employed people declining over the last decade. Only about a third of self-employed people are active members of a pension. “There is a danger of this group being left behind,” said Mr Male.
“The Government needs to monitor this closely and, ideally, offer improved incentives.”

Ends (460 words)

For further information, please contact:

John Male, Managing Director,
EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited, 33 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, B3 3JN.

0121 200 2255

www.efg-ifa.com

EFG Independent Financial Advisers offers a variety of solutions encompassing personal, family and business aspects, whether for wealth protection, family assets, wealth development, wealth preservation or retirement planning. The firm has seven advisers in Wolverhampton, three in Birmingham and three in London, all of the highest calibre and free to act in their clients’ best interests.
EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 01789 490786, mobile 07990 978257.




October 6, 2014

Start planning early for retirement – but be realistic


Category: Financial News
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Press Release from EFG Independent Financial Advisers

Wage earners will need to work up a significant pension pot even to achieve a relatively modest income in retirement.
John Male, managing director of Birmingham-based EFG Independent Financial Advisers, urged people to start early or risk being caught out when they look to finish work.
His comments follow research by Barclays which found few with pensioner lifestyle expectations of luxury cruises and fast cars.
Instead ambitions are relatively modest – paying off debt, taking an annual two-week holiday abroad and being able to run a car.
Mr Male said: “It seems that what people really want is not to worry about making ends meet and not to experience a painful drop in living standards.
“To meet that scenario it is reckoned you need an average income of around £17,500.
“Yet that probably equates to a pension pot in the region of £200,000, even allowing for State pension payments. And £17,500 may not be enough – many advisers would suggest something nearer £25,000 is necessary especially if there is a property to run, more if you want to help provide for the grandchildren.”
Changes to pension rules announced in the last Budget will give people new financial freedom. From April 2015, retirees can release up to 100 per cent of pension savings.
Yet, says Mr Male, many appear to be finding the new rules difficult to navigate and are unsure where to reinvest money released from their pension savings.
He went on: “There are two main messages coming out.
“First, people need to make sacrifices in their working years if they are to build up a sufficient pension pot for their old age, be realistic about just how much they are going to need, and start early.
“Meanwhile those coming up to retirement today should take advice as to their options and how best to maximise income returns.”

Ends (306 words)

For further information, please contact:

John Male, Managing Director,
EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited, 33 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, B3 3JN.

0121 200 2255

www.efg-ifa.com

EFG Independent Financial Advisers offers a variety of solutions encompassing personal, family and business aspects, whether for wealth protection, family assets, wealth development, wealth preservation or retirement planning. The firm has seven advisers in Wolverhampton, three in Birmingham and three in London, all of the highest calibre and free to act in their clients’ best interests.
EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 01789 490786, mobile 07990 978257.



June 10, 2014

IHT bills problem spreading towards Midlands


Category: Financial News
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Some 250,000 pensioners in London are set to pass on crippling inheritance tax bills to their beneficiaries as a result of the capital's property boom.

And, according to Birmingham and Wolverhampton wealth managers EFG Independent Financial Advisers, the Midlands may not be too far behind.

Recent research from law firm Clarke Willmott showed that around 485,000 of London's properties are owned and occupied by pensioners.

With Nationwide reporting average house prices in the capital surpassing £362,000, this suggests more than half of London's owner-occupier pensioners will be over the £325,000 inheritance tax threshold based on the value of their property alone.

EFG IFA managing director John Male said it was a “worrying trend”.

He said: “There are many properties across desirable parts of the West Midlands where house prices of half a million pounds are quite common and £1 million homes are not exceptional.

“Householders can find themselves in a great dilemma.

“Many have become enormously attached to their home and don’t want to move. Others decided to downsize and find themselves cash rich. Both need to consider how best to protect as much money as possible if their children are not to face a huge inheritance tax hit, responsibilities they could do without.

“Yet elderly residents also need to retain enough money for their final years when they might find themselves in hugely expansive nursing homes or other types of elderly care accommodation.

“In these circumstances inheritance tax advice is ever more necessary.”

Mr Male noted that figures published last month by accountants UHY Hacker Young had revealed that Britain's families pay the second highest death duties in the world.

Only Ireland has a higher rate of inheritance tax than Britain.

“There are many ways in which it is possible to minimise inheritance tax,” said Mr Male. “Families need a plan which will suit them.”

The inheritance tax threshold has been frozen at £325,000 for individuals and £650,000 for couples until at least 2017/18 albeit David Cameron has pledged to raise it to £1 million if the Conservatives win the next election.

Ends (340 words)

For further information, please contact:

John Male, Managing Director,

EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited, 33 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, B3 3JN

0121 200 2255

www.efg-ifa.com

EFG Independent Financial Advisers offers a variety of solutions encompassing personal, family and business aspects, whether for wealth protection, family assets, wealth development, wealth preservation or retirement planning. EFG Independent Financial Advisers offers a variety of solutions encompassing personal, family and business aspects, whether for wealth protection, family assets, wealth development, wealth preservation or retirement planning. The firm has seven advisers in Wolverhampton, three in Birmingham and three in London, all of the highest calibre and free to act in their clients’ best interests.

EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 01789 490786, mobile 07990 978257.



March 11, 2014

Top tips for topping up your pension this tax year


Category: Financial News
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Press Release from EFG Independent Financial Advisers

Pensions may sometimes be forgotten as a form of investment but they are still one of the best ways to secure your financial future in retirement, according to wealth management experts EFG Independent Financial Advisers.
Managing director John Male pointed out that that pensions can deliver both tax relief and tax efficient growth.
“Tax relief and tax efficient growth make the idea of contributing to your pension attractive at any time, but if you get your timing right you can make a real difference to the end result when you come to retire,” he said.
“For example, a higher rate taxpayer using their full £50,000 annual pension allowance can convert a £20,000 tax bill into their own retirement savings.”
EFG-IFA is highlighting a number of good reasons why you should still considering paying into a pension this tax year.
- Benefit from personal tax relief at your top rate of tax. If you are a higher, or, additional rate tax payer this year but are uncertain of your income level next in the next tax year, a pension contribution now could attract tax relief at your highest rate of tax.

- Carry forward any unused annual pensions allowance from 2010/11. Unused pension annual pension allowance from 2010/11 must be used this tax year, or, you lose it. For a 40 per cent taxpayer, it could mean a missed opportunity to invest up to £50,000 at a net cost of only £30,000.
- Make the most of the current £50,000 annual pension allowance. This allowance drops to £40,000 from 6th April 2014. Carry forward for the three previous tax years back to 2010/11 will still be based on a £50,000 allowance. Up to £200,000 can be paid to pensions for this tax year without triggering an annual allowance tax charge.
- Recover personal allowances reduced by additional income. Pension contributions reduce your taxable income so, if applicable, they are a great way to reinstate the personal allowance and the age related element of your personal allowance.
- Avoid the Child Benefit tax charge. An individual pension contribution can ensure that the value of Child Benefit is saved for the family, rather than being reduced or lost to the new Child Benefit tax charge. It might be as simple as redirecting existing pension saving from the lower earning partner to the other.
- Fund and protect above the new £1.25 million Lifetime Allowance (LTA). With the LTA set to fall to £1.25 million from April 2014, now is the time to weigh up the pros and cons of electing for the new “fixed protection 2014” to lock into a £1.5 million LTA. However, you cannot in this case pay into pensions after April 5, 2014. This only leaves a short window to protect your tax efficient contributions and build a bigger retirement pot to protect.
John Male said: “Some people think extra pension savings are for the wealthy, but many business owners pay themselves largely via the dividend route and the amounts can vary depending on whether they have had a good year or not.
“As the points above show, there are many more people who can benefit than might be obvious at first sight.
“It could pay you to check out the possibilities as maximising your pension contributions can make a major difference to your comfort and lifestyle in retirement.”
Ends (559 words)
For further information, please contact:

John Male, Managing Partner,
EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited, 33 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, B3 3JN.

0121 200 2255

www.efg-ifa.com

EFG Independent Financial Advisers offers a variety of solutions encompassing personal, family and business aspects, whether for wealth protection, family assets, wealth development, wealth preservation or retirement planning. The firm has six advisers in Wolverhampton, four in Birmingham and two in London, all of the highest calibre and free to act in their clients’ best interests.

EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 01789 490786, mobile 07990 978257.



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