FCA

The UK financial regulator has warned banks and insurers to prepare for the country crashing out of the European Union without a trade deal, a week after the government’s plans for negotiating Brexit received a cold response in the City.

With eight months until the UK exits the bloc, Nausicaa Delfas, head of international strategy at the Financial Conduct Authority, said regulators were planning for a range of scenarios and that firms should be doing the same.

She told attendees at a London event hosted by the lobby group TheCityUK on Thursday: “Across the FCA, together with colleagues from the Bank of England and the government, we have been working to develop a number of safeguards and contingencies in the event of a hard Brexit to ensure that ‘day one’ works smoothly.”

Delfas, who was speaking publicly for the first time since taking on responsibility in February for guiding the FCA through Brexit, added: “We all know that time is tight and the path uncertain. So achieving… a smooth transition avoiding cliff edges requires energy and commitment from industry and regulators alike.”

Estate Planning

A reluctance to talk about death means many over 55s could be missing out on the opportunity to sort out their finances before they die.

As a result, they could end up leaving problems for their loved ones to resolve and a possible tax bill.

What happens to your digital assets when you die?

According to life-curation website, Wishlockr, just 6% of over 55s have consulted an independent financial adviser for help with estate planning. Of those that hadn’t, just under a third (30%) said this was because they were not comfortable discussing their own death. This equates to a substantial 5.5 million people.

Exacerbating potential problems, the research reveals that only half of over 55s have written a will, a figure that rises to over three quarters (76%) among people aged between 45 and 54.

Brexit

The EU gave the British negotiating team a torrid time at the first presentation of the UK’s white paper on the future relationship during this week’s talks, the Guardian has learned.

Led by Michel Barnier’s deputy, Sabine Weyand, the EU’s team of officials picked apart the most contentious parts of the paper as it was presented by Olly Robbins, Theresa May’s chief Brexit adviser, leading to increased concerns on both sides that a no-deal scenario is moving from possible to likely.

“The white paper is not going to form the basis of the negotiations,” one senior EU diplomat told the Guardian. British government sources, in the wake of the latest talks, admitted growing despair over what they regard as the intransigence of their EU counterparts.

The heightening of tensions behind the scenes comes with the new Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, due in Brussels on Thursday.

He is understood to be preparing to make public detailed plans on how the UK would deal with a lack of agreement by 29 March 2019 and a cliff-edge Brexit.

Mortgages

Clydesdale Bank will let you borrow up to five and a half times your salary – but only if you’re an accountant, barrister, pilot or a doctor.

The new range of mortgages is for “professionals” only, but annoyingly you have to be earning £40,000 a year already and your job has to be one that’s on a list put together by the bank.

Normally, banks tend to only lend a maximum of four times your salary.

So if you’re earning the average UK salary of £26,000 then you could potentially get a mortgage for £120,000.

Money expert Charlotte Nelson from MoneyFacts explains: “It is unusual but not unheard of and in most cases you have to have a high income.”

If you want to put down a bigger deposit the deals also cover 10 per cent and 15 per cent deposits too.

There’s also no arrangement fee and they offer free valuations for properties worth up to £2million.

How great does that sound? Well, before you get your hopes up there are a handful of catches.

You will only be considered for the mortgage if your profession is one on the list and you’re already earning £40,000 – almost double the average salary in the UK.

So that’s accountants, architects, barristers, charted surveyors, dentists, medical doctors, pharmacists, pilots, solicitors and vets.

You’ll also need to have been qualified for five years or more.

And to the great news is that clients won’t be able to get the mortgage directly from the bank either as it’s a deal that’s only offered through mortgage brokers.

Of course, only the best rates are offered to those who pass the background checks with flying colours so you could end up with a deal with higher interest rates than the one advertised.

Charlotte added: “Clydesdale Bank’s professional mortgages are keenly priced for the market and offer qualifying professionals a larger than normal income multiple, which is no doubt likely to make the relevant borrowers sit up and take notice.

Insurance

There will be a new man in the hotseat at the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) after Jonathan Clark, chartered insurer, was revealed as its new president for 2018/2019 – stepping into the role held by Dame Inga Beale.

Clark was elected at the body’s AGM today, with Nick Turner, director of NFU Mutual APFS, taking on the role of deputy president. Clark has been in the insurance business for more than three decades and has worked for some of the largest corporations on their claims programmes – he joined SCOR in 2013 as head of claims in London and is now global head of claims for business solutions. In addition, he has been a member of the executive teams at the likes of Crawford & Company and Cunningham Lindsey.

Commercial Finance

(Reuters) – British lender Close Brothers Group Plc (CBRO.L) reported on Wednesday a bigger loan book as its commercial and property finance businesses grew, while its net interest margin held largely steady.

The company said there was no significant change to its bad debt ratio in the eleven months to June end when compared with the first half and its 11-month net interest margin of 8 percent was broadly consistent with the last financial year.

The growth in loan book comes after the company warned in September that its banking business would face competitive challenges, prompting analysts to caution that loan growth would be limited and net interest margin could be pressured.

360 Financial Services Limited is an appointed representative of New Leaf Distribution Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Some commercial mortgages and most buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.