APT from SunGard – Top Choice For Risk Management

The APT solution from SunGard is proving to be an invaluable product for risk management companies.

Neptune Investment Managers, a company recently named Best Boutique Fund Group at the 21st annual Money Marketing Financial Services Awards, have chosen to use Sungard’s APT across their funds. Neptune currently has over £7 billion assets under management.

Gavin Creary, risk officer at Neptune Investment Management, said, “The integration of APT is designed to augment our risk management processes and will help add significant value company-wide.”

APT will be used across Neptune’s UCITS funds. “UCITS is fast becoming a global regulatory standard,” said Dushyant Shahrawat, senior research director at TowerGroup, a Corporate Executive Board company. “As organizations try to mitigate risk, investors value the transparency UCITS offers as risk reporting has become an important compliance mandate for investment managers.”

APT is an alternative investment solution offering flexible risk reporting, portfolio construction and rebalancing via optimization, and related professional services.

Rob Mackay, chief operating officer of SunGard’s APT business unit, said, “APT will help Neptune’s fund managers gain a clear perspective on the drivers of risk and return. APT’s flexible analytics are easily integrated into Neptune’s existing infrastructure, helping it benefit from robust risk management and risk reporting.”

APT serves more than 200 asset managers, hedge funds, private banks, prime brokers, pension funds, funds of funds, wealth management groups, consultants, administrators and custodians globally. APT is a data-rich solution meaning that customer data requirements are minimised. It also offers the widest range of global multi-asset class coverage.

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Northern Rock Honoured For Its Community Service

Northern Rock has announced that it was commended in the Mortgage Finance Gazette Awards for its dedication to community service. The honours were given just six months after Northern Rock was heralded among the most responsible businesses in the UK.

After receiving Business in the Community’s (BITC) national Big Tick for its work to tackle financial exclusion, the readers of Mortgage Finance Gazette have now commended the bank in its annual awards.

The magazine’s readers nominated the lender in recognition of its work in the voluntary sector, and the judges, including journalists from the national press, industry experts, and the editors of ‘What Mortgage’ and ‘Mortgage Finance Gazette,’ were particularly impressed by the bank’s staff involvement in the community as well as other fundraising and voluntary activities.

Representatives from Northern Rock collected the commendation in the ‘Community Services Award’ for large lenders at an event in the capital last night. The December edition of Mortgage Finance Gazette, a publication about mortgages and the mortgage industry, features coverage of the event.

Northern Rock’s Customer and Commercial Director Andy Tate said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a further commendation for our work in the community, and it is wonderful that our dedication to embedding this as part of our organisational culture is being recognised.

“Awards like this are further endorsement of the valuable role Northern Rock and its colleagues play in supporting its local communities, particularly those facing financial difficulty.”

Judge Joanne Atkin, Editor of Mortgage Finance Gazette said that she and her colleagues had had had a difficult job and that those who had been highly commended were truly deserving. She added: “Community is at the core of Northern Rock’s business strategy which is framed and communicated through four Cs – colleague, customer, company and community.

“Community within Northern Rock is about giving of both time and money. The Samaritans is Northern Rock’s corporate charity of the year but it also works with a number of good causes: Women’s Aid, a fight against domestic violence; The Cyrenians, which operates refuges for the homeless around the UK; Shelter, Crisis, The People’s Kitchen and a partnership which enables a small community-based bank to relieve the financial hardship of individuals and families resulting from poor money management, unmanageable levels of high interest debt and no savings.”

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Northern Rock Video Investigates Money Worries

Northern Rock’s latest video has put consumers in the spotlight as they reveal that by far their biggest money worry is paying the mortgage each month.

The bank took to the streets to find out what concerns people most about their finances, and the overwhelming majority of consumers confirmed their mortgage payment was their biggest financial worry.

As recent research undertaken by Northern Rock showed, many UK mortgage borrowers coming to the end of their fixed rate deal could be better off if they took a mortgage with Northern Rock. The bank is confident it can help reduce this concern for customers, and put them back in control of their finances.

Lloyd Cochrane, Head of Lending Products at Northern Rock said: “Fixed rate pricing across the market is at an all-time low and we continue to offer some very attractive deals, as well as our Freedom to Fix option, a Tracker which gives customers the opportunity to fix if interest rates should start to rise.

“We believe we can help many of these consumers to reduce their anxiety over their monthly mortgage payment by helping them find a Northern Rock mortgage that works for them. Whether you’d like the security of knowing what your payment will be for the next two years or you’re looking for more flexibility, we’re sure we have an option to suit you.”

More information on Northern Rock’s current range of mortgages can be found at its award-winning mortgages website, located at

The site also includes a range of interactive tools, such as a jargon buster, budget planner and mortgage calculator, to help take the complexity out of selecting the right mortgage.

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Pensioners Suffering As The Money Runs Out, Says Debt Solutions Company Trust Deed Scotland

A new report reveals that pensioners across the UK are being left penniless as their money disappears every week in a whirlwind of bills, says Debt Solutions Company, Trust Deed Scotland.

An income of £207.15 per week is typical for most pensioned couples, but a report by Standard Life shows it goes straight back out the door as £207.24 is spent on food, fuel, housing and transport.

The report highlights rising inflation as the reason why the average pensioner has difficulties making ends and are being hit hard – many are having issues even affording a new pair of shoes, a holiday or a present for a grandchild.

While the Consumer Price Index remained the same in September at 4.5%, the Retail Price Index was hovering at 5.2% and threatening to rise again. Pensioner have a fixed income that doesn’t change from month to month, and that combined with inflation and large energy rises from utilities companies means turn some have turned towards credit cards to make ends meet.

A spokesperson for Scottish Debt Solutions Company, Trust Deed Scotland, said:
“According to Age UK, British pensioners are the fourth poorest in Europe, with the worst off set to lose up to 22% of their household income because of cuts to local authority services and changes to the tax and benefits system. This report highlights the dire position our parents and grandparents are in. At a time when they should be relaxing after a lifetime of working, they are pinching pennies and worrying about what the future will hold for them.”

The day before Standard Life published its report, the Institute of Fiscal Studies issued a warning about how ‘real’ inflation was hitting pensioners much harder than younger age groups.

“The Insolvency Service reported the fastest rising group of people claiming insolvency is pensioners,” said the spokesperson. “They are six times more likely to go bankrupt or take out a debt solution such as a Scottish Trust Deed or Debt Arrangement Schemethan they were just a decade ago. The number of people entering retirement with unpaid debts has increased, and when combined with increased life expectancy, the recession and limited options to increase income when you retire, it adds up to a lot of older people in real trouble”.

According to the Consumer Credit Counseling Service the average unsecured debt of newly retired pensioners is £21,370 and few have any savings at all. Once all the bills have been covered, there’s just £85 left at the end of the month.

“There are numerous reasons why pensioners are entering retirement in debt,” said the spokesperson. “Previous good house values led to many people remortgaging for home improvements or to loan to children or grand children for house deposits. There’s also the issue of divorce, where one partner will often buy the other out of their share of the property by extending their mortgage. And then some people are marrying and having families much later in life or having second families in their fifties.”

“For many life as a retiree in today’s world is just as expensive as it was when they were working, but now they have less income to live on.”

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Elephant.co.uk Reveals Motorists Quickly Forget The Highway Code

Elephant.co.uk, an online car insurance provider and member of the Admiral Group, has announced new research which reveals how quickly people forget the Highway Code after having to memorise it for their driving test.

Since the theory test element of the driving test was introduced in 1996, memorising the Highway Code has been essential for anyone wanting to lose their L plates. However, new research suggests the rules of the Highway Code don’t stay with motorists once they pass, with half of those surveyed saying they hardly remember any of it and only a third saying they have bothered to refer to it since they’ve passed their test.

Elephant.co.uk surveyed 3,000 motorists on the Highway Code to see just how important they think it is to being a good driver and how much they remember. They also decided to test them on some typical Highway Code questions to find out exactly how much motorists do remember, with mixed results.

Seventy per cent admitted they only learned the Highway Code to pass their driving test, and half said they remember none of the Code or just the odd bit of it now. This could explain why nearly half those questioned don’t think they would pass the driving theory test if they had to sit it today.

When taking a simple test, the 3,000 people surveyed they got the right answer 55 per cent of the time, but some questions proved easier than others. Thankfully 88 per cent knew the speed limit on motorways is still 70mph, but only one in five knew that drivers should not use their horn between 11.30pm and 7.00am. Other questions which proved difficult were to name the correct stopping distance at 30mph, only 39 per cent knew it was 23 metres. Finally, only 30 per cent knew that red cat’s eyes mark the left hand side of a road.

In response to the research, elephant.co.uk managing director and car insurance expert Brian Martin said: “The results of our mini test suggest the Highway Code is something most motorists only read in order to pass their driving theory test. The results were hit and miss, and it is concerning how few drivers remember some fairly basic rules of the road.”

Regionally, motorists in the West Midlands were the least confident they would pass their theory test today (63 per cent) compared with those in the South West who were the most confident (80 per cent). This self confidence from motorists in the South West could be justified, as they answered the test questions correctly more times than those in any other region. Most regions scored very similar results for questions on the Highway Code, around 55 per cent. However those in the South West scored best with 58 per cent. The worst scoring region was the East Midlands, with 51 per cent.

However, with few motorists remembering much of the Highway Code today, elephant.co.uk’s research did find that a large majority (68 per cent) think it is important to know it in order to be a good driver. A large section of those questioned (46 per cent) also think motorists should be retested on the Highway Code on a regular basis.

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Confused.com Reveals That Keeping Diabetes A Secret Could Invalidate Life Insurance

New research by Confused.com has revealed that 26 per cent of people only have a vague idea what diabetes is, and worryingly 22 per cent of diabetes sufferers are not comfortable telling people about their condition, potentially putting their health at risk.

Keeping diabetes a secret not only makes diabetics more vulnerable but also means their life insurance could be invalidated.

This Confused.com research is supported by a survey conducted by Diabetes UK which shows that one in three people with diabetes have been keeping their condition a secret.

In light of this, Confused.com is warning against the dangers of keeping a medical condition secret and reminding people that their life insurance could be invalidated if they are not upfront about any condition they have been diagnosed with.

Diabetes is on the increase in the UK with one person diagnosed every three minutes. In fact 31% of people know someone with diabetes and there is an estimated half a million more people in the UK who are likely tohave diabetes but have not been diagnosed.

Diabetes is a more common condition than most people believe with an estimated 4 million people being diagnosed with this condition in 2025.

Matt Lloyd, Head of Life Insurance at Confused.com said: “Having a condition such as diabetes does not always mean you cannot get life insurance quotes. Particularly, if a person with diabetes is controlling their condition as directed by their doctor it is possible that they may be able to get a policy put in place. It is also worth going back to the insurer if you have made a positive change to your lifestyle since you were originally quoted for insurance because you may be entitled to a cheaper policy if you are healthier now than when you took out the policy.”

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Atos And Travelex Strengthen Partnership With Major New Contract

Atos, the international IT services company, has announced that it has signed a major five year contract with Travelex, the world’s leading specialist provider of foreign exchange and international payments for consumer and business customers.

Under the five year agreement Travelex and Atos Worldline, which represents Atos’s high-tech transactional services, will collaborate to provide enhanced cross-border card payment capabilities.

The partnership will allow shoppers at over 72,000 point of sale machines in Atos Worldline’s participating merchant network in Europe to pay in their preferred currency. Travelex Currency Select enables acquirers to provide shoppers with transparency, certainty and choice at the point of sale.

Atos Worldline has global experience in providing merchant acquirers with payment solutions. Travelex also effectively operates as an acquirer in its own right with its global ATM network as well as its own “direct-to-market” merchant acquiring business.

Atos believes that this expertise in foreign exchange complements Atos Worldline’s position as a leading commercial acquirer in Europe with a significant merchant portfolio, especially in the Benelux region.

Atos Worldline and Travelex plan to deploy the cross-border card payment functionality solution on card-present (POS) and card-not-present e-Commerce channels to European merchants in 2012.

Commenting on this announcement, Peter Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Travelex said: “This deal demonstrates our ability to develop and deploy innovative foreign exchange payment solutions in growth market segments that are outside our traditional retail sphere. Atos Worldline is the ideal partner with deep expertise in card acceptance solutions and payments in general. We look forward to growing our joint business together.”

Joe Edwards, Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing, Atos said: “Through our partnership with Travelex, we can provide them with our specialist expertise in electronic transactions, which is essential to the growth of their business. We already have a very solid relationship with Travelex by supporting their e-commerce strategy, and we are looking forward to cementing this relationship further.”

Earlier this year, Atos and Travelex further extended their relationship via a Systems integration (SI) agreement. Atos has been a key supplier of IT solutions and services to Travelex for some years and continues to provide support and delivery capabilities across the Travelex IT estate.

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Prudential Reveals Brits Hiding £4.6 Billion From Their Partners In Secret Saving Stashes

Prudential has revealed that fifteen per cent of Britons over the age of 40 and living with their partner choose to keep some or all of their savings hidden from their other halves.

The survey, which examines couples’ attitudes to financial planning, was conducted among savers over the age of 40 and living with a partner. It found that as many as 4.5 million* Britons could be concealing savings or investments worth an average of£1,037 from their spouse or partner – a secret stash of approximately £4.6 billion.

One in ten (9 per cent) of those choosing to keep their funds hidden do so because they don’t trust their other half’s financial decision making, while a further quarter (23 per cent) admit that this is a security measure, in case they should split up with their partner.

Women are more likely to keep their funds hidden from their partner, with 18 per cent admitting to hiding savings averaging £1,002. This compares with 12 per cent of men, who conceal an average fund of £1,072.

A prudent two in five (42 per cent) secret savers plan to use the money to supplement their retirement income – even though 20 per cent of those surveyed admit to never having discussed financial planning for retirement with their spouse or partner.

Vince Smith-Hughes, head of business development at Prudential, said: “By harbouring secret stashes of money, many couples are failing to plan sufficiently for their joint retirement. While it is understandable that some people in relationships want to be able to spend their own money, it is important for couples to have regular and open discussions about financial planning for the sake of maximising their retirement incomes. Only then can they decide how to make the best possible joint provision for the future.

“Consulting a financial adviser together is an important part of this on-going dialogue and can help couples to secure the income and lifestyle they expect in retirement.”

Prudential’s survey also found that nearly a fifth (17 per cent) of Britons feel uncomfortable about discussing financial matters with their partner. While two thirds (67 per cent) of couples say they have not received professional financial advice together in the past five years, one in 10 people claim that either they or their partner has independently visited an adviser within the past five years.

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Short-Term Loans Company’s Strict Controls Help Lock Out Fraudsters

A tough approach to detecting and stopping fraudulent applications, along with a system of thorough verification checks and state of the art screening technology, are helping a leading payday loans company to nip fraud in the bud.

Payday Express, a provider of same day cash loans that people can access to see through a temporarily difficult time with their personal finances, have implemented sophisticated identity and fraud prevention checks on its website, which will detect many illegitimate attempts to obtain an instant cash loan and immediately decline them.

It warns anyone tempted to try to make fraudulent loan applications that it takes fraud very seriously and will do whatever it takes to prosecute anyone who does manage to take out a fraudulent loan and press for the maximum penalty to be imposed.

Once a dubious payday loan application has been detected and intercepted, all the details are investigated by Payday Express’s dedicated fraud prevention team. It sifts through all the details of these applications, aiming to find links between them and existing accounts, to gather as much information as possible to be passed on to the police for investigation.

As well as being passed on to the police, all fraudulent applications are also reported to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), which carries out its own wide-scale investigations and looks for links between reported cases from its members.

Sam Walsh, of Payday Express’s fraud prevention department, said: “Our department aims to minimise the distress experienced by the victims of fraud, and limit the company’s financial losses.”

And he warned: “We provide the police with as much information as possible to investigate fraud, and will press for the maximum charges to be brought against those responsible, and to recover the funds that were falsely applied for from our company.”

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Confused.com Launches Interactive Road Safety Map

Confused.com has launched an informative mapping tool that reveals the dangers of road rage. The interactive road safety map reveals the country’s most dangerous roads and junctions.

Cyclist and motorist rage is in the spotlight this Road Safety Week and, according to Confused.com, both cyclists and car owners have strong feelings about how to handle it.

Both cyclists and motorists are turning to social media to report incidents of road related anger with Confused.com identifying 2,674 tweets mentioning both ‘road rage’ and ‘cyclist’ during the first nine months of this year. In response to this emerging danger, Confused.com created the interactive map so that both cyclists and drivers can pinpoint rage blackspots.

In addition to the cycle safety map, a survey of 1,000 motorists and 1,000 cyclists carried out by Confused.com identified what sends cyclists into a ‘two-wheel tantrum’ and turns car drivers ‘cyclo-pathic.’ Along with the survey and the map, people can learn more about ‘cycle rage’ by watching a cycle issues video about the subject.

The survey found that 72 per cent of drivers have experienced one or more incidents involving a cyclist during the last two years. A quarter of these drivers were keen to see cyclists pay road tax and 14 per cent of drivers wanted to see cyclists displaying number plates on their bikes. Getting cyclists to pass a version of the driving test was a popular idea among 44 per cent of annoyed motorists, while 43 per cent said that they would like to see cyclists take out a form of insurance. Catching those who cycle through red lights was a top solution among 59 per cent of car drivers. Almost one third of motorists said that cycling on the pavement (which the Highway Code states is illegal) should be stopped.

Meanwhile, almost a quarter of the cyclists said they’ve been beeped at or sworn at by a motorist and more than one in eight had been knocked off their bike by a motorist. Additionally, 65 per cent of cyclists told Confused.com that they feel less safe than they did a year ago and 34 per cent say they’ve been a victim of road rage.

Cyclists have some suggestions about ways to improve their journeys. Some suggestions include legalising cycling on pavements (28 per cent), introducing more bike lanes (58 per cent) and increasing the availability of hire bikes (25 per cent).

Gareth Kloet, Head of Car Insurance at Confused.com, said: “Rage on the roads is a big problem for both motorists and cyclists and our research shows that both groups have much to complain about. Whilst both parties can point at differing solutions to help improve road safety, we urge all road users to exercise respect and courtesy as the roads are for everyone and tolerance could save people’s lives.”

Malcolm Shepherd, Chief Executive of Sustrans, the UK charity encouraging people to travel by foot, bike or public transport said: “People need to be more considerate and aware of all other users when making their journeys.”

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Saxo Bank Enables Online Islamic Trading

Saxo Bank A/S, the online trading and investment specialist, has enabled its clients to identify and trade Islamic compliant stocks and ETFs on more than 25 exchanges worldwide. The Bank selected IdealRatings Inc., a leading global Islamic compliant fund management service provider, as the most reliable source for identifying Islamic compliant instruments globally.

The compliance reasoning is based on commonly accepted and transparent Islamic guidelines defined by IdealRatings and Shariah Review Bureau with operations in Jeddah, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and Manama. More than 12,000 stocks and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are screened and researched on a monthly basis by IdealRatings.

Jakob Beck Thomsen, Regional head of Middle East and CEO Saxo Bank (Dubai) Ltd., said: “Islamic finance is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world today and we are excited to enable our clients to identify and trade Islamic compliant stocks online. IdealRatings is the industry’s most trusted brand for identifying and researching Islamic compliant stocks and we are confident in offering their data to our clients.”

Mohamed Donia, CEO of IdealRatings, added: “Saxo Bank A/S has always been an innovator and market leader in providing its clients with quality financial services and we are delighted to partner with them to provide this reliable information for their discerning investors.”

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The Choice Of His Broker Binary Options

The choice of his broker of binary options can sometimes be very complex, especially if we begin and if we do not still know the world of the on-line investment. The strategie-binaires.com site helps you to make the best choice.

Before beginning to trade by means of the binary options, it will be necessary for you to pass by an indispensable stage, the choice of your broker or on-line broker. Now, the brokers proposing this type of investment being more and more numerous on internet, the choice can sometimes turn out complicated, especially when we begin. It is then to help you to make the best possible choice that the strategy-options.com site decided to help you by explaining to you what are elements important to compare between each of the offers. Know besides that strategy-options.com also realized a comparative degree of the main brokers with for each of them precise explanations regarding their advantages and inconveniences.

In the meantime, here are some rules simple to apply during the choice of your partner broker of binary options:

The general characteristics of the brokers of binary options:

Before interesting us in the technical details, it is essential to have a particular attention on the general characteristics proposed by the broker whom you will choose.

According to your budget, you will also have to look at the conditions of deposits and at the minimum amount asked for each of the proposed options. Useless indeed to ruin you in a single investment there where other brokers will ask you for a less important amount of transaction. Once this detected information, you can also take into account offers of welcome proposed by the quasi-totality of the on-line brokers. These offers can take various forms (bonus of deposit, refund of the losses) and asks an in-depth study to determine which one is the most interesting. For that purpose, consult the present general conditions on the concerned sites. Do not also forget to verify expenses connected to the cash withdrawal and the extensions announced in this direction.

Finally, to guarantee you a legal resort in case of dispute, think of choosing only the brokers being approved by the European authorities in on-line investment and in brokerage.

The technical characteristics to be verified:

Once the general characteristics were studied and the best offers were brought out of the lot, you can proceed to a study of the technical constituents of each of the brokers. For that purpose, you have to know the main platforms of trading proposed on the market or inquire with the broker when this one developed only the technical solution. Among platforms the most spread on the market, we find very qualitative Metatrader who offers possibilities of evolution and very interesting programming for little that we are able of establishing complex strategies.

In every case, opt even there for a platform completely translated or developed in English to guarantee you an optimal use of each of the given tools.

Concerning these tools, their number and their quality also varies from a platform to the other one. To know which one of these platforms will offer you the services which you really need, think of determining in advance a list of indicators which seem to you essential in good investments. Useless indeed to block you of superfluous tools which will finally return your transactions less intuitive and more complex, especially if you are novices in trading. Before choosing a broker of binary options, think of testing systematically their platform thanks to the accounts of demonstration.

To know the main brokers of the market and their advantages and inconveniences, consult our evaluations on www.strategy-options.com.

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Pioneer Services to Give Away $1,000 and Apple iPads® to Eight Lucky Service Members

Pioneer Services will make this holiday season one to remember for eight service members and their families thanks to the Mega Merry Giveaway, a sweepstakes just for active-duty or career-retired service members and their spouses. There will be four winners of $1,000 and four iPad winners—one winner of each from each military branch.

“The Mega Merry Giveaway is our way of thanking those who serve for all they have done for our nation, and in a way that captures the season’s spirit of giving,” said Karen Von Der Bruegge, chief marketing and retail operations officer for Pioneer Services. “The best part—other than the chance to win a thousand dollars or an iPad—is that there is no obligation and no strings attached. All they have to do is be on active duty, career-retired, or a military spouse, and they can enter to win. It really is that easy.”

Those who qualify can enter on the company’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/PioneerServices, or at www.MegaMerryGiveaway.com, which is also where they can find complete rules and details.

“We are incredibly excited for the winners to be selected December 11,” added Von Der Bruegge, “because that is when we will find out who is going to have a very merry holiday season on behalf of Pioneer Services.”

Pioneer Services, the military banking division of MidCountry Bank, provides financial services and award-winning education to members of the Armed Forces. For more than 25 years, Pioneer Services has been a leader in military lending, offering military loans,retail lending, VA loans, Certificates of Deposit, savings accounts, and award-winning financial education programs through a network of offices and on the Internet. Pioneer Services is proud to support military families and communities through a variety of partnerships, programs, and sponsorships.

For more information, visit PioneerServices.com. For loan information, visit PioneerMilitaryLoans.com.

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Vebnet Reveals Lack Of Appreciation Of The Benefits Package Is A Major Concern For Employers

Vebnet has revealed that for the third year running, over half of HR directors and rewards chiefs (56%) say lack of employee understanding or appreciation of benefits is their number one concern, yet the potential for better communication and greater financial education is still to be exploited by many.

This is one of the main conclusions to be drawn from the Annual HR Reward Survey*, conducted in partnership with employee benefits and solutions provider Vebnet and leading long term savings and investment company Standard Life.

Other findings of the annual survey were:
– Less than a third (31%) of employers say they conduct frequent employee research to help them understand their employee’s views and concerns around rewards and benefits.
– Just over a third (34%) of employers confirm their reward and benefit communications are personalised for each employee.
– Over half of employers (52%) don’t currently offer their employees any financial education and have no plans to do so.

Richard Morgan, director of consultancy at Vebnet, commented: “Many people are seeing an erosion of their income in real terms, thanks to pay freezes and inflation. So a drive for greater employee understanding and engagement has never been timelier. Benefits are typically worth 20-25% of salary and demonstrating this is an important message that is likely to be very well received in the current environment. More than ever, employees are likely to want to gain a much better understanding of how to plan for the future and to be extremely receptive to support in this area.

“But it appears that many employers are deferring addressing this issue. Clearly HR directors and benefit chiefs have many things to contend with just now, such as headcount reductions and budgets being squeezed. But they also need to tackle the issue of engagement and understanding head on. I believe the spotlight is about to turn towards engagement and that financial education is set to become as important as “wellbeing” in the workplace.

Ann Flynn, Head of Corporate Marketing at Standard Life added: “There is no doubt that the right communication is vital when it comes to employee engagement and with the introduction of auto-enrolment it can only gain in importance. We’ve already carried out additional research into auto-enrolment, which shows that when people are presented with the right information in the right way, they engage more and are likely to understand the value of their company pension scheme and stay opted in. That’s why Standard Life and Vebnet are working closely with employers to ensure the right communications are used to help drive engagement so that employees have a full appreciation of the benefits their employers are providing.”

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Confused.com Launches Exclusive Motor Brand Pink Pound

Confused.com has launched an exclusive motor brand called ‘Pink Pound’ on its insurance panel.

Pink Pound Insurance is a division of Right Choice Insurance Brokers specifically set up for gay and lesbian customers and cannot be found on any other major comparison site.

Every customer has the right to get a fair chance at getting car insurance and Confused.com, with its relationship with Pink Pound, allows every customer to be treated individually. The launch of the exclusive brand allows homosexual couples to get auto insurance discounts just like other couples.

‘Pink Pound’ insurance takes customers individual situations to identify ways of reducing their premiums, to obtain competitive rates, using some gay specific schemes whilst at the same time giving the most professional service.

Mike Joseph, Managing Director of Pink Pound said: “Pink Pound insurance was created to give the LGBT community the product, pricing and personal service that is lacking from most standard offerings.

“At Pink pound we have negotiated some fantastic premiums with our specialist panel of insurers and see Confused.com as the ideal partner to ensure that this brand reaches the maximum number of potential customers as possible. Whilst further enhancing Confused.com’s commitment to provide a specialist quote for every client, from every back ground with any specific needs.”

Gareth Kloet, Head of Car Insurance at Confused.com continued: “Adding Pink Pound to the ever increasing number of insurers that we compare prices for is a great result. We do not discriminate against anyone as it’s all about getting the right cover at the right cost and insuring that everyone has an equal opportunity in getting these deals.”

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Saxo Bank Receives Best Active Trading Tools Award At Shares Awards

Saxo Bank, online trading and investment specialist, has won the award for ‘Best Active Trading Tools’ at the annual Shares awards in London.

The Shares awards aim to recognise those organizations providing both innovative and high quality of service to the world of retail investment. The awards provide a platform for traders and investors to voice who are the best in the business.

Henrik Dyrholm Holst, Head of Platform Management at Saxo Bank, commented on the win: “Saxo Bank is proud to have been awarded for providing the industry’s leading trading tools. Saxo Bank is renowned for our online forex trading but SaxoTrader is a multi-product trading platform offering clients a wide range of opportunities to trade the world’s capital markets, from FX Options and Futures to CFDs on stocks, indices and commodities as well as popular investment products such as Stocks, Bonds and ETFs. We have continuously focus on making the trading experience for all types of traders as positive and intuitive as possible, and clearly guide users through the broad range of features on the platform. In 2011 we have also upgraded the platform with winners/losers stock in intraday real-time across all 23 stock exchanges covered by Saxo Bank. In addition, we continue our investment in optimizing and adding new trading tools and are happy to announce the imminent launch of our cutting edge trading apps for both Android and iPhone.”

Saxo Bank’s trading platforms have defined the company’s success in the online trading space for over a decade. Since introducing the SaxoTrader in 1998, Saxo Bank has enhanced and improved its platforms to meet the evolving needs of forex traders and investors in a continuously changing industry.

Shares is the leading weekly publication for stock market professionals and private investors and as such is read weekly by thousands of analysts, fund managers, stockbrokers, company directors and private investors. The Shares’ team of expert writers is highly regarded in the City and their comment frequently influences the market’s view of individual companies and their underlying share price. The magazine’s easy-to-read style and depth of analysis has made it the indispensable weekly read for those actively investing in the UK stock market today.

A full list of awards can be found at http://www.sharesawards.co.uk/awards/.

Via EPR Network
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Payday Loans Company Staff Swap Their Jobs For Fully-Fledged Careers

Workers at a Bromley-based finance company are benefiting from top-flight training and development designed to equip them for long-term careers in this growing sector.

Payday Express, a British provider of short-term finance solutions, is seeing positive results from its focus on staff development, with a motivated and effective team of employees.

Staff at the company based in Bromley, Kent enjoy a full, ongoing training and development programme within their different teams, and are given encouragement by their team leaders and managers to identify and pursue opportunities for external training in specific job-related disciplines which will help them develop their careers.

Ann Shepperly, for example, started work at Payday Express as a collections agent. However, a secondment within the company to carry out User Acceptance Testing (UAT) on its new Loan Management System showed her that she had an affinity for and valuable skills to offer as a software tester.

She has now taken on a role within the company’s IT department as a QA test analyst, and is undertaking further training, with full company support, to help her to learn the extra skills her new role demands.

Another Payday Express staff member whose ambition has led to her gaining a new role, is Ann’s former collections department colleague, Militza Smith. Now working in the company’s fraud protection and liaison department, studying on a financial crime awareness course was the key to her gaining the confidence needed for her new role.

“Completing the course while still relatively new to the job was a great experience,” she said. “I was experiencing some of the situations I was learning about, and I tried to incorporate the solutions into my daily work. “The course was a fantastic start on a career path that I had not even previously considered. It has broadened my horizons and taught me to think outside the box,” Militza added.

Emma Furlong, group trainer for Payday Express, believes that the company’s commitment to its workforce’s continual development keeps staff motivated and productive, and benefits not only them, but also the company and its customers. “We aim to offer a variety of internal training courses, and arrange external courses for specific skills, so that our staff challenge themselves, broaden their skill sets, and grow within their chosen careers,” she said.

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Saxo Bank Releases New Video Commenting On Eurozone Crisis

Saxo Bank has released a macro view video featuring Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist, analysing the situation for the Eurozone in light of heads rolling in the hot political seats of troubled nations, namely Greece and Italy. It goes without saying that despite the impending appointment of new heads of state the burdens in these nations are so heavy now that they can hardly be shrugged off.

Clean-up in both countries is a major task. While Greece is in the bailout phase and is undergoing a leadership change, the main focus is on Italy now which still has a chance to save itself. And it must as there is hardly a hand large enough to help the Eurozone’s third-largest economy. With the situation worsening by the hour though and the markets having clearly demonstrated a looming doomsday, with perilously high bond yield spreads, prompt action must be taken.

The problem in Italy is one of liquidity not solvency, unlike Greece, though it seems the difference hardly matters now in the eyes of investors. It is interesting to note that it only took Portugal, Greece and Ireland 14 days to ask the International Monetary Fund for help after their 10-year bond yield spread to German bunds passed 6.5 per cent, said Steen. Italy’s has been above 7 per cent for a few days now. So the pressure is definitely on Italy’s politicians in charge – whoever they might be – to activate reforms, move through austerity and create a credible plan. Until then the EURUSD is expected to remain under considerable pressure.

The full video, as well as other forex videos, can be found at video.saxobank.com.

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