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Expat Investor : October 2007
NEWS expatinvestor.com 2 EXPAT INVESTOR October 2007 First for Friends Provident on non- disclosure Fast Facts 88111 Fast Facts 88110 FRIENDS Provident, the FTSE 100 life and pensions company, has announced it will pay a proportion of a critical illness claim where unrelated non-disclosure has happened.This initiative means that provided the non-disclosure is not related to the cause of the claim and the insurer would not have turned AS THE NUMBER of estates exposed to IHT doubles, Skandia has published two free guides to help navigate clients through the process of inheritance tax (IHT) planning. According to HM Revenue & Customs' data, the number of estates facing an IHT liability has more than doubled from approximately 18,000 in 1997/98 to approximately 37,000 in 2006/7. But although public concern about IHT has grown in similar proportions, knowledge and understanding for many has fallen behind. Skandia's free guides to IHT and trusts MoneyFacts dedicates section to ethical personal finance BARELY a day goes by without there being an article or news story focusing on climate change, going green or donating to worthy causes. This has led to a situation where an increasing number of people are considering how they can adapt their own personal lifestyle to something more environmentally friendly and ethical. Moneyfacts points out that we are also witnessing an increasing number of companies within the financial services industry launching eco- friendly and ethical products. To put the size of this market into perspective, the Co-operative Bank's 2006 annual ethical consumerism report stated that ethical consumerism is now worth £29bn per annum, with ethical personal finance worth £11.5bn a year alone. Until now, it has been difficult for consumers to assess what products are out there. They have had to trawl through websites and printed media to glean what information they can. Stephen Rumbelow, Head of Moneyfacts.co.uk comments on his company's latest initative, "There are literally hundreds of thousands of UK consumers who want to be more ethical or environmentally friendly, who simply don't know where to down the application at the start, Friends Provident will make an offer based on a proportion of the total claim. Mark Jones, protection and actuarial manager at Friends Provident, explains to Expat Investor, "This is one small step to restore consumer confidence in the valuable These guides, says Skandia, have been produced for advisers to give to their clients in order to help them appreciate the importance of planning ahead for IHT, as well as the value of seeking financial advice. The first guide is an introduction to IHT and trusts and explains in consumer-friendly terms the key principles that clients need to understand. The guide looks at what IHT is and how it works, who is liable and how to calculate a personal IHT liability. It also outlines the necessary steps that people can take to reduce start. "There are various ethical or eco- friendly products being launched and some very good individual websites out there, but until now there hasn't been one single reliable and trustworthy source for consumers to find out more about ethical personal finance. "Not only do we have details of the credit cards, savings accounts, investments and mortgages that have an ethical association or benefit, we have also included a selection of useful guides and articles to provide consumers with relevant and useful information to help them choose products that match their own green or ethical outlook. "Some ethical cards, accounts or mortgages can really help make a difference to our world, whereas others are not much more than 'green wash'. I know that this area of the personal finance industry will become increasingly competitive over the next few years and hope that our new section will help consumers make an informed ethical choice that they feel comfortable with." Moneyfacts.co.uk ethical section can be found on www.moneyfacts.co.uk/ethical their IHT bill. The second guide provides more detail on the issues clients need to consider when choosing a suitable trust for IHT planning, outlining all the different trusts available. The guide provides a flow chart to help illustrate which type of trust could be suitable in different financial planning situations. It demonstrates why there is no single solution to IHT and why individual advice is needed to provide financial planning that is tailored to individual needs. benefits critical illness cover provides. Friends Provident is in the protection business to pay valid claims, to be able to do that we rely on the customer to provide us with all the information we need. "Where we have found the non- disclosure to be a genuine oversight, we will now make an offer based on a proportion of the total claim." Friends Provident also revealed its 2006 critical illness claims data. The company paid 483 critical illness claims totalling just under £28 million in 2006. Other key facts include: cancers remain the most common cause for a claim. average age of a claimant (excluding children's claims) was 40. average critical illness payout in 2006 was over £57,000, largest claim paid in 2006 was just over £400,000. Breakdown of claims received in 2006: 81.3% of claims were paid. 9.9% of claims were declined due to non-disclosure. 8.8% of claims were declined due to not meeting the policy definition. 594 claims were received and 483 of these claims were paid. Lloyds TSB International fee free offer LLOYDS TSB International has launched its three-month fee-free offer to all new customers who open an International Account. The Bank believes this account meets the challenges and opportunities of expats living and working abroad. It's available in sterling, US dollars and euros and offers debit cards in all three currencies. The Bank adds that customers benefit from a 24/7 telephone and internet banking service, competitive interest rates, advisors located around the world, introductions to reputable tax experts, Sentinel card protection, a lifestyle service as well as a number of other added-value benefits. Normally £7.50/$7.50/ 7.50 a month, the subscription fee will be waived for the first three months on all new accounts opened. Chris Sutton, Managing Director, Expatriate Banking, tells Expat Investor,"With an increasing number of people choosing to live and work abroad there is a need for banks to rise to the challenge and provide a seamless international banking service. At Lloyds TSB International we understand the needs of our customers and are determined to provide what our customers need". The International Account is available at all branches of Lloyds TSB and online at www.lloydstsb- offshore.com/international