OK, this might not sound like a big deal, but it is, I think, the thin end of yet another wedge. Not so many years ago, when the banking dinosaurs ruled the earth, they bought life insurance companies, fund managers and even estate agents (of which they quickly disposed when they realised what they’d done). Then along came the Banking Crash ten or more years ago, we found their houses and branches were made of sand and they were forced to close or flog them all and ‘focus on their core business’. Here’s one of the first, albeit tentative signs of diversification/vertical integration/offering our customers a full service/trying for world domination again, pick your own management-speak. Of which, I passionately believe, there is much to choose.
“Annuity rates soar to 14-year high”
I was asked this week whether annuities are now ‘a good investment’. They’ve been recommended very rarely in recent years, since ‘pension freedoms’ allowed pretty much unlimited drawdown on pension funds and anything left to be passed on to beneficiaries free of Inheritance Tax.