January 2013 Archive

Annual Residential Property Tax: 1 April 2013 looms closer

The government announced a package of measures in Budget 2012 to ensure that individuals and companies pay a fair share of tax on residential property transactions and to tackle avoidance, including the wrapping of property in corporate and other “envelopes”.

Interest rate swap misselling

Interest rate swaps were originally devised for trading between financial institutions and big corporations. Difficulties have arisen when similar products have been sold to smaller businesses including property developers, hoteliers and so on. It is currently estimated that 40,000 SME’s were mis-sold interest rate swaps. Certain banks have, as a consequence, agreed they will provide redress to non-sophisticated customers.

Pension of a bankrupt: appeal vacated

The appeal of the decision in Raithatha - v - Williamson [2012] has been vacated following settlement. The outcome of the first instance decision was that an Income Payments Order (“IPO”) could be made in respect of the undrawn personal pension. This decision therefore stands as precedent.

Secured directors' loans - helping you to get your loan repaid

Do you intend to make a loan to a company? Would you like to increase the likelihood of that loan being repaid? Many directors provide loans to their companies on an unsecured basis. However, if a loan is unsecured and the company becomes insolvent, the director’s loan will rank alongside all the other unsecured creditors and there is a substantial risk that all or at least some of the lent monies may not be recovered. As an alternative, a director can provide a secured director’s loan.

OFT issues new guidance on continuous payment authorities

The OFT has issued a set of principles for businesses using Continuous Payment Authorities (CPA’s) to clarify core standards. Guidance is provided for pre-contracts, the life of the contract and cancellation of contracts to ensure customers know what they are signing up to and their right to cancel. Businesses failing to act within the principles may face enforcement action from the OFT. It is not sufficient simply to include brief details in the Terms and Conditions of a contract; details must “be set out clearly and in plain, intelligible language, and brought prominently to the consumer's attention”.
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