After my last post regarding protecting your cash assets we have seen today another finanical institution become nationalised. This time it is Icelandic bank, Landsbanki.

Iceland’s banking minister confirmed that Landsbanki has gone into receivership and would be taken over by the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority (IFSA) following emergency banking legislation that was passed last night.

In a statement the regulator said: ‘Based on new legislation, the IFSA proceeds to take control of Landsbanki to ensure continued commercial bank operation in Iceland.

‘Domestic deposits are fully guaranteed, as declared by the government. Landsbanki’s domestic branches, call centres, cash machines and internet operations will be open for business as usual. The objective of the IFSA’s action is to guarantee a functioning domestic banking operation.’

However, around 300,000 British savers with £4.5 billion of funds are now unable to access their money. They were drawn to the lender by high rates of return and could end up losing out. Maybe ths is the time that “value” starts to recover some of the ground lost to “price”.

With all the turmoil surrounding banks and their savers at the moment, finding a safe place for your cash deposits is becoming more of an art. No, we are not recommending the “under the mattress fund” for your money. We haven’t suggested that since the Millennium Bug scare.

Currently up to £35,000 of you savings is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This is a bona fide scheme and we pay into it each year. It is also the scheme which is helping bail out Bradford and Bingley so I guess our contribution next year may be a little higher.

We have now received confirmation that all Post Office accounts are secure up to 100,000 Euros. This is because the Post Office falls under the Irish Deposit Protection Scheme.

If you wish to know more about investing your cash in The Post Office, or any other institution offering a higher level of protection then please contact us now.

The Financial Services Authority has produced a series of excellent guides to help UK consumers with their financial decision making. The guides, under the general heading of “Money Made Clear” are designed to be jargon free.

I have read through all of the guides and think they are very useful for both new and existing clients of ours to read through prior to receiving our professional advice. They will hopefully give you a general understanding of the issues surrounding the area of your finances which you need guidance and advice on.

Like most publicatioins they can quickly fall behind with the pace of legislative changes and product provider innovation so, even now, one of the guides misses a whole section on further alternatives to purchasing an annuity.

I don’t think the FSA ever intended these free guides to be a replacement to solid advice so please call us with your specific enquiry

Swisscanto aims to capitalise on the sustainable development of emerging market companies through the planned launch of a new fund.

The Swiss-based firm is planning to launch the Swisscanto (LU) Equity Fund Green Invest Emerging Markets fund in late August. Managed by Gerhard Wagner, the fund will invest in companies which contribute to and stand to benefit from the ethical and ecological development of emerging market countries.

The fund will target ecological companies which specialise in sustainable energy and water supply alongside companies which aim to increase efficiency in agriculture, forestry and the use of resources. Wagner can also invest in social welfare companies involved in education and healthcare.

Halifax has announced that one of their specialist divisions, The Mortgage Business, is to close to new customers on the 22nd August 2008. This residential lender has become the latest victim of the credit crunch as Halifax look to recoup its losses and “streamline” its businesses. In other words, reduce the payroll and loose over 300 jobs.

My firm had an excellent relationship with The Mortgage Business and its staff and we would like to wish all those staff leaving the very best of success in whatever new venture the persue.

TMB tended to specialise in buy-to-let and self-certification mortgages. Customers with an existing TMB mortgage would be unaffected by the changes, HBOS said.

It is only two more months to wait until the latest Pension Bill comes into force and brings and end to the lack of equality for divorcees receiving pensions sharing orders.

Safeguarded Rights is the name given to the part of the pension fund built up by National Insurance rebates, usually called Protected Rights. But as soon as these Protected Rights are subject to a Pensions Sharing Order and transferred into a private fund of a divorcee they become known as Safeguarded Rights. The only snag is you can’t currently take 25% of this fund as a tax free cash lump sum at retirement.

However, by the end of October 2008 the anomaly will be gone. This will have a significant impact on people who have Safeguarded Rights in their pension portfolio and have had to use other means to fund a future cash lump sum at retirement.

If you feel you might be affected by this you should contact us for further information