Disappointment and some delight to Chancellor George Osborne’s bleak mini-budget autumn statement came this afternoon from Stephen Depla, head of Brewin Dolphin in Marlborough.
“We are obviously disappointed to hear that pension savers’ allowances will drop,” he told Marlborough News Online. “But the increased drawdown news is welcome.”
“It will go towards restoring the flexibility for existing pensioners and to those retiring now in these tough times of pitiful annuity rates.”
“We also welcome measures announced by the Chancellor that help long-term savers and encourage greater investment in growing businesses. Raising of the annual ISA limit and including AIM stocks under the ISA wrapper are both most welcome in that regard.”
He added: “However, the Chancellor could have done more to create a tax system that rewards long-term investors over short-term gamblers.”
“The current system works completely in reverse, where equity investment is subject to 0.5 per cent stamp duty while CFD trading is tax free. Saving for the future requires long-term thinking and expertise, not the instincts of a short-seller out to make a quick buck.”
“And the Chancellor should have done more to reward long-term investment. Having said that, this was broadly a much better performance.”
“The Chancellor certainly didn’t pull his punches nor hide in a bush and the long term outlook is very slightly better – so a few plus points were scored particularly with scrapping the 3p on fuel – always a welcome measure outside London.”
The investment management and financial planning company, admired for its sponsorship of Marlborough’s jazz and literary festivals, also revealed its own preliminary results today (Wednesday).
Brewin’s underlying profits rose 8.3 per cent to £42.9 million in the year to September while funds under management rose 8 per cent to £25.9 billion.
“It has been another difficult year for the economy but the markets have held up very well and we are pleased to have made good progress in Marlborough and contributed to the Group’s increased profits and funds under management,” said Mr Depla.
“The industry is going through some significant changes and both the team here and our clients have managed this well. I believe we are set fair to grow the business in the coming year.”
Cautious optimism came from Brewin’s chairman Jamie Matheson, who said: “Equity markets have remained remarkably resilient and since the summer there have been signs that our clients have started buying more shares although volumes have not got back to their historically high levels.”