UK – Ron Sandler, former chief executive of Lloyd’s bank and chief operating officer of NatWest Group, has been appointed by the British government to conduct the review into the retail end of the long-term savings industry, as recommended by the Myners report on institutional investment earlier this year.

The review will cover the markets for both long-term and medium-term savings products, which form a “significant” impact on the allocation of capital in the UK economy, Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said during the announcement, part of new measures to promote British enterprise.

Sandler, chairman of internet technology infrastructure services provider Computacenter and investment management house Kyte Group, will look at the applicability of the investment principles proposed by the Myners review of institutional investment on retail investment. The review will continue the work done by the UK Financial Services Authority, in examining information flows to consumers, the nature and quality of consumer advice and the principles of governance within the relevant products.

At the same time, Brown also announced reforms to capital gains tax, which would be “overall” more favourable to enterprise than that of the US, and insolvency laws to reduce penalties for honest failure.
From April 2002 effective capital gains tax rates for business assets will be reduced to 20% after one year and 10% after two years. The government will also consider whether further changes to the non-business asset regime will be introduced to improve incentives to invest.