Economy News

BCC cuts UK growth forecast

BCC cuts UK growth forecast

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) expects the UK economy to grow more slowly than previously forecast and says it faces “serious challenges”. In its quarterly economic forecast the BCC forecast growth of 0.6 per cent in 2012, a slight decrease from its previous forecast of 0.8 per cent. It expects the government’s efforts to [...]

March 6, 2012 | 0 Comments More
Government on track to beat borrowing target

Government on track to beat borrowing target

The government expects to either achieve or exceed its target of borrowing no more than £127bn this year, after recording its biggest surplus for four years in January. In the tax year to date the government has borrowed £93.5bn and in January it made a net repayment of £7.75bn, excluding financial interventions. Although a surplus [...]

February 21, 2012 | 0 Comments More
Inflation down to 3.6% in January

Inflation down to 3.6% in January

Inflation fell sharply in January to 3.6 per cent on the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), from 4.2 per cent in December, according to the latest official figures. Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation, which includes housing costs such as mortgage interest and council tax, fell to 3.9 per cent from 4.8 per cent. Although CPI inflation [...]

February 14, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Investment News

Savings tops list of financial worries

Savings tops list of financial worries

There has been a substantial increase in the number of people worried about their finances over the past six months and savings are the main area of concern. A survey by financial advice site unbiased.co.uk discovered that 47 per cent of British people are more concerned about their savings than they were six months ago. [...]

Santander launches Inflation Linked Savings Bond

Santander launches Inflation Linked Savings Bond

Santander UK has announced a new savings bond designed for people who want to inflation-proof their savings. The six-year Inflation Linked Savings Bond will pay the percentage rise in the Retail Price Index (RPI) when it matures, on top of the saver’s initial deposit. Savers can invest between £500 to £2 million in the bond [...]

Low base rate could cost savers £43bn

Low base rate could cost savers £43bn

Campaign group Save our Savers today revealed the cost to savers of the Bank of England’s decision to hold the base rate at 0.5% for the 33rd successive month. The group estimates that the low interest rate combined with a retail price index at 5.6 per cent, its highest level for 20 years, and a [...]

Mortgage News

Bank of Ireland raises cost of mortgages

Bank of Ireland raises cost of mortgages

The Bank of Ireland has become the latest lender to increase the standard variable rate (SVR) on its mortgages. Around 100,000 UK customers will be affected when the bank increases the SVR from 2.99 per cent, to 3.99 per cent in June There will be a further increase in September, when the SVR will rise [...]

March 7, 2012 | 0 Comments More
New mortgage approvals reach two year high

New mortgage approvals reach two year high

Mortgage approvals have reached their highest level since December 2009 according to Bank of England figures. 58,728 home cand be jepordized by refinancing private student loans were approved in January 2012, a 30 per cent increase from January 2011, following increased activity among first-time buyers. A two-year stamp duty exemption on properties between the value of £125,000 and £250,000 will end in [...]

February 29, 2012 | 0 Comments More
Mortgage lending 12% lower in January

Mortgage lending 12% lower in January

Gross mortgage lending fell to £10.5bn in January, 12 per cent lower than the total for December. However the figures represent a year-on-year increase of 10 per cent, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said. January was the sixth consecutive month of higher lending compared with the previous year. Home loan approvals also increased in [...]

February 20, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Property News

House prices down 1.1% in February

House prices down 1.1% in February

House prices fell 1.1 per cent in February according to The Halifax, contradicting earlier figures from Nationwide suggesting that property prices have increased. According to the Halifax’s three monthly index, house prices were 1.1 per cent lower in February than in the previous three months. The mortgage lender’s annual index showed that property prices fell [...]

March 7, 2012 | 0 Comments More
House prices soar near Olympics venue

House prices soar near Olympics venue

The average value of houses in the 13 postal districts closest to Olympic park in Stratford, east London, has increased by more than £62,739 to £268,884 since July 2005, when the capital was awarded the right to host the 2012 Olympics. A study by Lloyds TSB shows that house prices have risen by 30%, which [...]

February 28, 2012 | 0 Comments More
House prices stable amid strong buyer interest

House prices stable amid strong buyer interest

House prices remained steady in January and February according to property analysis firm Hometrack, but there was a surge for interest from potential buyers. The firm’s Monthly National Housing Survey found that property values fell across six regions, remained the same in three, and grew by just 0.1 per cent in London, in the first [...]

Banking News

Debit card transactions declined by Yorkshire and Clydesdale

Debit card transactions declined by Yorkshire and Clydesdale

Customers of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank have been experiencing problems with debit cards being declined due to computer changes. The problem initially occurred while the banks, which are both part of the National Australia Bank (NAB), were transferring their systems operations to an external contractor on Sunday morning. Problems with some Mastercard debit transactions persisted [...]

March 6, 2012 | 0 Comments More
Metro Bank launches online ISA service

Metro Bank launches online ISA service

London-based Metro Bank is partnering with Australian online banking solutions provider Sandstone to create an online application platform for Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs). CallCredit will provide verification and credit checking data for the new service, which will be available in time for consumers to take advantage of the new Isa allowance, starting in April. This [...]

March 2, 2012 | 0 Comments More
£182bn of tax-free savings unused

£182bn of tax-free savings unused

More than three quarters of savers are unaware that everyone aged 16 and over is allowed to put £5,340 into cash ISA this year, according to research from uSwitch. Only half of savers are planning to put any money at all into a cash ISA, and just a quarter are using their total allowance, the [...]

March 1, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Insurance News

Banks write to customers over PPI mis-selling

Banks write to customers over PPI mis-selling

Banks are writing to millions of customers advising them that they may have been mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI), following the release of new guidelines by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The FSA estimates that between four million and 12 million letters will be sent out, but not everyone who has been mis-sold PPI will [...]

March 6, 2012 | 0 Comments More
Drivers switch to autopilot after 11 minutes

Drivers switch to autopilot after 11 minutes

A study by car insurance provider, Esure, has found that drivers suffer from a lapse in concentration just 11 minutes into a long journey. Esure questioned more than 1,000 motorists in the UK about their driving habits and attention span. 22 per cent of those surveyed said they fell into ‘autopilot’ easily, while 34% said [...]

March 2, 2012 | 0 Comments More
Pet insurance more important than critical illness cover?

Pet insurance more important than critical illness cover?

Insurance provider Hastings Direct is advising pet owners to take out the most comprehensive policy they can afford when their pet is under one year old. Dec Fisher, head of ancillaries at Hastings Direct warned that when people buy a new pet, they do not know what health issues they may have to face and [...]

February 23, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Other Finance News

Strikes threatened as public sector pension talks conclude

Strikes threatened as public sector pension talks conclude

Talks over public sector pensions have now ended with the government producing a final set of proposals. While the Treasury said the talks were constructive, unions claim that ‘serious matters’ have been left unresolved, leading to the threat of further industrial action. The proposed changes to health, education and civil service pensions are designed to [...]

March 9, 2012 | 0 Comments More
Payday loan company’s licence revoked

Payday loan company’s licence revoked

Credit broker Yes Loans has had its licence revoked by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) over concern that its business practices ‘deceitful and oppressive’. Two associated businesses, Blue Sky Personal Finance and Money Worries Limited, have also been found to be unfit to hold a consumer credit licence. Following a long-term investigation, the OFT [...]

Card fraud falls to 11-year low

Card fraud falls to 11-year low

The amount of money lost due to credit and debit card fraud fell to £341m in 2011. This was 7 per cent less than the amount lost in 2010 and 44 per cent lower than in 2008, when £610m was lost through card fraud. Since 2010 the number of fraudsters impersonating people to use or [...]

March 8, 2012 | 0 Comments More
Pensioners hammered by QE and rising living costs

Pensioners hammered by QE and rising living costs

The value of final salary pension schemes has been slashed by £90 billion due to the government’s latest round of quantitative easing (QE), the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) warns, while pensioners’ incomes have also been hit by soaring living costs. A new study by LV= suggest that pensioners’ day-to-day living costs have increased [...]

Second salvo of QE knocks £90bn off pensions funds

Second salvo of QE knocks £90bn off pensions funds

Falling gilt yields have pushed final salary pension funds £90bn deeper into the red since the second wave of quantitative easing (QE) started last October, pension experts said today. The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) said the Bank of England’s printing of £125bn within the past six months had hit pension funds harder than [...]