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Wednesday 26th of January 2011

News Tag: advice

January 20, 2011

Watchdog announces changes for financial advisers

by Kay Murchie
Following a review, City watchdog the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has announced financial advisers must hold accreditation if they want to provide independent or restricted advice from the start of 2013. The FSA said retail investment advisers will need to possess a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) if they want to give independent or restricted advice after this date. The moves are to ...

January 18, 2011

FSA fines Barclays £7.7m

by Kay Murchie
Banking giant Barclays has received a fine of £7.7 million - imposed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) over poor investment advice. The City Watchdog has also ordered the bank to compensate up to £60 million to customers of two investment funds. The bank has apologised for the failures and said it will "put things right." The fine comes just a week after the Royal Bank ...

July 30, 2010

90% of leading mortgage products available direct

by Gill Montia
Nine out of ten leading mortgage products are available direct from lenders, moneysupermarket.com has reported. The comparison website suggests that the financial turmoil of the last couple of years has turned the UK mortgage market on its head and that the days when mortgage brokers had the pick of the best deals are gone. The firm's head of banking, Kevin Mountford, comments: ...

July 7, 2010

Mortgage detail beyond most home owners

by Gill Montia
Three-quarters of mortgage holders don’t know how an interest rate rise of 1% would affect their monthly outgoings, according to new research from the Consumer Financial Education Body (CFEB). The study also found that over half of home owners questioned expect rates to change in the next nine months, although one in seven had no idea whether their mortgage was on a ...

May 10, 2010

British Library offers ethical business advice

by David Masters
British Library offers ethical business advice
Small businesses with a conscience can get advice on ethical issues from sustainability to socially responsible finance at the British Library's Green and Ethical Month. Events throughout May at the London-based library will include seminars, workshops and drop-in sessions led by eco-experts. The events have been organised by successful green and ethical entrepreneurs. "Green and ethical month is aimed at existing social, green or ...

April 9, 2010

FSA report raises concerns over pension switching advice

by Kay Murchie
FSA report raises concerns over pension switching advice
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has today found that poor advice is still being given to people switching pension funds. The findings come after a major review of the sector conducted by the FSA in 2008. The City Watchdog has raised concerns about the advice being given and, as a result, is to take enforcement action against six firms. Many ...

April 8, 2010

Report reveals failings in Government’s debt advice strategy

by Kay Murchie
A report published by the Public Accounts Committee has branded the management of the Government's debt advice strategy a "complete failure." Six years ago, the Government introduced a strategy aimed at improving the support to, and cutting the number of people who struggle with unmanageable debt. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills shares responsibility for co-ordinating the strategy ...

February 24, 2010

Park Row told to repay millions by FSA

by Kay Murchie
Leeds-based independent financial advice company, Park Row Associates, has failed to give suitable advice, according to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and has therefore been ordered to pay compensation to customers. The City Watchdog has established that customers of Park Row Associates were at risk of receiving unsuitable advice about all of its financial products. Customers who bought products through ...

January 11, 2010

One million use credit cards pay mortgage or rent

by Gill Montia
New research from Shelter suggests that in the past year, up to one million UK households have used credit cards to pay the mortgage or rent. According to the housing charity, the findings present a disturbing picture of up to a million people taking "desperate measures" to keep the roofs over their heads. The highest proportion of those afflicted ...

October 20, 2009

Lloyds TSB: Prepare for economic recovery

by David Masters
Businesses must get ready to make the most of an upturn in the economy, Lloyds TSB has advised. The bank said businesses that are prepared for economic recovery will thrive when the upturn begins. Although there is no certainty when recovery will begin, firms that do not plan could fall into the trap of overtrading, the bank said. "One thing is clear - those ...

October 12, 2009

Abbey advises first-time buyers to take the plunge now

by Kay Murchie
Abbey advises first-time buyers to take the plunge now
Abbey Mortgages is advising potential first-time buyers who are currently renting to take their first step onto the property ladder. The bank’s research shows that first-time buyers could collectively save up to a massive £1 billion if they acted now and bought their own home. According to Abbey, 1.61 million Britons said they were looking to buy in areas of ...

October 2, 2009

Recession encourages consumers to save

by David Masters
Recession encourages consumers to save
The recession has made people think before they spend, according to financial advice site Moneynet.co.uk. Andrew Hagger, Moneynet.co.uk spokesperson, said since the credit crunch consumers are being smarter with their money. He made the comment after the Office for National Statistics revealed the household savings ratio increased to 5.6% in the second quarter of this year, up from 3.9% in the first quarter. "People are ...

September 9, 2009

Confused.com issues debt repayment advice

by David Masters
Credit card holders can make "staggering" savings by paying off more than the minimum repayment each month, Confused.com claimed this week. A credit card debt of £5,000 could take up to 36 years to pay off for consumers paying the minimum repayment, the price comparison site said. Paying back an extra £10 per month would reduce this to 16 years, and £50 per ...

September 7, 2009

Debt a “ball and chain” round Britain’s ankles

by David Masters

Make the most of “inflated” savings rates

by David Masters
Interest rates on savings accounts are "highly inflated" at the moment because banks and building societies are desperate for deposits, a price comparison site said this week. Financial providers are offering average bonus rates of 1.93% on savings accounts, compared to 0.71% two years ago, moneysupermarket.com said. Savers should invest now to avoid disappointment, the price comparison site warned, because the high ...

August 31, 2009

Government updates repossession advice

by Gill Montia
Homeowners under threat of repossession and tenants on the brink of eviction have a new resource available at www.direct.gov.uk. The site now contains articles and videos prepared by the Ministry of Justice, aimed at informing people with both mortgage and rent arrears. The advice addresses a wide range of problems and is suitable for those who think they may have a problem keeping up their ...

August 24, 2009

Direct debit cheapest for energy

by David Masters
Householders have been advised that paying for energy bills by direct debit is the cheapest option. Price comparison site uSwitch.com issued the advice after it discovered a 7.3% drop in the number of people choosing to pay by direct debit. The number of customers signing up for fixed monthly direct debit payments when changing their supplier at uSwitch.com has dropped to 85.3%, down from ...

Rate rise will hit homeowners “like a rock”

by David Masters
Rate rise will hit homeowners
Homeowners on tracker mortgages will be "hit like a rock" when interests rates rise, a financial expert warned this week. David Kuo, director of the Motley Fool financial news website, Fool.co.uk, said "prudent" customers should continue making monthly repayments at the same level as they were before interest rates plummeted. By maintaining repayment levels mortgage holders will be reducing their debts ...

July 29, 2009

“Impartial” advice best solution for economic blues

by David Masters
Consumers looking to alleviate the financial blues should seek advice from a certified and impartial source, a debt solutions group warned this week. Derek Oakley, head insolvency practitioner at Debt Free Direct, said financial advice is best sought from advisers who have "achieved the Debt Standard". There can be "dramatic variations in the quality" of help given by debt management companies, Oakley ...

July 23, 2009

Advisers fail Which? equity release test

by Gill Montia
Which? has been investigating equity release advisers only to find that two-thirds failed to pass benchmarks for good advice. Researchers working for the consumer group visited 40 advisers, 12 of whom specialised in equity release. A disappointing five from this group passed the Which? test, compared with eight of the 28 independent financial advisers surveyed. Overall, 23 advisers failed to complete a fact-find and ...

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