Thursday, 20 November 2014

Global Economy Lights are flashing, says PM

“Red warning lights” are again flashing over the state of the global economy, the Prime Minister has warner.

Speaking after the G20 meeting of world leaders, David Cameron said a “dangerous backdrop of instability” threatened Britain’s recovery, and we should stick to our long-term plan”.

In a Guardian article, he warned of the impact from conflicts, low growth and a eurozone “on the brink” of another recession.

He said: “The Eurozone is teetering on the brink of a possible third recession, with high unemployment, falling growth and the real risk of falling prices too.

“Emerging markets, which were the driver of growth in the early stages of the recovery, are now slowing down.”

By contrast, the Bank of England has forecast that the UK economy will grow by 3.5% in 2014, remaining resilient in the face of the “subdued world demand”.

But it its latest update last week, it also warned that there were risks from the global economic situation and it revised down its forecasts for UK output next year.


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Monday, 17 November 2014

Payday loan charges cap announced by FCA

It has been announced by the City regulator that a cap on the amount that payday lenders can charge their customers is being introduced.

Payday loan rates will be capped at 0.8% of the amount borrowed a day, said the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In total, no one will have to pay back more than twice what they borrowed, and there will be a £15 cap on default charges.

The regulator has said the changes will come into force in January.

“For people who struggle to repay, we believe the new rules will put an end to spiraling payday debts,” said FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley.


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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Latest forecast for UK economy

There is expected to be a GDP growth of 3pc this year, moderating to 2.5pc in 2015.

UK economic statistics have recently undergone significant revisions, but they do not change the 
wider picture. 

That being ‘the turnaround of the UK economy remains the weakest in the past century while the UK’s large productivity puzzle persists and, notwithstanding the gradual accumulation of an evidence base, remains largely unsolved.’ As suggested by the National institute of Economic & Social Research.

It is further proposed by the National Institute that the key risk to the progress of the recovery is productivity growth: ‘should this fail to recover as we expect, the impact on both living standards and public finances will be significant.’

Externally, the generalised weakness of the global recovery and, in particular, continued stagnation (or worse) in the Euro area, are obviously significant risks for the UK economy. 


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The hidden cost of going under without insolvency- corporate insolvencies

Creditors could be losing billions of pounds each year to “hidden” business closures, where companies shut their doors without going through formal insolvency procedures.

The number of businesses simply being struck off the Companies House register has risen by almost 30pc over the past three years, to 179,000 in the year to April.

Formal corporate insolvencies have been in decline since 2008. The strike-off numbers may explain the lower-than-expected official company failure figures since the downturn, according to R3, the insolvency trade body that conducted the study.


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Fuel price drop expected after fall in oil price

The Chancellor, George Osborne, has said the government will be watching petrol and diesel
distributors “very carefully” to ensure they pass on oil price reductions to customers.

Oil has fallen from about $115 per barrel in June to about $84 per barrel, a decline of about a quarter.

In comparison, petrol prices in the UK have fallen from a high of about 131.7p per litre in the summer to 124.22p – a decline of about 6%.

Diesel dropped from 136.37p to 128.58p.

Campaigners argue that taxes account for the bulk of UK pump prices, and that the government therefore has more power to reduce prices than petrol companies.

“our message is clear – the oil price has fallen and we expect that to be passed on to people at the
petrol station filling up their cars,” said Mr Osborne.

“We expect the oil companies to do this and we will be watching very carefully to make sure they do.”


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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

UK interest rates remain at record low of 0.5%

The Bank of England has held UK interest rates at a record low of 0.5% for another month.

It has also decided not to extend its quantitative easing programme, designed to stimulate lending in the economy, beyond the £375bn already spent.

The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee has held rates at 0.5% since March 2009 in a bid to help economic recovery.

Rates were expected to rise early next year, but economists think this will be pushed back due to recent poor news.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, has also warned that the UK will not escape the slowdown in the

The Bank of England has said it wants to be sure growth is on a firmer footing, and that slack in the labour market is reducing, before it raises interest rates.


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The Money Statistics - November 2014- Debt Management

The latest money management statistics have now been published by The Money Charity, which was known as Credit Action until October 2013, and is the UK’s financial capability charity.

These figures have been being produced since 2005 and have previously been called the debt statistics. But have now been renamed to encompass a wider range of how we spend money in the UK.

The key figures for November 2014 can be seen below.
• £55,223: average household debt (including mortgages) in September, up from £55,083 in August
• 270: Number of insolvencies every day
• £1,185: average amount paid in interest on debt per person annually
• 210,000: average house price paid by first-time buyers
• 1,033: number of people who became redundant every day between June and August
• £2,214: average household credit card debt
• 0.7%: estimated growth of the UK economy in Q3 2014
• £90m: daily increase in net lending to individuals
• 1,474: drop in unemployed people per day
• 17.8bn: gross mortgage lending in September 2014

If you know any businesses or individuals that are struggling with debt recommend they visit our website to see how we have helped similar people, we are happy to provide a free initial consultation with our obligation.

There is Life after Debt!



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Monday, 10 November 2014

UK banks to face competition inquiry

A full competition inquiry into the market for current accounts and small business banking has been launched by the Competition and Market Authority.

After being proposed in July, the probe, will investigate into the lack of smaller competitors to the “big four” High Street names and the difficulties customers face in switching banks.

Also lending to small and medium-sized business will be looked in to.

Some of the large banks have labelled the probe as unnecessary.

In a submission to the CMA, Barclays said it felt the review was “not appropriate at this time”.

“Various developments, innovations and stimuli are changing the competitive landscape in relation to both [personal current accounts] and [small and medium enterprises] banking, and these must be given time to mature,” it added.

The competition inquiry will take 18 months to complete. The CMA also said it would review the 2002 report by its predecessor, the Competition Commission, to see if its findings were still relevant.


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Overtime should count in holiday pay, landmark tribunal hearing rules

Millions of workers could now have their holiday pay recalculated to take into account overtime. Businesses are facing a multibillion-pound bill as a tribunal ruled today that overtime should be taken into account when holiday pay is calculated.

In a landmark case, the Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that it is wrong for employers to only take into account basic pay when calculating how much an employee should be paid while they are on holiday.

The ruling added that workers can make backdated claims, but only if it is less than three months since their last holiday, or last incorrect payment.

“This will have huge repercussions for UK employers. Employers who pay only basic pay during holidays are selling employees short. Holiday pay is an issue that impacts every business and many employers now face a whole-sale rethink of how they pay their employees and calculate costs,” said Paul McFarlane, partner at Weightmans law firm.


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Thursday, 6 November 2014

Cooling Property Market Hits UK Construction Activity

Businesses start to delay new contracts as slower growth and cooling property market dents business confidence.

House building fell to its lowest level in a year in October amid signs that Britain’s recovery is slowing down and the property market is slowing.

While demand remained strong, Markit’s closely-watched survey showed some businesses were delaying new contracts as slower growth dented business confidence.

“Some survey respondents commented that less favourable housing market conditions had resulted greater caution among clients and delays to the launch of new development projects,” Markit said.


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Bankrupt Goalkeeper David James Auctions Football Memorabilia

The retired England goalkeeper, David James, is to auction hundreds of items of football memorabilia collected during his career.

James who was declared bankrupt in May had a long career playing for Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City, Portsmouth and England.

Items to be sold through London-based auctioneer Hilco are 150 signed shirts, shorts and match balls.

The 44-year-old won 53 caps for England in a career that also saw the goalkeeper play for Watford, Bristol City and Bournemouth. James is currently the goalkeeper and manager for Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters FC.


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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Rip-off Payday Loan Broker Warning

Consumers are being cautioned to be wary of “rip-off” payday middlemen, after the NatWest bank stated that it is receiving hundreds of new complaints a day.

NatWest reported that they were receiving up to 640 complaints a day in July and August.

Customers are often unaware that they have even authorised a payment and the money is being taken by payday loan middlemen.

It is thought the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), is now looking closely at such activities.

In the meantime, the Financial Ombudsman has repeated a warning that consumers should be vigilant.

It said it had received 11,500 complaints about “rip-off” loan brokers since April, more than double the number in the whole of last year.


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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

UK Faces ‘Debt Timebomb’ from Ageing Population

Institute of Economic Affairs calls for radical measures, including a smaller NHS, to bring Britain’s debt mountain back to sustainable levels.

Britain’s ageing population has created a “debt timebomb” that can only be defused, according to a respected think-tank, through a combination of significant spending cuts, faster increases in the state pension age and ending universal free healthcare.

The institute of Economic Affairs warned that the government would need to cut public spending by at least 25pc in order to get Britain’s debt down to sustainable levels.

In a set of radical proposals, the Institute of Economic Affairs called on the Government to end “unhelpful” policies such as the “triple lock guarantee” that ensures the state pension increases by the higher of inflation, average earnings or a minimum of 2.5pc every year.


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Monday, 3 November 2014

Liquidations at lowest rate since 1984, says Insolvency Service

Experts cautious as figures also show company administrations in third quarter this year rose 17% over the previous quarter.

The rate of companies being liquidated has fallen to its lowest level since records started in 1984, Insolvency Service figures show.

In the 12 months to September, one in 186 active companies, or 0.54%, went into liquidation in England and Wales, in a continuation of a downward trend since 2011. 

Experts welcomed the business insolvency figures as another sign that the economy is “firmly in recovery mode” but they also warned that firms will face growing pains as economic improvement continues and interest rates climb.

3,368 firms were liquidated between July and September, which is a 12 % fall compared with the same period a year ago and also the lowest quarterly total seen since spring 2008.


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