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Home > News and Reports

News and Reports

  • 30 May 2016
    More than 4,000 English households are currently at risk of eviction or home repossession each and every week as housing costs continue to rise and the number of affordable homes keeps on dwindling, recent research by the housing charity Shelter suggests. In its research into possession notices, the c...
  • 29 Apr 2016
    Hunger in Britain is now a “public health emergency” and the government’s welfare cuts and austerity are adding to the growing problem, leading experts have stated in a recent letter. Received by the British Medical Journal, the letter was written by senior academics and doctors from the Medical Research Council and two of Britain’s lead...
  • 24 Apr 2016
    The consumer price index fell once again in March, reaching 1.6 percent and marking the lowest inflation rate since October 2009, recently released figures from the ONS reveal. March’s figures mark the third month in a row that the consumer price index, or CPI, tracked below the 2 percent target established by the Bank of England. The Offic...
  • 22 Apr 2016
    A television advertisement from embattled payday lender Wonga has been branded as “misleading” and banned by the UK’s advertising watchdog. The banned ad featured puppets conversing about the cost of a payday loan from Wonga. During the conversation, one of the puppets implied that the loan’s 5,853 percent representative interest rate wa...
  • 14 Apr 2016
    The FCA recently confirmed it will launch an investigation into ‘zombie funds’ as part of a general inquiry taking place this summer into the potential mistreatment of long-term financial customers. The announcement came only one week after Chancellor George Osborne declared pension savers would now be able to do as they like with their money f...
  • 10 Apr 2016
    A surge in new home construction during the first quarter of the year has resulted in a construction growth rate not seen since 2007, a new construction sector survey reveals. The Markit Purchasing Manager’s Index, or PMI, rose to 64.2 in the month of March, helping the construction sector reach historic highs, despite a significant slowdown i...
  • 7 Apr 2016
    Half of the UK’s payday lenders may choose to lock up shoppe rather than go along with tougher restrictions imposed by the industry’s new regulatory watchdog, the Consumer Finance Association recently revealed. After the Office of Fair Trading passed the torch of consumer credit regulatory responsibilit...
  • 20 Mar 2016
    House prices surged in February, reaching their highest annual growth rate in over six years, a new report from Halifax reveals. Experts agree the Help to Buy Scheme is largely behind the recent price hike, and it may be threatened as a result. Home values throughout the UK soared by 7.9 per cent over the last year, lifting the average home pric...
  • 17 Mar 2016
    Shoppers throughout the UK will no longer be forced to uncheck a box in order to opt-out of add-on insurance as the FCA has deemed it a poor value for consumers, costing them £200 million a year. In the financial watchdog’s investigation into the £1 billion a year market, the Financial Conduct Authority discovered customers being charged an ...
  • 5 Mar 2016
    New Mortgage loan approvals for UK home buyers have hit a six-year high, the latest figures from the Bank of England reveal. According to the Bank of England, there were 76,947 new mortgage approvals in January, suggesting home sales will keep growing in the coming months as home prices throughout London and much of the UK continue to ascend. ...
  • 20 Feb 2016
    Britons across the isle are being forced into part-time employment in record numbers as the availability of full-time jobs is scarce at best. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed women throughout the UK has risen to a 25-year high, the latest official statistics reveal. To make matters worse, 30 percent of unemployed Britons have been without wor...
  • 17 Jan 2016
    A “significant” flood of new loans during the fourth quarter of 2015 shows that bank lending to UK businesses is on the rise, the Bank of England recently announced. The BOE’s latest credit conditions survey revealed that the availability of business capital had “increased significantly” for businesses of every size and lenders across ...
  • 15 Jan 2016
    The government’s battered flagship benefits scheme designed to shake up the current benefits system is facing yet another crisis and facing a fresh set of problems as leaked documents suggest a rift has developed between two vital departments at the center of the scheme. Iain Duncan Smith, the minister in charge who has already demonstrated a ...
  • 13 Jan 2016
    The pension industry has erupted in outrage amid recent government proposals aimed at allowing retired workers stuck in low-paying pensions to switch providers, claiming the elderly could be worse off. Pensions minister Steve Webb has announced he would like pensioners to have the option of switching annuities much like homeowners are able to ch...
  • 23 Dec 2015
    Customers who receive faulty goods will no longer need to pay high charges to call and file complaints, the government recently announced. To the delight of customers across the UK, Ofcom has announced that the charges involved with calling businesses will become much clearer as major changes to phone charges will be introduced. According to ...
  • 20 Dec 2015
    Home prices across the UK could rise by eight per cent or more next year unless a flood of new properties is unleashed onto the market, states Rightmove, a leading property website. According to Rightmove’s housing forecast, asking prices throughout England and Wales will increase by six to eight per cent in 2016 as the number of available pro...
  • 19 Dec 2015
    As indicated by the chancellor’s grim Autumn Statement, official figures reveal that the cost of providing the UK’s aging population with state pensions will increase four-fold during the next 50 years if mandatory age increases for qualifying citizens are not brought forward. Data collected from the Office for National Statistics is likely ...
  • 18 Dec 2015
    The number of payday loan TV adverts has skyrocketed by a whopping 3,500 per cent, thanks in large part to payday lending firms increasingly preying on poor families with children, recent research shockingly reveals. Wonga and other large firms have spent millions promoting short-term loans to families that are struggling in the midst of the eco...
  • 17 Dec 2015
    Rent arrears in the UK have increased by 150 per cent since 2007, new data from Money Advice Trust reveals. According to the national debt advice charity, there has been a 13 per cent rise in rent arrears during the last 12 months alone. Money Advice Trust states that the number of calls it receives from people with rent arrears problems has sig...
  • 16 Dec 2015
    Labour’s plan to cap energy prices has recently been deemed unwise by the secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. In an interview with BBC1 last week, Ángel Gurría, secretary-general of the OECD, said that putting a cap on energy prices for nearly two years as proposed would negatively affect firms an...
  • 13 Dec 2015
    British high street retailers are off to a slow start this Christmas season as shoppers are holding off on their purchases in the hope of snagging up last-minute bargains, recent figures reveal. Although retail sales increased slightly last month over November 2012, according to a monthly survey by KPMG accountants and the British Retail Consort...
  • 12 Dec 2015
    So far this financial year, members of the UK public have donated nearly £900,000 to the government in an effort to boost public spending or help pay down the national debt, Treasury figures reveal. In all, there have been 11 contributions made for a grand total of £898,539.80, which is a drop in the bucket compared to the UK’s £1.2 trillio...
  • 11 Dec 2015
    Chancellor George Osborne gave a stark warning to younger workers during his Autumn Statement last Thursday, relaying the message that the current pension system is unaffordable and younger Britons must work longer because they will live longer. This dramatic message underscored the core of Osborne’s Autumn Statement, giving little away while ...
  • 10 Dec 2015
    Last year in the UK, the working poor outnumbered non-workers for the first time in history, a new report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation reveals. The report states that over 13 million working Britons are living in poverty, surviving on paltry wages that equal less than 60 per cent of the median national income and suffering from increasing...
  • 9 Dec 2015
    New figures reveal that net lending to small businesses is negative, leading to calls for increased banking competition and the development of new ways to fund financial firms. Although the Bank of England has poured billions of pounds into the banking sector in the past year through its Funding for Lending Scheme, small businesses are still fin...
  • 6 Dec 2015
    A new law will cap payday loan costs, the Government recently announced. The Treasury announced it will implement a new law to cap the overall cost of payday loans. The cap level has yet to be announced, but it will be decided by the Financial Conduct Authority in the near future. According to George Osborne, a cap on the “overall cost of c...
  • 5 Dec 2015
    In a recent surprise announcement that the Funding for Lending Scheme will no longer be applied to mortgage lending, the Bank of England demonstrated it is ready to take action to curb an impending UK housing bubble. According to the central bank, the Funding for Lending Scheme, or FLS, will no longer try to spur the housing market by providing ...
  • 5 Dec 2015
    Wage earners across Britain have taken a pay cut to the tune of £5,000, new government figures reveal, suggesting ministers will have a difficult time getting voters in their corner prior to the 2017 general election. Published by the Office for National Statistics, the figures reveal that salaries and wages for middle-class working households ...
  • 4 Dec 2015
    Savings rates are continuing to climb, providing a little light at the end of a long and dark recovery tunnel for UK savers willing to lock up their money for a fixed period of time Savers across the UK have witnessed the interest rates on their savings accounts plummet in recent years, falling from a high of 7.5 per cent prior to the credit cru...
  • 29 Nov 2015
    Mortgage lending reached a five-year high of £17.6bn in October, up 37 per cent from the £12.9bn lent during the same month one year earlier, new statistics show. According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the figure marks the highest monthly gross lending estimate since 2008. Furthermore, the CML states gross lending has risen nine per cen...
  • 28 Nov 2015
    Suicide rates in the UK have skyrocketed since the recession, new figures alarmingly reveal. Coroner reports have recently concluded that nearly 3,500 Britons took their own lives in 2012, marking a 15 per cent rise compared to 2007. However, some local hotspots across the country have seen their suicide numbers increase by 100 per cent or mo...
  • 27 Nov 2015
    The parliament recently announced it will launch an official inquiry into the way planning minister Nick Boles and the government has handled the dire shortage of new homes across the UK. Clive Betts MP, Communities and Local Government Committee chairman, announced the investigation last week and stated he will question the effectiveness of the...
  • 26 Nov 2015
    Motorists in the U.K. are currently benefitting from the lowest average petrol prices in nearly three years, a recent AA report states. In November, the average price of petrol at the pump has fallen to 130.44p, a substantial drop from the 132.16p October average, which was significantly less than September’s 138.38p average. For diesel mot...
  • 25 Nov 2015
    A new survey revealed that 29 per cent of UK energy customers have been overcharged by an average of £121. UK energy companies were recently accused of "daylight robbery” after the survey results were published, indicating that more than 25 per cent of Britons are being overcharged through billing mistakes. The average billing error costs...
  • 22 Nov 2015
    A group of UK business leaders has announced it is conducting an online survey and asking 100,000 women to provide insight into their work experiences in an effort to unravel the gender pay gap that exists between men and women in their 30s and beyond. Opportunity Now, a campaign backed by businesses to promote gender diversity in the workplace,...
  • 20 Nov 2015
    Unite, the UK’s largest trade union, recently launched a unique credit union service that enables its members to access credit without having to turn to payday lenders and pay their exorbitant rates. Unite said the recent move sends a clear message to payday lenders who attempt to profit from “ordinary people’s financial hardship.” Si...
  • 19 Nov 2015
    A new government proposal is taking aim at claims firms by levying large fines to firms that unabashedly make unsolicited texts and phone calls to the UK’s general public in attempts to find new customers. The Treasury and the Ministry of Justice have formed a joint initiative, creating a new clause added to the Financial Services Banking Refo...
  • 15 Nov 2015
    The Bank of England may raise interest rates as early as the second quarter of 2017, says the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, an economic think tank. According to NIESR, the Bank of England, UK’s central bank, has said that it will only increase interest rates when unemployment drops to seven per cent, which suggests that i...
  • 14 Nov 2015
    In spite of taking the government cash incentive to freeze taxes, nearly a third of English councils are planning to raise the council tax next year, a recent survey suggests. According to recently published research from the Local Government Chronicle, Conservative county councils are likely considering a tax rise. Ministers have stated that...
  • 13 Nov 2015
    Soaring energy prices have resulted in 5.1 million UK homes being faced with fuel poverty, Consumer Focus and the Hills Review estimate. According to recent reports, millions of pensioners are being forced to spend more than 10 per cent of their monthly household income to keep their homes “satisfactorily” heated. The rise in energy price...
  • 12 Nov 2015
    Payday loan companies are “grooming” children to become the next generation of borrowers, and they should be banned from advertising on children’s TV programmes and channels, one of the UK’s leading financial advice experts stated. According to Moneysavingexpert’s founder Martin Lewis, one in three parents of children 10 and under say ...
  • 11 Nov 2015
    British homeowners pay the highest property taxes in the developed world, resulting in more than twice the average amount of property taxes charged by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development’s 34 richest countries, according to a recently released think tank report. The report determined that property taxes in the UK, includi...
  • 8 Nov 2015
    IVAs jumped 10 percent in the third quarter, reaching their highest levels since 2010. As IVAs continue to rise, experts warn of mounting personal debt. The number of Britons struggling with personal debts and seeking out individual voluntary arrangements with their creditors has reached its highest level in three years, offering evidence that r...
  • 7 Nov 2015
    Fees charged by UK pension providers may be capped at one percent or lower, new government proposals suggest. The Treasury is currently deliberating on its plans to cap pension fees, which according to officials, could save Britons thousands of pounds in pension charges. Some older schemes that were established over a decade ago have been kno...
  • 6 Nov 2015
    Business liquidations may be on the decline, but personal insolvencies are on the rise, reveals the latest official figures. The number of personal insolvencies throughout the UK has increased by four percent in 2015 thus far, largely driven by a rising number of individual voluntary arrangements, or IVAs. Interestingly, the rise in IVAs comes a...
  • 5 Nov 2015
    The ongoing divide between housing repossessions in the northern and southern areas of the UK is wider now than in any other time during the last six years, with 33 percent more homes being repossessed in the northern UK than in the south, according to recent research released by e.surv chartered surveyors. In its in-depth analysis of court-orde...
  • 4 Nov 2015
    A Liverpool lettings firm recently revealed a noticeable increase in the number of Liverpool homeowners letting out their homes because they are unable to sell; a common trend occurring across the UK today, despite suffering from an increased lender crackdown. “In the last year, we’ve seen lots of accidental landlords coming onto the market ...
  • 1 Nov 2015
    The government has announced a package of measures designed to lower motoring costs, including the high cost of insurance premiums. Ministers have vowed to clean up the “compensation culture,” specifically motorists making bogus claims on whiplash injuries. By establishing independent medical panels, ministers hope to identify fraudulent ...
  • 31 Oct 2015
    As property prices in London’s most prominent postcodes are continuing to soar, some analysts predict it is a bubble ready to pop, while others insist the rising prices are sustainable. Knight Frank, a renowned estate agency, began 2015 by predicting that home prices in London’s most coveted districts would not rise in 2015, largely due to a...
  • 30 Oct 2015
    The increased cost of caring for elderly parents and raising children means a record number of women are not saving enough for retirement, a new report claims. Nearly 25 percent of women over 40 are prioritising supporting their children financially over adequately contributing to a pension, said a recently published report by insurance giant Sc...
  • 29 Oct 2015
    The figures are in, and according to the British Banker’s Association, unsecured credit borrowing by households increased by £76 million in August, marking the first increase since 2009. During the financial crisis, borrowers tended to take a cautious approach by paying back more than they borrowed. However, the BBA says that consumer confide...
  • 24 Oct 2015
    Treasury officials and financial services executives have consulted on future plans to put a cap on the amount that UK savers can have in tax-free ISA accounts. Tax-free ISA savings plans were originally launched in 1999. Since then, they have become an essential component of retirement planning for millions of individuals throughout the UK. App...
  • 23 Oct 2015
    According to Shelter, a charity for the homeless, nearly one out of every 35 homes in some parts of England are now at risk of being repossessed, which is equivalent to a home on every street in the UK. Thanks to rising living costs, stagnant wages, and unemployment, many households throughout the UK are ...
  • 23 Oct 2015
    The Financial Conduct Authority will investigate recent moves by some lenders to raise tracker mortgage rates while the Bank Rate remains unchanged. The FCA probe into whether UK mortgage lenders should be able to alter a borrower’s contract terms comes after the West Bromwich Building Society and the <...
  • 23 Oct 2015
    With returns decreasing on more than 240 types of accounts across the UK, savings analysts say that September has brought the largest savings rate cuts in recent history. Sainsbury’s and Nationwide are only a couple of the account providers who are slashing r...
  • 22 Oct 2015
    A surprising investigation has recently been launched by the Office of Fair Trading to look into the supply of IT services and products to the public sector. As part of the investigation, the OFT is calling for purchasers and suppliers to share their experiences. The OFT is keen on establishing whether or not competition works well in the public...
  • 22 Oct 2015
    A new campaign calling for a regulatory crackdown on the payday lending industry was launched by consumer groups, debt campaigners, and MPs on Tuesday. Consumers across the UK are being urged to register for the Charter to Stop the Payday Loan Rip-Off, which calls for the government to take a strong stance against the £2 billion per year payday...
  • 21 Oct 2015
    Public spending cuts, which have the potential to cut the welfare budget by billions of pounds, will continue into 2020 if the 2017 election is won by Conservatives, George Osborne recently revealed. In the Chancellor’s speech at the Conservative conference, he drew a clear line between Conservatives and both the Labour and Liberal Democrats w...
  • 21 Oct 2015
    According to the well-known Which? consumer group, bank overdrafts can be every bit as expensive as payday loans. With a Halifax authorised overdraft, it costs £30 to borrow only £100 for a 31-day period. With some Santander accounts, consumers can pay £20 for the same amount and terms. However, according to Which?, receiving a payday loa...
  • 20 Oct 2015
    As unemployment in the UK drops by 18,000 to reach 2.49 million, data from the Office of National Statistics shows that wages have been dwarfed by inflation, with annual pay increases barely rising above a quarter of the inflation rate. Britain’s burgeoning economic recovery may be picking up steam, but workers have yet to feel its effect in t...
  • 20 Oct 2015
    As prices in virtually every other sector are on the rise, according to an insurance comparison website, comprehensive auto insurance has dropped by an average of 24 per cent during the last 30 months. Current costs of auto insurance premiums, as published in the car insurance pricing index of confused.com in association with Tower Watson, have ...
  • 20 Oct 2015
    Since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, the number of UK homeowners with interest-only mortgages who have decided to clear the debt through the use of their pensions has risen by more than 30 per cent. The staggering figure surfaces from data collected by the British Bankers Association, which plans on publishing a wide range of len...
  • 19 Oct 2015
    After it was recently released that three in four Britons 50 years of age or older plan to continue working when they reach the traditional retirement age, an overhaul of the pension industry was immediately called upon. In fact, former advisor to the government Ros Altman proclaimed that pensions were “fit for the past” and that Britons nee...
  • 18 Oct 2015
    Complaints filed against UK financial services firms dropped sharply by 15 per cent between January and June of this year, largely due to a long-awaited decrease in the number of PPI complaints. This marks an impressive 500,000 decrease from the second half of 2012. An overwhelming 61 per cent of the complaints pertained to mis-sold PPI, even th...
  • 18 Oct 2015
    The unpredictably high September inflation figures that were published today has resulted in a 2.7 per cent increase for pensioners, and has two very real implications on the personal finances of nearly every retired resident of the UK. While many analysts were expecting a decrease to 2.4 per cent, the high level of inflation during the month of...
  • 18 Oct 2015
    The Office of National Statistics recently stated that London home prices have skyrocketed by 8.7 per cent during 2015. On average, August home prices were nearly four per cent higher than last year’s average of £247,000, and they even topped the previous record set in January of 2008, right before the eruption of the credit crisis. The m...
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