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More joy for borrowers, more gloom for savers - 11th July 2016

The financial consequences of the Brexit vote on 23rd June are already hitting the public. The slump in the value of the pound is pushing up the cost of holiday spending for those jetting off overseas. More significantly developments since the vote seem set to push interest rates lower – to the delight of borrowers and the misery of savers.

Do the fluctuations in sterling’s value affect households? - 21st June 2016

As the referendum campaign has proceeded much focus has been placed on the ups and downs in sterling’s value. Gains in the opinion polls for the ‘leave’ campaign have been associated with a fall in the value of the pound against other currencies. The reverse has applied when the polls have moved favourably for the ‘remain’ campaign.  Good news in the polls for the ‘remain’ camp on Monday 20th June prompted the biggest one-day rise in the value of the Pound since 2008.

Long-term interest rates hit a further new low - 13th June 2016

Back in 1980 I took out my first mortgage to buy a flat in Birmingham. The flat was very affordable and required only a modest mortgage to buy it. I had, though, to budget carefully to accommodate the cost of the 15.4% p.a. interest rate that came with the mortgage. Official interest rates then were at an historic high of 17% with the government and the Bank of England taking drastic action to try to bring down the high prevailing rate of price inflation.

Keeping up to date with the taxation of investments. - 5th June 2016

Changes to the way investments are taxed have taken effect from the start of the 2016/17 tax year.

A summary of the tax treatment of income, interest and dividends is set out in the table below.

New research shows investors shunning financial advice - 30th May 2016

A new survey by the US fund management company Legg Mason paints a worrying picture about the financial ‘advice gap’ in the UK with only 4 in 10 Britons aged 40 years or more being prepared to pay anything for financial advice. Of those prepared to pay for advice many were only prepared to pay an adviser up to £50 an hour – about a third of the rate typically charged by advisers.

How might we fix current accounts? - 26th May 2016

Last week Martin reported on the CMA’s review of the UK current account market.  This week I’m going to expand a little, building on a research project I’ve been conducting into consumers’ understanding and behaviour with overdrafts, and suggest what the CMA might do differently.

The CMA’s review of the UK banking market evokes a lukewarm response - 17th May 2016

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published its long-awaited report on the banking market in the UK. The report’s provisional conclusions, following an 18-month period of research, appear, though, to add little to our insight into banking services for personal and business customers or propose much in the way of reforms to benefit the public.

Consumers need financial education - 7th May 2016

The financial crisis of 2007-2008 has had seismic ramifications on both domestic and global economies and in the UK has also resulted in significant regulatory and financial services industry activity to restore confidence, financial stability, protect consumers and prevent such carnage happening again. These changes have made significant improvements for consumers in many areas although certain groups of consumers have suffered from unintended consequences in some product areas.

Stamp Duty surcharge applies the brakes to the housing market - 3rd May 2016

April saw the start of the 3% surcharge to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) for properties not bought for residence by buyers. It was no surprise then to see a slowdown in activity in the housing market. This followed the record month in March when 165,400 transactions were completed as landlords rushed to complete deals on buy-to-let properties ahead of the hike in SDLT. The previous record for transactions in one month was 145,000 in January 2007 – just prior to the start of the global financial crisis.

Managing My Financial Journey - the third TP PUFin free personal finance course - is launched - 23rd April 2016

Monday 25th April sees the launch of Managing My Financial Journey the third free personal finance course produced by the True Potential PUFin.

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