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New regulations on pay day lending come into force - 26th May 2017

Further new regulations on pay day lending have come into force as the crack down on this controversial sector of the financial services industry continues. From 26 May online pay day lenders have to advertise their products on at least one price comparison site. Additionally the lenders have to provide a prominently displayed link on their own sites to a price comparison site.

The end in sight for the triple-lock on state pensions? - 19th May 2017

The Conservative’s general election manifesto includes the plan to end the triple-lock on the annual increases in state pensions from 2020. This news comes as no great surprise as the proposal has been mooted for some time. But with both Labour and the Liberal Democrats pledging to keep the triple-lock there is clearly some opposition to a move that could adversely impact pensioners.

The squeeze on real incomes seems set to continue - 15th May 2017

A survey of over 1000 firms published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) forecasts that pay rises for employees in the coming year will only average close to 1%. With price inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), currently running at 2.3% and set to rise further in the coming months the very real prospect is that a large proportion of workers will see their real earnings fall again in the coming year.

How would a cap on energy prices work and is it a good idea? - 9th May 2017

The Conservative Party has announced plans to place a cap on energy prices if it retains power after the forthcoming general election on 8th June. This policy proposal, which is similar to one proposed by the Labour Party in the 2015 general election campaign, would protect those households on standard variable tariffs who comprise circa 70 per cent of energy users.

But how would such a cap work and how much money would it save households?

Mind the gap! Triennial review of company pension funds to reveal increased deficits - 2nd May 2017

Bad news is forecast when many major UK companies revalue their pension schemes this year. Companies are required to revalue their schemes every three years and the expectation is that the collective scale of the deficits for FTSE-100 companies will have increased further when the results of the latest revaluations are revealed.

House prices dipping as economic pressures and uncertainties hit the property market - 28th April 2017

The latest house price news from the Nationwide Building Society confirms the news provided by other surveys in recent months about the weakening housing market. The Nationwide survey found that average house prices fell for the second month in a row in April. The 0.4% reduction in average prices has taken the annual rate of house price inflation down to 2.6% - its lowest rate for four years.

A number of factors are combining to create this weakness in the property market.

Car finance fuels the consumer credit boom - 20th April 2017

Have you noticed the increasing numbers of new - and large - cars when parking at the supermarket? Many if not most of these cars would have been acquired via special car finance products, including the product that is growing in popularity amongst dealerships and consumers – Personal Contract Payments (PCP). But this growth in car finance, which now accounts for circa 90% of new car sales in some dealerships, is concerning both the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England.

After ten months the Brexit economic honeymoon is over - 16th April 2017

Those forecasting an economic catastrophe in the wake of the Brexit vote in last June’s referendum may have spent much of the past year reflecting on whether they called it right – with retail sales surging, the FTSE-100 hitting a record high and unemployment falling to its lowest rate since 2005. But news and data published in recent weeks is now indicating that a more sombre economic environment is starting to envelop the UK.

Understanding Lisa - 13th April 2017

There’s a new kid on the block. The Lifetime ISA, or Lisa as it’s commonly known, allows 20 to 39 year olds to invest up to £4,000 a year until they are 50 and, for each £100 invested, the government will add £25.  The catch is that it either has to be used to buy a first home, worth up to £450,000 in value, or accessed after the age of 60, to help fund retirement.

A milestone for financial education – registrations for True Potential PUFin’s courses pass the quarter-of-a-million mark as the Centre’s work is recognised with success at the Guardian University Awards - 31st March 2017

March 2017 saw the total number of people who have registered for the free courses in financial education provided by the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance (True Potential PUFin), based at the Open University Business School, pass 250,000. It was particularly apt that the month also saw recognition for the work of the Centre at the Guardian University Awards, with True Potential PUFin winning the award for Business Partnership

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