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Found 24 results

  1. Astronaut Tim Peake launches competition to name ExoMars Rover READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/astronaut-tim-peake-launches-competition-to-name-exomars-rover
  2. MOD launches biggest ever mental health awareness week with new confidential support for personnel on operations READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mod-launches-biggest-ever-mental-health-awareness-week-with-new-confidential-support-for-personnel-on-operations
  3. Home Secretary launches Windrush compensation scheme call for evidence READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-secretary-launches-windrush-compensation-scheme-call-for-evidence
  4. I guess there is always the telephone book? I have Yellow Pages and a local directory delivered every year. For the full story :- http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/great-118-rip-could-end-10410058
  5. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/how-to-update-your-kindle-amazon-launches-critical-software-update_uk_56e12d29e4b096ed3adba4ed This article was sent to me earlier today, I can find no other information - Amazon hasnt made contact with me nor do I see anything on their website ?
  6. In line with the government’s commitment to free data, Companies House is pleased to announce that all public digital data held on the UK register of companies is now accessible free of charge, on its new public beta search service. This provides access to over 170 million digital records on companies and directors including financial accounts, company filings and details on directors and secretaries throughout the life of the company. Free access to the data is available both through a web service and an application program interface (API), enabling both consumers and technology providers to access real time updates on companies. You can try the new service here.
  7. A new ombudsman scheme has launched on Jan 2nd that aims to settle unresolved disputes between shoppers and retailers. The Retail Ombudsman (TRO) is believed to be the first alternative dispute resolution scheme in the retail sector and claims it already has 3,000 retailers signed up as members, although, so far, they have only published a partial list. It's not a government run scheme, but owned by a private limited company whose sole director is Dean Dunham, a barrister with Debello Law and consumer columnist with the Sunday Mirror. http://www.theretailombudsman.org.uk/ Initially the TRO said that decisions were binding on both sides, and if a complainant was not satisfied with the ombudsman decision, further court action would not be possible. However, they now say that when a decision is made by TRO and it is not accepted by the consumer, they can pursue this through the courts. Yet the declaration consumers must sign on their website still reads: Not the best of starts!! Oh, and their Director of Communications is one Neville Thurlbeck who was jailed for his part in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.
  8. Leeds Building Society has introduced a two-year fixed rate mortgage for new-builds at a rate of 2.50 per cent, available through the Help to Buy equity loan scheme. As it is part of the Help to Buy scheme, customers can borrow up to 95 per cent of their share in the property. Available from 17 April, the product carries a fee of £199 and offers borrowers a free standard valuation up to £335. Leeds general manager for business development Martin Richardson says: “We expect this product to be very popular. In addition to the low rate, the benefits of a low fee and free valuation reduce up front costs for the type of borrowers that Help to Buy was introduced to support.” Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/news-and-features/sectors/products/products-news/leeds-bs-launches-new-build-help-to-buy-deal-at-25/2009328.article
  9. Chelsea Building Society is launching the market’s lowest ever three-year fixed rate of 1.99 per cent up to 60 per cent LTV. This latest product marks a record low for three-year rates and demonstrates just how much direct-only rates have fallen in recent months, considering this was a record-low two-year fix as recently as October. Chelsea Building Society product manager Brendan Gilligan says: “Borrowers choose fixed rate mortgages to give them peace of mind and make it easier to budget for their monthly outgoings. The Chelsea has made a strong start to mortgage lending so far this year and we’re really pleased to be able to offer another best buy fixed rate product. “This three year mortgage gives additional choice to homebuyers with a larger deposit, or home owners who want to remortgage and have at least 40 per cent equity in their property.” Chelsea also offers a market leading two-year fixed rate up to 60 per cent LTV at 1.74 per cent which it launched in March. Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/latest-news/chelsea-building-society-launches-199-3-year-fix/1069280.article
  10. Barclays has launched a property price comparison app which it aims to develop into a lead generation tool for brokers The Barclays Homeowner App currently allows smart phone users to search for property listings and call estate agents and brokers directly. Barclays says it also intends to develop the app over time into a functioning lead generation option for mortgage advisers. More: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/latest-news/barclays-launches-homeowner-app/1068578.article
  11. First direct has launched the market’s cheapest five-year fixed rate mortgage at 2.64 per cent. The deal has a £1,399 fee and is available up to 65 per cent loan-to-value. It is available as either a repayment or offset loan. The lender also today launches a 2.49 per cent three-year fixed rate, also available up to 65 per cent LTV, with a £1,499 fee. It has also launched a 2.38 per cent tracker mortgage with a £1,699 fee. First direct head of retail products Andy Forbes says: “Over the last month we have seen competition increase in the mortgage market. In particular our five year fixed rates have been extremely popular. In response to this demand we have lowered the rates on many of our five year fixed rates, to ensure our customers have access to our most competitive rates.” Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/latest-news/first-direct-launches-markets-cheapest-five-year-fixed-rate/1067756.article
  12. Chelsea Building Society is launching a market leading two-year fixed rate of 1.74 per cent up to 60 per cent LTV. The direct-only deal is available from today with a £1,695 fee. An offset option is available at 1.94 per cent. Chelsea Building Society product manager Sunjeev Sahota says: “We’re committed to providing the most competitive mortgages and are pleased to be able to offer another market-leading short term fixed rate. “The Chelsea has made a strong start to mortgage lending in 2013 and now we’ve reduced what was already an excellent best buy product by a further 0.15 per cent, which will appeal to home buyers with a larger deposit or homeowners wanting to remortgage. “Offset mortgages are particularly popular among Chelsea borrowers so we’re glad to be able to offer the additional choice of an offset version of such a competitive mortgage.” Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/latest-news/chelsea-building-society-launches-174-two-year-fix/1067344.article
  13. Abbey for Intermediaries is launching another seven day special where it will offer a two and a half-year fixed rate at 1.99 per cent. It is available from Friday, up to 60 per cent LTV for a £1,495 fee and is on offer to both homebuyers and remortgagers until the close of business on 14 March. The maximum loan size is £1m and is available exclusively through the lender’s key accounts. Abbey managing director Miguel Sard says: “Our latest seven day special has a market leading rate of 1.99 per cent and also comes with the added benefits of our homebuyer or remortgage solution. Available through all our key accounts, homebuyers and remortgagers can lock into this great fixed rate for two and a half years but it is only available for seven days so intermediaries and their clients need to take advantage while they can.” The homebuyer solution offers borrowers the added benefits of a free standard mortgage valuation and £250 cashback on completion, while the remortgage solution offers a free standard mortgage valuation, and either free legals or £250 cashback on completion. Abbey’s previous seven day special, a two-year fix at 2.49 per cent up to 75 per cent LTV with a £995 fee, finishes today. Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/latest-news/abbey-launches-199-seven-day-special/1067283.article .
  14. Yorkshire Building Society is today launching the lowest ever five-year fixed rate at 2.64 per cent and cutting rates by up to 0.1 per cent. An offset option is available for the five-year fix at 2.84 per cent and the product, which is available up to 60 per cent LTV, has a £1,495 fee. The product is available direct-only. Moneyfacts notes this product represents the lowest five-year fixed rate on record, overtaking the Post Office’s 2.74 per cent rate as the market leader. Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/latest-news/yorkshire-building-society-launches-markets-lowest-ever-five-year-fix/1066551.article
  15. The Office of Fair Trading is to launch an investigation into whether employees are being unfairly hit with high charges on workplace pension schemes. The regulator wants to ensure savers in workplace pension schemes are getting the best value for money, given the avalanche of money it expects to rush into these scheme over the next few years. The decision follows a campaign by the Telegraph to expose the high level of fees charged by the financial services industry on funds. With the introduction of auto-enrolment, there will be an increase in the value of annual pension contributions of £11bn by 2018. Currently four million people save into "defined contribution" (DC) pension schemes, where savers' money is invested and the final pot is dependent on returns after charges. The Government wants to dramatically increase this figure to plug a colossal gap in the amount being saved for retirement compared with what will be needed to provide a decent standard of living. Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/9807978/OFT-launches-investigation-into-pension-charges.html
  16. Controversial payday lender Wonga is trialling longer loans with online retailer the Cotswold Company. Controversial payday loans firm Wonga is taking on the credit card industry with a product that allows shoppers to pay for goods with a three-month loan. The firm claims that its PayLater service "is a credible and innovative alternative to credit cards enabling people to spread the cost of online shopping but in a short-term and controlled way". Instead of paying with a debit or credit card for online purchases, shoppers can use PayLater and spread their purchase over three months for a one-off fee of 7% of the purchase price. The fee is paid when the order is placed, so a £100 purchase would cost consumers £7 upfront, plus three repayments of £33.33. "[The] PayLater service is another example of the power of technology and data when applied to finance," Wonga said in a statement. It is piloting the service with a single retailer – furniture company Cotswold – on orders of £100-£1,000. If shoppers cancel an order within 14 days, they will receive a full refund of the 7% finance fee. A partial refund may be given if orders are cancelled after 14 days. The annual percentage rate (APR) on Wonga's PayLater service is 27.7% – significantly lower than the 4,214% APR it levies on its payday loans. However, Andrew Hagger of Moneycomms.co.uk said the new service did not compare well with credit cards. "If you were to pay for £100 worth of goods on a credit card with a typical APR of 18% and pay off £33.33 a month over three months, you'd end up paying about £3 in interest," he explained. "This makes Wonga's PayLater service more than twice as expensive. However, it might appeal to some people who like the simplicity and transparency of it." Wonga payday loan customers borrowing £100 over 45 days (the current maximum loan period) would pay a total of £52.32 in interest. Wonga would not comment on who it is hoping to attract with the new service or how payments will be taken from borrowers, but most payday lenders use the controversial continuous payment authority (CPA) method to extract repayments. CPA allows a lender to take a series of payments using a customer's debit card or credit card without having to seek permission for every payment. The Office of Fair Trading has recently had to issue guidelines for how companies should use CPA following reports of some traders not making it clear to customers that they are being signed up to a CPA, or about their rights to cancel. A spokeswoman for Cotswold said: "After trialling several finance options in the past we have decided to trial PayLater. Their service is totally transparent, and totally optional. As it's a three-month finance option it is a cost effective alternative to using a credit card, which is especially useful at this time of year. Customer uptake so far has been slow, however the trial is still in its infancy. "We have a fantastic relationship with our customers, so intend to listen to their feedback over the next few months and decide whether they find this option useful." Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012/dec/17/wonga-launches-buy-now-later-loans
  17. Google has launched a new tool for mortgage borrowers that promises to compare every deal on the market. The price comparison tool, which will appear at the top of search results whenever someone searches for a mortgage-related term, was launched at lunchtime today. It will search loans that are available only through mortgage brokers, as well as loans offered directly by banks and other lenders. In all it will compare about 5,000 different mortgage deals, Google said. Users will be able to look at best-buy tables for a variety of mortgage types or get a more personalised list of offers if they provide more information about their needs and circumstances. "We will ask sufficient questions to allow the user to get meaningful search results," the company said. It suspended an earlier mortgage comparison service earlier this year. Google added that it aimed to offer the highest standards of user experience and data protection. The search engine would not record any personal data about users if they clicked through to a direct lender, or only basi information to allow a broker to call back. Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/mortgages/9734798/Google-launches-mortgage-comparison-service.html
  18. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched formal investigations into several payday lenders for “aggressive” debt collection practices, after finding 686 consumer complaints across the sector. In a progress report published as part of the OFT’s compliance review of the payday lending sector, it confirmed that it will be writing to 240 short-term lenders from today (20 November) to highlight its concerns about poor practices in the sector. The findings were partly based on 686 complaints made directly by consumers and through intermediaries, half of which were related to issues around debt collection practices. David Fisher, director of consumer credit at the OFT, said: “We have uncovered evidence that some payday lenders are acting in ways that are so serious that we have already opened formal investigations against them. “It is also clear that, across the sector, lenders need to improve their business practices or risk enforcement action.” The OFT has also published revised debt collection guidance today (20 November) that is focused on Continuous Payment Authority (CPA), a controversial mechanism used by payday lenders to collect repayments. It sets out minimum standards for lenders to ensure that the use of CPA is “reasonable and proportionate”. The regulator has outlined that improper use of CPA includes using it without the consent of the borrower, or failing to explain how it works and how it can be cancelled. The OFT also raised concerns about the adequacy of checks made by some lenders to find out whether borrowers can afford loans. It has also taken issue with the proportion of loans that are not paid on time; the frequency with which some lenders roll over or refinance loans; the lack of forbearance shown by some lenders when borrowers get into financial difficulty; and debt collection practices. The findings are based on a ‘sweep’ of the websites of 50 payday lenders, inspections of more than 50 lenders, and a mystery shopper exercise that targeted 156 online and high street lenders. The OFT has said that it will warn the majority of the 50 firms inspected, which account for the majority of loans issued, that they risk enforcement action if they do not act to improve specific practices and procedures that have come to light during the review. It is expected to publish its full report on compliance in the sector in January next year. Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, added: “We have a lengthy list of concerns about the practices of many companies in the sector and we hope the OFT review will kick-start a more serious consideration of the problems payday loans create. “Whilst it is important for regulators to get a handle on the situation, it is also important for individuals to be aware of the considerable dangers of going down the payday borrowing path.” Russell Hamblin-Boone, chief executive of the Consumer Finance Association (CFA), which represents payday lenders, came out in defence of the industry. “The CFA and its members have fully supported and actively participated in the OFT’s review of the payday lending sector,” he said. “We understand the OFT’s concerns around some of the practices adopted by some lesser players in the payday lending market.Our biggest advocates are our customers themselves. So as well as highlighting areas of poor practice, the final report must acknowledge the high levels of satisfaction and the value our customers place on short-term credit products. “We believe that our enhanced Code of Practice, which comes into force next week, sets the standard for the industry. It commits our members to delivering significant improvements in many of the areas identified in the OFT’s report. Nonetheless, we will continue to work proactively with the regulator and Government to identify further areas to enhance consumer protection.” The OFT’s revised position on the misuse of CPA can be found on its website. Link: http://www.credittoday.co.uk/article/14589/online-news/oft-launches-formal-payday-investigations
  19. Newlife has launched a mortgage product for borrowers over 65. The product has a variable rate of the lender’s SVR – 5.24 per cent – plus 0.5 per cent and it comes with free standard legals for remortgage customers. The maximum loan size is £350,000 and the loan-to-value is capped at 50 per cent. There must be £150,000 of equity remaining in the property at completion. It is available on a capital and interest or interest-only basis. There is a £299 application fee and a £1,995 lender fee. In addition to the 65+Mortgage, Newlife offers lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans. Newlife chief executive Peter Lucas says: “An increasing number of people find they are still paying a mortgage at 65 and may still be working – at least part-time – but due to their age, they are unable to remortgage. At Newlife, we recognise this issue and have launched the 65+Mortgage package to help people in this situation. “This product will allow borrowers to remortgage to a more competitive deal and increase the term of the mortgage thus reducing their monthly repayments. This product is one of very few, which will also allow other older homeowners who have the necessary income, to raise cash for whatever purpose they require through remortgaging or taking out a new mortgage.” Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/products/newlife-launches-mortgage-for-borrowers-65-and-over/1058964.article
  20. Financial comparison website Moneyfacts.co.uk has partnered with Just Retirements Solutions to launch an equity release advice service. The providers panel is made up of Aviva, Bridgewater, Just Retirement Limited and Stonehaven. Just Retirement Solutions Group External Affairs and Customer Insight Director Stephen Lowe says: “As the ‘baby boom’ generation move into retirement, many will need to find ways to supplement their pension income or pass on money. More and more people will be looking at how best to use the wealth tied up in their homes. “We are delighted to partner with Moneyfacts.co.uk which has an enviable reputation for providing consumers with detailed, up-to-date financial information. Equity release is a complex and sensitive area and this partnership gives customers access to professional advice and expertise to make sure they fully understand their options and receive tailored advice.” Moneyfacts Group head of pensions Richard Eagling says: “Releasing equity from your home is a big decision that needs careful consideration of the different options available, something that can only be achieved through expert advice. For such an important choice, we are glad to be teaming up with Just Retirement Solutions to offer this comprehensive service to our customers.” Link; http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/moneyfacts-launches-equity-release-advice-service/1059088.article
  21. Now they've started lending the drug cartel money to us
  22. Metro Bank is launching a pilot programme to offer mortgages via brokers for borrowers in London and the South East. The initial pilot is being run in conjunction with John Charcol using a quota system to maintain service standards. But the bank says it is in active discussions with a small number of other brokers with plans to extend availability over the next few months. Its product range via brokers is the same as it currently offers direct - for properties under £1m products range from a two-year 60% LTV tracker product at 3.09% to a two-year 70%-80% LTV fixed rate at 3.65, all with a flat fee of £999. But for properties over £1m it has today also launched a range of products at 70% LTV with rates starting at 3.39% and a product fee of 1%. When it first launched in July 2010 it was the first new high street for over 100 years and offered mortgages, current accounts, savings accounts, credit cards and loans. Despite launching as direct-only, in 2010 Anthony Thomson, co-founder and chairman of Metro Bank, told Mortgage Strategy he would not rule out using mortgage brokers in the future. And in December 2011 Mortgage Strategy revealed that a Metro Bank had been contacting brokers, just a month after it was revealed it had completed just 100 mortgages. Currently the bank has 12 stores and by the end of August hopes to have 100,000 customers. Paul Marriott-Clarke, commercial director at Metro Bank, says the bank is now looking to build a long term intermediary business. He says: “By partnering with a small number of intermediary partners, we ensure that we are able to give a consistently high level of service to all. Metro Bank offers common sense banking with the personal touch and our individual underwriting service means that we will consider cases which would typically fail the automated credit scorecards used by many lenders.” Walter Avrili, managing director of John Charcol, says: “We are delighted that Metro Bank has chosen John Charcol to launch its intermediary proposition. The addition of such a lender who is focused on unparalleled service and transparent products can only be a good thing for our clients and indeed all UK mortgage borrowers. Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/latest-news/metro-bank-launches-mortgages-via-brokers/1053807.article
  23. Comes after the OFT referred Ryanair to the CC over its current stakeholdings. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18511024
  24. announced on Credit Today http://www.credittoday.co.uk/article/12198/online-news/oft-investigating-payday-loan-market
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