September 2012

PPI driving huge jump in complaints, says Financial Services Authority

The ever rising tide of PPI claims pushed the total number of complaints about financial companies up to more than 3.5million in the first half of this year – that’s an increase of 59 per cent on the figures for the second half of 2011.

Figures released by the Financial Services Authority show that claims for mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance – designed to cover loan repayments if the borrower falls ill, dies or loses their job – accounted for 62 per cent of all complaints.

Liverpool credit unions take on illegal and high interest lenders with £1million from city council

Seven credit unions in Liverpool have received £1million from the city council to fund low-cost loans to families and businesses.  The aim is to prevent them from resorting to high interest, short term lenders or illegal loan sharks.

The aim, over a three year period, is to support more than 23,000 individuals and more than 650 companies and new enterprises via 12,500 loans.  The city council funding is expected to lead to a total of £3million being lent, because repayments will be “recycled” into more loans.

Consumer debt worth more than £60billion in the hands of debt collection agencies

Quarterly figures from the Credit Services Association show that total consumer debts being held by debt collection agencies and debt buyers has passed £60billion for the first time. 

This is 5% up on the first quarter of 2012 (January to March) and 18% up on the same period in 2011 (April to June).

No excuse for new students faced with managing their money...

Student Finance Day 2012 saw websites and twitter feeds awash with top tips, handy tools and cautionary tales from students who had failed to manage their money in the past.

Research had been done: according to charity Credit Action, designer jackets (lost two weeks later) and holidays were just two “essential” student buys, while a survey said that three quarters of parents believe their children should have received financial education lessons at school.

Payday loans in the spotlight: one million use them to pay bills – and Wonga records 269 per cent profit rise

New research from Santander suggests that one million people are resorting to short-term, high interest loans to meet their monthly household bills.  

The figures were released just ahead of a statement by the short-term credit company Wonga, which reportedly saw profits rise 269pc to £45.8m in 2011, with revenue growing to £185m.

Campaign toolkit spurs pupils to demand financial education in schools

A toolkit designed by young people is taking a new approach to financial education – by helping pupils lobby their schools for money lessons.

The launch of Our Money, Our Future was backed by a survey of young people showing that 84 percent believed their school did not do enough to teach them about money, and 96 percent thought that all schoolchildren should be taught to manage their finances.

I’m in this much debt...

A group of young people in Manchester took the time to contribute to a very smart BBC Three vox pop on money and debt.

Early rise for Debt Advice Foundation's financial education team

The first day of term meant a particularly early start for a group of pupils at Southlands High School in Chorley.  They had a starring role in a series of outside broadcasts from the school for BBC Breakfast, showcasing the money management lessons that they developed as part of national debt charity Debt Advice Foundation’s financial education programme.

Insolvency amongst over-65s rising faster than any other age group

Insolvency amongst the over-65s is growing faster than for any other age group, figures from the Insolvency Service show.

From 2006 to 2011, the number of insolvencies in this age group increased by more than 100 per cent, according to calculations by accountants Wilkins Kennedy.  Low levels of interest rates on savings, coupled with rising costs caused by above-target inflation, are blamed for the increasing plight of many living on pensions.