June 2014

Could an encouraging "smiley face" help our money management?

A six-month research programme carried out among housing association tenants has established that receiving regular, encouraging “smiley face” feedback on their energy use has helped people to cut their fuel bills by some £80 a year.  

Could this simplest of encouragement methods be adopted by banks to help people keep on top of their budgets?

Interest-only mortgages an ever-present threat for borrowers without a plan for repayment

Some 2.8 million people in Britain have interest-only mortgages.  According to estimates from the Financial Conduct Authority, over half of those people will not be able to repay their mortgage when it becomes due.  A third of those (ie almost half a million people) will be have shortfalls of more than £50,000.

Start planning for interest rate rises NOW

The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, could not have been clearer – interest rates will be going up, and sooner rather than later.

You don’t need to understand anything about economics to get the picture: those of us with mortgages on variable interest rates will soon be paying more every month. 

And those of us looking to rent will find that rents are likely to start creeping up too, as higher mortgage costs filter down from private landlords.

Payday loan lead generators in the crosshairs

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published its provisional findings on the payday lending industry. 

David Rodger, chief executive of  Debt Advice Foundation, commented: “We are pleased to see that the huge problem of rogue lead generators and credit brokers has been identified. 

Logbook loans under the FCA spotlight

Logbook lenders – who offer loans secured against vehicles, which can then be repossessed if payments are missed – have been warned by the Financial Conduct Authority that they must “dramatically raise their standards” if they want to continue to operate as regulated financial services providers.