Thursday 8 January 2015

Thursday, January 08, 2015 Posted by Hari No comments Labels:
Posted by Hari on Thursday, January 08, 2015 with No comments | Labels:

New consumer debt reaches seven-year high in UK 
Britons ran up their highest level of new debt in November for nearly seven years, with the month’s borrowing on credit cards, loans and overdrafts hitting more than £1.25bn. More than £980m was taken out in loans and overdrafts during the month, sharply up from the monthly average of £728m over the previous six months. Credit card lending fell to £269m, from £399m in October, but remained above the average for the previous six months. The Bank of England said over the course of three months unsecured lending had grown at its most rapid pace since October 2005, and in November was up 6.9% compared with November 2013. The figures show that at £168bn – more than £5,800 per household – the total outstanding unsecured debt remains some way below the peak reached in September 2008 when UK consumers collectively owed £208bn alongside their mortgages. However, there has been a marked change in behaviour as the economy has recovered: in nearly every month for the four years to September 2012 consumers paid off more than they borrowed, with banks reining in credit limits and restricting loans and overdrafts, but since then the trend has reversed with almost every month seeing increased borrowing. Banks and credit card companies have been jostling for business with offers to attract new customers: loan rates have plummeted while balance transfer deals on credit cards have become increasingly generous. The chief executive of the debt charity StepChange, Mike O’Connor, said the figures “point to a worrying rise in people’s reliance on credit”. He added: “The economy is growing and there is some wage growth but it is very marginal and millions are living on a financial precipice leaving them vulnerable to financial shocks and strains.” GUARDIAN

Fat Cat Tuesday: FTSE 100 bosses will make more by January 6th than most will earn in the whole of 2015
It has been dubbed 'Fat Cat Tuesday' by campaign group the High Pay Centre, which says the huge discrepancy 'highlights the problem of unfair pay in the UK'. The group calculated that the average FTSE 100 chief executive is paid the equivalent of nearly £1,200 an hour based on the average package for blue-chip bosses of £4.72million in 2013. The huge hourly rate even assumes that FTSE bosses work three out of four weekends, work 12 hour days and take less than ten days holiday a year. This compares with the average salary of £27,000 in the UK in 2013, which rose to £27,200 last year. Over the same period the average pay for a FTSE 100 company chief executive rose almost £500,000 to £4.72million, according to shareholder advisory service Manifest. Deborah Hargreaves, director of the High Pay Centre, said: 'For top bosses to rake in more in two days than their staff earn is a year is clearly unfair.' DAILY MAIL

Osborne: 'Let families benefit' from low oil prices
The price of a barrel of oil dropped to below $50, the first time since May 2009. Chancellor George Osborne raised the issue at Cabinet, and the Treasury said it was examining whether any action was needed. All four big UK supermarkets have announced further fuel price cuts, bringing petrol ever closer to £1 a litre. Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Asda have reduced prices by 2p a litre on both petrol and diesel. Mr Osborne tweeted that the price of oil was at its lowest in five years and added: "Vital this is passed on to families at petrol pumps, through utility bills and air fares." Last year, Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander wrote to all the main fuel suppliers and distributors, calling on them to pass on the benefit of falling prices as soon as possible. Mr Alexander told ITV News that falling oil prices are a "benefit to most of the UK economy" provided that the savings are passed on "at the pumps, in the cost of holidays and in the cost of heating homes". He also said more support was needed for the North Sea oil and gas sector which, as the biggest industrial investor in the UK, is "adversely affected" by falling prices. "So, that is why we are also putting in place a more beneficial tax environment," he added. BBC NEWS

Banks will be paying out on PPI 'for years to come' as 4,000 complaints pour into ombudsman every WEEK
The Financial Ombudsman Service said it still receives more than 4,000 PPI complaints every week, bringing the total number of cases received over the last few years to roughly 1.25million. In 2012, at the height of the PPI mis-selling scandal, the FOS was seeing 12,000 new cases reaching their desks each week. In recent months, around 55 per cent of PPI-related complaints have been upheld in consumers' favour, the FOS added. In recent years, the FOS has taken on over 2,000 new staff to deal with increasing numbers of disputes between financial companies and their customers. Over 87 per cent of the work currently undertaken by the FOS relates to PPI cases. Last year, the Financial Conduct Authority announced that the banking industry had paid out approximately £16billion in three years of the £22billion they had set aside to deal with the consumer scandal. DAILY MAIL

A&E waiting times are worst for a decade
From October to December 92.6% of patients were seen in four hours - below the 95% target. The performance is the worst quarterly result since the target was introduced at the end of 2004. The rest of the UK is also missing the target and a number of hospitals have declared "major incidents" recently. This signifies they are facing exceptional pressures and triggers extra staff being called in and other steps, including cancelling non-emergency care, such as routine operations. It is the second time the target - which measures the point from arrival to being discharged, admitted to hospital or transferred elsewhere - has been missed under the coalition. These are the quarterly figures. But the target has even been missed on a weekly basis (England provides these figures along with the quarterly statistics) every week except one since the end of August. BBC NEWS

Britain’s executive pay overtaken by Germany’s for the first time
The main reason is because of campaign and political pressure over excessive remuneration in the UK, which has limited pay rises here. German bosses took home average annual pay of €3.44m (£2.69m) for 2013, compared with the €3.40m (£2.66m) paid to the CEOs of UK FTSE 100 firms, according to a study of more than 500 companies across Europe. In 2012, the average FTSE 100 CEO was paid €4.7m, compared with €3.1m for the bosses of equivalent-sized German companies. The study, by Vlerick business school in Belgium, compares non-financial listed firms with a market value of more than €5bn. Historically, German executive pay has been restrained by the Mitbestimmungsgesetz law, which requires that half the seats on companies’ supervisory boards represent the workforce. It is increasing, however, as companies increase the amount of share-based performance-related pay for bosses. “In former times granting share-based pay was forbidden, [but] more and more German companies are starting to grant share-based pay, and that brings up total pay,” said the study’s author, Xavier Baeten. The highest paid CEO in Germany was Volkswagen’s Martin Winterkorn, who collected €15.7m in 2013, according to Bloomberg. Winterkor’s pay packet sparked outrage in Germany in 2012, when his total remuneration almost doubled from €9.3m to €17.5m. GUARDIAN

Payday loan charges cap takes effect
Payday loan rates will be capped at 0.8% per day of the amount borrowed, and no-one will have to pay back more than twice the amount they borrowed. Many payday lenders have already closed down, in anticipation of the new rules, a trade body has said. And the amount of money being lent by the industry has halved in the past year. Christopher Woolard, of the FCA, said the regulator had taken action because it was clear that payday loans had been pushing some people into unmanageable debt. "For those people taking out payday loans, they should be able to borrow more cheaply from today, but also we make sure that people who should not be taking out those loans don't actually get them," he said. The FCA's research suggests that 70,000 people who were able to secure a payday loan under the previous regulations would be unable to do so under the new, stricter rules. They represent about 7% of current borrowers. The changes mean that if a borrower defaults, the interest on the debt will still build up, but he or she will never have to pay back interest of more than 100% of the amount borrowed. There is also a £15 cap on a one-off default fee. Mr Woolard argued that only a very small number would seek credit from unregulated loan sharks instead. He added that the regulator would be monitoring the situation carefully. He also said that the reforms needed time to bed down before their effect was assessed. BBC NEWS


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