August 2012 Noteworthy News
Last August had the London riots, this year August has the London Olympics. Last year had Project Merlin and Greece in the headlines, this year it’s all about mortgage price wars, because of the FLS (Funding for Lending Scheme) overstepping the NLGS (National Loan Guarantee Scheme) to which the Bank of England will be monitoring.
Interest rates have been held and B.of E. is to make no changes to its quantitative easing programme, but a review of inflation and growth programmes will be made in November.
With a 0.7% decline in the economy further debating is likely from the economists and advice being proffered to Mr Osborne, but perhaps he should listen to the advice from Australia’s Treasurer Wayne Swan, who cited The Boss (Bruce Springsteen) as his economic hero, with lyrics that give insight into an economy.
G –Day (21st December 2012) means changes to the E.U. Gender Directive and changes to insurance premiums of all types to equalise between men and women. Mortality, morbidity and claims rates data for gender specific assessment will no longer be used for rates: as an indication, Life Cover for men could be -10% with +20% for women, Income Protection +25% for men and -30% for women.
Ofcom have capped charges for sending second class large letters and small parcels and price increases on stamps for large letters and small parcels up to 2kg will be capped in line with CPI inflation to `protect small businesses and vulnerable customers’. Royal Mail have created a record and produced a stamp within 24 hours for the historic win of the first British women to take Olympic rowing gold.
The high street banks have been active of late; have they hit their watershed? HSBC has put aside £1.3bn for likely payments towards money-laundering allegations, Barclays have set aside £450m towards compensation to small businesses for the mis-selling of financial products, NatWest has disgruntled some of its customers due to IT problems and RBS will take a hit of about £300m from its role in the mis-selling scandal and IT meldown, and are likely to set aside just under £50m, compared to Barclays £450m. Santander have put aside £548m for PPI, they’ve also been in the news for charging a monthly fee to those business customers whose `free’ accounts were transferred when they took over the likes of Alliance and Leicester.
(Image and Article credit: Copyright SUF 2012)