Archive for the ‘UK Media’ category

Fears Over Debt Management Firms

September 28, 2010

There are fears for more than 100 debt management firms after the trading watchdog found multiple errors made by the firms. The 129 firms in question will now face losing their licenses.

The Office of Fair Trading has uncovered a variety of dishonest and malpractice that has taken place over a long period of time. It was found that rather than give impartial and honest debt-related advice to both individuals and families, the companies were exploiting customers in order to maximise their profits.

The firms crimes are made worse by the fact that those who come to them for debt advice are usually vulnerable and in a dire financial position.

The Office of Fair Trading has also found that many companies falsely or misleadingly advertise so that customers step into a contract under disillusion. Often this involves advertising a free service when there is a fee. Firms are guilty of indulging in a certain amount of deceit, be it cleverly disguised or blatant.

In the worst cases, groups were using misleading trading names to make it appear that they are charities or government bodies, both of which give out impartial advice for free.

The firms have been told either shape up immediately or lose your license.

By the end of this year, consumers are expected to have paid a whopping £250 million in fees to debt management companies.

All this can leave you feeling vulnerable when it comes to seeking debt advice but you are not alone. If you go through an established price comparison website, the companies you are viewing have all been researched and certified prior to you visiting their sites. This is your best bet in finding a trust worthy debt management company.

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Would You Make a Claim?

September 9, 2010

Would you make a claim against your employer if you had an accident in the workplace that wasn’t your fault?

In Britain and many other countries (the US, Australia to name a couple) consumers are more confident than ever when it comes to their rights.  OK, so they may not be as happy to splash their cash on the high street just yet but when it comes to claiming compensation and their rights it seems that everyone is now an expert.

Critics argue that this culture of claiming is verging on an aggressive attack on many sectors and businesses that otherwise provide excellent services.

However, others weigh up that ordinary people do have rights and if they have suffered as a result of negligence on the part of someone else, they are entitled to their compensation.  There are claims services for every purpose today – from standard injury claims to more complex clinical negligence claims.

Financial Review for September

August 23, 2010

As students and schoolchildren look ahead (but not necessarily forward) to a new term, parents may be clearing up the financial clutter.  After a summer – with perhaps a break abroad – many professionals attempt to review their finances and start the ‘new term’ at work with a fresh approach.

While it is never a fun prospect to consider ones bank statements, credit card bills and savings, it is a sensible idea to regularly review your own money and make sure you are making – and getting – the most of it.

September is rarely as ‘poor’ as January with its post-Xmas hangover and battered credit, but there is a similarity especially for parents that have had to deal with ‘back to school’ costs and a family holiday too.

Market Moves ahead of Weekend

June 24, 2010

It’s nearly time for another weekend, one which promises to bring fraught nerves and emotion.  Are we talking about a G20 summit or economic data announcement? No…this is far more important to most inhabitants of two European countries:

England VS Germany on Sunday in the World Cup.

But while the weekend, with its peak (or trough) on Sunday, may be around the corner there are still those who are focussing on the job in hand.  Today, Australia announced its first female Prime Minister.  Julia Gillard took over the pole political position after former PM Kevin Rudd chose to throw in the towel ahead of an internal ballot.

The news brought strength to the Australian dollar, which surged against its New Zealand counterpart.  Minining stocks also got a boost, as it seemed likely that the controversial mining tax will receive more attention and review by Ms Gillard.

Markets lost momentum (or interest?) in the topic later on though, with European stock slumps and another weak euro versus the yen and the dollar.  No prizes for guessing why (hint: Greece).

Emergency Budget Announced

June 22, 2010

It’s Budget-time!

Yes, as promised Britain receives its emergency Budget annoucement from Chancellor George Osborne today.  As expected, it is chock-full with cuts and austerity measures which are intended, in Osborne’s own words to prevent “catastrophic collapse” in economic confidence.

Promising to be clear on the plans and not to hide the tough parts from the general public, Osborne launched into his first Budget as Chancellor since the new coalition government was voted in May.

Public sector pensions cuts, tax increases and pay freezes are all set to be part of the short- to medium-term future of Britain.  Backlash is likely especially from trade unions…

Improvement for UK Economy?

March 3, 2010

What’s all this?  Good news for the pound?  Surely not…

Yes, today the pound rose against the US dollar and the euro after some positive data concerning the UK economy was released.  According to recent surveys and indices, consumer confidence has risen to its highest level in two years, while the services sector is reporting notable improvement.

Consumers, while still cautious about buying large household goods, are now confident abouth the next 6 months – so much so that the index measuring this has risen to its highest point since 2004!  Looking at today’s numbers it is no surprise that investors headed back to the pound.

Indeed, the data was even better than expected – most economists had predicted much more moderate figures.  In addition, GDP growth rose to 0.3% for the final quarter of 2009 (not 0.2% as had been previously thought).  Overall it certainly looks like Britain has some hope on the horizon!

Yet only earlier this week, investors on the foreign exchange market were shaking their heads whenever the word ‘Britain’ was mentioned – after all, with a ‘hung’ parliament looking like a real risk and public debts still nearly as bad as those of Greece, the pound wasn’t looking like a particularly safe bet

Pound Retreats

February 1, 2010

A new week, a new….tumble for the pound.  This morning in the London session it fell against the US dollar and the euro.  Traders are anxious in advance of the Bank of England’s decision on whether to extend the asset-buying programme or not (for which 200 billion pounds have already been set aside).

If the Bank chooses to continue the scheme, traders have warned that there will be some sharp pound-selling to follow.  Fingers crossed then…

Meanwhile, Gordon Brown and David Cameron will be stepping up their campaigns after two seperate polls found that there would be no clear majority in a general election.  So far, many had thought that Brown’s days were numbered and that he was unlikely to make a comeback – but the division between him and Cameron on how to clean up the country’s debt problems has left many spectators divided.  Who has the better plan, and who can lead the country back to health?

The currency exchange market will want to see a clearer picture from one of the two, in order for the pound to gain any strength off the back of them.