Archive for September, 2008

Slump In UK Mortgage Lending

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Problems at HBOS and Bradford & Bingley increased with the news of UK Mortgage approvals falling to a new low in August this year. Worries were already in with HBOS not doing too well and doubts over Lloyds TSB deal going through. It was also hit by the news of a possible US bailout. The decline gathered momentum with the announcement of UK houses prices dipping to 64% which is lower than last year. So, the impact felt on HBOS is more as it is down to 189.5p which is almost a fall of 9%. Bradford & Bingley were also down to 24.25p which is down by 14%. With Deutsche Bank moving from holding to selling and a cut in its price target to 45p from 65p, Trinity Mirror has fallen to 102.75p. Tate & Lyle also lost 55p after a judgement on a patent dispute involving Chinese sucralose importers and manufacturers went against their favour. The picture is also grim with pub companies after Mitchells & Butlers pointed towards increasing costs in areas of food and energy, employment and duty. They also warned of an additional expenditure of 3% to maintain profits at this year’s level. Mitchells & Butlers fell to 243.75p while Punch Taverns faced a dip of 25p.

Green Car Insurance Is In

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Car insurance provider Esure is all set to establish an example in going green by sourcing all of its energy from renewable sources. As a part of the go Green Car Insurance notion, the company adopted a 12 month campaign and now claims that they have reduced the use of paper by 29% and where successful in achieving 56% recycling rate. Also, the firm saved a considerable amount of energy by focussing on switching off the monitors when not in use.

Adrian Webb, head, corporate communications, esure, says that they were successful in bringing in substantial changes in their corporate energy buying and recycling. They claim that their biggest success was that they were able to educate their staff about the importance of recycling. He adds that the personal carbon footprint of their staff has reduced greatly. This measure taken by the esure will sure be a motivation to other corporate organizations.

Recent researches by Tesco shows that above two-thirds of homeowners considers themselves to be eco-friendly. But comparison of this figure with those in rented accommodation shows a big difference – the research revealed that this figure fell to 57% and 24% of them said they are “not very green”.

British Banks Special Liquidity Scheme

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

UK banks have swapped about £100bn of securities which were mortgaged for Treasury bonds. This is however more than the amount which was originally expected to be swapped claims Alistair Darling. This statement by Mr Darling reveals the degree of exposure of the taxpayers in the Mortgage market under the “special liquidity scheme” (SLS) of Bank of England which opened in April this year. The liquidity scheme is a successful way of providing liquidity to the British market and also compatible to the US plan. Though nothing has been stated about the number of mortgage-backed securities which could be swapped for government papers, yet the banks have been using this service to increase liquidity. However, though the service has been given an AAA-rate, taxpayers still have a margin of risk. This facility which was supposed to continue till October has been extended till January as it helped maintain a stability of the banks despite the turmoil experienced on the Wall Street. The Bank of England was in a position to use its discretion either to accept or reject applications of banks wanting to borrow under this scheme. About £90bn of mortgage- backed securities were introduced which would be placed under the scheme. The central bankers’ bank stated an increase in the mortgage securitisation in the second quarter.

MRL Travel Insurance For Over 65

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Are you over 65 and feel that you should have a traveller’s insurance like your son who is just 30? Then you are absolutely right! Why should you pay extra premiums just for your age? Well, now there is good news for all travellers above 65.
MRL insurance has introduced a policy that will cover people till the age 80. What’s best about the policy is that it takes into consideration only the pre-existing medical condition for the last 12 months only and not for the last five years as is the case for most Travel policies. The policy covers travel to Europe or worldwide and unlimited trips for a period of 93 days (45 days for travellers aged 65-74, or 31 days for those between 75 to 79 years). The starting price of the policy is £15. The cost of an annual Europe multi-trip is about £79. MRL claims to be UK’s first fully self-certified policy. This means that travellers need not undergo any further medical tests once they have completed the application process.
This is good especially in cases if you have recovered from a serious condition in the past. According to a compare website, this policy offers good value in conditions of cancellation, baggage and medical cover. However, as all policies you must carefully go through the small print as well for example, the policy is not clear if asthma patients are covered or not. You will also not be provided cover if you have a background of heart ailment, a terminal disease or changed your medication in last three months. A similar policy would probably cost you only £6-7 with some other company while the MRL policy is more than £25 but the benefit of MRL policy is that it covers more medical conditions than any other policy does.

Great Car Finance Deals For Car Buyers

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Great bargains for car buyers

There was a time when buyers had to hunt a lot for new-car bargains. But the scene is quite different now. With heavy price cuts, it is the buyers who are now chasing the customers for offers. This week, itself, a brand new Muranos of Nissan was being sold by an agent at a little under £20,000 instead of £30,190. I was hounded by a franchisee to purchase a Dodge Nitro for £15,000 instead of £25,000.

You can now expect some top level jeeps and cars to have a price slash of £15,000. Even non-franchised dealers now offer a Peugeot Comfort at £10, 799 which is about £7,000 less. There are other offers as well like Suzuki has waived off three years road tax and up to three years’ free finance to customers buying Cars worth £14,999. Only a deposit of 40% is required. Another agent offers four years of free insurance on Zafiras, Astras, Vectras and Astra TwinTops if you make a down payment of 30%. There is good news for buyers who want to buy the £15,000 Volvo C30 R-Design Sport. If you pay a deposit of £4, 591 you can avail a 36-month free loan offer. For Skoda lovers, customers can enjoy servicing and insurance at no additional expense but for future buyers, only those willing to shell out a loan of 6.2 per cent APR can you avail such offers. So there are lots in store this summer for you as far as car finance purchase is concerned.

Snapshots UK Non-Life Insurance 2008 Report

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Snapshots UK Non-Life Insurance 2008″ is out for the public to view. This comprehensive report provides last year data of market size, with estimates of 2008, historical facts of 5 years and forecast of the coming 5 years. The Snapshots report provides a summary of the non-life insurance market of the UK which includes accident and health car, aviation, real estate, marine, general liability Life Insurance, and transport and other non-life insurance policies. The value is calculated based upon the gross premium income. The report has been provided in both table and graphic format for easy comprehension and interpretation. There are several benefits of Snapshots reports the main being helping the client save his precious time with a correct and a complete report on market data, shares, size, and forecasts. The report is a very user friendly one with easy to use tables, excellent graphical interpretation and concise and clear information. It is beneficial for first time research and it also helps the team build a detailed report based on the collected information of Snapshots report.

Lehman Mortgage Assets Up For Sale

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Lehman ready to sell assets worth £2.3bn

Mortgage assets worth £2.3bn of Lehman Brothers are now up for grabs by BlackRock Financial Management. Talks have begun between the two parties after Lehman Brothers decided to retreat from residential mortgages.

The assets which BlackRock Financial Management has decided to buy were raised primarily through UK sub-prime lending groups like London Personal Loans (LPL), Southern Pacific Mortgages (SPML), London Mortgage Company (LMC), Southern Pacific Personal Loans (SPPL), and Preferred Mortgages. Customers having “unlimited adverse” profiles and those even in the prime bracket were offered an array of mortgages and secured loans. However, Lehman was not willing to disclose much about the assets they were planning to sell to BlackRock Financial Management. A press spokesperson said that they were not ready to reveal further deals regarding the deal as it is between the two parties to be completed by the fourth quarter. However, in the financial market, the dealings were as transparent as it could be. This move was made public after speculations that Lehman was finding hard to raise capital. Ilehman Brothers stated that it was trying to reduce its dealings with “commercial real estate” and “residential mortgages.”

UK To Improve Rank In The Health Insurance League

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

UK to improve its rank in the health league table

National Health Service or NHS has decided to change gears to a kind of Health Insurance to match up with other countries. A study by a health group has revealed that the UK is not performing well in many indicators when compared to several other countries. It is important to offer universal cover and insurance benefits to compete with other countries in terms of a comprehensive health plan. Countries like Switzerland and Japan are way ahead of the US and UK. Even countries like Australia, Germany, France and the Netherlands are doing much better. Britain in fact finds a place much below at the health league table and is ranked seventh out of eight when it comes to cancer mortality and life expectancy and sixth in infant mortality. For a better performance UK must come up with new incentives like offering patients the option to choose companies that provide health insurance. The study also came up with a new model known as National Health Protection System (NHPS). In this system people can invest up to 2,000 per year tax-funded premium in return of guaranteed healthcare. If a country can be one of the leading sporting nations, it can also be a frontrunner in the health sector.

Pet Insurance A Requirement To Save Medical Costs

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

Lack of insurance cover forcing many pet owners to decline treatment for their pets

Britain is known for its love for pets but a recent survey has revealed a very startling fact. As many as 1.6 million pet owners have taken a drastic step of putting their Pets to sleep because of spiralling cost of treatment and vet bills. About 80% of vets have had offers from owners who do not have a health insurance for their pet to put them to sleep. Many pet owners could not afford the expensive treatment of their pets. Thousands of pets every year were refused medical treatment on account of high cost of treatment. In the past five years more than 50 per cent of pet owners had to put their cat or dog to sleep. This is mainly because of two major factors, reveals the research. First vet fees have risen by 12 % and secondly 55% of cats and dogs are uninsured. An insurance policy for a pet has therefore become of prime importance which will at least enable the pet owner to cover expenses if not fully at least a part of it. These findings are very disturbing and it shows that of only an owner had had taken a pet health insurance, they would not have to face such dilemma of putting them to sleep or declining medical treatment. Britain is currently reeling under credit crunch which has compelled many pet owners to either reduce the amount of pet cover or do away completely. A good Pet Insurance does not necessarily mean an expensive one. You can even do with an average one if you shop and surf the net a little.

Rescuing Fannie And Freddie Temporary Solution For British Mortgage Market

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Rescuing Fannie and Freddie is a temporary solution for British mortgage market

US Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson’s decision to take rescue manage UK giants Fannie (Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation) would offer little respite to homeowners of Britain. Even though the industrial average of Dow Jones moved up by 129 points this strategy of the US Government will not be a quick fix solution for the ailing Mortgage market of Britain.

In Britain too shares in house builders and fund managers soared. Barclays was the most profitable among banks with share prices increasing by 12 per cent to 355p while share prices of Cattles climbed to 125 p up by 13.6 per cent. ?

In spite of these figures, experts feel that there would hardly be any sudden results coming from the takeover of two British giants though stability of the American housing market would have an incidental benefit for Britain. As a result of the stability, consumers would get time to value their property with more knowledge. The housing market would get a boost as banks would henceforth be more comfortable in lending individuals equipped with a better understanding of the credit assets. This operation by Henry Paulson is expected to benefit American lenders. Analysts have calculated that European financial companies have less hold on shares by Fannie and Freddie and therefore they would only be partially hit by the fall. However, these companies hold about $72 billion of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debt and mortgage-backed securities and many banks like Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and UBS do not divulge the exact details. A senior research analyst feels that the bailing out of the British companies would hardly help in improving the economic problems that Britain is currently reeling under. It does not do much for the self-created problems of the UK economy and therefore the banks of UK. The prices of houses are going to fall further with bank losses.