Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

UK Homeowners Fail To Remortgage Homes

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

There isn’t much good news for UK homeowners as repossessions of home reached a 12-year high signifying a bleak picture of the UK housing market.
Almost 18,900 people failed to repay their mortgage payments this year and the number of people in arrears was almost up by one-third in the last three months. People with a record of dismal credit histories have been among the ones who failed to remortgage their homes.

A stern warning has been sent out to mortgage firms by the Financial Services Authority that they are ready for court battles against such defaulters. However, according to some experts the result of mortgage defaulters might be slightly better in Scotland than in the UK because of low prices of houses and fewer people with poor credit history.

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) repossessions have risen from 12,800 in the first half of 2007 to 18,900 in the first half of 2008. The situation for the affected people is not likely to improve much with rates of interest remaining the same or increasing.

In this situation when fresh funding is rare, there might be more than one million homeowners who might have their homes at a lesser value than their outstanding mortgage. According to the Treasury chief secretary the government must act swiftly to put a stop to all peculations. The warning bell sounded by CML has led to the setting up of Legal Services Commission, a body which will offer free advice to people who can sense danger of eviction. In the coming years, the demand for social housing will surge and there could be as any as five million people on the wait list in two years.

CML states that the credit sector was hard hit by credit crunch than any other markets which have continued with its good results. According to experts lenders should analyze all other measures before opting for eviction which must be used as a last resort. People are also advised to ask for help whenever they can sense danger.

Car Loans Soar Lenders Increase Rates

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Car Company Loans Soar With Other Lenders Increasing Their Rates

You would be interested to know that probably this is the right time to buy your dream car from vehicle dealerships since other lenders have increased not only their interest rates but have rejected loan offers to many as well. The number of people purchasing cars through loans from vehicle dealerships has seen a sharp rise in the last year. Volkswagen is happy to announce that it has already been able to achieve its 2008 target of car loans worth £1bn when in fact there has been an overall dip in car sales in the UK.

Volkswagen’s managing director Graham Wheeler assesses its success to the availability of funds which enables them to surge ahead than other financial organisations. Credit crunch doesn’t affect their lending capacity because of the long term planning they make. Though historically, car finance is expensive than personal loans, several high street lenders over the past year have been increasing their rates of interest. The comparison portal, Moneysupermarket.com states that the average top five cheapest personal loans stands today at 7.7 per cent compared to 6.5 per cent last year. Moreover, those applications which have good credit rating are only being accepted.

Volkswagen is offering loans at a rate as low as 7.8 per cent APR while Renault loans are more than 8 per cent and offering of Peugeot Citrogen starts at 7.9 per cent. The success of car finance products is attributed to two major factors says Tim Moss. At present, personal loans are difficult to get while with car finance your loan is at a less risky zone as it is secured against the metal. Earlier consumers would not opt for car finance as other loans were available at cheaper rates of 6.5 per cent while now many have realised that they are left with little or no choice and that car finance is cheaper compared to personal loans. Though car sales have dipped sharply in the past few months, yet there are some excellent deals if you want to purchase now. Moss himself proudly states that he has just become the proud owner of a brand new Renault at £14,000 which had a price band of £21,500.

Barclays Making Impressive Inroads In Home Market

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Barclays’ decision to expand its mortgage lending operations paid off very well and in no time they showed a surprise performance in the home market by the first half of this year. It witnessed a sharp rise in the new mortgage lending business from 6 per cent in 2007 to 26 per cent in the first half. The figures are amazing if we keep the very fact in mind that Barclays has been suffering losses in home loans. The mortgage lending figures improved in 2006 after it acquired the former building society Woolwich and merged it fully with Barclays.

Barclays was able to speed up its mortgage lending figures because of the credit crunch fallout. It happened at the moment when weaker competitors withdrew from the market or were not in a position for fresh investment in new business. Barclays has a record of investing in new businesses with low loans, claims Frits Seegers who heads the global retail and commercial banking. The latest mortgage business has a loan to value ratio of 51 per cent on new lending. Frit Seegers also states that Barclays had a 7 per cent of its £77bn loan book on a loan to value ratio of more than 80 per cent. There has also been a 7 per cent rise in riskier buy-to-let loans. The pre-tax profits of Barclays was up by 7 per cent to £690m mainly because of a grwoth in mortgages.

The pre-tax profit of Barclaycard, UK’s largest credit card provider also jumped to £388m up by 30 per cent because of its foreign expansions. Barclaycard now has a record of rejecting one in every two new applicants as credit card business experienced a steep increase in bad debts. Mr Seegers said that the decision to use stringent lending criteria has proved successful in business. Barclays latest acquisition of Goldfish is the reason behind bad debts that increased from £435m in 2007 to £477m in the first half. Even though there was a growth in customer assets, profts at Barclay’s commercial bank fell to £702m. UK business must be ready to face more bad debts if there is a recession, claims analyst Sandy Chen. An interesting fact stated by another analyst Bruno Paulson of Bernstein is that UK retail customers are yet to experience the impairments with both Barclaycard and UK retail suffering flat impairments. In South Africa and Spain bad debts have also risen as there has been a threefold increase in overall international provision to £294m. But some ray of hope can be gathered from Barclays emerging market trends. There will be a rise in profits by divisions run by Mr Seegers from outside the UK.

Fee Free Mortgage by Yorkshire Bank

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

If you are approaching the deadline of the current mortgage deal, then it’s just the right time to switch to a fee-free package being offered by the Yorkshire Bank. Yorkshire Bank has come out with a fee-free mortgage deal for customers who wish to remortgage their properties this August. It is a limited period offer applicable to a variety of the bank’s fixed rate, tracker mortgages, flexible and offset.

Well, first time buyers don’t be disappointed! You too can avail this offer. If you are using your individual solicitors, the Bank will also waive its valuation and legal fees. However, customer using Rapid Repay and Flexible Repay will need to pay £200 as legal fees. Head of retail for Yorkshire Bank, Gary Lumby showed his human side by expressing that he can understand the pinch people are feeling and therefore wishes to make mortgages affordable to the customers.

So there is now good news for homeowners. If you want to change to a standard variable rate when your mortgage term gets over, Yorkshire Bank will help you in looking for the right mortgage rate and will not claim the arrangement fee.

Buy-to-let Mortgages Experience A Dip

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

If you are an inexperienced landlord planning to go in for a buy-to-let mortgage project, then probably you have some tough times ahead. The figure of buy-to-let mortgages has decreased considerably by a margin of 93% in the last year. This has left hundreds of landlords in lurch failing to get good deals.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the number of mortgages available now is 307 compared to 4,384 last year. Small time landlords will face the pinch as there is going to be a steep fall in buy-to-let loans and almost 110,000 landlords do not have enough properties to help them cover the blow they are going to face following a dip in the market rates. These novice landlords will also have to adjust to the higher rates of interest on the existing mortgage deals. The picture for buy-to let-mortgage rates isn’t very rosy either. The research done reveals that rate of buy-to-let mortgage has increased from 0.63 per cent to 7.46 per cent in the past year. So the higher interest rates mean that landlords will have to either increase rents or compensate the deficit themselves.

Lenders are too becoming strict with their rates. They have now set the rental income at 19 per cent higher than the monthly mortgage repayments which has increased from 13 per cent a year back to be eligible for a buy-to-let deal. With the market rates also on the rise, lenders also have to increase the rent by 15 percent to keep pace with the market trend. So it is not just a bad time for landlords but tenants and developers too must be ready for hard times ahead. According to Louise Cuming, in charge of mortgages of MoneySuperMarket states that it will be tough for landlords planning to remortgage buy-to-let properties as lenders would be expecting heavy deposits or increasing interest rates. So the time has arrived for landlords to do a rethink about their properties and whether they wish to stick on given the current scenario. Some landlords may be even forced to sell their properties at a loss. The Council of Mortgage Lenders reveals that there are about 1.1 million buy-to-let outstanding mortgages. Some shifted to lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) almost reluctantly as they had very little option left. Mortgage broker of Savills Private Finance, Melanie Bien said that many landlords have decided to stay with the SVR rather than pay a price of 2 to 2.5 per cent to move to an unspectacular rate. Since novice landlords neither have the extra cash nor a surplus of properties they have to depend on the savings to adjust the shortfall.

Hastings Broker Fined

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

Hastings Insurance Services is fined £735,000 by Financial Services Authority for unfairly treating customers and cancelling their car policies. Hastings Insurance Services cancelled about 4,550 car policies which were not priced correctly. But the amazing fact is that the incorrect polices have been a result of an internal system error and not due to any miscalculation on the part of the customers.

Some of the customers paid lower premiums than what was expected because of inappropriate quotes being given by the broker. However, with the discovery of this mistake, Hastings promptly cancelled the policies of those customers.

According to FSA, Hastings was too prompt in canceling the policies and should have investigated the matter in depth before taking such drastic action. They should have thought of some other remedial measures. The City regulator was also harsh in his statement. He accused that Hastings was only considering its financial loss and was not bothered about the effect it could have on the customers. Hastings has now decided to write to all the affected customers and offer them compensation.

The broker agreed to settle the case early to spare himself of a fine of £1m. He was quick in analysing the damage he has caused and was lucky to receive a 30 per cent rebate on the fine.

Should You Buy A Car

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

Planning to buy a car? Do you feel you have the necessary resources to be a proud owner of a car? The answer might be yes, but think again before purchasing your car. With the rise in premiums, think if you really require a car or are you buying it just for your social standing. Do you think you receive value for the amount you pay for the maintenance costs, road tax and fuel that your car consumes?

UK is one of the few countries in the world that have good public transport network. However, there are still few areas that require investment for repair and development. But the big debatable question is what comes first – the investment or the customer? The perpetual problem with the people in the UK is making them use public transport instead of their private cars. If you are in London, you are sure to find a bus to take you to your destination. But Scots aren’t that lucky!

They can’t simply dump their cars at home and use facilities like the bus or train as there aren’t too many services as such. People have lost trust in some of the public services preventing people from using such services.

So until public transport is easily available and cost effective at the same time, people will be tempted to use their cars!

Car Insurance Premiums On The Soar

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

Insurer Admiral after releasing the profits on July 30th, 2008, sounded the alarm bell for higher premium rates for all car owners. Elephant, Diamond and Confused.com, companies owned by Admiral, have predicted the inevitable rise of premium by a few points in the coming months.

Admiral quotes a rise of 16 per cent in profit before tax to £100.3 million in the first half of 2008 and a return of 13 per cent to £472.5 million. Not only insurer Admiral, but CEO David Stevens claims that increase in premium rates has witnessed fewer claims over the last 18 months. He also exclaims that for the first time in the UK in seven years a genuine prospect of decreasing underlying loss ratios can be seen in the main UK business.

The extremely competitive motor insurance industry did not raise premiums for quite a few years even though there was an increase in the cost of claims. But how long can they sustain themselves in this scenario, claims insurers.

According to Mr Stevens, there will be a rise of two to three percent in the near future. Well, insurers in the end are having the last laugh since increase in petrol prices have somewhat forced consumers to use their cars less frequently and therefore fewer accidents and less claims!

Endsleigh Insurance Sends Warnings !

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

Endsleigh warns the DIY enthusiasts !

Endsleigh, a leading insurance company has appealed the home and estate owners to be pay attention towards any repairs or alteration as it may affect their cover.

Rhiannon Harris, a spokesperson for Endsleigh has said, “We must be advised of any alteration of the risk, so this will include any DIY projects, in order that we may consider the continuation of cover in general.”

She added that the motorists can face huge losses, if they have not consulted the insurers prior to any repairs or alterations.
Most of the insurers are not covering the DIY structural repairs or alterations.

Endsleigh too has joined this league and now, denies from covering the losses caused by flawed repairs or designs.

Nationwide Insurance Offers

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

Special insurance offers by Nationwide for Father’s Day gifts

With few days left for Father’s Day, Nationwide is alluring the customers to grab its extended warranty cover. This cover has been flaunted with special items such as MP3 players, DAB radios, camcorders and home cinema systems, especially trendy gadgets for dads.

Along with two year’s of existing manufacturer’s warranty, you can enjoy an additional one year warranty by purchasing the products with a Nationwide credit card and registering it within 60 days of purchase. Not only this, the number of purchases is unlimited with cover starting after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
Jeremy Wood, divisional director for Nationwide, said: “Nationwide credit card holders who purchase an electrical item as a gift for Father’s Day can take advantage of our extended warranty insurance free of charge. The policy now includes cover on a range of new technologies - perfect for gadget-obsessed Dads everywhere.”