29 October 2009

Check your Credit Report

Do you know what is lurking in your credit file?

Masses of people have been turned down for credit in the UK this year - be it a credit card, mortgage, unsecured loan.......the list goes on. In many cases, it is thanks to an unpaid bill or outstanding debt that we have no paid off and is bringing our credit file down.

But what if you have an excellent financial health? Check your credit file - it could have inaccuracies, is the new advice. A growing number of people are complaining that there are mistakes on their file which include outdated information or a loan stated as unpaid which was in fact paid of years ago.

Make sure you are in control of your financial future by regularly checking your report and correcting any mistakes. Credit reference agencies are becoming more and more powerful in the new age of stricter lending.

27 October 2009

FSA to oversee new Bank Rules

UK retail are taking steps towards a clearer stance as they sign up for new regulations drawn up by the British Bankers Association (BBA).

The new rules, to be overseen by the FSA, are being signed up for by seven of the largest UK banks including Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and RBS.

They will be the first retail banks in the world to sign up for the new policy which was discussed at the last G20 meeting.

The rules are set to demand clearer disclosure of bank policies and the way in which annual reports are drawn up.

The FSA has already warned that if the rules are not tightly adhered to, they will step in if necessary.

It is hoped by commentators and politicians, foreign exchange markets and the financial sector as a whole that the rules will guide banks towards a new bonus payout system within the banking sector.

26 October 2009

Pound due for Selling from Investors

The pound sterling is set for some aggressive selling tactics by foreign exhcange investors after the poor economic data for the UK last week. It was announced that the UK experienced its sixth consecutive quarterly GDP decline.

Sadly for Britain, now the USA is also set to announce its exit from the recession as third quarter GDP results are due to be published this week - the data is expected to show better-than-expected growth.

The pound has taken quite a beating this year and as the core UK interest rate is likely to remain low for a long time it is likely to be sold like hot cakes.

23 October 2009

Shock data: Britian still in Recession

23rd October 2009 and the UK still has not exited the recession, according to latest figures released today.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published their latest data this morning which show a decline in the British economy - for the sixth quarter in a row.

It looks as though this recession is now as bad as that of the 1979 - 1981 period, with output in industrial, services and construction down still down. Unemployment is still rising with the number close to 3 million.

What has this - apparently shock - news done to the Pound sterling?

22 October 2009

Banks carry out Cold Calls?

Fraud - we all try to fight it. We are warned daily about email scams, hackers, online banking and how to be safe...so the last thing we expect is confusion from our own banks about fraud.

Here's the story: high street banks like Lloyds and HSBC have been accused of confusing their customers by giving them cold calls. Some customers complained that they received a call claiming to be from their bank, were asked for personal details and when they questioned the caller, were told where they lived - this proved too worrying for some so they hung up.

However, the calls were genuine - but surely this shouldn't happen? After all, the Banking Code tells us never to divulge personal information or information regarding our bank accounts unless the recipient is trusted. If you do and become the victim of fraud, the bank will hold you viable.

If you are ever in any doubt over your high street bank, foreign exchange bank, investment bank or other - make sure you take control and ask to call them back.

20 October 2009

Oil up to over $80

Overnight, the oil prices kept growing until the price of US crude reached over $80 a barrel - exactly as had been predicted earlier in the year by the oil cartel Opec.

The price was helped by the continuing weakness of the US dollar, combined with growing oil demand and hopes for an economic recovery there.

On the other hand, there is growing concern that the dollar needs to be strengthened.

Head of the US Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke said that there needed to be action against the so-called “global imbalances” within the currency market.

19 October 2009

The future of the US dollar

Has the proverbial fat lady sung on the US dollar? The currency is still global reserve currency and weighted against commodities like oil and gold, but this is set to change if nations like China, Iran, the Gulf Arabic nations, Russia, Japan and even France have anything to say. Which, given emerging market strength, is rather a lot.

Iran has already changed its reserve currency to the Euro from US dollar. Is anyone surprised? Well, no - not when you take into account the massive conflict between Iran and the USA.

China is the loudest voice in the instigation of change - of a new basket of currencies to be used to value oil and given its growing economic strength, many see this change as a case not of "if" but "when"...

16 October 2009

IVA for Debt Solutions

As the divide between those struggling through unemployment and massive debts, and those who are working for Goldman Sachs widens, there are things to consider. For one, that a huge percentage of British people are in debts.

What is surprising is that not more people are seeking professional help to rescue them. Apparently, most people file straight for bankruptcy without considering an alternative...

The IVA (Individual Voluntary Agreement) was introduced in the late '80s by the Government and are provided by commercial insolvency practitioners. This means that while you may be charged a fee for getting an IVA, it is small compared to a regular loan or to the process of bankruptcy and it possible after-effects.

15 October 2009

Strong Economic Sentiment

The global economy is enjoying some strong sentiment - China has seen an improvement in export and import, Japan's export has improved and the US dollar is continuing its weak streak leading to commodities like oil to enjoy a boost.

A barrel of oil reached over $75, which is not far off the $80 which had been predicted earlier this year for Autumn. Are we set to reach the 2007 heights again?

The Euro is enjoying its strength against the dollar - the foreign exchange market expects one Euro to reach $1.50 and beyond soon.

But hold on to your hats - the dollar could revert to strength at a moment's notice!

14 October 2009

A Trip Abroad

Here's a small story about Travel Money:

A recent trip to London from Europe was filled with shopping trips. The traveller, who is based in Paris, booked the trip last minute and forgot to organise travel money in advance. She used her regular credit card to make purchases at all the main London shopping destinations - Liberty, Topshop, Selfridges...not to mention restaurants and cafes. She thought it wouldn't matter until she saw the credit card statement - the fees and charges added on top of ATM withdrawals and purchases were astronomical!

This traveller learned her lesson. But she argued, well what about last minute trips? Sometimes there just isn't time to go online and order travel money. There is something you can do about this - find yourself a Travel FX Card now and enjoy it without having to worry in advance. A Travel FX Card allows you to spend your money without massive fees added on top, plus any leftover currency on the card can be used next time you go abroad. Handy and efficient!

13 October 2009

Pay off your debts

Got debts? You're not alone. Most adults in the UK have debts in some form or another. Anyone who's finished studying is most likely to have a student loan to their name - and most people have more on top of that.

But the sooner you try to tackle your debts, the sooner you can enjoy a better credit status, a better financial health and better chances of getting a "yes" when you next apply for credit.

If you are having problems paying off your debts then you can always consider a consolidation loan or IVA.

09 October 2009

QE may be extended again

The currency exchange market, financial markets and other City institutions are speculating about the next moves to be taken by the Bank of England and the Monetary Policy Committee.

It has been indicated that they are to extend the QE programme once again - after having shocked the financial community by extending it in August.

Back then (and since then) it has been hoped that the UK economy would improve sufficiently so that this would no longer be needed. However, the latest data and figures would suggest the opposite is true.