26 August 2010

PPI Claims Keep Going Strong

Are you one of the millions of unemployed people in Britain? Have you bought cover on your insurance and thought that now you have lost your job, you are at least covered on your repayments?

Over 800 people a week are now complaining that their Personal Protection Insurance (PPI) was nothing but a scam, and that they were mis-sold their policy.

Insurers and lenders are claiming that there is no wrongdoing from their side, and that they have never mis-sold loan insurance.

But the cases are being looked into by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) although many cases are being upheld, which means that lenders must pay compensation to customers.

The FSA has stepped in and is banning all selling of single-premium PPIs and the selling of loan insurance at the same time as the loan.

There is cynicism over the case, as some are saying that the number of complaints is so high only thanks to media attention and watchdog campaigns. Either way, if you are one of the many unemployed, you may be less than impressed to find that you are not covered...

25 August 2010

Ireland is Downgraded

As if the euro zone needed any more blows, Ireland has had its credit rating downgraded to AA- by Standard & Poor's rating agency.

Ireland's own credit rating agency saw S&P's downgrade and subsequent analysis of the Irish economy as incaccurate and exaggerated (with a huge deficit of GDP expected for 2010).

The euro currency itself actually jumped on the foreign exchange market, due to a report that showed German business confidence rose to unexpected highs in August.

23 August 2010

Australian Federal Elections

Over in Australia, federal elections held over the weekend (unlike in the UK, where elections are held during the working week) brought an unclear result, similar to the results of the UK general election in May.

The news left Australian share markets fairly cautious at open in Sydney, with moderate losses for all main indices such as the ASX 200.

Meanwhile oil managed to emerge from its 6-week lows of last week to reach a slightly improved $74 a barrel halfway through the day Monday.

19 August 2010

Alternative to Credit

The OFT intends to make changes to the way in which credit card claims are made, something which had provided a loophole: the 'original agreement'.

People who are thinking of claiming against their lender for credit card charges or a large debt might find it a bit trickier under new guidelines.

If the lender was unable to produce an original agreement document within 12 days of the borrower requesting it, the debt became unenforceable. Not bad - but now lenders are likely to be allowed to produce a 'true copy' of the document. This will suffice as evidence against the borrower.

If you think it might be too risky to take a credit (or if you can't get one) there are alternatives - the prepaid card is a great way to pay without borrowing money.

11 August 2010

Shares Fall on Downbeat Outlook

Financial markets around the world tumbled on Wednesday amid a general mood of gloom and nervousness.

After retreats in Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, markets fell in Europe before bringing the mood to Wall Street. All main indices fell sharply while currencies such as the Canadian dollar and the Australian dollar fell too.

Overall there is a very pessimisstic wind among markets, with careful or downbeat warnings from central banks.

06 August 2010

80 Per Cent Rise in Wheat Price

Could the price of a loaf of bread or a bowl of pasta be on the rise?

As if consumers need more price hikes in the aftermath of the deep recession (which is still threatening to return)...

Due to a strict export ban on wheat in Russia, which is in place until December 1, wheat prices on the futures market have surged by 80% since June.

While traders cope with the massive rise, regular consumers are beginning to worry about the price on the high street.

So far, market insiders have said that the situation remains contained.

02 August 2010

Sterling Rises to 11 Month Highs

The pound is on an immensely strong day on the foreign exchange market; it has reached an 11-month high against a basket of currencies while versus the US dollar it has reached a 6-month high.

After a round of good earnings data - with big bank HSBC posting better-than-expected profits for the first half - the pound is certainly more attractive for international investors today.

The dollar, meanwhile, is on a broadly weaker streak.