NEWS

The latest from Balance for Business

Invoice finance returns to growth in H2 2018

Invoice finance and asset-based lending returned to growth in 2018, according to analytics software provider Equiniti Riskfactor. After two consecutive quarterly declines in the first half of 2018, total advances at the end of December 2018 totalled £22.7bn, up over £100m on the previous quarter and up 2.4% on the previous year. The analytics software […]

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Banking scams increase

Figures from UK Finance show the value of financial fraud against British companies and consumers totalled £1.2bn in 2018 – up almost a quarter on 2017, when £968m was stolen. The amount stolen in authorised push payment (APP) scams rose to £354m, with banks recording 84,624 cases of APP fraud last year, almost double the […]

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Inflation rises in February

Food and alcohol price rises helped push inflation higher in February, the first rise since August 2018. The rate of price changes, measured using the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), rose to 1.9%, from 1.8% in January. House prices are rising at their slowest rate for almost six years, the Office for National Statistics said. Inflation […]

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First-time buyer figures fall in February

The latest data from e.surv suggests that mortgage approvals fell by 0.5% in February as lending to small deposit borrowers reduced slightly. Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, remarked: “While confidence has fallen in the housing market due to economic and political turbulence, the mortgage market continues to grow.” He went on: “Existing homeowners are able […]

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Contactless card use rockets

Data from UK Finance shows that the number of transactions using contactless technology rose by 31% in 2018 compared with the previous year, a rise led by the adoption of the technology on public transport and by more retailers. Some 6.3bn payments were made in the UK using the “tap and go” feature of debit […]

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House prices set to slip

House prices are expected to fall towards the end of the year, according to estimates from the Office for Budget Responsibility. It said that average prices will drop by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2019. Growth is expected to return in the second quarter of 2020, to 0.9%, but will remain well below the […]

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New governing body to replace FRC

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is to be replaced by a new regulator, the UK government has announced. The Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority will have enhanced powers and be able to make direct changes to accounts, instead of applying to court. The government said it wants new “strong” leadership to “change the culture” of the […]

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Too little, too late? Spring Statement crack down on late payments in review

In today’s Spring Statement, chancellor Philip Hammond declared “The end of late payments could finally be in sight.” But what is the government actually doing about it? 50,000 small businesses fold every year due to late payments. The trickle down effect on the UK economy is much farther reaching as SMEs famously employ 60% of the […]

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FCA warns Provident Financial bidder

Non-Standard Finance has been warned by the Financial Conduct Authority that its plans to shake up Provident Financial if it succeeds with its £1.3bn hostile bid must not result in customers being exploited for higher profits. The FCA said borrowers’ rights must be protected and lending rules cannot be relaxed. FCA retail lending chief Philip […]

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Increase in remortgage approvals

Research by Moneyfacts has found that lenders are responding to an increase in remortgage approvals with increasingly competitive rates. Bank of England data shows that remortgage approvals were up from 48,900 in November to 50,400 December 2018. In response, the average two-year fixed rate now stands at 2.49%, down from 2.53% in November last year […]

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