News

UK borrowing up by £20bn a year

Economy

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) says government borrowing will increase by around £20bn a year due to accounting changes. Its updated forecasts show that the budget deficit will be £33.3bn by 2023/24, up from a previous estimate of £13.5bn. Much of the difference between the new total and...

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Unemployment hits 44-year low

Jobs

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that employment rose by 24,000 in the three months to October, with the total up 309,000 on the same period in 2018. The employment rate hit 76.2% of the working-age population, a record high, while unemployment fell 13,000 on the quarter...

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Homeowners’ average stay grows

Uncategorized

A new report, The Changing Shape of the UK Mortgage Market, shows that the number of years a homeowner stays in their property has lengthened to an average of 20 years, compared to eight years in the late 1980s. The study, from UK Finance and Hometrack, shows homeowners accounted for...

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SMEs hurt by invisibility

Business Market

Analysis from Experian says a lack of detailed information about their financial history means more than 1.6m SMEs may struggle to access growth funding or trade credit, with a lack of credit information seeing them deemed higher risk. Lisa Fretwell, managing director of Data Services at Experian, who notes...

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Retail sales on the up

Uncategorized

UK retail sales improved in the year to November, according to the latest CBI distributive trends survey, after six months of declines. Almost half (44%) of retailers now expect sales volumes to increase in the year to December, while just 23% expect sales to decline. Online sales growth slowed...

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October slowdown for mortgage market

Economy

Bank of England figures reveals that banks and building societies made 64,602 approvals for mortgages in October – 2% lower than the previous month and the weakest since March. The average rate on new mortgages is 1.96%, compared to the 2.39% average on existing home loans. Meanwhile, the pace...

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Pension transfer advisers among firms in default

Retirement

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has declared 11 advice firms in default, including two that have lost cases at the Financial Ombudsman Service against claims of poor pension transfer advice. The FSCS declared a total of 35 failed regulated companies in default in the three months from August to...

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Welcome back Sue Pengelly!

Uncategorized

We are delighted to welcome Sue Pengelly to the Balance for Business team! Sue rejoined Balance in November 2019 as Business Development Manager after briefly working at a large national funder covering the South West region. During her 30 plus year career in the sector she has developed significant...

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