NEWS

The latest from Balance for Business

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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Apprenticeship take-up down by a quarter

The number of people starting a training programme has fallen “substantially” under the government’s new apprenticeship scheme, according to the National Audit Office. The public spending watchdog said that rather than boosting the number of apprenticeships since changes were introduced in 2017, they have fallen by 26%. There has also been a decline in the […]

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Brexit – A funding update

As we approach the Brexit deadline day, the impacts to businesses remains unclear as does the overall outcome of the entire process. We have listed below 5 points in relation to business funding in the UK, which are important to remember moving forward. 1. Change is the only constant – Banks & Funders are used […]

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Avamore report reveals dip in development rates

The latest Avamore Capital Market Bulletin reveals interest rates for development finance fell to 0.72% per month in Q4 2018. The study expects rates to decrease further due to reduced LTCs and GDVs. Average LTCs and LTGDVs for Q4 2018 stood at 82% and 66% respectively. The study — which included responses from 11 brokers, three developers and […]

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