The Bank of England says it is seeing "some tentative signs of boundaries being pushed in mortgage lending", warning that the industry could be entering a "spiral of complacency". In a speech at the University of Liverpool, Alex Brazier, Executive Director of Financial Stability and a member of the Financial Policy Committee, said that lenders think they can "reduce prices and loosen lending criteria" in a period of good economic performance and low loan losses. Brazier highlighted that lending standards "can go from responsible to reckless very quickly", adding: "the sorry fact is that as lenders think the risks they face are falling, the risks they - and the wider economy - face are actually growing".
The government has announced that the rise in the pension age to 68 will now happen by 2039 - seven years earlier than initially proposed. The government says the new timetable will "maintain fairness between generations in line with continuing increases in life expectancy". Latest projections from the Office for National Statistics show that the number of people over State Pension age in the UK is expected to grow by a third between 2017 and 2042, from 12.4 million in 2017 to 16.9 million in 2042. Under the proposed new timetable, the State Pension age will increase to 68 between 2037 and 2039, earlier than the current legislation which sees a rise between 2044 and 2046. The change will affect everyone born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978.
Consumers who take financial advice are accumulating significantly more financial assets and pension wealth than their unadvised peers, according to research from the International Longevity Centre and Royal London. Even allowing for the fact that some groups are more likely to seek advice than others, the research still shows that those who receive advice do better than an equivalent group who don’t. In fact the data shows that the proportionate impact is largest for those on more modest incomes. Splitting the impact of financial advice into two groups, the ‘affluent’ and the ‘just getting by’, the figures show that the ‘affluent but advised’ accumulated on average £12,363 (or 17%) more in liquid financial assets than the affluent and non-advised group, and £30,882 (or 16%) more in pension wealth.
Property development and buy-to-let have been profitable for investors over the past 20 years, but both require careful management to get right. Buy-to-let can go wrong very quickly if you purchase the wrong type of property for the tenant demand in the area, with even two or three months unlet meaning you fall behind on your mortgage payments. Similarly with property development, you need to be absolutely sure you understand the local market and deliver the refurbished property to the standard that buyers in the area want and will pay for - there's no point doing a swanky family home in a student area for example.
Some have said the pension up-rating mechanism should be replaced with a double-lock. The state pension triple-lock looked doomed at one point back in May - but after the Conservative's election campaign chaos and the eventual hung parliament deal with the DUP, the up-rating mechanism has been saved. It’s back in the headlines but what exactly is the triple-lock? Here’s five things you need to know.